The Benefits of Virtual Offices for Start Ups
By Guest Writer: Nick Lewis
Many start ups, particularly one or two person businesses, simply lack the capital for a dedicated premises at first. Beyond that, when the work can be done at home, such as for primarily online businesses, the extra expenditure just doesn’t make sense.
But there are certain advantages that come with having a premises. The happy compromise is a virtual office.
The primary benefit to having a virtual office is the legitimacy that comes with it. It allows you to have a dedicated business address outside of a clearly residential area, and without people finding out where you live (more on that later), as well as a dedicated landline that doesn’t double up as your home telephone number.
More than that, simply add in a virtual receptionist and the appearance of professionalism is yours for a fraction of the cost of renting a real premises and hiring a full time receptionist.
A real difficulty for many start ups is that their business premises doubles up as a home. This means that many are unwilling to give out their home address and phone number because, rightly, they don’t want members of the public, or worse, disgruntled customers, to come knocking on their family’s door.
However, a fixed line phone number and a genuine, physical address, are essential parts of establishing legitimacy and trust. A virtual office allows you to take advantage of that without giving away your home details.
Virtual office services can also help increase efficiency. Every small business experiences the problems that come with having very little capital for staff at the beginning. It means that job roles have to be doubled up, including customer service – someone has to answer the phone, causing a major distraction to their primary job role.
Virtual office services like virtual receptionists and telephone answering services can take that distraction away so you can concentrate on your core business and deal with enquiries and the like at a time that better suits you.
Although you still have to call everyone back, if all your messages have been collected by someone else (without the off-putting effect of voicemail) then you (or whoever’s job it is) can deal with them all at once.
And because such virtual receptionists or telephone service agents are shared by a number of businesses, this comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone to do it full-time, particularly when there may not be enough calls to make a dedicated receptionist worthwhile.