Starting a business isn’t easy.
Whether you’re going solo or you’re part of a team, one of the biggest concerns for any new business is capital and cash flow. When you’re first starting out, both of those things are in limited supply — which means most new entrepreneurs must bootstrap their business.
Aside from staff, one of the most expensive overheads in any business is commercial space. So naturally, most startups tend to avoid workplace costs as much as possible. A high percentage of new businesses, and even established companies for that matter, use a home address as their registered company location and primary point of correspondence.
Yes, it saves money. But it sure doesn’t do a young company any favors.
It looks incredibly unprofessional and it can make a company appear inexperienced and even untrustworthy. Reputation is everything, and a startup owner looking to make his or her way in the corporate world needs to look and act the part. Having a proper business address, professional meeting space, and all the benefits of a physical office can work wonders for a new business, both in terms of mindset and client perception.
So what can you do about it?
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A Simple Solution
Enter the virtual office.
A virtual office makes it possible for startup owners to have the best of both worlds by providing a low-cost business address with receptionist services and mail forwarding.
This becomes the ‘front’ of the business and a public correspondence point. But the business owner doesn’t actually work there. While the virtual office takes care of incoming mail and represents the company HQ, the people involved continue to work from home, building their business and saving money in the process.
How a Virtual Office Works
A virtual office provides pretty much everything you’ll find in a regular serviced office agreement… minus the actual office space.
It’s a place where mail is received and forwarded (to your home address) by on-site receptionists, who also greet visitors and carry out other business admin services on your behalf. You can publish your virtual business address on your business cards and marketing material, and you can meet clients there in person; virtual offices have on-site meeting rooms and day offices for that very purpose.
On top of that, you can purchase a local or toll free business phone number and have calls routed to receptionists, who take messages and handle calls in your company name.
Find out more here in our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Offices.
So, while all this is going on, you’ll continue to work from home or another ‘third place’ location. It’s flexible, low-cost, and it means you’re not tied to an expensive full-time office lease. It also adds a layer of protection for your home. After all, who wants to publicize their home address on business records for all the world to see?
As for cost, you can find virtual office plans in numerous locations across the US for less than $50 per month. This entry level plan gives you a business address, mail handling and forwarding (minus postage fees), and access to on-site facilities.
Best of all, you can choose a specific virtual business address to match your brand or industry. For instance, financial firms can find virtual offices on Wall Street in New York City, while legal consultants and law firms can easily set up shop in Washington, D.C.
A virtual office is the ideal starting point for any home-based, bootstrapping business, and it gives your business the credibility and professionalism you need to get ahead.