October 24, 2012 | 4 minutes

Build a Virtual Company with Several Virtual Offices

virtual companyA virtual company is essentially any company or business that has more than one virtual office. Building a virtual company by setting up multiple virtual offices may be a good idea for startups looking to keep costs down, but need to expand in order to accommodate growth. Setting up a virtual company is also a great way to incorporate members of your team strewn across the country by giving each team member a virtual office instead of just having them do their work.

Setting Up the Second Virtual Office

All you really need to create a virtual company is at least two virtual offices. If you already have one for your company, then you’re halfway there. All you need to do is set up the second one in a city in which you’d like to have a presence (if you can do it through the same virtual office company that you set up the first one, then this shouldn’t be a problem.)   If you don’t yet have a virtual office, or have a virtual office solution that doesn’t offer services in other cities, then you would want to get started with a virtual office company that can offer you services in several cities. This way, mail forwarding and phone calls can be coordinated much more easily, and scaling the business is less of a hassle. If you have a prior solution, you don’t need to get rid of it. You could just treat that solution as the headquarters, and have the other offices be as lean as possible.

Why the Virtual Company Model is a Good Idea

Having a virtual company may seem like there would be a lot more to manage than with a traditional office setting, or even tougher to manage since people would be spread out across the country and a bit harder to hold accountable. However, the benefits outweigh the management tangles, of which can be untangled once everyone settles in. These benefits include:

  • Extra Productivity Time – Not only do virtual offices eliminate the commute, which could easily add an hour to every employee’s day, but you and your employees also have additional choice of where and when to work. Some may appreciate being able to work at home in privacy and in their most comfortable clothes. Others may use the virtual office from time to time to get away from distractions at home or distractions typically found in the office space.
  • Reduced Rent (and Headache) – A traditional headquarters or office space can cost thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars a month in rent. On top of that, you might have to pay for utilities, and choose a cleaning crew, and pay for infrastructure such as Internet, phone, printing etc. Even multiple virtual offices would cost a fraction of all that, since many virtual office services offer all that in one flat fee. Not only is it cheaper, but you don’t have to worry about getting the copy machine fixed or putting more paper into the printer or in figuring out who’s going to clean the office if the janitor doesn’t show up.
  • It Looks Cool to Have Several Offices – Having several virtual offices makes your virtual company look bigger than it actually is, which can be great for marketing and for picking up bigger clients. Even better, you can argue that you have the resources of a big company, but can provide the time and attention a small company can. Think about it, you can say you have three offices in three separate cities when you only have three people in your company. To a potential customer, that can look like several hundred people, and creates a strong presence. Just make sure you can match the image in your delivery of your goods/services.

A virtual company is still a new concept, but with more and more businesses opting for virtual offices these businesses still need a model for growth and in maintaining a lean enterprise. Perhaps a virtual company is that solution. It’s not that hard to get a virtual office started. Once you get started, a virtual company is just the next logical step.

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