Look bigger with a virtual address
As a startup business, you won’t have much money to spend on things like leasing an office and furnishing it, hiring reception staff, and all the other costs associated with those expenses. Many startup firms launch their brands from home, and often to a shoestring budget. In an ideal world, you’d like to start your business with an immediate feel of a large corporation. After all; your customers are more likely to be confident in your products, services, and abilities if they perceive you as a large, established business.
The sad truth is that we don’t live in an ideal world. When you start a new business, you’re extremely limited from a financial perspective. And that is especially so if you’ve had to save money from a full-time job to pay for your startup costs! Now, at this point, you might be thinking that your chances of making your business a success are probably slim given your limited financial resources. That, and the fact that you are essentially a one-person enterprise!
But, what if there was a way to give your potential customers the perception that you are a large established business without paying the associated costs that such a firm has to cover regularly? Well, the good news is that it’s entirely possible to make your startup look more substantial than it is by using virtual offices and virtual services! Intrigued? Here’s how you can make that happen for your startup business:
The benefits of a virtual office address
Let’s face it: your customers may not think much of you if your business address is a residential one. In the business world, regardless of the industry, first impressions count. If you give your potential customers the impression that you work out of your living room, they might hesitate to do business with you.
Unfortunately, there are also some companies that will refuse to do business with sole traders, instead opting to only work with other companies. Thankfully, you don’t have to use your home address for business purposes. By using a virtual office address, you give all customers the impression that you operate from a specific, well-known commercial part of town.
So, what’s the difference between a “virtual” office address and a “real” one? To be honest, there aren’t many significant differences. A virtual office address isn’t invisible, it does exist and it’s one with a physical building at its location! That means you can use it as your firm’s registered company address. Plus, you can also have documents and packages delivered to your virtual office address, as most providers offer that as a service. Some virtual office address providers will even scan and email your letters to you, so there’s no need to physically go there for your mail!
A plethora of virtual offices addresses can be found located at prestigious corporate centers in major towns and cities. Such addresses will give your startup business the chance to compete on an even footing with established players in the market.
Maybe you also need a virtual receptionist
Of course, having a corporate address for your startup business is one thing. But, what happens if you spend a lot of time out on the road and can’t answer your phone? As you can imagine, unanswered calls in the business world can have catastrophic consequences for firms of all shapes and sizes!
Yes, you could keep your mobile phone on “loud” so you can hear it ring. Still, what if you need to put it on “silent” during a meeting with a new or existing client? Or what if you’re otherwise occupied and can’t conveniently take a call?
Another service that can help you out is that of a virtual receptionist. Believe it or not, some people wrongly assume that virtual receptionists are robots or some kind of artificial intelligence telephone systems! Well, that might become reality in the distant future, but today’s virtual receptionists are real human beings just like you.
They work either from home or in a call center, and can answer your calls and handle them in a professional and courteous manner. Virtual receptionists will answer calls and greet customers using your business name, giving callers the impression they are speaking with an employee of your startup firm.
You can hire virtual receptionists to answer calls, forward them to other people or companies, or answer specific yet commonly-asked inquiries. In the case of the latter scenario, you can provide scripts to virtual receptionists so they know more about your business and can confidently answer the most-asked questions. As you can appreciate, having a virtual receptionist means you don’t miss out on potential sales leads, plus it’s a way of filtering genuine callers from unsolicited ones.
Virtual receptionists cost a fraction of the fees you’d have to cover when hiring an in-house receptionist. Plus, you can hire two or more virtual receptionists as your business grows.
When virtual receptionists take your calls, it’s likely they will need to forward some messages to you. Typically, these would be qualified sales leads where potential clients want in-depth information about the products and services you offer.
Another advantage of using virtual receptionists is they can communicate those messages to you in a variety of ways. The most common method can be via email, which you can read at your leisure via your smartphone or a computer. You can even ask them to input messages and sales inquiries on your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which they can access. Other methods can include fax and pager, although they are seldom used by most businesses nowadays.
Should you use virtual services for your startup business?
In a word, yes! They are cost-effective ways of growing your business, and the costs involved are a fraction compared with traditional options. It’s quick and easy to use virtual services such as a virtual office or virtual receptionist. Plus, it means you can concentrate on other areas of your business thanks to this useful form of outsourcing!