You will not be exaggerating if you say; a home-run or small startup is a one-man show. There are many different aspects of your business that you have to handle single-handedly. You have a lot on your plate from handling funds, marketing, HR, procurement, logistics, etc. While you are struggling with these issues, you don’t have enough time to put serious effort into establishing and running your business.
As a new business, you need partners to help you in streamlining your business. You can get help from financial consultants, marketing consultants, and HR companies, but that is an expensive way to set up your business. But, you cannot enter the market without properly setting up all aspects of your business. Your dilemma is similar to Hamlet; to be or not to be, that is the question. A less stressful alternative is a virtual office. We will discuss this in detail later. Let us first understand what a virtual office is? And What benefits and features do you get by using it?
What is a virtual office?
You must have heard that it is a non-physical office. This is not entirely true, a virtual office is like a hybrid working model. There is a misconception that it gives your business an online presence. It is the opposite, a virtual office gives your online business a physical presence without you owning one. Before you get more confused, let me make it simpler for you.
If you have a small online business but don’t have a proper business office, your first requirement will be to rent one. Renting an office and running an office requires lots of money and effort that can pull down your business growth. So what to do?
For such businesses, a virtual office is the most feasible solution. It gives you a business address and an office to show when needed. But, you don’t own, rent or lease the office. You also don’t have to pay the running cost of the office. It is similar to borrowing a well-maintained and well-furnished office from time to time, as needed.
What are the salient features of a virtual office service?
A virtual office is an extensive service with no fixed features. These features are the office facilities that every business needs. But, they are not always the same with every service. There are some advanced features offered by some services to make themselves look unique and attractive. However, the basic features are almost the same for all, give or take a few.
A legal business address that can be used for paperwork:
Whether your business is online, new, or old, you need a legitimate address on your business cards, marketing material, and website. A physical address of a good location like a business hub or industrial area adds to the prestige of your business. This address can be useful in the official communication and registration process.
Although this address is not leased in your name, it is 100% legit and acceptable on legal paperwork as well.
Reception services to put your business in a different league:
Another feature you get with this service makes your business appear as an enterprise. You get professionally trained operators answering your phones with your company’s salutation and greeting. Such professional services are expensive but using virtual office services, you can get them cheap.
This feature also covers handling your mail as per your instructions. If you have any urgent or confidential mail that you want to be handled, you can use this feature. The mail will be opened at the reception and scanned to be emailed to your given address.
Fully-loaded conference rooms to keep in touch with employees and clients:
The third biggest use of a physical office is to meet and greet prospective clients. A virtual office allows you to use its meeting rooms to keep in touch with your clients. You can arrange seminars to periodically reintroduce yourself to the market.
It is also useful to communicate with your employees and team members. You can arrange conferences to collaborate with other businesses in the industry and headhunt through seminars.
These conference rooms need to be scheduled beforehand as this is a shared workspace model. You will get all the perks you need to run a conference or seminar in these rooms. Facilities like video calling, projectors, microphones, etc. are built-in in these meeting rooms.
Other office facilities for your employees:
There are other facilities that your employees will need occasionally. Perks like cafeterias, waiting areas, uninterrupted Wifi, fax machines, phones, etc. are more beneficial for employees than customers. These features are not just useful to work properly, but also give the feel of a professional environment.
It provides security for your online collaboration:
A virtual office also provides tech support for you to run a complete working cycle. It gives security to use apps to interact with team members. You can use cloud platforms to share and save data securely. These apps give you an umbrella to work remotely managing multiple teams.
A virtual office helps you go global:
Expansion is a goal every business has. But it is easier said than done. To expand the business you need funds and time to manage the new branch. Being a single man to run the whole business makes it impossible to do so. A virtual office makes this seemingly impossible task a piece of cake.
You can easily manage a new branch through a virtual office service remotely. You can hire a manager remotely to handle any issues that require physical presence. It also widens the boundary of your headhunting. You can hire employees from areas that offer cheap labor. Remote employees always come cheaper than regular employees. You can hire freelancers to further cut down the HR cost.
Running a one-man show is the toughest way to do business. You will need experts to handle certain things in your business but that requires a lot of money. A virtual office is an environment that opens up new possibilities for your business. You can hire cheap labor, services, and freelancers to handle business issues. This saves you lots of funds that can be utilized where it is unavoidable.
A virtual office is a diligent partner that can help you grow your business, limiting your expenditure. It also shares a lot of your burdens and liberates you from certain problems. This makes it very simple to run a small online business alone or with very less staff.