June 13, 2012 | 3 minutes

How to Figure Out What You Need from a Virtual Office

virtual office space
It could be frustrating, but take the time to shop around when looking for a new virtual office space.

Virtual offices can come in many shapes and sizes, and in a variety of different packages, price ranges, and offerings. It turns out that many tenants sign a lease before taking the time to figure out what they need from a virtual office, or any office space. Signing on the first great space you come across may be smart if you’ve already done your homework and figured out what you need, but if you haven’t, then you could end up wasting the time and money of both your business and the landlord. Here’s how to figure out what you need from a virtual office before choosing a solution and signing the papers:

  1. Take a Look at Your Current Situation – Obviously, if you’re looking for a virtual office or a new office space, there’s something wrong with the current space you are in. Think about what exactly is working and what isn’t working, as this will help you to determine what you would like, and need, in the new office space.
  2. Determine Your Goal – Why are you looking for a virtual office or a new office space? Do you need to cut costs? Do you need something bigger or smaller? Do you need something in a different location? Do you need to move out of your home office? Whatever the case may be, having a goal in mind will help you to find a virtual office solution that meets your goal.
  3. Determine Your Budget – What would like to spend per month on your new office space? Having this number will help you figure out which parts of town are within your budget, what amenities you’ll be able to get within budget, and what’s a good deal. Having this number will also make it easier to pinpoint scams or ripoffs, as you’ll know what you should be getting for $12 a square foot, versus taking the first place at that price and presuming that’s what every space goes for and that’s what every space at that price comes with.
  4. How Much Time Do You Have? – If you’re a solopreneur or a startup, it might not take a long time to find the place you want and move right in. But, if you’re a bit larger, need something really specific, or want a particular building or office space, then it might take a lot longer before you’re able to move in. Figuring out how quickly you’d like to move, and considering how long it might take to make the move or to find an office space, will come in handy when working with virtual office companies and property owners.

Overall, finding the right virtual office doesn’t happen overnight. You need to take time to look at what’s available, think about what you want and need, and to find out how long it would take to make the move and to get settled in the new office space. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get it done too quickly or to take the first space you see without doing any homework! You not end up much better than from where you started.

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