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What is a Virtual Office and what are the benefits?

What is a Virtual Office and what are the benefits?

If you are running your business from home or thinking of starting up a business without the funds for a physical office space then a Virtual Office is a perfect solution for you. A virtual office provides the services of an office without the space itself. This service gives your clients the impression you have an office of your own, when in reality you could be sitting on the sofa!

Depending on your requirements, you are ‘hiring’ a telephone number, a virtual reception who will answer your calls in your own company name, deal with customer enquiries and forward calls as required. As many virtual offices are provided by business centre offering physical office space, you also have the access to conference room hire for those times when you need to meet with your clients in person.

Generally speaking, the public tend to be wary of dealing with businesses that are run from someone’s spare bedroom or similar – it does not instil any confidence that you know what you are doing.

One assumes if you run your business from a smart business space that you are professional and capable of running a successful business. If the client feels confident and comfortable with your service then they will return again.

Virtual Offices are similar to serviced offices in the respect of their short notice periods which is appealing for many. You will need to shortlist a range of virtual offices which will suit your business and requirements. For example, if you know you regularly meet your clients then a virtual office provider who’s centre also has a meeting room facility would be necessary as they do differ. You will find many with facilities such as a meeting room but you also need to imagine you are the client and this is your first impression. Is the building tidy and inviting? First impressions do count.

Some Virtual Offices and their standards differ, so make sure you thoroughly research before you sign up. Although the price is a major factor in your decision, do consider all the other aspects and what you get for your money. The price may seem very reasonable but you may not realise your missing out on a number of vital factors.

Whilst researching your Virtual Offices, one factor to consider is the lease agreement length. Are you going to be tied in for years? The main attraction and popularity of the Virtual Office is its flexibility, so ensure your own needs are met before pursuing.

A market research survey was conducted to gain more of an insight as to why the UK use Virtual Offices – results below.