The Benefits of the Virtual Office

Living in the 21st century, we’ve all heard the term ‘virtual office’ or at least that is what many may think these days. So to clarify things for those of us who don’t know exactly what that term entails. We’re going to explore the virtual office and spell it all out right here!

“A virtual office blends home and work to gain efficiencies in both.” So what does that mean for the new business owner to make life easier?

It means that if your new business is not a store or retail center, occasionally you will need to meet with potential clients, vendors, and employees. For example: if you are an independent insurance agent, real estate agent, financial advisor, or an accountant, or a consultant of some kind, you may often go to your client’s home for business appointments. But what if the situation arises that your customer would prefer or need to come to you? For true professionalism you would surely want them to come to a comfortable, business-like environment, correct? For those who have the corner or basement office in the home, this may be a bit awkward for a brand new, important client.

Hence, the virtual office. The true virtual office is a combination of off-site live communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism. In English that means that you will have a professional physical facility that will act as your own personal office to take calls and receive mail without the monthly overhead and costs of a traditional office. It is an absolute alternative to the distractions and interruptions of a home office.

The virtual office idea came from the convergence of technological innovation and the information age. The concept stemmed its roots from current work styles, specifically hundreds-of-thousands of people working from home.

in a nutshell: the virtual office is a physical space that is leased out to offer the full application of a traditional office. It also includes professional live communication of a regular business office for a fraction of the cost of running a fully staffed facility. Office space is generally available for lease on either an hourly, daily, or monthly basis depending on which company you choose. A full-service virtual office will provide broadband internet, fax-copier-printer, advanced phone features, conference calling, video conferencing, kitchenette and a business-worthy lobby or waiting area.

Communication services from these offices usually include a remote receptionist, a virtual assistant (who is often working from home themselves and who rarely meets your clients face-to-face), an answering service, and/ or call center, as well as voicemail services.

The space services will include a professional address – a beautiful, prestigious building to be used as your business address. A professional address alleviates the privacy and security concerns of running a home-based business. This also provides you with a professional mailing address that can be used for accepting, sending and forwarding mail without the negative connotations of a PO box. Another fine quality of the virtual office is having live receptionists at the business address who can receive and sign for incoming deliveries and packages and also provide contract and document drop-off and pick-up services.

Having a virtual office as your second business office is very useful, indeed. Office expenses remain low, while your business professionalism retains the look and feel of a traditional, high-cost office. All the while your home office is your true business office. The virtual office is there just to “impress” your clientele. Your virtual office can allow for low-cost expansion without long-term commitments.

Look at your virtual office as your business’ way to ‘dress to impress’. Start-up costs for a new business is a huge variable… Ranging from zero to hundreds, to thousands, to millions. The good news is that when you find the right alternatives and discover that some important and valuable resources can be acquired very cheaply, the sky is the limit as to what you can accomplish in your new business endeavors!!

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