Benefits Of Having A Virtual Office
Recently, I took the plunge to obtain my own virtual office and I think it will be extremely beneficial both in the short and long term. If you’re considering doing the same, let me tell you what I’ve learned and experienced so far.
As most of you already know, I became a full-time entrepreneur so I either work from home or I’m out working somewhere on my laptop. If you also work from home, let me go over the reasons why I chose to use a virtual office.
What Is A Virtual Office Exactly?
Not to be mistaken for the cloud service, Virtual Office, but the business version of virtual office is a place that provides communication as well as address services without providing actual office space.
Though, most places, if not all, that offer this option also offer a physical private office as well as shared office space.
Benefits of Having A Virtual Office
Keep Your Home Address Private – If you’re an entrepreneur who works mainly from home, you’ll have to put an address on things that are visible to the public. Some items you can keep private like registered domain names with the whois privacy but there are some you simply cannot.
That becomes an issue if you want to keep your personal information private from everyone online. Items like legal documents (LLC, Inc, etc) can be easily searched for online and email lists and marketing require you to put an address on each one you send out.
Note: If you use a free email subscription service like Feedburner, their (Google’s) address is listed.
I don’t know about you guys but I prefer not to have everyone know where I live. That’s when the virtual office comes into play!
Business Address For Legal Documents – As I mentioned, documents such as your LLC require an address and it’s made public. With a virtual office, you can use that address for legal documents, business cards, etc.
This was probably one of the key factors that helped me decide on going this route.
Mail Services and Receptionist – I considered obtaining a P.O. Box but a couple instances in which that wouldn’t work include: some states do not allow that as an address for legal documents and also you can’t receive certified mail (signature required) there.
With a virtual office, not only can your mail be delivered there but a receptionist can sign for packages, if needed. The company I signed up with notifies me via email whenever I receive any type of mail and holds it for me.
Some companies charge extra for notifications but luckily mine does not. Also, all companies that I’ve researched have a mail forwarding option for an additional charge but I didn’t think it was necessary in my case.
Professional Environment – Virtual offices are actual businesses and they’re extremely professional (at least the ones I’ve came in contact with). As I mentioned, there is a receptionist so if you ever needed to host a meeting (there’s usually a charge for renting out a conference room unless it’s in your package), you have someone to greet your guests and you have a conference room to host.
Cost Effective – If you’re going to have a P.O. Box, they charge by location and size. Depending on the size, you could end up paying about the same price as a virtual office, except you cannot put that as an address on certain items like I mentioned previously.
The price varies as well for virtual offices depending on location and the perks that come along with whichever package you decide to choose.
No Long Term Commitment – Since it’s a virtual office, you don’t have to deal with leases, mortgages and things like that. Every company is different but most should have month-to-month all the way to 12 month options. Typically, the longer you sign up for, the more you save.
Networking Opportunities – Your virtual office is filled with other entrepreneurs and like-minded individuals. There are usually events for you to attend and have a chance to network with a ton of entrepreneurs.
I went with the lowest and cheapest package deal because the basic items of having a business address and mail service fit my need. If you’re considering this option, make sure you do your own research because each state/country will be slightly different.
Also, you should contact and schedule a visit/tour to get a sense of how the operation works. You don’t want any potential guests meeting you there to be greeted by a disgruntle receptionist. Or have a mail service that’s disorganized and potentially lose your important packages.
But so far, this option has worked well for me. If you decide to go this route, hopefully it works for you too!