29 July, 2019
5% of the total world population consider themselves to be entrepreneurs. That's about 400 million people.
And thanks to modern technology, many of them can work whenever and wherever they want, and hire whoever and wherever they want. It's also a cheaper alternative to expensive traditional office rental costs, and a virtual team means you’re hiring the best professionals, not simply the closest. In fact, a 2018 study of working professionals found 70% work virtually at least part of the week.
So, your office is wherever you are.
Maybe you're one of the pioneers who take that statistic one step further. You dream of working virtually 100% of the time. You imagine posting selfies banging away on your keyboard with a long shot of your toes stuck in the sand. Have you considered how you’ll conduct meetings with the sound of waves pounding against the shore? It might be difficult for your clients to take you seriously with seagulls screeching in the background.
Thus, while it’s true your office goes with you, sometimes you need a real office to help you maintain a professional image.
Rent for office space in London is the highest in all of Europe. It costs more than 550 euros per square foot annually than prime office space in Paris.
However, when it comes to business, appearances are important. That's when you need to consider a virtual office package, which can provide you with a prestigious business address for a fraction of the cost.
We’ll tell you why you need a virtual office and help you find the perfect virtual space for your business. Keep reading to learn how.
People who run small businesses remotely grab their office space where they can. Their physical office space may be a table in a coffee house. They might work from a seat on a train.
Many also use their home address as a business address, which restricts even further their ability to separate their work lives from their private lives.
Don’t be like them. Now that you’re going virtual, your first task is to establish a business address.
Look for a prestigious address that reflects the image you want to portray to your clients and business associates. You’ll use this address for receiving mail and packages. You can also print it on business cards and other marketing materials.
Once you've set up a business address, you'll need a way for clients to contact you—other than e-mail.
Your business needs a dedicated phone number. Notice we didn’t say a dedicated mobile number tied to a phone you keep in your pocket.
A dedicated number gives customers a way to call without giving out your personal number. You can keep communication lines open without muddying the lines between the professional and personal.
When you set up your business address, ask about virtual phone packages. Most places that offer virtual business space, also manage virtual phone calls.
There's nothing like a virtual receptionist to add a professional edge to your business. Your clients will appreciate the fact that they can talk to a person rather than your voice mail.
When you have a professional address, you can get mail there. Now, if you’re imagining a giant mail slot with your name on it, you’re thinking old school.
We’re living in the digital age now and along with your virtual office space, you should order mail service.
Human hands open your mail, scan it, and email it to you.
You’re able to receive all kinds of documents, including letters, checks from customers, and even legal correspondence.
How convenient is it when you can manage your postal mail from anywhere?
Now that you’re set up with your business address and mail service, let’s look at document storage.
In a traditional office, you’d have a physical filing system. You’d print on paper and store the documents in folders where staff can grab them as needed.
That’s impossible for people who work virtually. Instead, you’ll set up cloud storage services. With cloud services, you and anyone on your team can access documents from anywhere.
When you begin shopping for cloud storage, you’ll find several options. The big names include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud. Other options for cloud storage are available, which means you’ll want to do some research.
Cloud storage services are not one-size-fits-all. Pay attention to storage space, functionality on mobile apps, security, and cost.
Unless you plan on meeting with clients and other business associates in a coffee shop, you’ll want a place where you can hold meetings.
Most places that offer virtual office space also have meeting rooms of varying sizes. You’ll have access to a professional set-up including meeting tables, presentation screen, and Wi-Fi.
In addition to physical meeting space, you’ll also use webinar or video conferencing software. This allows you to meet virtually with people across locations and time zones.
Just like your other business software, virtual meeting programs all offer their own features and benefits. Some have free options along with paid subscriptions.
If you’ve been working remotely for any length of time, you’ve heard of virtual assistants. Once only a business buzzword, virtual assistants are everywhere now.
Just like an administrative assistant in a physical office, a virtual assistant can take care of a wide range of tasks including:
These are only a few things virtual assistants typically do but you can find assistants who work in specific niches. Virtual assistants normally work from their own home office in a freelance capacity.
If you want to save yourself time, space, and money, you need to know what to look for:
Location is always important to any business. It's not just about finding an affordable virtual office address, it's about finding one with an address that's near the bulk of your customers/clients.
Having a physical address that's close to where your customers are located will help you optimise your marketing efforts. You also want to find one that's close enough for you or your clients to pop in when looking to make use of meeting space.
Don't just look for cheap virtual office space, also look for the best London virtual office service. If you're selling high-end products or services, picking the right address means everything, and a professional business address in a trendy part of London will do wonders for your image.
Find one that matches the brand image of your business. It will help you generate more business opportunities.
Look to see what other types of business will share your address. Do a Google search before you make any decisions.
This is vital because your customers are definitely going to do a Google search to find you, too, and it’s useful to know who’s likely to be beside you in the results.
Find a virtual office service that offers flexible terms. Find out how long it will take to set up your business with them so you're up and running as quickly as possible.
Carefully read over the terms so you know what the rules are concerning leaving or terminating your lease. The last thing you want when signing up for a virtual address is to be locked into a twelve or six-month contract.
Ask if they provide their customers with private offices or meeting rooms so you can host events or meetings with your own clients. Virtual services go beyond providing an address, do they have lobby greeters, mail handling services, and desk space?
Find out what their office hours are. If you require 24/7 access, one that closes at 5 pm isn't a good fit for you.
It's also a good idea to see if the virtual office provider can provide you with more amenities as your own business grows. An operation with few amenities may not be able to meet your future needs.
Look for a virtual office that offers access to basics like high-speed WiFi, fax, landlines, printing, and virtual assistants. Even better, find one that lets you operate internationally with ease.
The best ones also offer digital mail forwarding services, customer support, and phone forwarding. The extra technology allows you to run your business as effectively as if you rented or owned actual office space.
Not everyone needs access to onsite staff, but it's nice to know it's there if you need it. These staff members act as your employees and can help greet your clients and answer questions.
They can also provide extra assistance such as accepting and forwarding packages to your physical address. You'll enjoy the benefits of administrative staff without having to pay their full-time salary.
Every business will be the first to tell you how great they are. That doesn't necessarily make it true.
The virtual office company you work with should have real testimonials that talk about how great it is to work with them. Go ahead and search for testimonials from several sources.
Price is always going to be a huge factor in which virtual office you choose. However, before you choose a cheap virtual office, consider everything else you may be giving up just to save some money.
Remember, you often get what you pay for. You don't want to save a few pounds only to realise the service is terrible and the company oversold you what they can provide.
The best virtual office spaces provide you with so much value that it's often worth it to pay a little extra. Plus, it's a tax write-off.
You can find a virtual office from just £15.00 per month. For this price, you'll receive a prime mailing address along with dedicated mail handling that includes a drop-off/pick-up point.
When you factor in the costs you would pay to rent physical space and hire full-time staff, you're saving a lot of money. You're also saving a ton of time on admin tasks, cleaning, and cleaning/admin recruitment.
Always do your homework to ensure you've found a trustworthy and reliable virtual office space for rent. At Hoxton Mix, we offer a wide variety of virtual office services at competitive rates, right in the heart of London.
Click here to contact us or find us on the map.