How do you get a great business address if you work from home?
The Authoritive Guide to Virtual Offices.
Business owners all over the world are constantly seeking ways to reduce their costs and improve their efficiency. The Covid 19 pandemic reinforced this pressure and compelled businesses to re-evaluate their strategies.
The Virtual Office model was given a quantum boost with the pandemic yet the adoption was inevitable. The growth in global connectivity coupled with the development of Cloud Computing has transformed the business world everywhere, in every market. Virtual Offices are an outcome of this transformation.
The conventional pre-digital business model of a long term office lease, daily commuting and an in-house reception is undergoing profound change. The versatility and cost savings inherent to Virtual Offices are increasingly being welcomed and utilised by start-ups and established small and medium-sized enterprises across the planet.
So what are Virtual Offices?
Let me describe the Virtual Office solution to you. I’ll tell you in depth about all the benefits and advantages and how to secure the best Virtual Office to meet your business needs. Let this be your authoritative briefing about a very smart business concept that’s future-ready. Let’s go.
All Your Questions Answered.
1. What is a Virtual Office?
A subscription to a Virtual Office provides a respected business address without the cost of leasing a physical office. You can have your business mail and packages delivered to your virtual office address – but you don’t need to physically work at the location. Most Virtual Office addresses are located in prestigious office buildings within state capital CBDs and there are also Virtual Offices subscriptions available in many capital city suburbs and within the regional cities of Australia.
2. What are the benefits and advantages of a Virtual Office?
- A respected business address that presents a reputable image to customers.
- Secure mail and package reception. No risk of theft.
- Mail and package forwarding services. Correspondence can be opened, scanned and emailed - you can check your business mail wherever you are in the world.
- Subscription for short and long terms. Easy and flexible conditions.
- Fast set-up. Your business can have a great address within less than a day.
- Low cost. Extremely economical.
- Locations in all Australian cities and key regions.
- Usually there are stylish fully furnished meeting rooms, co-working spaces and private offices available for hire at the virtual office location.
- Central office location, easy to access to pick up mail or packages.
- Prestige business addresses that will impress customers.
- Most Virtual Offices are located within major business precincts that are well serviced by transport options, making it very easy for clients to visit for meetings when the address also provides meeting rooms and conferencing facilities.
- Setting up a national or regional footprint is super easy and extremely economical.
- An excellent business address for business cards, websites and all your business marketing. How about Collins Square Melbourne or the iconic Angel Place Sydney ?
3. Why are Virtual Offices so popular?
Here are the main reasons:
Global connectivity and the ease of accessing data via Cloud Computing means that many of the reasons for leasing a physical office space simply don’t exist anymore. There is no longer any need to rely on a local server and employing your own tech maintenance. When anyone in your business can access all the data, applications and business tools that they need to perform their work remotely - as long as they have an internet connection – why do they need to commute to work every day?
The commercial world is moving faster every year. The internet has sped up the speed of decisions and the implementation of strategies and reduced the time it takes to access products and services. Smart businesses with the need for a respected business address can’t afford to waste time looking for a physical office space. When the key driver for a respected business address is presenting a good business image to customers then just get a Virtual Office Address in the location you want to be! Save months of looking around and get an address in a prestige office building within a few hours. Why bother with the old slow office space conventions when you really need to have a great business address now!
In business, budget priorities change according to the circumstances. When all your staff can work remotely, you can save the costs of leasing office space and paying for fit outs and utilities. Focus cash resources on marketing or product development or paying higher salaries to retain and recruit talented staff. What’s the use of leasing office space when half the time it will be empty? Why not simply access facilities such as meeting rooms, conferencing, private suites when you actually need them instead of leasing space your business doesn’t really utilise?
Starting a business can be really challenging, especially when every dollar matters. Virtual Office addresses are the perfect solution for start-ups because there is no constant worrying burden of paying the monthly office space lease. A new business can have a great business address without all the associated costs of a physical office and that’s a great incentive to get busy and make your mark in the commercial world.
WFH (Work from Home) is the new way of working that isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Many business owners work from home because it is so convenient, and with connectivity their home can be anywhere in the world. But……….privacy matters. It’s very unwise to display your home address as a place of business, for obvious reasons. Virtual Offices protect your privacy, so you can work from home - but your customers will only know the image of a prestigious business address. So you can boost your business profile AND protect your privacy.
4. What sort of customers subscribe to Virtual Offices?
Virtual Offices are used by all kinds of organisations and businesses. The key attribute that links all Virtual Office customers is convenience. Here are a few profiles of Virtual Office users:
Businesses that mostly work on location, such as builders, geologists, gardeners, fishermen, electricians, plumbers and surveyors. They have no requirement for dedicated office space with their logo on the door - because their work is performed wherever the work site is. But they do need a business address.
Consultants with extensive knowledge in their chosen fields always need a suitable business address but they don’t always need to pay for expensive office space. Many legal consultants, financial advisors, scientific experts and trainers have developed a great understanding of their industry and have decided to run their own business and be their own boss. They’ve spent their time in the corporate world and now they are free agents, enjoying working from home or their favourite coffee shops. – safe in the knowledge that their prestigious virtual office address presents a great business image every day.
Ambitious businesses will use Virtual Offices to swiftly develop an office network in new markets. It’s the easy way to build an immediate National market presence. Within a day you can have respected business addresses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra and you can link your new office network into a Virtual Receptionist Service so business calls to each office can be professionally answered by a remote team of expert receptionists.
Virtual Offices are also a very useful tool when established businesses want to reduce costs. When the commercial environment is depressed and sales revenue isn’t meeting budget forecasts, it’s wiser to prioritise resources by moving out of costly office space than making key staff redundant. Connectivity means a lot of staff can perform most of their tasks from home, and its much smarter to invest funds into the business rather than in conventional office space.
5. Where are Virtual Offices located?
Virtual Office addresses are located where their customers want them to be. That means that most locations are on high floors in prestige office towers in the CBDs of major cities. The site is usually well positioned for easy access to all major transport options, such as ferries, trains, buses, trams, uber and in an area with varied dining and hospitality options. Our Virtual Address locations cover all the major capital cities, often with two or three price options within each CBD, from prestigious iconic office towers to well respected office buildings at key business hubs.
As Virtual Office addresses grow in popularity there are more sites becoming available in city suburbs and in regional towns. The main essential criteria is that the location reflects where the business owner thinks his or her customers would expect them to be located – given the services or products they are providing. (Also, for obvious reasons, the location needs to be convenient as many entrepreneurs and business people working from home don’t want to travel too far to personally pick up their mail or packages).
A specialist legal consultancy firm would usually subscribe to a Virtual Office address situated nearby the law courts and the legal precinct of the city. So too financial consultancies would choose Virtual Addresses situated in the financial districts. However other customers without the need for a highly respected premium image may simply want a no-frills business address in a regional suburb that provides no other facilities than a mailing address.
The increasingly popular option is a business mailing address with the option of physical meeting rooms, conferencing spaces, co-working areas and private suites – all with high-speed internet and complimentary refreshments. These full service Virtual Offices tend to be in prominent CBD precincts and affluent suburban hubs.
6. Why is the Virtual Office so cost-effective?
The Virtual Office is so cost-effective because it can fulfil your business requirements without all the traditional overheads. Just imagine having a highly respected business mailing address that impresses customers for almost less than $1,000 per year. Then when you need to hold meetings with staff or clients you simply book the stylish meeting rooms at your Virtual Office address. The cost savings arise from the methodology of only paying for what you need when you need it. The old conventional way of leasing office space is so expensive when you think of paying for electricity, internet, water, cleaning, security, office equipment and furnishings – then couple all those costs with constant lease payments that can loom like a dark threatening cloud when monthly sales targets are not met. Well now there is a better, flexible, more versatile and incredibly cost effective solution for your small business, Virtual Offices.
7. What other Virtual Services are there?
It is all about Global Connectivity. When people and places can be connected together in real time 24/7, then the only limit to Virtual Services for business is imagination. There will be many more Virtual business services in the future, but right now there are three main types of virtual services for business – Virtual Offices, Virtual Receptionists and Virtual Assistants. I have told you about Virtual Offices, let me tell you about the other two Virtual business services.
Many people still get confused with that word Virtual. Its not some sci-fi spooky world with altered reality. Virtual just means the same service is provided, just differently.. So a Virtual Reception seems just like a usual reception sitting in the foyer of a physical office, but it’s not. Your phone call will still be answered on behalf of your business by a local Australian voice, but the receptionist will be working remotely as part of a team of professional receptionists. What’s the Virtual Reception process? As soon as there is a phone call for your business, it will display on the computer screen of your Virtual Receptionist, with all the details about your business – including the script for welcoming, a profile of your company and the instructions on what kind of calls should be transferred to you or your key staff. The caller to your business will be professionally welcomed in a local Australian voice and they will simply imagine that this receptionist works for your company, which they do, virtually. However this Virtual Reception is not an employee. Your business won’t be paying any salary, sick leave, holiday leave or the cost of recruitment and training. You also won’t need to juggle back-up cover like the scramble for when in-house receptionists go on leave or when they take their lunch break. Busy times such as during sales campaigns are also never a problem with a Virtual Reception service because you are served by a team of receptionists, not just one. With Virtual telephone answering services there will be no exasperated clients waiting on hold, because multiple calls at peak times are expertly answered by multiple Virtual Receptionists – answered promptly and warmly, in a local voice.
What does a Virtual Receptionist cost and how do you pay for the service ?
Compared to the cost of an in-house receptionist, the savings are dramatic. This is the real beauty of Virtual Business Services, you can save so much in outgoings without impacting customer service, indeed it usually improves. Virtual Phone Answering services charge by the package. All you need to do is estimate the number of calls you expect every month and choose a call package that mirrors that. So if you expect to receive about 100 calls per month during usual work hours, then a 100 call package with us will cost $295 per month. Any calls over the package limit will be charged at $3.45 per call. How does that compare to what you have in place now?
What are the service conditions and real service benefits?
Pricing for our Virtual Receptionist services are very simple, there are no tricky add-ons and like all Virtual business services, there is lots of flexibility. It’s easy to stop and start your service according to what your business requires – there are never any long term locked in contracts or set-up fees.
When you access Virtual Call Answering Services you can also take advantage of the scale of the service. Maybe you want to boost your customer service on the weekend and live answer callers instead of letting their calls go to voicemail, (surveys show most callers hate voicemail and don’t leave messages – they’ll just call your competition). Perhaps you have plenty of international callers or customers calling across different time-zones – it’s simple to extend your service to start live answering from 6am until 9pm or even 24/7. Maybe you have your own employee receptionist but they are taking extended leave for three months and you need to cope with their absence? Simply give us a call and use a Virtual Receptionist to cover.
How do you set up the service ?
It doesn’t take long. There is a short checklist to work through and your Virtual Reception can be working for your business within an hour - and we always offer our clients a free 7 day trial so you can really experience the service – with no obligation.
- We’ll ask you how you’d like the receptionists to greet your customers – what should the welcoming script be – this is the greeting when your business calls are answered. We make sure it is exactly the same, every time, for every caller. But you can always change it anytime you want.
- Then please brief us about your business and your services so your receptionist team understands your company and the types of enquiries you expect to receive.
- It’s important to also instruct us about what type of calls should be prioritised and directly transferred to management or key staff.
- We can provide summaries of your phone calls by either SMS or email. Most customers find it easier just to receive an email, but please tell us which you prefer.
- That’s about it. If you have any questions you can always check with our expert customer service team.
Once you have experienced the benefits of a Virtual Receptionist service you’ll wonder why you didn’t check this business service out before. And remember your calls will be answered by a local Australian voice, someone expertly familiar with the Australian business culture.
Just imagine – never missing a call to your business. Every call answered promptly by a professional Australian receptionist. Change the call answering service whenever you need – scale up or scale down. And all for a fraction of the cost of an in-house receptionist. Just pay for what you need – when you need it.
Remember what we said about the term ‘Virtual’? It’s the same service provided differently. So instead of an assistant sitting in your office helping you compile customer profiles, your Virtual Assistant could be working from their home hundreds of miles away – performing exactly the same task. Virtual Assistants also fit the same model of only paying for what you need when you need it.
What kind of tasks can Virtual Assistants perform?
Any on-screen work that an office assistant completes can usually be completed remotely. Tasks like creating customer databases, editing software fields before the data is migrated, researching markets, writing blogs for websites, monitoring your business social media and competitor sites and managing feedback on your CRM – there is no limit to the possibilities for projects and assignments.
Using a Virtual Assistant doesn’t mean you have to communicate with someone on another continent in another time-zone. Your Virtual Assistant can be a highly experienced Australian business assistant living in the same city as you - someone totally familiar with Australian business, the change is simply they are working remotely and they are not your employee.
With a Virtual Assistant who don’t have to carry all the overheads incumbent with an employee. You simply define the criteria for the task/s, agreed on the payment and then you can let yourself focus on the key needs of your business rather than devoting hours to mundane tasks better suited to an assistant.
8. What’s the process of getting a Virtual Office or Offices?
You’ve probably already reviewed the addresses of some Virtual Offices but it’s smart to simply tell us what sort of business you have and your customer profile and we can help you pinpoint a respectable business address for a great price. We have 50 sites across Australia ranging from highly prestigious addresses such as Level 23 Collins Square Tower on Collins Street Melbourne to simple no frills suburban business mailing addresses. The main thing is to settle on a subscription that’s just right for your business need.
Securing a great business address is a very stress free simple process, but naturally to protect the integrity of the product, there is an identity verification process that we are always very strict with. Verifying identity is a very straightforward procedure – and this gatekeeper process is a key reason ASIC will allow you to use your Virtual Office address as your business address. Once verification is performed and you have the business address you need its simply a matter of paying your subscription and you’re reading to start using the address.
9. Are Virtual Offices legal?
Yes, Virtual Offices are legal in Australia and you’ll find Virtual Offices are legally available in almost every country across the world. It’s now just a normal business services product from Washington to Warsaw, from Chennai to Tokyo, from Durban to Denpasar – and everywhere in between.
10. What’s the future for Virtual Offices?
The future is very positive for Virtual Services and especially for the Virtual Office. This is a new era in the ways we run our businesses, change is everywhere and opportunities are everywhere. The only risk is not embracing change and staying flat-footed while other companies adapt and evolve. With a Virtual Office Address your business is simply taking advantage of technological change and re-prioritising resources in this globally connected world. Join the smart revolution with Virtual business services – talk to us today.