5 Benefits of Virtual Offices for Solo Professionals
Are you an attorney, financial planner, accountant or other solo professional who wants to grow your business? Competing with larger firms is challenging enough without adding hurdles. Residential addresses, automated phone answering, and lack of private space can all leave you at a disadvantage when you’re dealing with clients, colleagues and prospects. A virtual office can help you project a professional image that inspires confidence in you.
Most virtual offices for solo professionals offer a variety of services to help you compete with larger firms, including:
Business Address. There are a variety of reasons you don’t want to use your home address for professional purposes: solicitors disturb you outside of business hours; business mail gets comingled with flyers, catalogs and holiday cards; and search results from online browsers are often affected by whether or not your address is categorized as commercial or residential. At your virtual office, you can usually direct how your mail is handled, and Google, Firefox and Bing are all happier to suggest your services to their users.
Live Telephone Answering Virtual offices for solo professionals often provide live telephone representatives to answer your calls. One study shows that 80% of callers sent directly to voicemail don’t leave messages; when you’re building your business, that’s a lot of clients who are not getting what they want. Live telephone answering makes your business seem bigger and more professional, and there’s an additional benefit because you can screen out solicitors and other nonproductive calls so that you stay focused on your clients and prospects. And you usually only pay for the actual time you use, which is a huge savings over what you’d have to pay for a dedicated phone rep.
Receptionist The cost of hiring a full-time receptionist is at least $35,000 per year, which is a steep investment for any small business. Most virtual offices for solo professionals include a receptionist or office manager who keeps the space humming. The receptionist greets your guests and announces them to you, getting them coffee or tea if they need to wait a few minutes for you to be available. They also make sure the common areas are clean and the meeting rooms look professional. And their service is included in the price of the office, so you don’t have to pay any more for it.
Meeting Space If your business requires you to meet with more than 1-2 people at a time on occasion, most virtual offices for solo professionals have conference rooms that you can rent by the hour, so you don’t have to huddle at a coffee shop or compete with the sewing circle for a room at the local library. This onsite resource can help you be more productive too, eliminating the disruption to your day that leaving your office creates.
Fully-Furnished Office Space If you outfitted your own office, you’d have to pay for furniture and equipment like printers and scanners, arrange for telephone and internet service, and troubleshoot your services if you have a problem. With virtual offices for solo professionals all of those pieces are handled for you, so you can focus on your work in your own private space.
Virtual offices won’t be the answer for every solo professional, but for many it can set a professional image that launches their business growth.
Call Office Evolution Walnut Creek at (925) 239-0559 to see if it might be right for you.