- Are cheap “virtual offices” real Virtual Offices?
- The downsides of a cheap virtual office
- The best Virtual Office
- High-quality Virtual Office integration
Q: Should I find a cheap virtual office for my business? Is there any problem with seeking out the least expensive virtual office and using that for my operations?
A: While a cheap virtual office might sound attractive, it’ll likely cost you a lot more money in the long run. Instead of seeking out a cheap virtual office, consider using one of Alliance’s Virtual Offices to ensure you get the most value from your hard-earned money.
According to Gallup’s research, approximately 70 million American workers can do their jobs remotely. Of these individuals, only 20% are currently working onsite full-time.
These statistics paint a vivid picture of the new reality for modern entrepreneurs, business owners, employees, and everyone in between.
During the pandemic, government shutdowns, mask mandates, and general public fear helped push a massive transition to remote work that had been in progress for years but was accentuated by Covid-19.
What started as working remotely out of necessity has quickly turned into something different. Now, workers are demanding the right to work from home or in the office, and thanks to the Great Resignation that brought the highest quit rates America has seen in decades, employers don’t have much of a choice.
Along with this transition to remote work, countless modern solutions have been created to allow business owners and entrepreneurs to extend their existing companies’ operations or start virtual businesses. One of these services is the virtual office.
With a virtual office, business owners can create satellite offices anywhere they’d like, new entrepreneurs have a cost-efficient way to break into the world of business ownership, and these options are available for anyone.
Unfortunately, not all virtual offices are created equally.
Some business owners and entrepreneurs, unaware of the risks of using a cheap virtual office, try to save as much capital as possible in structuring their virtual office rather than choosing the best-value office and saving capital long-term.
In this article, we’ll be looking at what a cheap virtual office is, the downsides of using a cheap virtual office, why Alliance Virtual Offices has better services, and how to integrate a high-quality Virtual Office with other tools.
So, if you’ve ever Googled “cheap virtual office space near me” – don’t, but know you’re in the right place.
- Are cheap “virtual offices” real Virtual Offices?
- The downsides of a cheap virtual office
- The best Virtual Office
- High-quality Virtual Office integration
What is a cheap virtual office?
Before we cover the problems with searching for things like “cheap virtual office near me,” let’s take a moment to cover what a virtual office is.
Essentially, a virtual office is a service that gives individuals access to an address they can use to register their company as an LLC.
This service’s baseline is providing an address, but high-quality offices will include access to workspaces, mail forwarding options, and several other amenities.
Low-quality offices might include mail forwarding but won’t provide a good address, workspaces, or any other amenities. Depending on the addresses the provider is using, it might not allow you to register your business.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the issues with cheap virtual office spaces. As we move forward, though, keep in mind that there’s a difference between an affordable Virtual Office and a cheap virtual office space.
A cheap virtual office is effectively just a PO box. Occasionally, the cheap virtual office is just a PO box.
If the provider is using PO boxes, there’s a good chance you’ll be incapable of registering your business, as most states don’t allow companies to register with anything but a physical mailing address.
That said, even if the cheap virtual office isn’t using a PO box, the virtual office will function like one.
They might allow you to register your business and get mail forwarded, but they don’t provide you with any actual office space or other amenities.
Often, these cheap virtual offices are located in retail locations as well.
Think about this: imagine two businesses.
For the sake of argument, both of these companies are the same. They’re technology startups with talented teams, but no prior experience.
One of these companies is using a cheap virtual office. Because of this, the first business is registered to a mini-mall in Kansas and shares its address with another retailer.
The second company uses a high-quality Virtual Office. This allows the second company to register with an address in Silicon Valley and share an address with several other successful and well-known businesses.
Potential investors, potential clients, and potential consumers will look at these two businesses and instinctively trust the business registered to an address in Silicon Valley more.
When considering the long-term costs of using a cheap virtual office, there’s no reason to consider using anything but a high-quality, yet affordable, Virtual Office. Even if you’re just hoping to expand your business and corner a new market, a Virtual Office is how you should try and accomplish those goals.
Read more: Satellite Office: Your Complete Guide
A cheap virtual office isn’t going to do your business’s image any favors. It doesn’t matter where you search for a cheap virtual office, Los Angeles or New York, the cheaper providers won’t be able to provide you with an address of any merit.
Now, let’s look at the real downsides of using a cheap virtual office.
The downsides of a cheap virtual office
As the public perception of remote work continues to improve and publications like Forbes continue to point entrepreneurs toward remote and hybrid workstyles, using a cheap virtual office should be seen as similar to the way choosing an office in a bad location was viewed years ago.
Some business owners are under the impression that they can just find a cheap virtual office in a popular location and get around the other negatives associated with these offices. Searching for “cheap virtual office Miami” won’t be enough to negate the lack of space or other amenities.
Alternatively, some business owners think saving money via a cheap virtual office is good because it increases their company’s overall profitability.
While this might be true in the short term, using a cheap virtual office stands to cost you far more money over time than simply using a high-quality Virtual Office initially.
Instead of trying to find the cheapest virtual office, you should be looking for Virtual Offices that provide all of the amenities your business needs to succeed. If your Virtual Office is to act as your company’s hub – why not treat it with respect?
There are plenty of amenities you should be looking for – but what about cheap virtual offices should you try to avoid?
Below, we’ve put together a brief list of the numerous downsides of using a cheap virtual office.
- Poor optics
- Consumer skepticism
- Only remote work
- Nowhere to meet clients or team
- Limited amenities
- Hidden fees
- Bad client support
One of the biggest problems with using a cheap virtual office is that your business is often registered with a retail space or mail center. This means that when curious consumers search for your company, they’ll see this.
Not to mention, if a scam business uses the same provider for a cheap virtual office, as these cheap office companies typically don’t vet their customers, then your business stands to lose customers from the fallout too.
Scams are on the rise and consumers are wary – when bad actors use the same address as your company to commit crimes, your brand image will take a hit.
When you’re using a cheap virtual office, this is an unfortunate risk that you’re always susceptible to – as you can’t control how another person or business acts.
Despite the widespread transition to remote and hybrid workstyles and the countless digital businesses starting up, people are still generally skeptical about online businesses.
When you’re using a cheap virtual office, nothing about your business stands out. Using a questionable address and having no discernible location is often enough to prevent some customers from making purchases.
Only remote work
A cheap virtual office isn’t going to provide you with easy access to coworking spaces and meeting rooms.
This means you won’t have anywhere to go when you want to use a workspace. Anyone that’s worked from home for any time will understand how frustrating it is to feel stuck working from the same place where you already spend all of your time.
With a cheap virtual office, you’re paying money without access to a workspace. If you want to break the monotony of working from home to revitalize your work, you’ll have to work in an unsecured public location or pay more money for a place to work.
Neither of these options are very attractive. Unfortunately, they’re the only options you have with a cheap virtual office.
Nowhere to meet clients or team
Building on the previous point, you don’t have anywhere to meet with clients or your team. There’s no meeting space, and when you need one, you have to pay hefty sums to rent out-of-the-way locations.
Even if you’re hosting virtual meetings, you’ll have the same problems. Using virtual office backgrounds is typically seen as poor etiquette, and when you host virtual meetings from home you risk innumerable distractions.
Hosting meetings at a coffee shop or another public location wouldn’t be appropriate. Paying for a hotel conference room requires a large budget, a ton of advanced notice, and attendees willing to drive.
A virtual office is meant to act as your company’s central hub. Even though the service is just that, a service, the other amenities, like access to space and full customization, create an environment where you have all the benefits of a traditional office at a fraction of the price.
Cheap virtual office providers aren’t going to give you the amenities your business needs to thrive. Sure, they might offer mail forwarding, but is missing out on all the methods of improving your business infrastructure worth the cheap price tag?
Some lower-quality and more questionable virtual office providers may advertise an extraordinarily low price upfront. Then once you’ve signed the document and started the service, they charge you countless hidden fees.
When looking at a cheap virtual office, it’s important to consider the charges you might incur during your daily operations. The mail forwarding and call answering that you thought were included might incur fees you don’t know about until it’s time to pay.
It’s not uncommon to be charged for using certain perks of a virtual office, part of what makes them so flexible is the ability to only pay for what you need. But when you’re still not getting access to a workspace and the fees are obfuscated, it’s a good sign you’re using a low-quality and cheap virtual office.
Bad client support
Cheap virtual offices are incredibly unlikely to have full-time staff available to walk you through any issues that might arise in the setup or daily operations of your virtual office.
This creates scenarios where customers are waiting on you while you are waiting on your cheap virtual office’s customer support, creating an environment where no one is happy, and you may actively lose consumers.
Becoming technically literate isn’t a small task. Even with high-quality Virtual Offices, you will likely need some help with setup and other technical issues that arise.
The difference between cheap virtual offices and real Virtual Offices is that a cheap virtual office will leave you to deal with urgent problems for days at a time, whereas high-quality Virtual Office support is available on-demand and will never leave you feeling ignored.
When running a business, it’s important to assess the quality, availability, and professionality of your Virtual Office’s customer support. Your business can’t wait around for someone else, so why risk using a cheap virtual office?
It’s also important to remember that there are other, better ways to save money than using a cheap virtual office. Sure, a cheap virtual office might save you money at the moment, but the shortcomings of your virtual office will quickly eclipse those minor savings over time.
As you can see, the downsides of using a cheap virtual office are fairly extensive. Your brand image, your ability to host meetings and use a workspace, and your susceptibility to scammers make it incredibly difficult to get any real value from a cheap office.
Thankfully, Alliance Virtual Offices provides a solution.
What sets Alliance Virtual Offices apart
Alliance Virtual Offices provides an affordable Virtual Office that saves considerable capital in comparison to traditional commercial leases – without giving up any of the amenities traditional spaces are known for.
Below, we’ve put together another checklist of the ways that Alliance’s Virtual Offices stand out.
Alliance has addresses available in all fifty states and almost every city.
Want to start a fashion business in Los Angeles or Miami? Not a problem!
Want to start a financial services business in New York? No issue.
With Alliance, we want you to have the flexibility to work anywhere you want. This is why we include Virtual Office centers from all over the world.
Our Virtual Offices are available everywhere. We also include options from major central business districts in well-known locations to ensure your business receives the best optics available.
Your Virtual Office should improve the public’s perception of your operations, not the other way around.
Alliance Virtual Offices’ mail forwarding system allows business owners to receive mail at four different levels. Keep in mind, these prices may vary slightly depending on where your Virtual Office is located.
- Once monthly, $10 per month
- Twice monthly, $20 per month
- Weekly, $30.00 per month
- Daily, $70.00 per month
These tiers allow businesses to pay for the mail forwarding they need and not one flat rate that’s too often or too seldom. Better yet, Alliance allows you to change your mail forwarding tier as needed, so you can move through the tiers without feeling stuck in any one spot.
Keep in mind, the best value is the daily option.
The first two tiers come out to $10.00 per mail delivery. The third tier, weekly mail forwarding, comes out to $7.50 per mail delivery.
The fourth and final tier, daily mail forwarding, comes out to only about $3.30 per delivery – meaning it’s the best value for your money.
Workspaces and meeting rooms
As you know, having access to meeting rooms and workspaces is paramount to a healthy work-life balance. There’s no point in spending money on a cheap virtual office when you aren’t given access to workspaces and meeting rooms that you can use to break the monotony of a boring routine.
Because Alliance only utilizes the highest quality Virtual Office centers, the workspace you’ll have access to is populated by other motivated entrepreneurs trying to expand their businesses. When your peers are also trying to improve, it’s difficult not to want to improve yourself.
For meeting rooms, Alliance gives you countless different choices.
If you need to host a large meeting room for an entire day, you’ve got the option. Alternatively, if you just need to host a small meeting for half a dozen individuals for one hour, you can do that too.
Alliance believes in customization, so for any size meeting you need to host, we can help.
The centers that Alliance uses also are staffed by friendly and professional workers who are fully willing to answer any questions that might arise when you’re using the facilities.
With a cheap virtual office, you don’t have access to any kind of workspace. Through Alliance, you have access to physical workspaces and staff that know what they’re doing.
In addition, Alliance offers support outside of the workspaces and meeting rooms too.
Virtual Office setup can be confusing and we want our partners to get the most out of their offices, so we’re available by phone or email whenever you need us. Alliance’s support goes above and beyond to ensure your Virtual Office functions as it should.
Finally, with Alliance’s Virtual Offices, you have access to an assortment of office amenities.
In a traditional space, these amenities require upkeep and regular refills. With your Virtual Office space, you can use what you need, when you need it.
Sure, you’re going to spend a little more than you would if you were using a cheap virtual office, but all things considered, you’re still saving a considerable amount of capital.
In the past, commercial leases lasted anywhere from 3-5 years. However, with one of Alliance’s Virtual Offices, you can get a plan starting with a 6-month minimum.
Not to mention, the money you’re saving through using a Virtual Office can quickly be reinvested into your business to improve infrastructure and scalability.
At the end of the day, Alliance provides more value per dollar than any cheap virtual office could ever offer.
High-quality Virtual Office integration
Cheap virtual offices end up costing you substantial capital and business infrastructure problems in the long run.
Alliance Virtual Offices provides more for your money. We support your growth and help you build your business.
In addition to being considerably better value than a cheap virtual office, Alliance lets you fully integrate other digital solutions into your Virtual Office.
Consider one of Alliance’s Live Receptionists to help you answer phones, create healthier customer relationships, and better focus on the more nuanced aspects of your business.
Additionally, using one of our virtual receptionists will help you avoid hiring for another full or part-time position.
Want a business phone number to go with your professional and well-known address? Alliance provides a Virtual Phone that you can use to separate personal calls from your business calls and gives you unlimited extensions so you can smoothly onboard new team members.
Don’t settle for a cheap virtual office – get the most out of your hard-earned money.
- What is a Virtual Office and How Does it Work?
- Virtual Office Services MUST Include These Key Features
- Satellite Office: Your Complete Guide
- How to Run a More Cost-Efficient Business in 2023
Instead of using a cheap virtual office and wasting money in the long run, use one of Alliance’s Virtual Offices to position your business for long-term success.