Increasing flexibility has become a serious requirement of today’s business landscape – especially if you own a business. And whilst business owners have always had more flexibility than most, until now, it’s always been rather a bit of a trade off between having that flexibility and the look and feel of operating a professional business.

But no more!!

The relatively recent introduction of virtual offices, coworking spaces and hot desking, means business owners have so much more freedom around how, where and when they work, how that presents to their clients and even WHAT they spend time working on.

Sounds great, yes? So what’s the problem, you ask. Well, there’s rather a lot of confusion around what exactly a virtual office is – as it’s so flexible it can be many different things to different people. So we thought we’d take you on a bit of a guided tour.

Virtual Offices – What Are They?

A virtual office is essentially a suite of services that you might have in a bricks and mortar office but that’s in a different location from your usual workspace.

These can include a ‘formal’ CBD mailing address, phone number, phone answering services, diary management, administration and secretarial assistance – all those things that you’re likely to miss, especially if you’ve come from corporate life or working for someone else. You know, all those things that came with the job that you most likely took for granted. Maybe it’s even a boardroom for client presentations or staff/supplier interviews.

5 Benefits of Going Virtual

Many businesses including small businesses, start-ups, franchises, satellite offices are turning to virtual offices for five key reasons;

1. Flexibility

– if you have peak times and slow times in your working year, you don’t want to pay for services or space that you don’t need. Virtual offices allow you to scale up and scale down when necessary.

2. Cashflow

– renting office space, particularly in the CBD can be extremely expensive – especially if you and your team are rarely in it – ie: you’re all on the road a lot or wanting to work from home (or the beach) for work/life balance reasons.You’ve got better ways of using revenue and you’d prefer to only pay for the services you need – but you still want to maintain that air of a professional business.

3. Greater Productivity and Time to Focus

– lots of clients love that their phone is answered promptly and courteously EVERY time, without it disrupting the focus of their day. They might be with clients or they might just be trying to get through the mountain of revenue generating tasks on their plates – before returning only the most important phone calls in what might otherwise be a long list of disruptive sales calls. Other clients love that they can have someone look after booking client appointments, clearing emails, transcribing/typing up documents, creating presentations or looking after those annoying administrative tasks – you know the ones you hate doing.

4. Professionalism

– working from home can be great if that’s what you’re after, but particularly if you’ve got kids, dogs or other noise in the background, it can make a client think twice about dealing with you. Is it fair? Probably not. Does it happen? All the time. Clients also make decisions to deal with you or not based on where you’re located, whether or not you have a ‘real’ phone number (not just a mobile) and whether or not it’s just you – it all goes towards how successful you’re perceived to be. Everyone wants to deal with people that look and feel just like them – clients included. So if you’re pitching your business to bigger clients, consider how your business might look from the outside. A virtual office can help make these issues disappear.

5. Mix and Match Options

– everyone’s business is different and everyone’s needs are different. The beauty of a virtual office is that you can cherry pick one or several services that a just right for you and you can add and subtract things along the way as your needs change. Don’t need administrative assistance this month – no problem. Need more meeting space this month? No problem. It’s the office equivalent of a mixed lolly bag – one of those, three of these and none of them. The permutations of services are endless and chosen completely by you.

Is a Virtual Office Right For Your Business?

If you’re always on the go or your phone never stops and desperate to get things done or you need a professional space to hold meetings, a virtual office might be your answer.

Best of all, you can try it for a short period and see if it works for you before committing to it for the longer term. If it does, you can continue to make little tweaks along the way.

If we can help you build your business by presenting the right face to your clients or give you back the flexibility and focus you require in your business to achieve what you want to achieve, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can reach us on 9994 8000 or drop us a note here.

To get an idea of virtual office pricing, click here. But don’t forget, we can tailor a package specifically to your needs. Feel free to give us a call to discuss.