Most people who have read our blogs or visited our website understand that a virtual office provides communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism. So we wanted to point out some of the reasons businesses choose a virtual office for their base of operations.
The virtual office idea came from a combination of technological innovation and the emergence of the information age. The virtual office concept is often said to be an evolution of the executive suite and small office business centre industry. Just as the demand for low-cost business addresses spurred the executive suite industry (because of the inflexibility of a traditional office space lease), the desire to work away from the office and still have a business address helped spur the virtual office concept.
The term “virtual office” implies space utilization, but most virtual office clients will not mention to their clients or customers that they have a “virtual office.” They want their customers to believe they have an office and appear credible. A virtual office should not be confused with a virtual assistant, who is an individual who typically works from home providing business services, such as administrative work, remotely.
Virtual offices should also not be confused with answering service centres that operate from a centralized location for the purpose of receiving a large volume of telephone calls for a variety of clients. These tend to be places with a number of operators handling calls for different customers, but due to the volume of calls and high staff turnover rate, clients do not experience the personalized touch that gives their company a professional image.
A virtual office gives you a chance to show your clients you have a reputable, high-profile address in a city of your choice, at a fraction of the buying or renting cost of such an address. By using a virtual office, a traditional receptionist can be replaced with a remote receptionist for a fraction of the cost of an actual receptionist who answers your calls. The receptionist at a virtual office answers clients’ calls in a professional manner and treats clients’ customers as if they were only working for that client at their office.
Here are some of the ways a virtual office can save a business money:
1. A traditional business set-up would require a business to sign a lease for office space, acquire infrastructure items such as office equipment, office furniture and hire office support staff. A virtual office also offers significant savings by not having to pay electricity, heat, rent or office equipment maintenance expenses.
2. An upscale or prime location at an affordable rate is inclusive when partnering with the best virtual office providers. It gives businesses the look of professionalism. Some businesses feel an edge for their company when clients see that you have an office address in an upscale or prime location compared to their competitors.
3. Having a virtual office can lower the risk to a business venture especially for those creating a start-up company. Aside from acquiring the infrastructure, office equipment, photocopier, network printers and a telephone system, there is then the added expense of hiring an IT person to to keep your systems working – because you do not want the risk of the system or copier going down when you need it most. You also do incur the risk of the same equipment becoming obsolete or redundant after the capital investment has been made.
4. Having access to boardrooms and meeting rooms within a professional environment can truly impress customers, potential clients and even vendors. Nothing says unprofessional more than holding a sales call in a coffee shop or bar. Because the virtual office address is within a professional office business centre, having a meeting at the same address lends more credibility and can also make much better impression on customers.