Chapter 1: Virtual Business Strategies
The first chapter focuses upon virtual business wherein it states that it is basically conducting business using the internet wherein face to face interaction is missing (Ward. 2016). Globalisation has led to emergence of virtual business which has in turn led to diversification of even small run businesses. The chapter focuses upon the four main strategies which has ample scope for growth. First is the “any place, any time” strategy which basically provides a round the clock service thus overcoming the geographical limitations with ease. Second is the “people know best” strategy which exploits the value of the general public as a powerful tool for creating value for any product or service. Thirdly “everyone has a stake” strategy wherein the stakeholders’ suggestions are given weightage thus enables the leaders to move ahead in the right path successfully. Lastly “real in the virtual world” strategy which provides prospects to the actual organizations to become a part of the virtual world (Girard et.al. 2011).
Thus basically the concept of physical presence is fading away. One very striking revolution has been witnessed in the book industry by introduction of kindle wherein now people prefer reading books online rather than buying them physically. Fortunately the printers and shippers are not behind and they have also become a part of the said development. Thus the readers are now aware of the fact that virtual business has enabled the concept of close knit environment friendly connection.
The second chapter focuses upon the advancement in the social networking area. It not only connects family and friends but also professionals across the globe thus giving a new face to the concept of virtual business. It specifies the types of individuals, organizations and brands that are making use of the social websites.
One of the most talked about social networking sites today is “facebook” with a population of 500 million which is equivalent to the population of North America. More important is the fact that these users are seen quite active most of the time. On an average each usrr has about more than a hundred friends. However the usage is not the end as the brands which were at some point of time only known to limited people today is world famous thanks to social networking.
Another very notable social site is that of LinkedIn which is often viewed as grown-ups facebook. But the purpose of this site is much more than only facebooking where basically people are engaged into gossiping. LinkedIn is one site that connects professionals. They are able to exchange valuable data, find better jobs and business opportunities as well which is possible only via a strong social network (livecraeers.com. 2012). However privacy is intruded by these websites. People often use it for satisfying malafide intentions by downloading photos of women and using it for uncensored work. Last but not the least, even though these sites have given greater opening yet one should not ignore the challenges that it had posed in the past.
Chapter 2: Advancements in Social Networking
This part describes about the how are the businesses of the virtual world lead. The virtual business leaders have shared their experiences. First is the one shared by African Villa which is a small business in the hospitality segment in Cape Town which started with a small motel where the clients got attracted simply via word of mouth but the advertisement cost being too high was not famous amongst many tourist. Soon internet came into existence and with those sites such as tripadvisor, seatguru etc also came into existence which enabled the travellers to make wise decisions regarding the stay during holidays at various places across the globe. Thus a click and all the details about how a hotel is performing is available. Thus by applying the strategy of “people know best” African Villa became renowned amongst the travellers thus earning good profits.
The next story makes us aware of the fact that doing business virtually is not as easy as it seems. Today’s business school have such graduates who excel in performing in the virtual scenario. A new degree was formulated by the name of virtual business degree and in 2004 the business information technology department at Minot State University formed a panel of experts who helped in forming the curriculum of the course (Willoughby, & Cresap 2004). Creation of the said degree was an easy task but the difficult part was to get the students enrolled. There is a difference between e-commerce and virtual business but people fail to understand the same. However the course if adopted by people seriously can do wonders.
Virtual business has fulfilled the dream of working for just a few hours in a week yet earning millions. One similar story is that of Chris C. Ducker the virtual CEO. It proved that if a person has the required skills, an idea in which he himself believes and which helps to resolve problems of people then it does not require a proper physical office, rather a virtual business venture wherein people from across the globe can connect. Thus a leader can be the entrepreneur himself. His strategy was to help people come out of the daily work stress while managing time in the most optimum manner (Goodreads.com. 2014).
Virtual business does not have any age bar, and the next story of Alex Boom proves the same. He pioneered the area of crowdsourcing in virtual business wherein a large number of individuals are made a part of a project. As the name suggest it helps to tap the talent from the huge crowd who want to work but cannot move out of their houses (Houlne. 2012). Virtual business provides a platform to such a crowd.
Chapter 3: Real-Life Experiences of Virtual Business Leaders
Next story makes one aware that virtual business can help one understand his goals and passion from life. Traditionally people were guided by their family and friends and counsellors as well but Spencer Thompson took the help of the online resources and thus he created a platform which helped many others too find a successful path for their lives. However this business idea did not succeed as it was launched ahead of time. Therefore it has to be understood that even if virtual business does not demand for much of an investment, yet its launch has to be planned carefully.
Lastly the story of David McDougall, the CEO of Vision Max Solutions makes it clear that virtual business can be made applicable in the retail segment as well but it needs great amount of innovation. The customers are varied with varying tastes and preferences and dealing with such diversity online is a matter of great leadership. Here the Virtual CEO has to be more supple and ensure that he is always on a learning spree. Thus virtual business gives birth to leaders whose role keeps on changing and he/she is always learning something new every day.
The said chapter describes that virtual world is no more a myth and carries a market value worth $6 billion. What is a virtual world is the most awaited question. Well the answer to the same is simple i.e. a world which is dependent on computers and laptops. There are many VWs available and they basically differ from each other basis the outlook i.e. 2D or 3D, the type of data it is engaged into i.e. the creator is a developer or a user who is responsible for the same, the communication amongst the users i.e. whether the same is done via emails or instant text messaging or avatars etc, the topography which is very similar to the real world and community dynamics i.e how do the users spend time in the VWs they are a part of (Bartle, 2003).
There are four main segments which are coming into existence in the VW. They are 3D customer interaction management, Interactive 3D virtual meeting, Simulation- based learning and Immersive 3D Solutions. A VW is not just a gaming zone for the tweens. It is a tool which helps to develop the innovative and the creative side of a child. Although some of the VWs can be harmful as well but most of it help them to create their own bedroom or bathroom thus give importance to their imaginative side.
Chapter 4: Growing Demand for Virtual Worlds and their Segments
The growing demand for a VW, demand the developers to think out of the box. A person belonging to any kind of a business model can easily be converted into a VW 3D model thus attracting the new generation of tweens. Avatars is the next thing looked by all the tweens. However it is to be understood that there are some rules to succeed in the virtual world. The presumption that VWs are merely games is incorrect. In fact it is defined as a high end path of communication as it has the capability to unite many people from any part of the universe. Secondly, it is very important to note that one involved in creating a VW should have adequate on the job experience and have the ability to resolve to various issues thus creating value for the users. Each avatar is viewed as actual human being interacting and hence the codes should be fed such that it behaves as desired. Last law is that VW is a new way of branding one’s own product and service and hence it should be used very carefully (Sudmann, 2015).
The sixth chapter emphasis upon the “place” out of the four Ps of marketing. In the world of virtual business, place plays an indispensable role. The area where the products are meant ot be sold is widened in case of this kind of a business. The chapter describes the actual experiences wherein place has played a vital role in the success or failure of a virtual business model. It describes about how the radiologist in Australia help the patients of America by reading their X rays even if the time gap is huge. Secondly the call centres are taking the advantage of virtual business by expanding their role simply by employing people and asking hem to work from home. Lastly the development of the virtual technology has ensured that people can meet up with each other in the virtual sense. Thus it is very evident that virtual business models have made any place any time business possible and a success too.
After reading the wonders that technology can do to any business I as an employee of XYZ Ltd. feel motivated to be a part of the company. Organizations have off lately understood that in order to succeed they need good employees along with high end technology installed. The Company has always made us realise that even we have a contribution and stake in the company which enabled to motivate me to work harder and more innovatively.
Motivation of the employees is what my employer has always focussed upon be it via the virtual forum or physical. I have always been encouraged to develop new ideas and the same is discussed in detail in accordance with the technology in place. Thus the company has always appreciated the creative side of me due to which I have been able to utilise the technology at its best (Perumal et.al. 2011). Our managers soon developed an informal environment within the organization which ensured sharing of ideas with more ease. However we were all confused that how the ideas would be disseminated and whether at all the same would be acceptable in the true spirit. But the organization adopted the concept of virtual world and ensured that we all get connected to each other irrespective of the geographical limitations (Klobas, & Jackson, 2012).
Therefore these factors motivated me to utilise the already installed technology at its best.
Bartle,R. (2003). What are Virtual Worlds?. Retrieved from https://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=99703
Klobas,J.E. & Jackson, P.D. (2012). Becoming Virtual- Knowledge Management and Transformation of teh Distributed Organization. Physica-Verlag:Australia
Girard, J., Gordon, C., & Girard, J. (2011). Knowledge Sharing as an Enabler of Virtual Business. The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management. 9(3)
Goodreads.com. (2014). Chris C. Ducker. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7247040.Chris_C_Ducker
Houlne,T. (2012). Virtual Business Models- The Future is Here. Retrieved from https://workingsolutions.com/virtual-business-models-the-future-is-here/
livecareers.com. (2012). Career Advancement with Social Networking Technology. Retrieved from https://www.livecareer.com/jobs-tips/career-advancement-with-social-networking-technology
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Ward, S. (2016). A Definition of Virtual Business. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/a-definition-of-virtual-business-2948416
Willoughby,L., & Cresap,L. (2004). A New Bachelors Degree: Virtual Business. Issues in Information Systems. V(1). 347-351
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