Can you guess which companies made it to Fortune’s list of the coolest offices? We’ll give you some hints. There’s one that rhymes with ‘schmoogle’ and another whose name starts with an ‘S’ and ends with ‘alesforce.’
Surprisingly, not on the list are Apple and Amazon. But everyone knows that these companies have invested huge amounts of money into creating unique office spaces for their employees.
If you’re a startup founder who needs to keep your overhead costs to a minimum, a virtual workspace with a virtual office address may be your best option.
Here’s how it works:
Why a Virtual Office?
In a previous post, we talked about how virtual offices can be helpful to growing your business. We mentioned that while it’s now easier for more people to start their own businesses, lacking a physical presence may cause some difficulties.
This is where booking a virtual office address can be handy.
If you’re not ready to sign an office lease but need an office mailing address, you can either use a P.O. box or go for a virtual office solution that already includes telephone/fax service, business address, and mail handling.
Here at WorkSocial, for example, we also offer meeting spaces when you need one.
Should You Use Your Home Address?
Nothing is stopping you from using your home address as your business address, especially if clients or customers dropping by isn’t a problem for you. However, a lot of business owners aren’t comfortable with giving away such private information.
If you don’t want people who search for your business suddenly showing up at your home, consider setting up a virtual office business address instead.
Besides, setting up a virtual office address is easy. Once you’re done, you can now focus on running and managing your virtual office.
Your Next Steps
After booking your virtual office address, you now have to focus on getting the most out of your virtual workspace. Sure, you’ve saved considerable costs by going for a virtual office suite than leasing out a commercial office space but that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore opportunities to double your investment.
To do that you need to:
- Take advantage of the in-house mail services: Have all of your mail sent to your virtual location. This way, you don’t have to deal with them at home and you don’t waste time sorting them by yourself.
- Use professional answering services after getting a local number: Are you answering phone calls all day long? Deploy telephone services so you can focus on other important business matters. Plus, having someone else answer the phone looks good for your business, too.
- Maximize the features and amenities that come with your virtual office: Office equipment doesn’t come cheap. If you choose the right virtual office, you don’t have to worry about buying a printer, copier, the best Internet plan, and so on. These features already come with your virtual office rental fee.
- Attend networking events: We like to believe that no business is an island. This is why at WorkSocial we host monthly networking events that connect entrepreneurs and experts (e.g. accountants and lawyers) with each other.
- Set meetings with clients or investors without paying for conference room rentals: If you’re still paying for conference room rentals, you need to switch to a virtual office location that has fully furnished meeting rooms that you can use for free.
Don’t Forget These Must-Haves
You’ve secured your virtual office address and you know what opportunities to take advantage of to grow your business. Now, you need to make sure you don’t leave anything to chance. Here, we’ll talk about the top 3 things every virtual office needs to have.
- Data Center and Cloud Storage: Ample cloud storage is a must so you can access important files wherever you are. If you need servers (of course, you do), you must work with a service provider that can give you access to servers over a secure and private connection.
- Workhorse laptops and computers: Do your business a favor by buying the most reliable laptops for you and your employees. Go for quality whenever you can. Chances are, you’ll have a hard time finding alternate workstations in case your computer(s) suddenly break down.
- High-speed WiFi: Just because you don’t have a physical office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make yourself accessible to employees, business partners, and customers. Having a great connectivity takes care of that. Plus, if you’re using productivity tools such as Trello, Slack, and Asana, you don’t want your Internet speed to be at a glacial pace!
Avoid These Pitfalls
Virtual offices come with awesome perks but they’re also susceptible to problems such as decreased efficiency and a fractured team environment. Luckily, you can avoid these pitfalls with some planning.
For example, you can assign at least two employees per project. This way, if one of them suddenly becomes unavailable, there’s always another person who can be in charge. You can also opt for cloud-based solutions, so efficiency can be maintained even if your employees are working remotely.
You can also put your customers‘ and investors’ mind at ease by being honest about the virtual nature of your business. Don’t try to hide it. It’s nothing to be ashamed about.
In fact, it can be an advantage since running a virtual office helps you keep overhead costs low. Just be sure you have systems in place in case there’s a need for face to face meetings.
As for team environment, you can overcome distance and time issues by using project collaboration tools, as well social networking such as Facebook or Google Plus.
Do You Need a Virtual Office Address?
If you’ve been using your home address as your business address, it’s time to go for the virtual solution.
Take advantage of the features and amenities that come with our virtual offices so you can devote your time to growing your business.
Contact WorkSocial today to set up a virtual office that is perfect for your business needs.