Virtual Office (VO)
A virtual office or V.O. is typically a managed telephone answering or email response service that receives and routes telephone or email messages on behalf of a small business and may provide some initial scripted response to a query. The business that uses this service typically does not have fixed office premises or employ regular reception or customer contact staff - and so the V.O. provides a means of receiving and passing on calls and messages when not available to deal with a customer inquiry. The prime objective of the V.O. is to assure that customer contact is captured and able to be followed up by whomever the call is relevant or important to.
Among the reasons why some of the business people choose Virtual Office (VO) are:
- Save Operation Cost
- Free to work anywhere - No traffic Jam, No ‘9 - 5’ working hours
- Low Starting cost
- Good Cooperate Image because they operate like a proper setup office/company
Six Steps on How to Establish a Virtual Office
You need to plan systematically in order to establish a virtual office (VO) in a successful manner. Below is the step by step approach to guide you to establish a VO.
Identify the country or city you want to locate your new business or expand your existing business. You should have a proper plan and decision on which location you would like to penetrate after having a detailed research on the potentials of different locations. It is possible for you to set up offices in a few locations in the world at the same time with the concept of VO to meet the global needs.
After deciding the right location, it is time for you to look for international or local VO service providers. You may get more detailed information through online earching, word of mouth, advertisement, brochures, etc. You need to “rent” their business address as you own.
You should consult the customer service officers or the consultants to find out more about the service providers. Do comparison on the aspects of their services, location, rates, facilities, flexibility and reputation. It is important for you to select a reliable and trustworthy service provider for the good sake of your business operation.
Select the suitable package which offers you the facilities and professional services that suit your business most. There is a wide range of drop in services provided such as call handling, fax forwarding, emailing, document archiving, scanning documents and so on. Besides, the facilities provided include hot desks, meeting rooms, lounge, wireless broadband, LCD projectors, etc. Most of the VO providers have different packages and different rates for different features. Make sure the package you select is cost effective and you are able to enhance your professional image as well.
Once you have decided which service provider you prefer, you can proceed to sign the agreement with them for a certain period of duration. You are reminded to read the terms and conditions carefully in order to make sure your rights are protected. In usual circumstances, the period of leasing is about 6 months. However, it can be as short as 3 months to suit your business nature.
After the agreement is signed, you can put the VO address as your business address in your name cards, letterheads, rubber stamps, envelopes, mailings, greeting cards, etc. In another words, you can start your business operation right after you sign the agreement. You are able to use this address for official documentations, to open bank account and to apply for government grants. If you are using their call handling and fax forwarding services, you can also provide the contact number and fax number for your clients or suppliers in order for them to get in touch with you easily no matter where you are.
You can start utilizing the facilities and professional services provided by the VO provider. Fully utilize them to get optimum result in your business.
In conclusion, establishing a virtual office is indeed simple and it helps to save a lot of your time searching for office space.