I am assuming that you are reading this convinced of why you need a virtual office and how a virtual office can help you. If you need some convincing why virtual office is suitable for you, you probably need to read my earlier blog. But this blog is to give you some insights from an insider’s point of view on what to look out for when choosing a virtual office suitable for you or your business.
Here are a few tips that will be helpful for you to choose the right virtual office for your business.
1. Understanding your business needs.
Different virtual office provider will have different emphasis. Some emphasize on the prestige of their address, some on the professionalism of their receptionist, call answering service or meeting rooms. If you have the business needs of regular usage of meeting rooms and meeting facilities, you should obviously pick one that can cater to your meeting needs.
2. It’s all about the address.
Every address has its image and reputation, just like any other brand. An address is like a brand. Generally you want to avoid an address with a bad reputation, like crime or illegal activities. It may be just a virtual office address we talking about, but it still matter if the address location is full of failed businesses. A prestigious, prime and robust commercial address is basically the ideal choice. An easy reference is to compare against the location’s commercial rental and property sales value. The higher the property price of the location, usually the more prestige or prime the virtual office address.
3. Location, location, location
Virtual office may not be an office that you go to work, but it does matter how convenient it is for you to access to pick up your mails or have meetings. Are there many roads leading to the virtual office location? How’s the traffic condition during peak and non-peak hours?
4. Parking facilities
Do you need to waste a lot of time looking for parking and pay a hefty amount for the parking fee each time when you stop by at the virtual office to pick up your mails?
5. Who are the neighbors?
This certainly helps with the prestige image of the virtual office address, if many other successful and big brands or multinational companies are in the same commercial building or block or district.
6. Look out for hidden cost and additional charges.
This is one of the most crucial factors while choosing the right virtual office provider. Many may seem cheaper based on the published rate, but you may end up paying more at the end of the year. For example, many may offer free fax number, but charge you by per page received. Others may offer you meeting rooms, but the hourly room rates may be more expensive than a 5-star hotel.
Some virtual office providers offer other value-added services, such as dispatch or booking keeping. You may want to know how they charge for those services. Does the virtual office provider charge an additional introduction fee or do they mark-up from the vendor or both? Are they transparent about their charges?
Lastly, other than the tips above, it may be good to know if the virtual office premise is owned or leased by the operator. Can you imagine how troublesome it would be, if someday they decide to move due to some tenancy issue?
Hopefully the above helps. Having a good office address will certainly help you in your business.