When you run a small business or a startup, you need to scrutinize every expense to ensure your bottom line is healthy. Running a tight ship will, for most people, result in that fancy inner-city office being pushed down the priority list. However, there are times when you want to convey a high level of professionalism and polish to your clients or potential customers. If this is the case, it may be time to hire a virtual office. If you’re wondering whether this decision will be worth it, read on to discover the key benefits it’ll unlock for you.
There’s a particular image that’s invariably associated with a central city location. Having an office in Midtown Manhattan or the City of London, for example, positions you as a major player in the business or financial world, whereas setting up shop in Haight Ashbury immediately imparts a creative hippy vibe. Hiring a virtual office gives you the freedom to choose how you want to portray your organization to the world. You get the fancy address, an inner city phone number, and access to meeting rooms when required.
Now you may have assumed that your dream suburb is well out of your price range. The numbers may not have added up when you researched the purchase or lease of commercial real estate in the CBD. However, hiring a virtual office comes at a fraction of the cost of a 3-5 year lease. The price will vary depending on location. In Melbourne, Australia you can secure one for as little as $10 a week, in Chicago they start at around $25 a week, and in New York City, prices start at around $50 a week.
In addition to incredibly affordable rates, virtual offices offer flexible terms, so you avoid signing a long term contract. This flexibility is useful if your business is experiencing rapid growth, as it allows you to scale up as required. It also means if there was an economic downturn and you were forced to cut costs, you could go back to working from home or your local cafe until you got back on track.
The other advantage this service provides is a receptionist who can answer your calls. This support service is a marvelous time-saver, particularly if you are on the road a lot, working solo or in a small team. It gives you peace of mind that someone will always be there to answer your calls promptly and professionally. This administrative support also includes a mail handling service, so any mail received will be scanned and forwarded to you electronically.
Wider Talent Pool
Having a decentralized office with team members working remotely is becoming more and more common. Jobs that once demanded cubicles and desktop computers are now entirely doable with nothing more than a laptop, smartphone, and internet connection. Working in this way doesn’t just save on office space overheads, it also gives you access to a far greater pool of talent. Instead of interviewing people who live within a reasonable commuting radius of the office, you can employ a graphic designer from Louisiana, a tech expert from Mumbai, and a copywriter who’s loving life in Columbia. This does, of course, mean some juggling of time zones to arrange online meetings, but the benefits often outweigh the costs.
The bottom line: a virtual office can lend your business the prestige of a 300-year-old law firm and help your team appear bigger, all for a fraction of the cost of a more traditional lease arrangement. It may just be the perfect option for you.