More businesses than ever before are opting for a virtual office over a physical one.
As well as helping business owners establish credibility in the form of a business address in a prestigious commercial location, virtual offices come with a range of flexible features that can help businesses grow and succeed in the medium to long term:
- Virtual Business Addresses
- Meeting Rooms
- Video Enabled Conferencing
- Hot Desking
- Call Answering with Live Receptionist Support
Why are businesses moving from the physical to the virtual?
Two reasons, really.
Firstly, a lot of startups simply don’t have enough capital to be able to rent a physical space on a full time basis.
Instead, working from home, a cafe or a public space is much more financially viable.
But it’s not just startups and cash-strapped businesses getting on board with virtual offices.
Other business types use them because they just don’t need a physical space because they operate remotely.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also expected to change the way many organisations operate for the foreseeable future.
Those who can are working from home and managing their teams remotely.
Even when things do eventually return to a version of normal…
It’s likely that some businesses with inflexible workspace arrangements such as office leases will consider replacing them with more agile alternatives such as virtual offices and coworking.
What types of businesses are suited to virtual offices?
There’s no hard or fast rule as to who should and shouldn’t consider a virtual office.
Essentially, it boils down to this:
Do you really need your team in the same location everyday?
If your answer is no, then a virtual office might be right for you.
Currently, virtual offices are proving popular with these types of businesses (is yours on the list?):
Having a virtual office address can make it easier for freelancers to gain momentum in their field of expertise.
By making them appear more “credible” in the eyes of potential clients.
Reputation is built on hard work, of course, but first impressions do still count.
Having a reputable registered business address instead of a residential one is always going to help attract clients and establish trust.
Being a solopreneur can get lonesome at times.
Many virtual office packages enable freelancers to book a hot desk in the office building when they need a change of scene or a bit of like-minded company.
As experienced pros in their field, consultants need to exude professionalism at all times.
As such, it’s important that a point of contact is on hand to answer calls and respond to queries at all times.
The client-facing nature of the job means this isn’t always achievable and calls can get missed.
Virtual office memberships include the option for call answering services or live receptionist support.
Virtual receptionists are trained professionals who answer and forward phone calls on an individual’s or business’ behalf to ensure high levels of consistent customer service.
For those focusing all their money and efforts on developing a new product, app or service, a virtual office can be the perfect solution.
A business address in a renowned location can help pique the interest of potential investors.
Access to meeting room facilities included in a virtual office package provides startups with a formal place to hold meetings.
After all, it’s not always appropriate to meet prospective investors, collaborators or employees in the noisy and crowded local coffee shop!
Reducing risk by keeping costs to a minimum is at the top of many business’ list of priorities, but especially those operating in competitive markets like e-commerce.
Having a low cost virtual office can help reduce the chances of insolvency when faced with huge challenges like changes to the market or, indeed, things like the coronavirus pandemic.
These days most accountancy businesses operate online, eliminating the need for a physical office space.
That said, there will always be the need for the occasional face-to-face meeting.
Also, the mail handling aspect of the virtual office solution ensures that businesses are notified when they receive mail, with many providing a scanning and forwarding service.
Real estate professionals spend the majority of their time visiting properties, reducing the need for a physical base.
However, there are times in a realtor’s working week when a desk space in a focused workplace makes sense.
With a virtual office membership, realtors can book a hot desk in the business centre (through an app or by calling directly).
Virtual office solutions make sense for tech companies for obvious reasons.
Operating remotely provides tech firms with access to a much broader pool of talent from across the globe while keeping overheads to a minimum.
Of course, establishing credibility is key so being able to list a prestigious virtual business address on search engines is a huge benefit.
Like tech companies…
Many marketing agencies are replacing in-house teams with remote workforces.
However, getting everyone in the same room to work collaboratively from time to time can help spark new ideas.
A virtual office can facilitate this without having to invest in a full-time space. Meeting rooms can usually be booked by the hour or day.
A charity’s priority is to support their community, cause and service users, and underutilised office space can prevent funds from reaching the right places.
A virtual office can provide charities with a cost effective workspace solution, a registered address, access to conference rooms for meetings with funders and telephone answering support.
These are just a handful of the business types benefiting from using virtual offices today.
One of the beauties of the solution is that businesses only pay for the services they need on a recurring basis, enabling them to add and subtract services as they grow or contract.
Browse virtual offices near you to get a feel for costs and what’s out there.