What is a Virtual Business ? - Australian Virtual Offices

This is a question that every Australian entrepreneur and small business owner needs to ask. It’s vital in business to research all the options. Virtual office addresses, virtual receptionists, virtual assistants – these are all part of the suite of business tools we call Virtual Business Services. Sure there will probably be some more virtual business tools in the future, but these are the main virtual services right now for managing virtual businesses.

What is the term Virtual all about?

Now it’s easy to get a bit confused or hung up about the term virtual – and even I wasn’t crazy about it the first time I heard it being used, but I’ve come around to realising, it makes good sense. Virtual simply means that you have all the attributes of a “reality” but it isn’t the same. Even the first telephone call was a virtual home visit, from thousands of miles away.

What is a Virtual Office ?

A Virtual Office is simply a service that has most of the key characteristics of your own leased office space – without the cost. Think about what we use an office address for:

  1. 1/ It’s a location to receive business mail and packages.
  2. 2/ It’s a location to give customers a sense of the credibility of your business – are you located where your customers expect you to be? 3/ It’s a place to work and meet with employees.

In the old traditional model, there was a leased office space with a receptionist sitting behind a desk in the foyer and the company brand proudly displayed on the wall or the frosted glass, and there were typewriters and tea trolleys and windows open onto the street. That world is gone. Life is digital now, not analogue, and people can work and communicate from anywhere. There is no longer any need to follow the past.

What are the Benefits of a Virtual Office?

A Virtual office rental address allows you to position your business address exactly where you want to be, and it is so cost-effective that your business address can be on a high floor at a prestigious office building.

A Virtual Office address allows you to have an address at a renowned location that you’d probably never be able to afford if you had to lease the physical office instead of subscribing to a virtual address. So that’s No. 1: Great Location for little cost.

Australian virtual offices also cater for business owners that need flexibility, and we all know that after Covid the keyword for business success is agility. This means that with our Virtual Office Addresses you are not locked into long-term contracts. We can set you up with a highly respected address in less than an hour and you can rent your Virtual Office address for short term periods from as little as three months – although most of our clients stay with their virtual office address for many years. No. 2. Fast implementation and flexible - no compulsory long-term contracts.

Thirdly, all your business mail and packages will be securely received and held for you at your virtual office. No need to worry about porch pirates or constantly checking if mail has arrived.

We’ll email you for free to notify whenever you have deliveries – and for a small fee we will open your mail, scan it and email it to you, so no matter where you are in the world, you can always check your mail. No. 3. Secure and convenient mail handling.

And finally, one of the other key benefits is that many virtual offices are located in modern office towers that also include access to fully furnished facilities such as conferencing space, meeting rooms, co-working areas and private suites. This is a great advantage because you can simply book and pay for the space you need when you need it – on the same floor as your virtual office address! So you have the office space access but you are only going to pay for what you use, when you use it. This is also so handy for when you need to meet up with clients or WFH staff – simply invite them to the chic and productive ambience of your virtual office rental. No. 4. Meeting rooms and co-working space when you need it.

Oh, just one more , it’s important. Protecting you and your family’s privacy.

If you are managing a virtual business from home or frequently travelling you’ll still need a registered business address for ASIC. It is really unwise to put your home address on the register because the whole world can immediately see where you and your family live. And don’t bother with Post Office boxes, that sort of thing won’t be accepted, but a Virtual Office address is perfectly legal and totally acceptable because it is at a physical office building. So, for example, you can manage your virtual business from home in Melbourne and register your Melbourne virtual office address as your place of business AND protect your privacy at the same time. No. 5. A Virtual Office protects your privacy.

What are the Disadvantages of Virtual Offices?

There are very few disadvantages of virtual offices for virtual businesses., that’s why they are so very popular. It does mean that you can’t have all your staff in one place all the time, but that style of business management has been disrupted by technology and the lessons of Covid19. Very few Australian businesses now expect their employees to perform the daily commute – and employee talent is increasingly not based in the same city. Covid19 just simply supercharged the idea of virtual businesses.

What are the disadvantages and advantages of starting a Virtual Business?

I am going to tell you the benefits of a virtual receptionist a little later – let’s first look at the big picture for the pros and cons of a virtual business. Firstly, going virtual gives you freedom. You can start a business quickly, there is no need to look for office space. You also don’t need to dress for the office each day and you can arrange your work day according to your work/life needs. So you save on time, by being ready to work at any time and you save money by not needing to get all dressed up and commute each day.

Operating a virtual Business is also a different mindset, your clientele might not be local or even regional or national, they could be international. An international market allows you to access a much larger pool of potential customers but it also means you have to deal with other time zones, languages and cultures , so you have to put your ‘global hat’ on for payments and scams and that can take a while to perfect.

You can see that the advantages far outweigh the negatives but as humans, we all still like personal face to face relationships, and with a virtual business you won’t often get to meet your best customers. Zoom or Team calls can help and they are important, but going virtual can be a little lonely, so you really have to ramp up all the opportunities for communication to get over the reality that your best customer is on another continent.

What is a virtual receptionist?

A virtual reception service fits very neatly into that outline of a virtual business, especially when I mentioned time-zones. Customers will have questions and a virtual receptionist can take those after hours calls when you are having dinner or fast asleep.

A Virtual Receptionist service is simply a receptionist service that performs the same task of an in-house receptionist, but they aren’t working in your office, they are virtual. For your customers, they’ll simply think that their call has been answered by your own office receptionist but in reality it’s an Australian virtual receptionist, based locally and working as part of a team of professional receptionists.

How does a virtual reception work?

Your virtual receptionist will perform most of the tasks of an in-house receptionist, they’ll greet your callers on behalf of your business, take messages, answer simple queries and transfer prioritised calls – and because they are part of a team, callers will never be placed on hold at busy times - the call will just be expertly answered by another member of the team. And a virtual reception is so much cheaper, for examples for 50 calls per month our call package will only cost $165

When your call answering service is set up we’ll ask you all about your business and share the information across the team. We will also confirm the greeting you want us to use for welcoming customers, determine from your instructions what sort of calls should be prioritised and transferred to you or your team, and we’ll also check how you would lie to receive the summaries of each call – by email or SMS? That’s it.

The advantages of a virtual receptionist service.

  1. 1. Never miss a call.
  2. 2. Every call is answered promptly on behalf of your business.
  3. 3. Not a call centre, a local Australian receptionist.
  4. 4. Cost effective. Just choose the call package that suits.
  5. 5. Professional receptionists welcome your callers with just the right tone.
  6. 6. Use the service 24/7, just during work hours, whenever.
  7. 7. Project a great business image.

So that’s your briefing. Managing a virtual business is made so much easier with virtual offices and virtual receptionists. Global connectivity and cloud computing has provided a new way to manage businesses, new ways to connect with millions of customers and new solutions to reducing costs without reducing customer service.

At Virtual Address we are always very pleased to answer your questions about virtual business services. Just call.

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