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While we tend to think of ‘businesses’ as dedicated workspaces with their own equipment and resources, this is not always the case. The rise of the digital business professional has seen the popularity of at home companies soar, particularly in the wake of the recession. Entrepreneurs and SMEs are stripping everything back and making the boardroom mobile as a way to stay agile and competitive in turbulent markets.
Operating a small business or commercial enterprise from home comes with many benefits, but the downsides are more prominent for most. For instance, clients and customers will always perceive at-home businesses as being less professional than those that work out of dedicated corporate spaces. Therefore, a solution that lies somewhere short of full time leasing, but still offers a fixed address and cutting edge resources is required.
This guide to the biggest advantages of using a virtual office will explain why they are the perfect solution.
More Credibility and Authority
As already discussed, customers and clients tend to look for companies with a dedicated business address. It shows that the services being offered are considered valuable enough for targeted investment. The only problem with this is that young businesses and startups often struggle to afford costly leases.
With a virtual office, this expense is minimized, because the resources are available on a ‘pay to use’ basis. So, you can cherry pick the tools, equipment, and features that you really need and hit the ground running.
Increased Productivity and Focus
Whether you manage a small team or direct a mostly independent operation, working from home can be a real drain on productivity. For a start, there are too many irrelevant distractions. It could be the kids, the television, calls from friends, or even constant snacking; there are lots of reasons why you might lose focus.
Virtual office solutions are a great way to maintain that essential divide between work and leisure. They provide a focused business environment where you can give your company the time it deserves.
A Chance to Mingle and Connect
One of the most overlooked problems with working from home is the lack of communication. There are not as many opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, particularly those that could, potentially, help further your business in the future.
You’d be amazed at the amount of successful enterprises that were first dreamed up on coffee breaks by people who would never have met if they didn’t work in the same building. So don’t limit the social aspirations of your business; communicate, connect, and reach out, even if it’s only on a local level.
For a budding startup, office rent is a daunting overhead which can detract from more important aspects of the new business. A virtual office offers flexibility to new businesses who want to encourage the perception of being more than just a startup.
A virtual office allows a business to have a recognized business address, a phone number, and a receptionist to help with administrative tasks, as well as a mail forwarding service. As an added bonus, meeting rooms are available for client meetings and an allotted amount of time is provided each month for co-working requirements.
Even More Flexibility
If the above is still too rigid, virtual office services can be selected independently from one another. Usually the packages are split into three different service offerings:
1) Address/Location Package
This package enables a business to have a prominent business address and receive mail by a mail forwarding service. This package is great for businesses who aren’t in a client facing industry.
2) Communication Package
This package provides businesses with a local phone number and a receptionist to help take calls and messages and forward the important ones to a number of your choice.
This package is suited to businesses who may want to promote themselves as more established than they are as well as share the admin duties with an external partner. You can provide your receptionist with specific instructions on how to deal with certain callers and clients and help tie in to your internal processes.
3) Meetings Package
A meeting package gives businesses the ability to meet with their partners and clients in a formal business environment, supported by the latest technology. The meetings package offers flexibility to businesses who only require boardrooms infrequently and can’t justify the cost of renting one full time.