What are the benefits of a virtual office
Starting a new business is a massive challenge. Not only do you have to create a compelling product, but you also have to convince people that you’re worth taking seriously. Self-employed entrepreneurs, partnerships, VC enterprises and small businesses, however, can struggle to present themselves professionally while keeping costs low, especially if they don’t have an office.
Here’s where virtual offices can help. All businesses need a base of operations - the place where the magic happens. But not every firm can afford to hire out prestigious premises in the city centre to bolster its brand. Companies, therefore, have a tough choice: either go bankrupt or miss out on business because clients don’t like the fact that they’re operating out of a basement.
Virtual offices, however, let you have your cake and eat it too. They allow companies to rent a low-cost address that they can use for official company correspondence, even if it isn’t their primary place of work.
So how does it work? Essentially, a virtual office agency gives you what amounts to a physical address wherre they can collect and/or scan your mail and sends it to you via email or post. Renting an address is way cheaper than renting an actual office full-time because you’re sharing facilities with several other companies. Everyone chips in, while still benefiting from the prestige of having a real address.
Of course, virtual offices are more than just a virtual address - you can go to them and meet clients, for instance. But the PO box is their main function and, in many cases, the primary reason why small businesses use them. The other features are nice, but not always the key selling point.
So what are the benefits of having a virtual address? How could your business take advantage of the virtual office opportunity?
Get All Your Mail Scanned And Uploaded
Some virtual offices allow you to collect mail or get it forwarded onto your home address, but this inevitably creates delays. The majority of business owners, therefore, opt to have their mail scanned.
The way it works is surprisingly simple. Clerks at the virtual office collect all your mail (from the authorities, clients or applicants), and then scan it using a scanning machine. They then send all of the images to your email, allowing you to view them instantly, without any delay. They will then shred all the documents, as per your instructions.
While it doesn’t sound like much, this is a massive time-saving device. Plus, it helps you to respond to urgent letters quickly - especially those demanding payment.
Improve Your Credibility
While some clients will take a punt and work with a business operating out of a bedroom, most won’t. Why choose a small scale, unproven brand when there are plenty of established competitors?
Virtual offices, therefore, provide your company with the status and legitimacy it needs to appear more credible. Clients see your prestigious city-centre address, putting them at ease. The thinking goes something like this: If you can afford to rent offices downtown, then you must be a quality outfit.
Don’t underestimate the power of a virtual address for improving your credibility. It is a subtle form of marketing that can help you convert. Plaster it all over your website, social media and official correspondence with clients. And, if they want to meet you at your offices, just rent out an on-site meeting room to host them.
Colleagues No Longer Have To Commute
Commuting is one of the most significant unspoken costs of the business world. Every day, millions of people spend unpaid time on trains and buses making their way to their jobs. But when you operate a virtual office, you can avoid all this. People in your organization don't have to incur these costs. For most people, all colleagues need to do is walk downstairs and fire up their laptops. That’s it!
Be More Cost-Effective
Setting up a regular office is enormously expensive. Not only do you have to fit it out, but you also have to pay rent to the landlord AND business rates to the local authorities. It can eat into your income substantially.
By contrast, virtual addresses are orders of magnitude more affordable and offer considerably more value for money. Paying to use an office full-time when you don’t need it is a waste of your firm’s precious capital. Sharing with others and renting an address dramatically cuts down on your outgoings and frees up money for other things. With the cash you save, you can invest in better products, pay higher salaries for top talent, or accelerate your digital marketing campaigns.
Eliminate Long-Term Contracts
Regular office landlords will also try to lock you into long-term contracts lasting several years. For those of you operating startups with uncertain growth potential, that’s too much commitment.
By contrast, renting a virtual office doesn’t require any contracts. Instead, you pay by the month as and when you need the services. Then, if you discover that you don’t need a virtual address or you decide to move to a permanent location, you can cancel your subscription. It’s that simple.
Long-term contracts are a huge source of worry for many entrepreneurs. You have to continue paying monthly costs, even when times are tough financially. They don’t give you the flexibility that you need. Virtual offices slash your risk and free you up to concentrate on your business.
Host Meetings With Clients When Required
Having a virtual address is great. But what if clients want to meet face to face at your premises?
Most virtual offices have meeting room facilities that you can rent by the hour for a small fee. This gives you the flexibility you need to meet people in person. You can also use these rooms for hosting business meetings, onboarding new staff, and speaking with the board of directors.
Virtual offices and virtual addresses, therefore, offer a vast array of benefits for the average small business owner. They’re a low-cost solution with a massive positive impact. Think carefully about how they could help your company thrive.