A virtual office is a service that provides businesses with a physical address without the costs of a long lease, administrative staff, and other office-related expenses. In other words, you can run your business from anywhere in the world and still have a mailing address, phone answering services, meeting rooms, and videoconferencing tools. Virtual offices are a popular choice among startups and small businesses due to their affordable price and flexibility, allowing them to have a place to meet their clients at a lower rate than a traditional office. However, a virtual office can become a thorn in your business’s side if it isn’t done right. That’s why it’s essential to know the ins and outs of how to set up a virtual office.
Setting up a Virtual Office
If you’re considering using a virtual office, your business is likely to be scattered throughout several locations. So, you need to think beforehand about the required steps to guarantee productivity and security when employees communicate with the virtual office staff or coworkers based in another location. Of course, an important part of running a virtual office is using the appropriate tools and resources to help employees fulfill their roles, such as project management software, videoconferencing, and cloud collaboration tools.
When it comes to physical addresses, you need to choose logical places that your business should operate from. For example, let’s imagine that most of your clients are located in Washington and New York. In that case, it wouldn’t make sense to open a virtual office in Texas. It’s also important that the phone system is properly set up to make sure that your virtual assistant can seamlessly transfer calls to you without the client realizing it.
Recommended Virtual Office Software
Being able to have a physical address anywhere in the world is amazing, but a virtual office can only succeed if you have the right tools. Here, we picked out the main platforms that any online business needs:
Meeting Software: GoToMeeting
Online Payroll: OnPay
Virtual Phone System: RingCentral
Sending Business Mail: SwitchMail
Business Formation and Virtual Mailbox: Business Anywhere
Why Your Company Needs a Virtual Office
There are many reasons that make getting a virtual office worthwhile. One of the most important is the ability to have a physical address, which is legally required for LLC businesses. Additionally, if you work with clients that need some level of formality, it’s better to meet them in an office space than via web conferencing, and a virtual office can be your meeting place.
But there’s a lot more to virtual offices. Depending on the service you get, virtual offices also answer phone calls, curate emails, forward your mail, greet unexpected visitors, and much more. In other words, they can take most of the administrative work off your shoulders to let you focus on more crucial tasks. There are even providers that have financial and legal staff on their payroll to offer you technical advice on how to deal with paperwork and taxes as a small business. Finally, having a virtual office helps with SEO geolocation, which lets your business benefit from the ‘near me’ feature in search engines even if your business is online-only.
More Advice for Running a Virtual Office
Running a virtual office is no easy feat. And while meeting software, online payroll, and virtual phone systems are essential to succeed in a virtual office, they’re just the first steps. Security, remote team productivity, and reliable online document storage are also important for any company with employees located across various locations. So, make sure that you do your homework to know which tools to get and policies to implement.