Advantages and Disadvantages of a Virtual Office
Virtual Offices Help Professionals Impress and Retain Clients
Creating a “presence” or professional image is an important attribute for a successful start-up or individual entrepreneur. Whether you are a professional engaged in accounting, sales representation, law or another business in which a professional image is mandatory, a virtual office may be your best solution.
What Is a Virtual Office?
This collaborative work environment is a departure from the traditional office scenario in which office space is leased, manned and equipped. For a single entrepreneur or professional just starting out, a dedicated office is costly, time consuming and often not effective in creating the right image. A virtual office in a serviced business center is a service designed to present a professional image without the expense. Services may range from simple call answering and shared office space to a private furnished office, available conference space and phone answering in the company name. Services are available for a fixed monthly fee plus a cost for additional services such as copies, fax, conference room use and other special requests.
How Does This Service Provide a Professional Image?
If a client phones, a professional receptionist answers your line with your company name. The receptionist will then contact you to announce the caller and can then seamlessly forwarded to your desk, mobile phone or your personal voicemail box. When clients come to meet with you, they are met by a professional receptionist who greets and escorts them to your individual office or well-appointed conference room. Clients sense permanence and reliability in this professional environment.
The image projected by a well-trained staff and upscale environment projects professionalism and competence.
A virtual office allows you to spend your time as you need. By removing the hassles of office management, you will have more time to grow the business.
Rent, staffing and equipment costs in a conventional office for a start-up or single entrepreneur are far greater than the cost of hiring services from a well-run virtual office. And you will only pay for the services that you use.
The best shared office locations are usually situated in key business areas in the finest buildings of metropolitan areas.
The headaches of maintaining a staff and the inherent personnel problems such as absenteeism are eliminated.
“Virtual Officing” has become commonplace in recent years. Selecting the right situation will put your company in the right light as a company interested in keeping costs down while maintaining a professional presence.
One company, Office Evolution, has office sites in several key cities in the United States. In their system, you may hold a morning meeting in a well-appointed office in Salt Lake City, UT, and meet that evening with another client in the conference room of the Denver office.
While a shared office situation helps to build your business quickly, a time may come when you grow beyond the virtual office capability. If the company does not have dedicated space large enough for your growing enterprise, a move will be necessary.
Space for Inventory:
In some instances, additional space for inventory, samples and even files may exceed the practical limitations of a virtual office.
So if you’re looking for a space that gives you a flexible schedule and maximum professional image, a virtual office may just be the solution for you.