Getting started with a virtual office is easy. Here are six steps that will have you on your way to success with a virtual office:
1. Choose your location. Using a virtual office makes it possible to locate your company in any city you choose. Select your location and establish a virtual business address, which is located in a recognized business district, letting potential clients see that your company is professional and competitive. With a virtual office, you aren’t limited by borders. Opening a location in a different city, or even a different country, is easier and less expensive than ever.
2. Hold all calls. Your business calls will be answered by a professional receptionist at your virtual office. No more time lost answering the phone throughout the day; send everything to your virtual receptionist, who will take messages and forward only those calls that you need to answer.
3. You’ve got mail. Just like the telephone, your chiming email alerts take you away from your productive day to check your inbox. Let your virtual assistant take care of the daily emails, answering routine questions and correspondence, and only sending through the messages that require your attention.
4. Forwarding address. Your virtual business address is also the perfect solution to handling your daily mail. Have incoming mail forwarded to your virtual office address, where it will be opened and handled according to your instructions. Junk mail will be tossed, important mail scanned and sent to you electronically. Packages can be received for you, eliminating multiple trips to the post office or UPS location.
5. Get lost in the cloud. Let your virtual assistant manage all of your documents with secure cloud storage. Free yourself of worrying about whether you have the right files for a meeting; everything will be available to you regardless of your location. Business trips and spontaneous meetings won’t be a problem when you let your virtual assistant file everything where you can always see it.
6. Stop micromanaging. One of the most important steps in choosing a virtual office is giving up the need to micromanage every detail of your business. Whatever your field, your experienced virtual assistant will handle the day-to-day details for you. You’ll get regular updates on everything that’s happening, and will be able to leave the small details to someone else.
If you are considering using a virtual office, take these six steps now. It’s easy to do, and you won’t regret your decision. The extra time you have to build your business will be its own reward.
One of the primary expenses for most small business owners is renting office space. Although you want to present a professional image, renting space can eat up a significant portion of your monthly budget, leaving you strapped for cash in other areas. This is one of the major reasons many entrepreneurs work from home offices, though doing so can be problematic if your work incudes face-to-face meetings with clients.
The perfect solution? A virtual office, which provides professional office space at a fraction of what you would pay in rent.
Scheduling client meetings in a home office doesn’t lend the air of professionalism that you get with a conference room in a corporate space. Many entrepreneurs hold meetings in coffee shops, but that brings its own set of problems, with noise and distractions from other customers, and the possibility of having to wait for a table. Using a virtual office eliminates the worry of finding the right location and hoping that the place isn’t full of boisterous children on play dates with their babysitters.
By using the services of a virtual office, you have the confidence of knowing that a modern, fully equipped conference room is available, whether you need to use it on a regular basis or even on short notice. Your guests will be greeted by a receptionist in a corporate setting, where you will have access to broadband internet, multi-function fax/copier/scanners, conference calling and video conferencing. You will even be able to provide your customers with refreshments.
A virtual office is a nearly foolproof solution for a busy business owner who needs to maintain a smart, professional image. Your customers don’t need to know if you do most of your work in a small corner of your home. No matter how hard you try to put a corporate look on things, having meetings in your living room just doesn’t instill the same level of confidence as a real conference room.
Using a virtual office also gives you the option of establishing a legitimate, professional business address rather than using your home address for your company. This adds yet another layer of credibility to your business, since prospective clients will see that your address is in a prime business location, rather than in a quiet suburb or obvious residential area. Letterhead that says “1001 Main Street, Suite 12” is much more impressive than “123 Daisy Lane.”
Choosing to utilize the services of a virtual office allows you to get much more for your money than if you were to fully outfit an office on your own. With a virtual office, you don’t need a second computer for an assistant because your virtual assistant will have access to all the equipment needed to efficiently run your business. There’s no need to buy a new fax machine or set up a complex phone system, since these are included in the cost of your virtual office.
To sum up, there are several ways that a virtual office can save you money and bolster your image:
Avoid high monthly rental fees that provide only an empty space.
Have access to corporate conference and meeting rooms, fully furnished and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Eliminate the distractions of hosting meetings in public places.
Use a virtual business address that adds credibility to your company.
Save money on the purchase of additional office equipment that is available through your virtual office.
The money that you save using a virtual office can go a long way toward allowing you to upgrade other parts of your business. You will have peace of mind knowing that you have the support you need, and can always host a meeting that won’t leave clients skeptical about your professionalism.