Planning a startup? Today, many companies are built with virtual in mind. This means they would not be investing a huge portion of their budget on office space. Thanks to modern tools that can make a remote project and team management possible, having a home-based business is more than doable. The only things missing would be a corporate mailing address and a dedicated telephone number to handle all communications of activity – the things that a virtual office service can give your enterprise.
Running a company over a virtual office has plenty of advantages over having a brick and mortar office space. The obvious one would be the less overhead for running a business exclusively online. There will be no lease payments, fewer utility costs, and little to no expenses on office equipment.
A virtual office also offers the flexibility needed to maximise your team’s productivity and efficiency. They can avoid stressful commutes and the chaos of a paper-plagued office as they focus on pouring their time exclusively for tasks that count. As a company, you’ll also gain access to the global pool of talented professionals to help achieve your business objectives.
First things first – how do you choose the perfect virtual office service for your company? Here are the key considerations:
Is it available in your area?
Virtual office services in other countries are not an option. For example, you should pick W1 Office as your virtual office if your company is based in London. For various virtual business services in the US, you should consider a company like United Virtual Office.
Will you be meeting with people regularly?
Although you are running a virtual business, there will still be times when you need to have physical meetings with prospects as well as your team members. Keep in mind that having face-to-face interactions can be more meaningful than sending a presentation online. This is why you should look for virtual office services that offer meeting space rentals in various locations near you.
Do you want to receive paper mail?
A corporate mailing address is a given for most virtual office companies. However, you can be charged extra for mail forwarding. When choosing a virtual office company, make sure you can opt in or out for forwarding services to save costs. While there’s still a low volume of mails coming to your business address, you should just pick them up yourself instead.
Do you want to have a dedicated phone number?
If yes, then you should also decide whether to avail a professional phone reception service or not. For startups, opting for call redirection is the most economical option as you usually wouldn’t need a live operator, especially if you are not yet receiving an overwhelming amount of enquiries.
Are there extra overhead costs you have to pay?
Before closing a deal with a virtual office service, make sure you review their pricing plans and clarify if you are paying for unnecessary overhead costs. There shouldn’t be a glaring discrepancy in costs when it comes to popular companies like the ones above (W1 Office & United Virtual Office). However, you are better off with a company that offer flexible rental plans for physical office spaces. Look for services that cater to per-book requests as opposed to periodic leases.
Are the facilities oversubscribed?
Due to the growing demand for virtual offices, services within the lower price ranges are sometimes oversubscribed. About the previous question, at times, it can be difficult to book meeting rooms due to a long queue. The good idea is to plan a physical visit to check how crowded the location can be.
Are the storage spaces permanent or open to all?
Another issue you should look at is the availability of dedicated storage spaces. Does your virtual office package include this – or are you stuck with a shared storage space unless you pay extra? Keep in mind that a permanent storage space will allow you to store belongings such as chargers, shoes, and documents without worrying about how to pick them up soon.
Although choosing a virtual office space is a lot better than renting, furnishing, and organising a physical workplace, it still requires your attention on specific things. Be sure to consider every possible option and possibly discuss this with other stakeholders. When done, the final step is to enjoy having your official business address available on your website and calling card.
Originally posted on May 2, 2016 @ 10:05 am