The concept of a virtual office is giving small businesses and new startups an environment of large corporations. The word ‘virtual’ is a given that the office is not physically present nor operations like brick and mortar. If you are a home-run online business and don’t have a business address on your cards or marketing material, your customers won’t take your business seriously. There are a few things that will help you mimic an established business.
There are a few important things your home business can’t have; professional call handling, mail forwarding, and business address. These are very important to run a business smoothly. A standard virtual office provides you with a registered business address and calls handling facilities.
You don’t have to hire administrative staff to maintain the office. Nor do you have to pay monthly rent and utility bills. It is all covered in the affordable subscription charges of the virtual office. Some online businesses also require office facilities occasionally. These facilities include conference calls, meeting rooms, Wi-Fi, fax machine, photocopier, etc.
Another notable benefit is expansion. Opening different branches in different areas is an expense only big corporations can afford. But virtual offices allow you to open offices in different prime business locations simultaneously. A virtual office gives your business a credible boost towards success.
Using virtual office services can be stopped at any given time. There are no rent deeds or security payments to worry about. If you don’t want the services you can unsubscribe instantly; without any prior notice. This makes the virtual office a perfect way to test new areas for the new target market.
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Are you setting up your virtual office? Avoid doing this:
Setting up your virtual office is a milestone for your business. You are excited and hopeful, that is good, stay positive. But in this excitement avoid making some rookie mistakes. Before picking up service, make sure you have a complete understanding of your own business and the budget you have. Also, make sure you have done thorough research about the company before setting up your office.
The most important thing to consider is the cost you have to pay for the office services. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you can afford the service in the long run or not. Another important question is, whether you are getting value for your money. It is pretty simple to evaluate this; just compare the services you get with the cost you pay.
Don’t fall for low pricing and don’t get impressed by high pricing. There are two kinds of mentalities out there. One that thinks everything expensive is good. Such people always become victims of overpriced services. See whether the services they offer are worth the money and whether you need these services or you are just paying for features you will never use.
The second mentality is going for the cheapest rate. While getting a good bargain is important you also need to see if they are offering any good services or not. Mostly, cheap services lack quality services and additional features that you might need. A complete understanding of your requirements is a must to pick the right pricing tier.
Getting a good location is the most important factor in setting up a virtual office. Pick a prime business location to boost your credibility. But don’t pick a location that is too posh for your customers. You must consider your target market as well. The best thing is to get a location that is in an area where your target market is highly saturated.
For example, if you are targeting people only from certain areas; then you should get the nearest and most easily accessible location. Also, if you are targeting lower-income people, they would feel uncomfortable going to posh business areas, and vice versa.
However, if your business is not affected by this aspect then a prime business location is advised. A good business location instills trust and reliability in your customers.
The virtual office company that you are planning to pick should be well-reputed. There should not be any rumor or controversy about them. You would not want to deal with disputes after you open your office. It should have good customer testimonials. But don’t only rely on online reviews, they can be manipulated.
Do a bit of market research about their reputation. Talk to their customers if you can to find out their first-hand experience. Remember, a well-reputed company can help you grow while an ill-reputed one can pull you down.
The government and other legal bodies have set down rules and regulations a virtual office should meet. The virtual office you want to pick should comply with these regulations. This is a very important mistake that you should avoid. Your business will be using this registered address. If it is not properly registered or has other legal issues, you might end up in litigation.
Many companies use virtual office services as a face for other illegal activities like eCommerce scams and fraudulent online businesses. Ask for credible proof for legal compliance from the company you pick before signing up. This compliance is two-way traffic; you need to play your role as well. Make sure you give accurate and complete information about your business as well.
Online businesses require a certain level of security for the storage and transfer of sensitive data. You should look into the cyber security the virtual office has; to understand their system properly to ensure the safety of your data. The data transfer should be encrypted as a standard procedure. The system should be protected with firewalls and the latest version of antivirus and malware software should be a part of that system. Don’t opt for a virtual office that is not compliant with the latest cyber security protocols.