A virtual office is a financially responsible way to give your company the administrative office space it needs without the headaches that come along with leasing or even buying your own commercial property. Here’s what you need to know about setting up a virtual office for your small business.
Develop a Plan for Your Company’s Needs
First and foremost, it’s vital to develop a strategy for making a virtual office work for your needs. Consider all the things that will benefit you, and choose a provider accordingly. Some of the things you shouldn’t skimp on include:
- Virtual receptionists, assistants, and answering services
- Dedicated offices and/or desks
- Shared meeting spaces that you can book in advance
- A unique physical building address that you can use on your website
Use a Virtual Office Like Your Very Own Space
Once you’ve decided to “move in” to a new space, take the time to arrange desks and/or cubicles to suit your company’s needs. It’s tempting to think of your space like you’d think of a hotel room – temporary – but this type of thinking is actually to your detriment. Think of it like you would an apartment building. There are others in the building with you, but your apartment is yours to do with as you see fit. Create an arrangement that makes you happy and boosts your efficiency and productivity.
Find a Partner to Share the Space
Setting up your virtual office should also involve finding a partner who works within the same industry and niche. This can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for several reasons.
- Bounce ideas off one another and ask each other for advice. This can be crucial for a small business focused on growth
- If you choose a partner who offers a service to complement your own, you can offer full-service solutions to your customers from the same physical location. This convenience can do wonders for your business growth
- You can work together to ensure that your shared clients receive the absolute best customer service possible, which boosts both business’ reputations
Create a Working Relationship with Shared Staff and Virtual Assistants
If you’re sharing an office space, chances are good that you’re also sharing resources – including staff. For example, you may have one front desk to serve several businesses, and this desk may be manned by receptionists who answer phones and route calls on your behalf. Conversely, your phones may be handled via means of a virtual phone system, which automatically answers calls and routes them based on the caller’s selection. Consider your unique setup and create a protocol for handling these administrative tasks that suits your needs.
Shared offices allow you to build a business that has the look and feel of a large, professional corporation, all without the same startup and maintenance costs. Setting up your a shared space and virtual office correctly can make a tremendous difference in your company’s success.