Do you work from a home office, or perhaps the corner of the dining room table? Or are you working in your basement, or in someone else’s office? If so, then you may want to consider using virtual office services for your business.
What is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office is a service offered by an office management facility. They may offer serviced offices and other types of workspaces, such as coworking spaces. These businesses provide you and your business with the tools needed for success.
Virtual office services generally include an office address at a prestigious business address, a real telephone number dedicated to your business, administration services, the option to rent meeting rooms when needed, and more all without the use of a physical office.
What Services and Features are Included in a Virtual Office?
These will vary, as each office management firm differs in exactly what they provide. However, you can expect the following to come with your virtual office services in most cases:
- Professional business address
- Dedicated phone number
- Administration support: who will help you with business tasks
- Receptionist and call answering/forwarding: they will answer calls using your business name, and forward calls directly to you
- Access to meeting rooms or other facilities when you need them (you generally pay for these only when you use them)
- Access to business services when you’re at the physical office: these usually include fax, high-speed WiFi, printing, presentation tools, and possibly catering services for meetings/conferences
The office location is usually at a prestigious business location and may be in a traditional office building that is unbranded (this depends on the management firm you choose). You’ll receive access to the services listed above all for one monthly fee. And in the case of meeting or conference rooms, you only pay for them when you use them.
Benefits of Using Virtual Office Services
Now, you may be asking how a virtual office service can benefit your business. We’ve put together a list on ways these services can give your business a boost:
Credibility: when you have a home office, clients and partners may shy away. Why? They’re not certain that you’re a professional, and if so, then how long will your business be around? Instead, having a more traditional office address, with access to business services, helps you to retain and attract clients and partners who may feel more comfortable in a traditional office setting.
Location: having a business address in a prestigious location is sure to impress your clients and partners. Not only that, but you’ll also be giving them the assurance that your business is legitimate.
Cost-effective solution: you gain all the credibility and legitimacy, along with the business services, all for one monthly fee. Everything’s included! You get all the benefits but save money by not having to pay exorbitant rent for a physical office in a great location.
In addition, if you’re working alone, you gain access to a receptionist and an administrative assistant, without having to put them on the payroll. Their services are also included in the monthly fee. Your business saves money, so you can work from home and grow the business with the savings.
Who can Benefit from Using a Virtual Office?
A virtual office is a great choice for many types of businesses:
- Established organizations looking to make the move to a new region or city. They can expand without the cost of a traditional office.
- Startup, solopreneur, or freelancer who doesn’t want to give out their personal address and phone number for business communications.
- For businesses that need a local presence for clients and partners.
- Digital nomads who may need an office space for meetings.
- Small business, freelancers, entrepreneurs who would like to take advantage of a more prestigious office address to impress clients and partners.
How to Choose the Best Virtual Office Services for Your Business
If you’ve made the decision to go with a virtual office service, then you’ll need to know what to look for. We’ve put together a list of tips on how to find the best virtual office for your business.
1). Location: choose a virtual office in a building that has a central location, and one that’s easily accessible for you, your clients and partners.
2). Technology: look for a virtual office that provides the equipment and technology you’d need onsite to get work done. While each business has its own requirements, at the least a virtual office service should include:
- High-speed Internet
- Office equipment
- Audio/visual presentation equipment
- Fax/printer accessibility
- And more
3). Comfortable, stylish meeting/conference rooms: you want to impress, so be sure to find a virtual office location that includes a stylish, comfortable meeting or conference room. The rooms should be flexible to accommodate the meetings you normally conduct. The spaces should also be inspiring and invigorating, so you can get work done effectively.
4). Lease terms: you’ll want to make sure to understand everything that’s in the lease. Look for a flexible lease, so you’re not stuck with the virtual office when you need to scale your business. Also ask what’s included in the monthly fee and read through the lease to look for any hidden costs. You don’t want to have hidden fees or costs pop up unexpectedly, as these can be hard on your business budget.
5). Look for a space you feel good in: when you walk into the office space, watch for your gut reaction. Do you feel good or uncomfortable? Is the décor representative of your brand? Would you be proud to take clients and partners there?
Also look for how you’re greeted—is the receptionist pleasant? Were you ignored?
Ask yourself these questions and if you find a space that feels right in all ways, then you’ve found the right place for your virtual office.
A virtual office can be an amazing, cost-effective choice for your business. You’ll have a business address to impress, services to help scale your business and much more. What’s not to like? All this is available for just one monthly fee, making this a great choice even if you want to continue working from home.