Why a Virtual Address makes sense for your small business
The virtual office is a tool that allows you to give your business an address, a telephone number and a presence that’s outside the working environment. To most people, the office is the most common association when they hear the word “workplace.” They expect certain things of a work environment, even though the workplace has evolved so much that you can essentially have it anywhere, you can even run it entirely from a laptop. Yet lots of businesses are already using virtual offices to give their business the advantage of an address in a more prestigious location.
If you’re running a startup outside of the average business environment, you could make use of those advantages, too. Here are a few reasons why it makes sense for a startup to start using the virtual office.
Establish your brand and avoid the startup stutters
Many startup owners face an uphill climb when trying to position themselves in the market or trying to close a lead. Unfortunately, size matters when it comes to a business. Clients and customers may be inclined to believe that because your business is new and relatively small, it isn’t as professional or as capable as others. These preconceptions can be heightened if the only address you have to offer is outside their expectations of the modern office. A virtual office, complete with an address and phone number in a prestigious part of town that you can put on your business card, website, and anywhere else you like, can give your brand a little more respectability and power so clients don’t face that initial hesitation.
Avoid the hefty costs of establishing a physical office
At some stage, you may want to transition your work environment to a more traditional office. However, the costs of renting or buying space, as well as the overheads associated with keeping the lights on could be more of a burden than your business can bear at the moment. The virtual office allows you to enjoy a lot of the benefits of having a traditional workspace at a fraction of the price. Even if your long-term plans still revolve around setting up another office in the future, it can be an extremely cost-effective stopgap.
Receptionists make you look good
If you’re answering all your own calls, that too can lead to some of the misconceptions mentioned in the last point. What’s more, it can be a real drain on your time. You can hire a virtual receptionist as part of your virtual office, putting a professional, friendly face on your business. If you’re busy or unavailable, you also have someone there to take a message and let clients or partners be assured that their message will be delivered. Whatever mail is sent to your virtual office will also be scanned and emailed directly to you by these reception services, making it a lot easier to organize and stay on top of your correspondence.
Open an office that never sleeps
The convenience of being reachable by your clients or business partners 24/7 all throughout the year is something that few startups can afford to offer, immediately. If it’s a team of just you or you only have a small cadre of companions, it might be a little too demanding to make yourself available all the time. Even if you’re not immediately available to respond to queries, having an office that can take messages and keep contact details waiting for you means you’re a lot less likely to miss on the opportunity to close on a lead or to miss some important news. It can be especially helpful if your clients or partners are overseas and your time zones don’t always quite match up.
The perfect office for a remote working team
Just as work environments are growing much more varied than their traditional origins, so too is the workforce. For businesses that can easily provide their products or services online, hiring a team remotely could be exactly the solution to your workload woes. A virtual office gives you a base to hire from, even if none of your employees are going to set foot in it. The city phone number and address can attract more employees, while the receptionist can allow you to set up lines for not just your own phone, but other members of the team as well. The opportunity to work remotely in a highly sought after benefit these days and can greatly improve the morale of your team. What’s more, so long as you set up effective means of communication and measuring productivity, there are far fewer problems with motivation or engagement than you might imagine.
More time to work on your business
When you don’t have anyone to answer your phones or act as the face of the company and you end up having to do it yourself, it can be a huge cost in terms of time. That time could be better spent building the infrastructure of your business, meeting clients face-to-face, or even providing the products and services that make you money in the first place. A virtual office with a virtual receptionist and even a virtual assistant can take a lot of the busywork off your plate, so you can get back to the work that matters most without worrying about whether you’re going to miss out on something.
Flexibility to suit your needs
Which services you opt for when you choose a virtual office can vary depending on your needs. If you only want the city address and phone number to give your brand a little more legitimacy in the eyes of the consumer, you can have it. Whether you choose to use the services of a virtual receptionist that can take care of incoming calls or a virtual assistant who can help you with all kind of administrative work depends on your needs. Furthermore, flexible contracts mean that you can set up a virtual office in no time and, if you decide to move your business or to open up a physical office of your own, you can close it in no time, too. You don’t have to commit yourself to a long-term agreement, simply enjoy the benefits while you need them and move on when you don’t.
When it comes to startups, virtual offices are a natural solution to many of the growing pains and branding issues you can trouble with during your formative years. They’re a digital solution for a digital age, where it’s easier to start a business from just about anywhere.