What Exactly is a Virtual Office? (and Why They’re Great For Your Startup)

Entrepreneurs and startups face a number of significant challenges as they work to grow their businesses. Much of the entrepreneur’s time must be focused on solving specific business-related issues, such as attracting investment, managing cash flow, hiring employees. These challenges can leave little time for other tasks, including having a physical office in which to build your business.

The virtual nature of today’s business environment is working hard in favour of entrepreneurs, who might be cash-strapped and find it hard to fit an expensive office lease into their tight budget. Today’s startups are in a unique position compared to their counterparts of times past considering the number of office or workspace options available to them, many of which help to alleviate budgetary pressures.

So, What is a Virtual Office?

A virtual office provides startups with all the benefits of a private office except the space.

Benefits include:

  • Competitive rates for address use only
  • O. Box number for easy incorporation.
  • Mail delivered to your own mailbox that’s accessible 24/7 (or have the mail forwarded to your personal address)
  • “Drop-in” time if you need access to a desk every once-in-awhile
  • Stable wireless internet connections and other technology, such as printers and projectors
  • Private meeting rooms when you need to meet with clients

More businesses, even large and established corporations, are adopting the virtual work life to embrace global opportunities. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, they’re a great way to free up room in your budget for marketing, attending trade shows to get the word out to potential clients or potential partners, and attracting in-demand candidates from around the world in search of the flexibility the virtual work life can provide.

Here’s how adopting the virtual office work life can benefit you, your business and your employees.

Overhead Costs Are Seriously Low

Brick and mortar is expensive, especially in large, in-demand areas. On top of the (likely expensive) lease you’ll have to sign, you’ve got to purchase furniture, pay utility and insurance bills and consider threats like break-ins or natural disasters. Starting a business can be expensive enough, so why not bypass one of the largest costs that could hinder your ability to grow completely by instead adopting a much-more affordable virtual office environment. In the early days, every dollar counts. 

Employees Will Love the Flexibility

In an age where top-notch talent expect companies to deliver better and more creative perks on top of a reasonable salary, providing employees with the flexibility to work from whatever part of the world they’re in can go a long way in helping you attract top talent.

Attract More Attention Online

Search engine ranking and SEO are critically important to the growth of any business these days. Having a physical mailing address helps you establish credibility online and provides potential clients or partners with an easy way to reach out and make contact. The importance of search engines such as Google and Bing shouldn’t be underestimated.

Easier Access to Credit

Lenders might not be knocking down your door to provide your business with an influx of funds if they think you’re working out of your garage. While your garage might suit your work style, lenders will look more favorably on your business if you have a corporate address that, to them, shows you’re taking the venture seriously and plan to expand it in a responsible and profitable way.

Phone and Mail Services Improve Credibility

Having a real person answer the phone sends a powerful message. With a virtual office, you don’t have to rely on your home phone, answering machine or cell phone, and instead access advanced features such as voicemail, call forwarding and a local phone number at a much more affordable cost. Mail handling and forwarding services allow you to spend more time focusing on growing your business.

Everyday, more businesses are opting to leverage the flexible benefits offered by virtual office services. They’re a great option for entrepreneurs that want to grow their business responsibly and the benefits to productivity are immediate – in ways you might not have anticipated.

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