Mobile technology is growing increasingly sophisticated, making it so that you only need a laptop and an internet connection and you can work anywhere and everywhere. That means to start a business or to keep a company growing, you don't actually need a physical office, because you've practically got a virtual office set up on your couch, right?
But the truth is, a physical address is still important in the business world. It can help your business feel more credible and permanent in the eyes of potential clients, who can still be pretty traditional when it comes to a business's image. But instead of signing up for a long-term lease and paying out the money every month for a space you have to set up and maintain, including janitorial services and utilities and staff to keep it running, you can sign up for a virtual office service. A virtual office service goes a step beyond you working from home: it gives you the services and physical address you need to expand your business, with only the fraction of the cost it takes to set up and run your own office. And that's savings you can take and funnel back into the important parts of your business.
When is it time to sign up for a virtual office?
It's time you had a prestigious address
When you sign up with a virtual office service, you gain the power of a high-profile and prestigious location without having to pay the sky-high rental fees other companies do. An address in a high-class business tower at a downtown location is probably the cheapest way to improve your company's professional image, and signing up for a virtual office is the fastest and most inexpensive way to get it. With a company address outside your home, you're also helping maintain your personal privacy, so that no one with your contact information has your home address any more.
It's time you ditched the P.O. box
Nothing shouts "home based business" louder than a business address with a PO box. The professional mailing address that comes with your virtual office lets you accept, send and forward mail from a professional address, so you never have to give out your personal address either. Virtual office providers usually offer 24-hour access to your mailbox, too, so you never have to worry about not being able to get to your mail. With a virtual office address you also have a service that is always available to receive and sign for packages during business hours.
It's time you had a receptionist
When you're working from home, chances are you're using a cell phone to pick up your calls. Chances are also that you're busy almost every hour of the day you and often have to miss calls, or you end up dealing with interruptions all day that affect your productivity pretty severely. Plus, most customers get frustrated when they get voicemail instead of a person and will hang up. That's poor customer service and can also lead to missed opportunities or even lost customers or clients.
With a virtual office service you also get a virtual receptionist. The receptionist is always available to offer personalized answering services, take accurate messages and forward calls to whatever number your choose. Virtual office receptionists never take a day off, don't incur human resources issues the way hiring your own receptionist could cause, and can also send you email transcripts of your messages so that you're always connected.
It's time you had a conference room
It might impress your clients once to be wined and dined while you're making a deal, but you can't always meet at a restaurant, or a coffee shop. And you sure don't want to invite them into your living room. A virtual office space means that you always have a meeting space, as small or as large as you need, whenever you need it, helping you project a professional and sophisticated image as well as saving you all the money it costs to take your clients out to eat all the time!
It's time you had the right technology
Company technology is expensive. You can afford a laptop and a printer, but what about photocopies, scanners, fax machines, advanced phone features, video conferencing equipment, presentation equipment? These are expensive items that you won't use often enough to make it cost effective enough to invest in, but are still necessary. With a virtual office you gain access to all this equipment without the overhead, without having to maintain any of it, and without having to worry about something expensive becoming totally obsolete.