Meet Tim Benton, President of Virtual Office by Design. In a nutshell, you can think of Virtual Office by Design as a one-stop-shop for any small business administration needs. They provide business administration support for small businesses without the expense of hiring full-time employees or renting permanent office space. Their services allow small businesses to focus on growth and other key initiatives, while out-sourcing routine business administration. This includes reception services, address & mail services, dedicated office space, and conference rooms for team meetings. Get to know Tim as he shares his top tips for success in entrepreneurship, how he got started, and why he’s proud to serve fellow Hoosiers.
What purpose does Virtual Office by Design serve?
We answer 100% of inbound communication for small companies, so they can focus on growth initiatives. We answer inbound phone calls from 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Monday through Friday and triage those calls as needed to our clients’ offices. We also have dedicated office space, conference rooms, and mailbox/corporate address services.
How would you describe your overall mission as a local company?
As an Indiana-owned and operated company, we work to serve our clients and help them grow by handling some administrative work for them that they otherwise would pay 4x as much to handle through in-house teams. We support the Indiana community as I grew up in Richmond, graduated from DePauw, and love everything about living and working in Indiana!
Why did you decide to start this business venture?
After a 30 year career spanning Procter & Gamble and the PGA Tour, I was looking to buy my own company and this was an ideal fit. It needed more marketing and sales focus, and we are growing the company to new levels with our great team and fabulous client service.
What drew you to becoming an entrepreneur?
At the PGA Tour, I led a $70 million business unit of the organization, and I came to realize that providing leadership was what motivated me. I love the challenge of growing a company, leading a team, solving strategic challenges, and working with clients. This has been a great opportunity for me to leverage my broad business background in marketing, sales, finance, and people leadership.
What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?
Go for it. Work hard, work smart. Leverage technology. Build great relationships with clients, vendors, employees, and others in your ecosystem. Always keep learning. Keep close watch on the competition. Play to your strengths, and outsource as needed.
Why do you feel it is important to be known as a local business?
Our clients depend on us (in some cases) to know the local landscape well—whether that involves scheduling appointments throughout Indiana, working with attorneys and judges, or with other topics that require an in-depth knowledge of local issues.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry?
In any industry, I believe it is keeping up with emerging technology and focusing on digital transformation across all business functions. I make it a point to our team to always look to simplify, to take advantage of technology, to streamline our work.
What do your plans for the future hold?
We will continue to focus on client acquisition and on serving them to the best of our ability. We are also looking at additional services to provide our clients, transforming us from essentially answering inbound telephone calls to managing all inbound communication for our clients; for example, handling Facebook Messenger and other social media platforms.
What is one fun fact about yourself that people may not expect?
My almost 25 years with the PGA Tour allowed me the opportunity to travel extensively and to work with many of golf’s greatest players. I’m humbled that I got to meet Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Byron Nelson, Tiger Woods, and many other great players over the years.
Anything else we should know?
I am blessed to have a beautiful wife of 32 years, Jennifer; and three wonderful kids—Katie (25), and twins Will & Drew (22), who graduate this year from DePauw University, plus a family dog named Kobe Bean!
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