These days people attach the term "virtual" to a whole range of things, virtual assistant, meeting, server, etc etc. It is even possible these days to have a virtual date! So what do people mean when they refer to a virtual office? Basically, a virtual office is an address that a business can make use of when they do not have a physical location in a particular city. The concept is not a new one at all, solicitors and barristers have been doing something a little bit similar for years with what is called a door tenant. Basically a door tenant is a barrister who has their name on the door of the chambers but does not actually have rooms in the chambers.
What can you do with them?
You can use that address on your business and marketing materials. For example, you can display the address on your website, on your business cards, on your brochures etc. A virtual office is a great way to make your startup look bigger than it actually is and add some credibility/authority to it. No matter how good you are in your job, if you are working off your kitchen bench and you are showing your house in the suburbs as you business address then you will likely not get the same kudos as if you had a suite in an A grade office building in the centre of town. Many customers opt to rent multiple virtual addresses so that they give their customers the feeling that they are a national company operating in all states throughout the country.
What do they come with?
It depends on what your business needs. If all you need is a business address then you may just settle with that. All business centres offer the opportunity (for a small fee) to have mail and parcels forwarded to a separate address so you might decide to use that address for your Google Places registration or you may get business correspondence forwarded from that location. If you don't want to have your mail forwarded and would prefer to collect it yourself then the business centres will also have facilities for you to do this. Some will even allow 24/7 collection of mail. Many of the more prestigious business centres also have a range of meeting rooms that are available that you can book for a small fee. This gives you the opportunity to meet with your clients at the same address that you have on your cards. In addition to meeting rooms, many also have co-working facilities that can be booked (again for a small fee) so that if you need to be in the city for an extended period or if you want to work out of the city for a period of time then you have that option. On top of the virtual address facilities you can also add a virtual assistant or virtual receptionist to get the complete virtual experience.
One of the great benefits of using a virtual address is that you don't have all of the cash outlay that you have with a physical office. With a physical office you will need to pay rent in advance, you will need to pay bonds for utilities, electricity, internet etc and you will need to buy a whole range of office machines and furniture. When you go virtual you only need to pay for the address and you can then reuse that cash for things that are likely to generate income for your business like developing your website or paying for online marketing.
How is it different from a PO Box.
With a virtual office you get a suite number in a prestigious business address. With a PO box you get a business address at the local post office or newsagent.
How do you differentiate between a good one and a bad one?
One of the big things to consider is continuity. Will this supplier be around in 2-3 years time or will you need to find someone else and "move" your address. In addition, is there transparency in terms of the inclusions and in relation to the contract. Can you cancel easily if you want. Does the business centre have the facilities that you specifically need for your business.
How do I get one?
Getting a virtual office with Virtual Address is really quite easy. The first thing you need to decide is where you want to be located. Something to consider is whether you want to have the address in the same city that you live or whether you would prefer to have it in a bigger city. If you are targeting customers locally then it probably makes sense to keep the address local however if you are targeting nationally then you may decide to get an address in a larger city or you may even decide to get multiple addresses in multiple cities. Once you have an idea around locations you need to consider what other facilities you are going to need. Is it likely that you are going to have customers coming to you for meetings and will you be looking for a hot desk to use from time to time.
When you search through the Virtual Address listings on our site you will be able to see the facilities that we have on offer and the locations of the particular business centres. You can then simply decide on the location that best suits your purposes.
If you decide to reserve your address online and pay securely through our portal then you can do so at any time of the day or night. If you are not comfortable entering your data online then you are very welcome to contact one of our customer service team to reserve your address over the phone. The whole process can be carried out really quickly. Once we have your details we will just need to verify your identity (copy of licence etc) and in very little time you will have your own suite number in a prestigious city location.
Do you have overseas addresses
We currently also offer addresses in Singapore as well as Australia. In the not too distant future we will be looking to add a number of other Asian cities. If you are looking for an address outside of Australia then why not send us an email and we may be able to help you via some of our worldwide contacts in the industry.
What if I have to cancel
We understand that some business ventures will have to close for a number of reasons and that also cash flow issues may mean that a virtual office is no longer a priority. We offer a number of flexible terms (starting at 6 months) and all are paid in advance. If you decide at any stage that you do not want to renew your virtual address then that is entirely up to you, you are not locked in to a contract and there are no cancellation fees.