A large number of businesses now prefer using remote working. They find it convenient, productive, and affordable. This concept has been strengthened by the COVID crisis. As a working model, this can do wonders for small businesses. But sometimes, you do need to meet the client personally. And some businesses do require a physical location to handle mail etc. A virtual office is the “Goto” service for such cases.
A virtual office caters to all the office needs of home-run and small businesses. Many large enterprises are also using this service for some parts of their business. But, it is right up the small business’s alley. It gives your small business currently unknown; a reliable identity.
What do home-run businesses need most to get loyal customers? Credibility in the eyes of their customers. Through the virtual office, they get a business address of a prestigious location. This gives the impression that they are here to stay and they mean business. Customers will trust them more and will get the impression that they are here to stay.
In this post, we will discuss in detail why and how this amazing service will be outdated in the coming times. We will also discuss in detail what this service can offer your business and help you out.
What is a virtual office?
A Virtual office is like magic, is it there…yet… is it not there. You get the facilities of an office but there is no physical office to show. It is a shared facility just like sharing rooms with roommates. You have to schedule your time to use the special features like meeting rooms, to avoid any clashes.
Three major groups of businesses are best suited for using the virtual office:
- Startups, small businesses run online, and home-run businesses that are short of funds.
- Consultants and freelancers who need someone to take care of professional requirements.
- Businesses that want to scale out and build global networks.
The features provided by the virtual office service make the foundation for the growth of all the above businesses. A virtual office is well known for features like business addresses, front desk services, and conference rooms. These alone can tempt many businesses to pick this service.
The Basic features you get with the virtual office:
In a broader spectrum, a virtual office provides everything you need to run an office. But to be more precise, to make you understand and choose better, the following are the features of a virtual office:
- The basic requirement of a small or home-run is recognition in the market and clients. Having a valid and respected business address is the first step in that direction. A virtual office solves this problem for you. As a basic feature, a virtual office gives you a reputable business address for your business identity.
- The next thing your business needs is a safe and professional way to handle calls and mail. By using the virtual office you get the facility of professionals answering your business calls with your company’s salutation. The caller will get the impression that he is dealing with a well-established enterprise. This will further strengthen customers’ trust in your business. The same goes for handling confidential mail. A virtual office gives you the facility of getting important emails handled professionally. You can get urgent mail scanned and emailed to you keeping your privacy intact.
- A virtual office also offers office facilities for your employees and your benefit. You can use the phone, internet, fax machines, photocopier, etc. whenever the need arises.
- You can use meeting rooms for your conferences. This feature includes conference calling and a projector for your presentations.
- A virtual office has features like cafeterias and kitchenettes to facilitate you and your employees. The ambiance of the premises is according to the latest trends. Some virtual offices offer more facilities but these are the basic ones included in every virtual office service.
Reasons why virtual offices might get outdated:
All these attributes clearly show how useful a virtual office is for businesses. Now let us see why this might be a fading service.
Not beneficial for remote businesses:
The pandemic has changed things altogether. Offices have started going remote on their own without any other service helping them. Especially tech companies have realized that they can work better when completely remote. Big names like Twitter, Shopify, Slack, etc. are now shifting towards a completely or semi-remote working model.
Businesses that don’t have walk-in clients don’t require physical or virtual office space to conduct meetings. Meetings between professionals can be easily handled through online apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, etc.
Advanced Software support:
There are many softwares like Trello, Jira, etc. that can be useful for collaboration between staff and managers. Cloud data storage has further made things simpler. COVID 19 has made many businesses learn the art of remote working. This support has almost eliminated the need for a separate service for remote working.
You can easily communicate and share data through these apps maintaining the confidentiality of data. That is the reason why video conferences have seen a rise in traffic. Using this software makes no need for face-to-face meetings.
Solving issues through outsourcing:
Outsourcing is a tried and tested way to decrease your workload and cost. It is also very useful for downsizing and remote working. When you outsource some activity of your business, the use of physical space becomes unimportant.
Many businesses outsource their manufacturing and customer support to countries that offer cheap labor. Countries like India, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, etc. are very popular for cheap manufacturing and support services.
To make the system better, you can hire managers and sales personnel remotely through LinkedIn and AngelList. They can handle your work in these countries remotely. This kind of hybrid working model removes the need of using services like a virtual office.