Modern technology means that many, if most start-ups begin as one person operations from a kitchen table with a laptop.
However, although this is possible, anyone doing this will be able to tell you what they miss out on from having a dedicated office – a reputable address that separates work from home, someone else to answer the phone (and let you get on with your core business) and a space to meet clients in that isn’t your front room.
Thanks to the advent of the virtual office, all these needs can be met, without the expensive overhead of leasing a permanent office.
A Dedicated Work Address
Virtual offices routinely offer an address that can be used separately from your home address, and one that is not in a clearly residential area. This can be used as a registered address with all mail forwarded, offering both the reputability of having a physical address (makes potential clients more trusting) and the anonymity of it not being your home.
Professional Call Handling
Virtual offices often come with virtual receptionists. These are dedicated call centre staff who will answer the phone for you (and forward anything urgent), handling your calls in a professional manner.
This helps give the appearance of an organisation much larger than you are, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time secretary yourself and with additional efficiency benefits (see below).
Better Time Focus
For many start ups, the job of answering the phone is an onerous one. Before the expense of hiring a receptionist or secretary can be afforded, that job is often doubled up with one more related to your core business. But that reduces the efficiency of that person.
Outsourcing call handling means freeing up whoever’s job it was to answer the phone to concentrate on their main job role.
The up-shot of this is that time will be used more efficiently by the person who used to answer the phone, generating more income for the company, potentially far outweighing the minimal cost of a virtual receptionist.
Having all the advantages of a dedicated business address and land line number, with the opportunity to hire meeting space also means that the eventual necessity of leasing a permanent office is delayed, perhaps indefinitely.
Virtual offices offer the same appearance of professionalism as a larger organisation, whilst allowing your startup to grow at its own pace – either as a one person business, or a network of individuals working across the globe.
Image credit: mathowie.