Virtual offices have been around for a lot longer than many people realise, certainly before the rise of what we think of as the modern digital age. In fact, some suggest the first iteration of the virtual office could have been as early as 1973, that’s 18 years before the World Wide Web became public!
But history aside, what can’t be denied is that as technology advances, virtual offices are becoming more and more popular among small businesses and in particular start-ups, and with good reason. Virtual offices offer a number of benefits over their traditional counterparts and at Bracken, we offer Bronze, Silver and Gold virtual office packages.
Start-up Benefits of Virtual Offices
A prime location without the price tag
One of the key business benefits of a virtual office is the ability to promote your company as having a prestigious business address, without needing to pay to rent a bricks and mortar office in the same location.
Even today, people believe that businesses with either city centre or expensive addresses are more capable and experienced than others. For start-ups, in particular, a perceived lack of experience can be a barrier to winning new business, but the right business address can help to mitigate those concerns without breaking the bank if you go virtual.
On a similar theme, setting up an office from scratch is a huge expense for businesses and as a start-up, those funds are especially precious. A virtual office provides a solution where you can still work from home, thus saving the need to go out and buy desks, chairs, filing cabinets, storage drawers, stationary and the rest of the necessary office paraphernalia.
A full reception team
With call answering services and the phone being answered in your company name, you really can present your business to the world with confidence and professionalism. This service is a big help when you are starting out – you don’t have to worry about answering sales calls that can be a drain on your time – leave it to the front of house team – your receptionist, without having to pay a salary.
Another key benefit of virtual offices are the contracts. These are typically very flexible and allow businesses to upgrade the service level as needed, to grow in line with the business. This means there’s no long-term commitment to a fixed package and price point, which you may not need to start with. That’s why Bracken has the choice between Bronze, Silver and Gold virtual office packages, so the service level required can grow with the businesses’ needs.
It’s not just finances that become more flexible with a virtual office though, it also gives employees the opportunity to work more flexibly too. With no commute required and no need to be “in the office”, staff can work when it suits them, whether that means getting a few hours in before taking the kids to school or making the most of a few quiet hours when everyone else has gone to bed.
Less time finding the right office
Another benefit of virtual offices is the time they save. Often start-up businesses are operating with the minimal resources required to deliver the service. That means there is very little free time to search for a bricks and mortar office. With a virtual office, it is a ready to use virtual office space; no viewings required. And on those occasions when you do need a physical meeting room, these can simply be booked as needed giving you the best of both worlds.
Access to global talent
Last but by no means least, having a virtual office frees your business from the restrictions of employing people within a reasonable travel time from the office. Instead, employees can work from home and that means you can employ people all over the world, increasing the talent pool you can choose from.
Moreover, the ability to work from home can also help you attract new talent, as it offers a real employee benefit, and we all know how competitive (and creative) perk packages can be these days…
So to recap, here are 8 ways start-up businesses can benefit from a virtual office:
1. A professional business address without the premium property price tags
2. No need to spend money on office supplies and furniture
3. Greater flexibility in the office contract and no need for long term commitments
4. Greater working flexibility and a less need for holiday days
5. Better for the environment as staff don’t need to commute
6. Avoids the time and money needed to find and set up a physical office
7. Opens up the opportunity to employ global talent
8. Meeting rooms can be booked as needed for a small hourly rate
Could a virtual office be the right solution for your business?