19 August, 2022
Find Out What is a Virtual Office, How Does It Work and Why You Should Use It
As our society changes, the way we do business changes, as well. Gone are the days of high overhead and a regular nine-to-five job in an office.
So, the business landscape is transforming quickly, and there are flexible solutions to help start-ups and small businesses run at a low cost. Your business stands to benefit a lot from the virtual office business model.
Operating a startup or a growing business can be way easier when using a virtual office service since it removes the administrative and image challenges that small businesses face. You can leverage virtual office operator resources to scale up and win customers' confidence.
Getting a virtual business office is the right step forward that your company needs to outwit the competition. Reduced overheads, added flexibility, and zero commute time are just some of the key features of a virtual workspace. From mompreneurs to dynamic start-ups, everyone is turning to the virtual office to cut costs.
This article teaches you about the virtual office definition in business and how such a space can make your life easier as a business owner, increase your privacy, raise your credibility and save you money. We’ll outline why use a virtual office and why we believe a virtual office address could offer a highly practical solution for all manner of small-to-midsize businesses, independent startups, and even overseas companies.
What is a Virtual Office and How Does it Work?
So what is a virtual office, and how do virtual offices work? Simply put, it’s a service that allows businesses to operate remotely. Whether they use contractors and freelancers or employ people worldwide, this desk-free concept allows for seamless collaboration between people who don’t need to be physically present. Without bricks and mortar, you can scale quickly as your business grows. It’s cost-effective and flexible, making it just as popular with startups and established firms as it is with freelance consultants.
Imagine renting a ‘regular’ office. Your office would have an address for your post to be sent to and for your business to be legally registered to, meeting rooms, a telephone number, a receptionist to answer your calls and space for you to work.
A virtual office has:
- An address for your post;
- An address for your legal affairs (e.g., company registration);
- Meeting rooms for you to rent by the hour;
- A telephone line;
- Mail and voicemail services;
- A receptionist to answer your calls.
As you’re not renting any physical space, a virtual office can be much cheaper than a regular office. For example, we charge £15 per month for a basic virtual office plan, but if you were to rent just one desk in our Central London location, it would cost you £400 per month.
A virtual office functions just like a physical office with all its functions—except it’s “virtual”, so not really there.
The process is very straightforward. All you need to do is choose the optimal virtual office plan, add extra services if required, and go to the checkout. On paper, you will be located in an office building in the centre of London. But in reality, you will be able to conduct business from anywhere.
There are many reasons why a business might need a virtual office. Some businesses rent a virtual office address for VAT registration, some—to get a business address in the United Kingdom, and others—to switch to remote work. Whatever the reason is for your business, make sure you select the right package for your needs. Our consultants can offer some guidance and explain what types of services are included.
At times, you may need a physical office—whether it’s to hold meetings with your team, partners, contractors, etc. It might just be the case that you want some social interaction. It doesn’t mean you need to enter a long-term lease just for these occasions. You can use our service dedicated to offering private office space in London.
Now that you have the answer to “what is a virtual office address?” and “how does it work?” we’ll go through why people buy them and what values a virtual office can bring to you and your business.
Postal Reliability—How Does a Virtual Office Make Life Easier for You as a Business Owner?
Doing admin is a necessary but boring and time-consuming task for every business owner. Using a virtual office reduces the amount of admin you will have to do over your business’s lifetime.
Imagine you used the address of where you live to handle all your business correspondence. If you were to move home, you would have to update everyone you do business with about your new address. By renting a virtual office, your business address stays fixed no matter where your home moves.
With people in London moving regularly, this peace of mind is the most popular reason for using a virtual office. We have more information on virtual office rental here.
It is also possible to rent an 020 telephone number from most virtual offices. At The Hoxton Mix, one can be purchased for £6.99 per month. When dialled, this number can be forwarded straight to your mobile or be answered by one of our receptionists. This means you don’t have to worry about your telephone calls or the post you receive. Peace of mind!
How Does a Virtual Office Save You Money?
As a virtual office comes with no desk space, you can save a lot of money compared to renting a traditional office.
In Central London, physical space is at a premium, so choosing a virtual office can save you the bulk of the costs while keeping many of the values.
For example, if you were to rent just a desk at the WeWork Old Street location, you would have to spend £400 per month. Our plans range from £15 to £45 per month, meaning you save hundreds of pounds monthly and thousands yearly.
Furthermore, with virtual offices, you don’t have to spend money on office equipment or purchase anything upfront. High overhead costs can easily cripple your business, leaving you with little money for general upkeep and wages.
A virtual office helps you spend less on setting up your business. This will give you emergency funds to help your business stay afloat if something unexpected happens.
What Makes More People Switch to Virtual Offices
Access to Critical Business Facilities
When starting a new company, you will need some facilities such as a boardroom, which are quite expensive to set up.
When using a virtual office, you can access all these facilities on the pay-as-you-use arrangement. This arrangement will save you a lot of money and still improve your image.
Apart from facilities, you can also access important services. For example, if your business requires a one-time, big quantity of copies, you can use the virtual office machine for a fee.
Many virtual office operators have the facilities and machines needed to run a fully-fledged office.
When you’re working in a physical office, there are a few limitations on what you can do at once. Most virtual offices are equipped with the technologies you’ll need to multitask easily.
Virtual offices offer an opportunity to streamline administration and customer service tasks, giving you time to focus on the core functions of your business.
The virtual office assists businesses in performing many tasks simultaneously. For example, most virtual office operators provide services such as opening mail and answering telephone calls.
Their employees answer your phone calls in a professional manner, forward calls to you, and take messages when you’re unavailable. Therefore, you don’t have to hire full-time staff to handle such routine tasks.
Having access to reception courtesies not only helps you multitask but also boosts your corporate image.
You now don’t have to worry about missing potential customer calls because you know someone will take a message for you.
Everyone has had a job that has felt more like high school than an actual job. When your employees can work from home, they’re more likely to be twice as productive because they’re happier.
This also stops employees from starting unnecessary drama with other workers and even management that they don’t particularly like. Not only will you see your workers being more productive, but your turnover rate will also decrease dramatically.
It is a win-win situation where everybody ends up happy, which only increases performance.
Ease of Expansion
With proper management, your business will start experiencing growth and development. What do you plan to do when the time for expansion comes knocking?
If you’re operating from a traditional office, the expansion will mean the construction of new infrastructures, and this requires more money and space.
However, if you’re operating from a virtual office, expansion can be done at much lower costs.
You may have to employ a few more people if necessary and boost your online presence to reach more customers. This expansion will cost you even less if your business is efficiently integrated with technology.
You don’t require much to set up a virtual office, making it a very flexible option for changing locations.
You don’t need a long-term lease agreement when renting a virtual office. When your business faces financial challenges, you can easily cancel your lease agreement until you recover.
Most virtual office operators have flexible contract terms. This gives the freedom to add or remove a service. You can always request a change of terms to fit your needs.
Great Way to Test Run Your Business
A virtual office gives you an opportunity to test the water prudently. Starting a business requires capital and takes time before you start getting a return on the money you invested.
Are you willing to take the risk of signing a long-term lease agreement without knowing if your business will thrive or not? To reduce this risk, start with a virtual office. You can channel your capital to fund income-generating activities instead of purchasing liabilities such as office equipment.
This means you will have more money to spend on functions such as marketing, which will boost your business presence in the new market.
Larger Talent Pool
Another drawback to having a physical office is that it restricts the level of talent you have access to. This is because you will likely have to settle for talent that lives near your office.
With a virtual office, however, you are no longer limited by such constraints. You can sample and hire the best talent regardless of their physical location. This gives you a more diverse talent pool in different time zones to choose the best fits for your business.
Having a permanent office for all these employees won’t make sense, but a shared address and location for board and client meetings is important. There are also companies where all their employees work from home, but they still need administrative support from virtual office operators.
Flexible Office Hours
One of the most significant drawbacks of traditional physical offices is that they tie you down. Leaving the premises often means dropping work. However, virtual office services allow you to work at any location as long as you have the necessary devices. After all, what are virtual office services all about, if not flexibility?
For startups, this is especially important since you are always on the move looking for business opportunities. A virtual office ensures that you do not stop working regardless of the situation.
With the gig economy on the rise, fewer and fewer people are working a standard 9 to 5. Most of us work late into the night, and freelancers typically pick up their side hustle after they get home from a day job.
If you’re the kind of person, who likes to get up and get a jump on the day, try to find one that opens before 8. If you don’t pick up your freelance work until after 5, a twenty-four-hour or extended hours option may be best for you.
Having a virtual office means you can free up your time to get your business running the way it needs to be. It also means it frees up more time for the other things in life that matter.
Maybe you have a new baby or elderly parent that needs care. By leaving the smaller, time-consuming jobs to the virtual office, you have more time for what matters.
In addition, the commute is often a big deal for many people. You left your last job to find more balance and not spend so much time just sitting and stressing in traffic. You don’t have to pay for gas, subway passes or fight traffic daily.
Free yourself from the ties and heels world of corporate dress. Stop stressing in traffic and stop losing business trying to keep on top of phone calls, orders, and staffing.
Now that you know the virtual office meaning and why people choose to use them, you can make an informed decision for yourself. Maintaining a virtual office address is a smart choice for many reasons. It protects your privacy, provides a professional face for your business, and gets you into more elite circles. It’s a great way to offer more options to your clients and boost your reputation simultaneously.
The Hoxton Mix is a premier virtual services provider in London. We work with both startups and large businesses to set them up with office services without the typical monumental costs.
Whether choosing our most basic plan or opting to include a range of higher-tier services as handy extras, setting up a virtual office with The Hoxton Mix is a remarkably quick, simple and affordable process. In fact, registration can take as little as 10 minutes, and we aim to be the cheapest virtual office address with plans from just 41p per day.
Our services have been designed specifically to offer fast and affordable setup, with free anytime cancellation—core values we feel are more important than ever to uphold right now.
All our monthly packages include a free Companies House official registration address. This ensures you’ll have full legal business address status in the UK and a reliable point of contact for all vital correspondence from HMRC.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is a subscription-based arrangement that provides businesses with a physical address and office-related services. It’s perfect for companies that don’t need a fixed location and can operate flexibly.
How does a virtual office work?
Your team and other professionals involved in the business won’t need to come into the office. They will be able to do their job remotely, while the business owner enjoys the perks of a prime London address and mail handling services.
What is the difference between a virtual office and a coworking?
For some people, the question “what is a virtual office space?” might imply a coworking space. With the rise in popularity of both, it’s important to highlight the distinction. Coworking means working in a shared space, while a virtual office means working from anywhere.
What is a virtual office number?
A virtual office number isn’t bound to a specific device or location. It’s also known as cloud telephony because it is Internet-based.
What does a virtual office mean for a startup?
As a small business, it’s incredibly hard to ensure a positive cash flow. In this context, a virtual office can be the difference between shutting down and expanding. The amount of money saved can pivot the company in a new direction.
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