Working from home is often the only practical solution when trying to get a new business off the ground with a limited amount of capital. The only problem is, a residential address is unlikely to impress prospective customers and visiting clients are unlikely to appreciate being treated to coffee at your paper-strewn kitchen table.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to solve these issues and the best thing about it is that it does not cost a fortune – music to the ears of every cash-strapped entrepreneur who is currently based at home. Virtual office space has many benefits to offer and once you have selected a location, you can order a new package in a matter of minutes. Below are six reasons why you should seriously consider doing so.
- First impressions really do count. As mentioned above, a residential address and a workstation in the kitchen just won’t cut it when you are trying to land blue-chip companies as clients. A telephone answering and mail forwarding package, which includes the use of a private office at a location of your choosing, could make it much easier to land that first really big client. Once your corporate cash flow is looking healthier, you can look at the possibility of renting a permanent base at the same address or establishing a new headquarters elsewhere.
- A friendly and professional receptionist. If you are running a small company all by yourself, it can be very difficult to travel around the country to meet potential clients without your business suffering. People that are greeted by an answering phone when they call to make enquiries are unlikely to leave a message and will probably go elsewhere instead. However, if they are greeted by a professional receptionist who knows how to handle such calls, they are far more likely to leave a number on which you can contact them to arrange a meeting as soon as you are free.
- A reliable mail service. If you have ever had an important contract arrive at your home, only to be chewed up by an overenthusiastic dog, you will not need telling how much easier life could be with a dedicated mail handling service. When customers complain by letter, it is vital to respond to their concerns as soon as possible or you could lose their custom for good. A virtual office package that includes mail forwarding or holding will allow you to decide what you would like delivered to your home and when. This, in turn, will make it easier to ensure that no important letters are lost.
- A prestigious address. Whilst any address that is not a residential one will be an improvement, as outlined in the first point, the best mail handling packages have far more to offer than an address in a non-descript business estate on the outskirts of town. You can choose from packages in almost every city across the globe. If you are running a fledging advertising agency from a small house in Ruislip, imagine what an address in Soho, London or Madison Avenue, New York could do for your corporate image. When you choose a location for your virtual package, consider your options carefully.
- Contacts. If you go for a package that includes the use of a private office, as well as access to drop-in business centres all over the world, you will have the opportunity to network with other small business owners when you are away from home. This could be a great benefit in years to come as you can make some very useful contacts in this manner. Building a network of contacts is vital for the survival of most firms and numerous lucrative business partnerships have arisen from chance meetings between adventurous entrepreneurs who were traveling on business.
- Continuity. Even if it is practical to use your home address in the early years, it is almost certain to be impractical once your business starts to expand. For this reason, it could be advantageous to use a virtual address from the very first day that you are open for business. Customers appreciate continuity when dealing with suppliers and service providers, and maintaining the same address over many years can lend an air of solidity to companies in all industries. If you choose the location wisely, you could rent serviced offices at the same address in later years, thereby giving the impression of never having moved at all.
As you can see, there are many benefits to maintaining a virtual address and telephone number, especially if you choose a location such as a prestigious business district in a big city. Don’t let the humble nature of your company hold you back in the early days by limiting your ability to appeal to larger organizations with a more illustrious history.