So you’re looking to expand your business across the country or internationally but are unsure how the virtual office comes into play.
Virtual offices are a testament to the evolving needs of modern business and transcend the physical boundaries businesses used to struggle with. Whether you’re looking to tap into new markets or experiment in different waters, this guide will equip you with the knowledge on how to expand your business with virtual office services.
Select a location & establish a local presence
Location is not just about coordinates.
It’s about perception, accessibility and influence. Selecting your virtual office address when expanding your business will be one of the most important decisions you must make.
Perception & credibility
Think of the business address as your ticket to credibility via association. Imagine your virtual office is situated in a prestigious location and has a reputable business address such as 1330 Avenue of the Americas in New York.
The mere fact that industry giants and innovation hubs surround your business will leave a phenomenal impression on potential clients, partners and investors. Other than credibility, a powerful virtual office address builds trust.
Businesses amongst top-tier companies are assumed to offer outstanding products, services and customer service, hence building more trust as a business that will deliver quality.
Research the prime business addresses when looking to expand your business.
Companies located in business districts are usually highly accessible.
The surrounding transport infrastructure is robust and the office spaces can be accessed via buses, trains, trams and cars. Accessibility is essential in case you or clients need to visit the virtual office location simply because of convenience.
Ensure to consider this factor when selecting your virtual office business address.
Setting up mail forwarding
Your virtual office address is now registered for legal purposes, business correspondence, websites and all marketing collateral. This is a crucial step for reinforcing the legitimacy of your business in a different environment to your home base and will strengthen trust.
The next step in how to expand your business with a virtual office is liaising with the provider to establish mail forwarding. Not all virtual office services offer mail forwarding and it’s worth selecting one that includes this amenity to ensure you receive all important documents regardless of global location.
For example, if your business’ home office is based in New York and you want to sign up for a virtual office in the UK, you must ensure the mail is sent to the correct address. Inform the virtual office provider of what address your correspondence should be forwarded to after they receive it.
Check your phone line
As mentioned earlier, creating a local presence is important when expanding your business and having effective communication is part of it. Companies need to answer all phone calls to maintain brand confidence, and luckily a virtual office can do this.
Virtual offices commonly help businesses expand by providing them with professional call-answering services and a local landline number. This is done by a trained receptionist who answers your calls in your business’s name or as instructed by you.
Not only does a local number and receptionist add a layer of professionalism, but it also guarantees you don’t miss any phone calls that can lead to transactional opportunities. The dedicated receptionist enhances customer service by handling inquiries, scheduling appointments, taking messages and forwarding calls to your designated contact numbers.
- Inquire if the virtual office provider supplies a local landline number.
- Inquire if there’s an onsite professionally trained receptionist to answer your business calls.
- Inquire about the extent of what the receptionist can do.
Utilize meeting rooms & coworking spaces
Although virtual offices are rented to eliminate the need for office space, businesses should still consider using a physical workspace when meeting with clients, partners or investors.
Some virtual office providers offer access to technologically equipped meeting rooms and coworking spaces with daily access to in-person work. Having access to a physical workspace is important for
- Leverage the global capabilities of the provider and user their meeting rooms for communicating with clients.
- Some virtual office providers offer generous amount of coworking space usage for free. Check if your provider includes coworking space usage.
Privacy and security
International expansion comes with privacy and security risks, but this can be avoided by using all virtual office services. Use the virtual office address on your website and ‘Google My Business’ for security purposes.
It’s more professional than a home address and eliminates privacy issues of displaying personal information on public databases. The same practice should be applied to contact details, such as your phone number.
Use the local landline number supplied by your virtual office provider instead of a personal number. Personal details should be rarely used on anything publicly visible because it risks privacy and is unprofessional.
Leverage the flexibility
Expanding your business is a significant decision and comes with a risk of failure or losing capital.
Not everyone can risk losing large amounts of capital or commit to an office space with lengthy leases. Leveraging the flexible lease terms and low cost of a virtual office is the most effective way to gauge if expansion is worth it for your business.
The average virtual office terms are on a monthly, half-yearly and yearly basis. Virtual offices are also budget-friendly and can be rented for as low as AU$120 in Australia or USD$99 in America.
- Carefully read the terms and conditions for your lease.
- Experiment in different markets by using a virtual office with flexible lease terms.
- Find a virtual office provider with a minimal setup fee.
Now that we’ve covered all the steps on how to expand your business with a virtual office, you’re ready to undergo the process. Depending on your virtual office provider, the process can be complete in one day and you’re business can be operational in another country instantaneously.