Virtual Offices are more popular than ever! And for good reason, too. They cut down on costs, boost productivity, and give your new small business a professional image.

Starting a business is an extremely fulfilling and exciting endeavour, but it can also be expensive and stressful. There are so many different variables to think about throughout the process which can drain you both mentally and financially. Who are your potential clients? How do you advertise your business? Can you afford to start a business? Where will you conduct your business? How will you keep it running?

A virtual office can help solve many problems presented to startups and new small businesses. While a virtual office is a digital service, located in the intangible expanse that is cyberspace, they still offer many of the benefits of a physical office space. With the technology available today, people are able to work from anywhere — whether you’re working from home to keep costs down or kicking back in the Caribbean but still running your business. If you own a startup or small business, or you are thinking about taking the leap, a virtual office can provide you with a suite of powerful tools to make the process efficient, cost-effective, and successful.

Here are 5 ways a virtual office can help you start your new business:

1. Portray a Professional Image
Image is everything, especially in today’s hyper-competitive, fast-paced market. If you’re using your home address as your business address, on your website, in your email signature, on business cards, or in brochures or newsletters, you’re seriously inhibiting your chances of success. And with tools such as Google Maps and Google Street View, if anyone looks up your address and sees that it’s a residential property, they may think twice about moving forward with you.

When looking for a virtual office for your business, be sure to choose one with a physical address in a busy, commercial area — and ideally, one that looks great from Google Street View. Try to avoid P.O. boxes because they also look unprofessional on marketing material and contact details. At a fraction of the cost of a physical, commercial office, a virtual office can give you the professional image your business needs to thrive.

2. Get Operational Instantly
It can be hard to get the great big ball of business rolling. There are plenty of hurdles that will jump up in front of you and, chances are, if you’re not making money, you’re spending it. When starting your new business, it’s important that you make strategic decisions early on that will get you operational and generating revenue sooner rather than later.

A virtual office not only gets you a professional address that you can start using immediately, but also shipping and receiving support as well. A quality virtual office provider will offer you secure mail and package holding and forwarding, and a reliable telephone service allowing you to get your business off the ground quickly and easily.

3. Keep Overhead Costs Low
A penny saved is a penny earned. If you’ve started to price out the costs of starting your own business, you may have gotten discouraged by the numbers. But any chance you have to save a buck will free up capital to allocate to something more important. Commercial office space can come with dream-crushing lease rates, crippling utility fees, hidden costs and hostile, locked-in contracts.

The right virtual office service will be able to save you money by offering much lower costs, commercial shipping rates and will also be flexible enough to give you the freedom to grow your business at your own pace and make strategic decisions without being penalized by a commercial realtor or landlord.

4. Access to Professional Space
A virtual office can give your new business an air of legitimacy, but what happens when you actually have to host a meeting or have a face-to-face with a potential client and you don’t want to use your home or a local coffee shop? As your business grows, this scenario is an inevitability.

An ideal virtual office provider will also be able to offer you and your business physical meeting rooms and office space for short term, last minute or occasional use. Make sure, when choosing a virtual office service, they can offer you physical workspace should you ever require it. Some of the more prestigious virtual office and shared office space providers even feature professionally-staffed receptions and waiting rooms.

5. Better SEO and Google Rankings
Google has begun placing weight on your business “NAP”, (name, address, and phone number) and, through tools like Google My Business, the ways local companies can benefit from more targeting, local search results have been drastically improved.

With a virtual office, you can set up a legitimate location for your new business without actually needing to setup up a physical office space. This can be extremely beneficial for local Search Engine Optimization results. If you want your new business to rank well for specific local search terms, yet don’t have a physical location, a virtual office that gives you a phone number and an address in your target area will improve your search results.

In conclusion:
Starting a business is a great experience — and we know you can do it! However, it’s important to make the right decision at the right time which will help you protect your startup budget, grow exponentially and stay focused and productive. For more information on OnePlan’s Virtual Office solutions and how we can assist you in starting your new small business, or helping you grow your current business, check out our services page.