The world of work is changing. More and more people are choosing to work remotely, taking advantage of the flexibility and benefits of powering through their to-do list from home.
But while many people no longer need a physical office space, they still need the professional business address and reliable brand that an impressive office in a renowned business hub offers. And that’s where a virtual office comes in – a modern solution to hybrid working in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.
With so many options out there for cheap virtual office space, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. This is your comprehensive guide to finding the best virtual office for your business, including how they work, how much they cost, and the advantages and disadvantages of getting a virtual office for your business.
What is a virtual office?
A virtual office is a flexible and cost-effective solution that allows entrepreneurs to establish a professional business presence without the need for a physical office space. It’s designed for entrepreneurs who want the benefits of a prestigious business address without the associated costs and commitments of paying rent in a renowned business hub.
But what’s the meaning of a virtual office? Here’s an example of how it works.
When you sign up for our virtual office programme, you can use our professional address in London’s bustling Brixton Village as your registered company address. So when you register your business with Companies House, you’ll use our address instead of your own. That means that when people look your business up, that’s what they’ll see – SW9 8LA, a postcode in the heart of a renowned hub for small businesses.
This is a really strategic move that can boost your company’s reputation and open doors to new opportunities. It’s also a great alternative to using your home address to register your business, which is super helpful for protecting your privacy. You can hustle at home, while outwardly giving your business a really professional image.
What are the core components of a virtual office?
When looking for a virtual office space, you’ll soon discover that different virtual office providers offer different services and benefits. In general, though, there are three core components of a virtual office.
1. Physical Address Services
One of the key benefits of a virtual office is that it comes with mail handling. You get a professional postcode when you sign up for a virtual office, meaning that all of your mail will be delivered to your provider. Most virtual office providers then offer a range of options for how they deliver your post to you. They might forward it directly to your home address, or they might provide a mail scanning service.
Impact Brixton opts for mail scanning as this is a super efficient option. It means that your mail is opened, scanned and emailed to you on the day that it’s received, before being safely and securely destroyed. So there’s no delay in you reading any important pieces of post!
2. Communication Services
Many virtual office providers can also help you with a range of communication services. For example, some virtual offices provide businesses with a professional phone number that can be answered from anywhere. This is a great way to separate your work life from your personal life, as you don’t have to use your personal phone for business calls. It also means that you can give your clients a professional business phone number, rather than a mobile number.
3. Virtual Employees
Not only can a virtual office offer you fantastic physical address services and communication services, but they can also expand your business with a number of virtual employees.
For example, you might be able to get a virtual receptionist. They’ll handle incoming calls, take messages, and provide a professional voice for your business. They can also schedule appointments and manage your call forwarding. This is great for giving your business a professional image, building trust in your brand.
A virtual office may offer virtual assistants who can help with administrative tasks like email management, appointment scheduling, data entry, and research. They can free up your time to focus on more critical aspects of your business.
Some virtual offices even have partnerships with legal and accounting firms, offering access to professional services like legal advice, bookkeeping, or tax assistance. It’s super useful!
What are the advantages of a virtual office?
There are many benefits of virtual offices, meaning that they can help you manage your business quickly and efficiently. Here are the top five advantages of taking out a virtual office for your business.
1. Significant Cost Savings
One of the main advantages of a virtual office is cost savings. You can establish a professional business presence with a prestigious address in a desirable location without the high expenses associated with renting physical office space. This includes savings on rent, utilities, maintenance, and office equipment. So if you’re looking for a cheap virtual address, a virtual office is the way to go. It’s the perfect way to boost your brand without spending valuable cash in the early days of building your business.
2. Professional Image for Your Business
What are virtual offices great for? Giving your business a professional image. As well as an impressive postcode in a renowned business hub, a virtual office can give your business a professional phone number and a virtual assistant to answer your calls. This is a great way to build the impression that your company is big, credible and reliable. It’s a fantastic way to gain trust in your brand – especially if you’re running your business from home.
3. Ultimate Flexibility
The great thing about virtual offices is that they offer flexibility for businesses of all sizes. You can scale your services up or down as needed, without any long-term commitments to rent or bills. You can also conduct your business affairs completely remotely, allowing you to choose your working hours and build a team of workers from all over the world. A virtual office gives you the freedom to adapt to changing business requirements and market conditions.
4. Perfect for Remote Working
In an era where more and more people are choosing to work remotely for the flexibility and freedom it allows, virtual offices provide the infrastructure for remote teams to work effectively. Services like mail handling, call forwarding, and video conferencing ensure that your team can collaborate from anywhere. This means that you tap into the global talent pool, hiring employees from all over the world. It’s the perfect way to ensure that your team is diverse and highly-skilled.
5. Access to Meeting Rooms, Coworking Space and More
Alongside their range of mail handling and virtual address services, virtual office providers such as Impact Brixton also provide access to their physical offices. You can hire a meeting room when you’ve got an important client to shmooze, choose to hotdesk when you’re sick of working from home, and attend tons of networking events to build your contacts. It’s the ideal way to build your business without any of the associated costs of renting a full-time physical office space. It’s the best of both worlds!
What are the disadvantages of a virtual office?
While many entrepreneurs find that a virtual office is the perfect solution to building their business, there are ultimately some disadvantages. Here are three pitfalls to look out for when choosing a virtual office space.
1. Lack of Team Cohesion
It’s really easy to build a cohesive and cooperative team when you’re working alongside each other in a physical office space every day. The lack of a physical presence can hinder spontaneous brainstorming sessions and casual interactions that often lead to creative solutions.
However, there are ways to combat this issue. Consider choosing a virtual office provider that also includes access to a physical coworking space, like Impact Brixton. That way you can bring your team together once every few weeks to keep up that face-to-face, in-person interaction. It’s a great way to build team cohesion while also keeping your costs down.
2. Privacy and Security Concerns
It’s a really good idea to read the Google Reviews for virtual office providers as part of your research, as you need to be confident that the provider you choose can handle your mail safely and securely.
The decentralised nature of virtual offices can make it challenging to manage and secure all data, increasing the vulnerability to cyber attacks. Some virtual office providers use a cloud storage system to handle their clients’ mail. This usually means that they scan and upload the mail they receive to a server where their clients can then view and download it. This does leave your personal information open to data breaches, though these are rare.
3. Dependence on Technology
Inevitably, and like all forms of remote working, virtual offices rely heavily on technology. This includes internet connectivity, communication platforms, and cloud services. Technical issues, such as internet outages or software glitches, can disrupt work and communication. If you’re worried about this, consider choosing a virtual office provider like Impact Brixton, which also offers a physical coworking space. That way, if your internet connection goes down, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your working day!
How to Choose a Virtual Office Provider
There are tons of different options available. Here are some key things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a virtual office provider. And if you need some more ideas, you can find our comprehensive guide to choosing a virtual office provider here!
1. Budget Considerations
The cost of a virtual office can vary depending on the services offered. If you’re looking for a virtual office that’s cheap but reliable, it’s worth making a list of the services you absolutely need. If you’re not yet at the point where you’re receiving lots of telephone enquiries, you probably don’t need a virtual assistant to answer your calls. When they’re first starting out, most entrepreneurs just need a professional address for their company while they do all of the hard work at home. So start small, and consider choosing a provider that will allow you to grow.
And if you’re looking for a cheap virtual office in London, check out Impact Brixton! Our prices start at just 0.41p per day. And if you use the discount code IMPACT30, you’ll get your first month free of any of our virtual office packages!
2. Location and Address Prestige
One of the key benefits of using a virtual office is that you can get a professional address in a renowned business hub for a fraction of the price of renting a physical office space. So when you’re looking for a virtual office provider, make sure you choose one in a prestigious or strategic area that aligns with your business needs and goals. It’s a great way to enhance your business’s reputation.
3. Additional Services
Alongside a professional registered address for your business, virtual office providers often offer a range of additional services. These can include a virtual receptionist to handle your incoming calls, take messages, and provide a professional voice for your business; and a virtual assistant, who can help with administrative tasks like email management, appointment scheduling, data entry, and research. Not only do these additional employees help to free up your time for more pressing tasks, but they also give your business a professional, credible image.
4. Reviews and Testimonials
There’s no better way to get an accurate picture of a provider’s services than by looking at reviews and testimonials. If their Google reviews are filled with praise for their tip top virtual office services, then you’re onto a winner. If they’re full of entrepreneurs complaining about lost letters and poor communication, you know to steer clear!
What is the future of virtual offices?
According to a report by Global Market Insights, the global virtual office market size is projected to reach $29 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5%. What does that mean? That means that virtual offices aren’t going anywhere.
The good news is that we’re likely to see advanced communication technologies and improvements in cyber security, so the already stellar service provided by a number of virtual office providers is likely to get even better. And as more and more people opt for hybrid working, we could see even more spaces like Impact Brixton pop up, offering access to coworking spaces or creating virtual spaces within physical offices to accommodate remote workers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a virtual address?
A virtual address is a service that provides businesses with a professional mailing address without the need for physical office space. It allows businesses to use the address of a virtual office provider as their own. This address is often in a desirable location, which helps to boost a new business with a credible, professional reputation. Your business address gives a lasting first impression, so it’s important to get it right!
The virtual address provider receives mail and packages on behalf of the business and can forward them as needed, helping to maintain privacy and credibility. And you can use a virtual address to register your business with Companies House, which is often useful for protecting your privacy as it means that you don’t have to use your home address to set up your company. Don’t forget that Companies House is a public resource accessible to anyone. So you might not want to put your home address on there!
Who can use a virtual office?
A virtual office is a versatile solution that can benefit a wide range of individuals and businesses.
Startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs and sole traders can all use a virtual office to get a professional business address, boosting their products and services with a professional, credible reputation.
Virtual office spaces are particularly helpful for companies that operate remotely, especially if they have employees based all over the world. It’s the perfect way to streamline your mail and make big savings on your business overheads.
How does a virtual office save you money?
A virtual office saves you money by eliminating the need for physical office space and associated costs like rent, utilities, maintenance and furnishings. You can get a professional business address in a prestigious business district at a fraction of the cost of renting a physical space.
Certain virtual office packages can also reduce expenses related to hiring full-time receptionists or administrative staff, since some providers offer these services as part of their virtual office packages. It’s a great way to give your business a professional and credible image without spending huge amounts of money. It’s perfect for startups and small businesses!
How do I sign up to a virtual office?
Good question! We’ve put together this handy guide to take you through the process of signing up to a virtual office. Check it out!
In short, here’s what you need to do to sign up to a virtual office. It’s a straightforward process. Research reputable virtual office providers, select a suitable plan that meets your needs, contact the provider through their website or customer service, provide any necessary documentation, agree to terms and conditions, choose your desired services, set up payment, and then start utilising your virtual office services. Each provider may have slight variations in their sign-up process, so make sure you read the small print!
There are tons of benefits to getting a virtual office for your business. A virtual address gives your business a professional address in a prestigious district for a fraction of the cost of renting a physical space in the same location. It also helps to protect your privacy, as it means that you don’t have to give your clients the address for the physical location where you carry out the majority of your business activities. And if you choose a hybrid option like Impact Brixton, it can introduce you to a diverse and exciting community of creatives!
There are tons of virtual office providers out there, so make sure you follow the advice above to choose the package that best suits your needs and your budget. And don’t forget, you can use the discount code IMPACT30 to get your first month free of any Impact Brixton virtual office package!