Many entrepreneurs and freelance professionals choose to do their work from a virtual office, a workspace outside of the home that provide the office amenities they need for success—things like a mailing address, conference rooms for meeting with clients, even a receptionist or an answering service to add another layer of professionalism to their company name.
Virtual offices are great. They offer the best of all worlds by the virtue that you are free to come and go and use them at your discretion for not a lot of money—and in return you get invaluable business resources.
How to choose the right virtual office space for you
There are many options available, depending on your area. But there are several things to consider:
- Service Listing
- Storage Space
Let’s look a bit deeper at these factors and what they mean for you.
Virtual Office Expenses
This is one of the biggest considerations. As a business professional, the cost of your virtual office can impact your bottom line over time. You shouldn’t think of all virtual office space as being the most affordable (although often it is). Low rent permanent office space can be found at around the same price occasionally, but with permanent office space you are tied to longer lease times which will hurt your business if you decide you no longer need it. Virtual office space gives you more flexibility. You should also determine if amenities are all included in the cost of the lease, or if they are add-ons. For example, if you have to pay extra every time you need a conference room, then your costs will go up significantly.
Virtual Office Services
You will find a wide array of amenities while shopping for a virtual office space. Many have price tags attached, however. Amenities like computers or conference rooms are great. And a receptionist to give visitors a more professional impression is great too. But others—like a listing in the building lobby—is less necessary. You also might not need the answering service if it includes an extra fee. Sometimes these services don’t give out the warm welcome you want your customers to have.
Access Is Important
What kind of access will you have to your office? Is the building open around the clock, or just during business hours? Many entrepreneurs work hours that aren’t the norm. Be you’re your office space is available when you need it.
Storage Space Can Be An Issue
If you have to leave the office a lot to have external meetings with clients, you will need secure storage place in your virtual office so you can leave things (a change of clothes, chargers, even computer equipment) and feel secure about coming and going as you want. Look into the storage space available at any virtual option you consider.
What’s the population of the building?
There are many virtual office providers around that you can find some that aren’t full to capacity. While you don’t want to feel like you’re in an empty building, you also don’t want one that is so populated that you can’t book the rooms and services you need when you need them. Take a tour of any place you consider and evaluate how full or empty it feels to you. What’s the best option for your needs?
In closing, a virtual office can be an asset but be sure to pick the right one depending on your needs. Be sure you consider how cost, services and other factors will impact you and your business.