Starting a small business is no small feat but having a virtual office can make it a whole lot easier. You can work from home, a café or a hole in the wall basement office with no windows while presenting a professional front to the world. It gives you the credibility, business district address and office administration support of an office without the crippling overheads that may be out of reach for a newly started organization. If you are wondering where to start, here are five steps to help you set up a virtual office for your company.
Location, Location, Location
The beauty of a virtual office is that it allows you to be more selective about location. Consider how your office’s postcode could reflect positively on your firm. Depending on what type of company it is, there may be a prestigious inner-city area known for large banking or legal organizations. Maybe you prefer to set up a virtual store in a creative part of town. If you work in the import/export business or will be dealing with international clients, look for a virtual office near the airport. Once hefty monthly rental payments, daily commute, and long-term lock-in contracts are no longer a concern, you will find that yourself with a much broader range of options!
Consider What Services You Need
Most virtual offices will provide a virtual receptionist for a small fee. This service ensures that there is always a friendly, timely and professional response at the end of the phone when people call. They will take delivery of your mail and either forward it on to your home address or send it electronically to your computer, smartphone or tablet. Another consideration is the availability of meeting rooms or board rooms should you wish to hold client meetings or pitch for new business. Thinking through your business needs and doing your research thoroughly at the outset will ensure you choose a virtual office that meets all your requirements.
Set Up Your Home Office
You won’t need a lot of equipment to get going. Nowadays most businesses can be run with little more than a computer, a mobile phone, and a good internet connection. That being said, you should still try to set up an ergonomic workstation with a desk or table and comfortable chair to avoid repetitive strain injuries or a sore back.
Build Your Team
You may not have a traditional office, but you will still need a support team. You may find that using freelancers gives you flexibility and helps lower cost while you are building the business. This team may consist of an accountant, an IT consultant, and a marketing and social media consultant.
Get Your Website Up and Running
With 70-80% of customers researching companies online before they get in touch, a polished website is critical to your business’s success. Having a top notch web marketing agency on board to design and build you a stunning website gives your business credibility and is the first step in making sure that you are part of people’s consideration set. Now it is time to add your fancy new virtual business address to your website, business cards, and social media pages. Send an email to your current clients and your email mailing address list, and you can start knocking everyone’s socks off with your polished and professional organization!