Should you consider a virtual office for your home-based business?
How could it help your business?
Virtual offices are very much a service that can suit all types of business and most virtual office companies offer bespoke services to match individual needs.
The nature of virtual offices means they can be just as attractive a proposition for sole traders working from home as for multinationals looking to break into an emerging market.
How you use a virtual office company, like many other services, depends on the demands of your business. You might not want to answer calls at all, or maybe you just need an answering service for when you’re out of the office.
Alternatively, you might need a service that takes full responsibility for all of your business communications.
Why not just use an answering machine? It’s true that a simple low-cost answering machine can take messages for you, but research shows that people are much more likely to respond to a human voice. Many people simply put the phone down when confronted by an answering machine, and that business could be lost forever.
It’s also not about simply missing calls. Having a human voice instead of a recorded message maintains your business image and reassures customers that your company is legitimate, accessible and that their call means something.
Virtual receptionists Just as with a real receptionist, the service can go further. Important calls can be patched through to a mobile, while cold callers can be discouraged if so desired.
Virtual office companies can also take telephone orders, help bring in new business and increase sales, while costing a fraction of the price of a normal secretary.
Cost efficiency Alternatively, virtual office services offer businesses the opportunity to experiment with new or short-term ventures where they’ll need to temporarily increase their office resources.
Enrolling the services of a virtual office company on a ‘pay as you use’ basis is a lot cheaper and less risky than investing in new employers and equipment, especially if the project doesn’t work out.