Among the biggest advantages that the internet has brought to smaller business and startups is the ability to present a large and established corporate image. No matter the size or location of your SME or startup, a virtual office can give you the look and feel of a company that operates from a plush office with a posh receptionist – at a smudge of the actual cost of having a real one.
Selecting the right virtual office service can help a small company save money as it grows, while simultaneously projecting a first class image to potential clients. Here are some tips on using a virtual office:
- Get an address anywhere in the world. Even if you and your SME are based in Hull, a virtual office can give you a perceived location of London, or even abroad. You really can get any address you desire, and a phone number to match. This can help small businesses to project an office location that can be pretty much anywhere in the world.
- Virtual offices allow your SME to access professional telephone answering services. This can be especially useful to those startups that are home based while they try and find their feet. A professional secretary can be hired to take calls for your business and forward your messages. This type of service can be truly valuable to any home based business – nothing screams “amateur” to a potential client quite as much as picking up the phone and hearing “homely” noises in the background, be it a barking dog or Nick Toons playing loudly in the background to a gaggle of laughing kids.
- Another advantage with virtual offices are the availability of mailbox rentals – this means any mail can be forwarded from your registered virtual business office address (eg 22 Fleet Street, Central London) to your actual address (eg Boon Docks Farm).
- Interesting statistics that do the rounds regarding answer phone messages seems to suggest that 75% of people actually will hang up the phone when met with an answering phone message. Small startups with a handful of people often will just not be able to hire a dedicated receptionist to take calls – which means a lot of leads and potential new clients could be lost if the phone is not answered promptly and professionally by a real person. Again, this is where a virtual receptionist can help – all calls will be answered and forwarded accordingly.
- Virtual offices can really help with cashflow. SME’s and starups often struggle with cashflows. Uneven revenues and sapping costs can bring new companies to their knees if not managed and controlled right from the get go. Because a virtual office can be set up for a real fraction of the cost of a real one, it can really ease the cost pressure on a new business.
- Aside from companies, a lot of individual professionals can benefit from having a virtual office – people who work for themselves in areas such as dentistry, accounting or other consultancy based roles can often find a virtual office extremely useful.
Many different companies are now offering virtual offices to customers – it’s worth doing a little research and comparing services before you go ahead and choose one for your business.