If you can’t afford an actual office, a virtual office may be the solution for you.
Startups don’t always have the capital to lease office space, and in the case of a sole proprietorship, you may not even want to go down this path. A one-person operation can sometimes be adequately run from home.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may face some disadvantages with a home office. The first is that banks often balk at lending money to potential business owners who use their home address as their business address. And Quickbooks reminds new business owners that some leases and homeowners associations forbid running a business out of your home. Residential zoning restrictions could also impact your plans.
Further, if your business includes client meetings, they may write you off as amateurish for working out of your home. And depending on where you live, a steady stream of traffic in and out of your home could get the attention of neighbors and even compromise safety.
One solution is to rent temporary office space. This saves new business owners a bundle in furnishings and equipment. Moreover, you can often get a month-to-month rental agreement, saving you the stress of locking yourself into a lease.
A Virtual Office Can Help
But even a temporary office space arrangement can be out of reach for a startup or just plain over the top. What’s the answer?
Virtual office space.
A virtual office provides you with a coveted corporate address. This may satisfy the requirements to secure funding, but equally important, it shows a more professional image. When potential clients see your downtown address — versus your suburban neighborhood street name — they immediately view your company in a better light. They assume you have more experience, better qualifications, and are more successful.
The service you provide is enhanced by the array of communication services that come with it, the most important of which is a live receptionist to answer your phone and take messages. This can boost a clients’ perception of you immensely, plus it makes them happy.
Customers — existing and potential — hate voicemail. When they call, they want to talk to a live person. No one wants to wait. Receptionists can soothe anxious clients and assure them that you will call back within whatever time period you have specified. This service will help you win new clients and retain existing ones.
Numbers Are Important
A separate number — one that’s different from your cell phone number — can help bring your businesses the legitimacy you’re looking to establish. It’s helpful in several ways.
First, an area code is important. For instance, if you have a 301 area code because you live in Maryland, it will benefit your business to have a 202 area code, so it appears that your office is in Washington, D.C.
But what’s even worse than a suburban area code is one that’s unrecognizable. If you’re still using the cell phone number you received in college in Philadelphia but you’re running a business in Miami, it doesn’t look professional. Customers trust a local phone number more than one they don’t recognize. Potential clients looking online for a lawyer or a technician will skip over numbers they don’t recognize and choose a local business.
Having a virtual office number is helpful in other ways too. You can use the number to receive faxes that can then be forwarded to you via email. And you can connect not just your number to the service, but the numbers for your field staff as well.
Get a Virtual Office with Metro Offices
Would you like to set up your virtual office? Contact Metro Offices. We provide temporary office space, shared office space, and virtual office space for startups and small businesses. Browse our locations.