Before I move onto why a small business owner should have a virtual office, lets make sure everyone has a clear understanding about what a virtual office is. A virtual office is a service that provides an office address (typically at a prime and/or upscale location) and professional reception services without leasing the or buying the actual office space. Clients enter into a service-level agreement in which a virtual office provider will; receive mail, handle and route customer phone calls, a provide the business owner with a place to conduct business, train, staff, hold meetings, and meet with clients.
Who can benefit from a virtual office?
- Small business owners that work from home, that are looking to build and maintain a professional image
- Start-ups with minimal expenses for overhead
- Small businesses that have a main office but are seeking a satellite office for a regional presence
- Small businesses that seek to have a national or international presence, have access to virtual offices all over the country and the around the globe
- Small businesses that want to ‘test the waters’ before expanding into a new territory
Save money and no contracts
Save on normal office expenses including but not limited to: rent, energy bill, office equipment, coffee service, water cooler, filing cabinets, office furniture, etc. Save tremendously from these expenses alone. In general with a virtual office space/ service you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 - $350 a month. Leasing or buying office space combined with other office expenses can range from $1200 - $2800 a month and even more at a prime location. Generally, there are no contracts, small business owners can pay from month-to-month; although there may be even bigger discounts for signing up annually or bi-annually. If things do not go according to plan, there are no additional expenses incurred.
Professional address & Mail service
Virtual offices provide mailing addresses at prime locations for very affordable rates. Small business owners can build and maintain their professional image with a professional address. Even for a small business owner that could afford office space, they may not be able to afford space at the same upscale address that a virtual office can provide (for a fraction of the price!). In addition to a professional image, home-based business owners can benefit from the security that a virtual office space can provide. Depending on the service provider that you select, your small business may have the opportunity to get on the Lobby’s Directory board (now that’s a good look!).
Generally work from home and are capable of completing a list of assigned administrative tasks and handling remote business sales. Utilizing virtual assistants when you need them instead of hiring a full-time receptionist can really cut cost for your small business.
Calls are routed to a virtual receptionist that is trained to answer calls as per a small business owners guidelines. Additionally, virtual receptionist calls charge by the minute, which is a huge savings from having a live receptionist.
Conference rooms & Meeting Space
If you need to hold have a conference or simply need to meet up with a client and you want a more productive environment than Starbuck’s, a virtual office can provide you with the professional space that you need. Side note: I like Starbuck’s and think it’s a great place to meet with client’s, but not every client or all the time.
Offices located nationally and internationally
Many virtual offices like Crowne Office Suites
offers national and international locations. Giving small business owners places to do business around the globe.
When using a virtual office there is no excessive; electricity being used, paper wasted, and if you work primarily from home there are no excessive gas expenses and your not sitting in traffic daily just to use the ‘office’.
Business in box
Once you are signed on, your office space is fully operational and ready to go! You don’t have to hire office employees, buy furniture or office supplies, or hire contractors to renovate the space.
Similar to traditional office space leasing, virtual office space and related travel expenses are tax deductible. It is always advised that you verify tax advice with your accountant or tax professional.
Having a virtual has several positive effects for a small business owner and the environment. Consider making the switch your bottom line will thank you.
Virtual Office Bonus:
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