There are a lot of reasons small businesses opt for a virtual office over a brick-and-mortar location. Whether you’re short on cash, only working on your business part time, or just starting out, follow these steps to set up your virtual office and begin doing business from, well, anywhere.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office provides a mailing address for your business or startup without requiring you to rent or lease a building to do so. Some virtual offices, called coworking spaces, allow you to rent a desk, private office, or meeting/board room, so you can impress potential clients with your space when the need arises.
Small business owners and startup founders who elect to use a virtual office often opt for a virtual receptionist as well. Virtual receptionists take care of all incoming phone calls, emails, appointments, meeting schedules, and more.
However, virtual receptionists located onsite at coworking spaces are typically not recommended. They tend to offer a limited range of services. For example, some companies charge a $3 ‘delivery fee’ each time a virtual receptionist delivers your email or phone messages to you. Conversational Receptionists never charge additional fees outside of your low monthly plan cost.
Set up a virtual office for a small business
1. Decide who you want to work with
Make sure you’re clear on who you’ll need to hire to handle some of the workload. You might be able to do it alone, but why would you?
Hire some help–if you’re not ready to look at hiring someone full time, just start with a virtual receptionist to handle the “virtual storefront” while you handle the business yourself. It’s one of the simplest working arrangements there is.
2. Get a physical mailing address.
You might never come near your physical address, but you’ll need a mailing address to give your company a professional way to receive mail. Many businesses offer these services, but we really like NYmail.com because they provide 5th Avenue, NYC business mailing addresses for $20/month.
Tip: Make sure the company you select doesn’t charge additional costs for mail pickup!
3. Consider coworking.
If you’re looking to work in close proximity to other professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives in your area, you might consider coworking. In a coworking space, you can choose to work alone, in a public area, a meeting room with a team, or in a soundproof booth.
The coworking space will charge a certain amount for a mailing address for your business to use, and you can choose how often you’ll want to use your ‘desk’ or office. This is a bit different from a fully virtual office because you’re actually going somewhere to work, although you don’t have to rent or lease an office building! It can also provide networking benefits with other professionals in your area.
That’s it. Once you’ve hired your help, secured an address, and decided if you’ll try coworking or working alone, setting up your virtual office is no problem. Technology makes it easier than ever to get started while making money in your small business!