The idea of a virtual office is still somewhat taboo, despite the fact that many businesses operating in the digital age need to do so on a shoe-string budget and also be hyper mobile to service national and international clients.
-Remote office and conference room rentals an official business address attached to you (for online businesses or freelancers who don’t want to use their home address on business cards).
-Virtual receptionists to answer your phone.
-Virtual assistants to help get office work done.
There are many cost-cutting benefits of using a virtual office service including the ability to free up resources so you can figure out ways to make more money.
Not all businesses require a fixed physical location to do business. In fact, you might have a company that sees you traveling the country or the globe from one week to the next. In this case, it almost never makes sense to rent/lease/buy a set location in a single city or town. The majority of virtual office services can offer executive office spaces or co-working environments in “virtually” any place you’ll find yourself doing business.
A good example would be a real estate developer looking to do business in multiple cities, without the desire for a crushing budget spent on multiple office locations – including the staff needed to run a physical location. A virtual office service allows this type of business owner the flexibility to do business in whatever state or province they wish worldwide, minus the expense of running a brick and mortar office.
Plus, a virtual office service usually offers an official business address you can use where local clients and contractors can deliver packages and correspondence, or for you and your team to drop in as-needed and use office and conference facilities when you’re in a specific location. Virtual secretaries and/or assistants (VAs) can handle your calls and perform whatever work is needed to be done for clients in that locale, at a fraction of the price associated with hiring a full or part-time employee.
Ecommerce businesses benefit from the ability to have an official business address, in multiple cities worldwide if required. Consider the legitimacy of an online ecommerce retailer with offices located in North America, Europe, the UK, Asia, and so forth.
Such businesses can expand their customer base on a budget, meaning more profits coming in without the need to rent expensive physical office locations for thousands a month. It’s also often a requirement that a business have a physical address to obtain various state or provincial business licenses and permits, which further drives up the cost of opening or expansion.
Offering multiple offices, where clients can send email requests and talk to real people answering the phones allows you to go national or international without breaking the bank. This means a lean online startup can start to reach international customers without the need for extra capital. It also allows virtual SMEs to expand their customer base without taking out expensive loans or giving up a stake in their company to investors.
It’s easy to think everything will always go according to plan. Rent a big office space with dozens of well-trained and attentive employees, make sure you have backup servers for data loss prevention, complete with smoke detectors and sprinklers throughout and an onsite generator in case the power goes out. What could go wrong, you ask?
Quite frankly, a lot. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, or something like the $6-billion dollar catastrophe that struck the Northeast portion of the United States and Canada back in 2003. Many offices were closed for days during this time when so much power was being used to cool homes and businesses it shut down the entire power grid. During this time business on the west coast and overseas continued on as usual, yet anyone seeking to call a business in the affected area (pre-smartphones) was left scratching their head.
In a nutshell: your clients won’t care why you’re not answering the phones or getting their work done on time. Being unavailable to your customers is costly, and virtual office service providers offer a ready-made, portable office infrastructure including the virtual and on-site staff necessary to minimize all the hiccups that can occur in day to day business.
Virtual receptionists will answer and direct your phone calls, and even sign for deliveries and accept important documents from your clients if you rent a remote virtual office. Virtual assistants can get menial and time-consuming tasks like data entry, bookkeeping, and email filtering done. You and your front-line staff will then get the privilege of working on more pressing tasks related to the company’s long-term growth.
Most providers also offer physical office and conference rooms with all the technology you and your team will need when you’re on the road, meaning you can pick up and move from one place to the next without worry of being without reliable WiFi, printers, faxes, and other necessities at your chosen work location.
This inevitably leads to more innovation in the company and less boredom from answering phone calls and emails constantly – or spending time spent doing menial tasks that could just as easily be done by a virtual staffer.
One of the biggest financial challenges for all businesses is the need to have an office and then fill it with employees and all the various equipment they’ll need to do their job effectively.
Depending on what type of business you’re in, a virtual office service can save you money on renting/buying multiple office spaces as you grow your business; they can save on salary costs spent on service staff; prevent environmental technological disasters from ruining your relationship with customers; and allow for more time to be set aside for innovation by you and your front-line team.