July 5, 2012 | 4 minutes

How to Make a Virtual Office Space Work for Your Business

virtual office spaceChange is tough, especially for a business. Depending on the change, you might have to close business all together for a short period of time, or coordinate a series of events so the fewest things possible are out of order. A change that can disrupt a business this much is a change in address, where physically moving somewhere else can take up a lot of quality time and energy. Even simply switching the address can be a hassle, as you now need to inform everyone about the change.

If you are an entrepreneur or small business that’s making the transition to a virtual office space, then there will many differences between the virtual office and your old setup, whether it’s a home office or a traditional office. Here are things to consider when making a virtual office space work for your business:

  1. Networking and Camaraderie – This is something that could easily be taken for granted in a traditional office, although someone working in a home office may understand how hard it is to find these things. Depending on your virtual office solution, networking and camaraderie may become easier or harder to come by. If it becomes harder, make sure to put in the effort to network and to get to know some of the other tenants in your space or building.
  2. Client Meetings – One of the big benefits of a virtual office space is the ability to meet clients and potential clients in a professional environment, away from noisy coffee shops and crowded restaurants. With a virtual office space, you could have these meetings in you new office or a conference room, making a good impression about you and your business. Take advantage of this from time to time.
  3. Consider a Live Receptionist – Many virtual office spaces offer a live receptionist who can take phone calls on behalf of your business. This person wouldn’t be an employee, but could be trained to handle customer calls, forward calls to your phone, screen for calls, and even take orders and messages. This could be a huge bonus for a business that receives a lot of calls, and could use the help managing them all without taking away from the core business in any way.
  4. Sign Up for Multiple Locations – One of the great things about virtual office companies is that they have locations all over the country, and may be able to work out allowing you to use their virtual office services in other cities. This is great for those who travel a lot for business, and don’t want to be relegated to doing work in the hotel room or the hotel business center. Multiple locations gives you all the amenities you’re used to at your primary location without a whole lot of additional trouble or expense.
  5. Choose Only the Services that You Need – Virtual offices may offer a lot of choice when it comes to the services and amenities offered, so take the time to think about what you need and what your business would like to get out of the virtual office space. This will make it easier to have the virtual office space work for your business and to meet the needs necessary to allow you and your business to grow and to succeed.

Overall, you will get out of your virtual office space what you put into it, so it’s best not to treat the decision as a small one. Even if you don’t plan to visit your office often or if the business is just you, a virtual office space shouldn’t be thought of as something that’s just there. It can be a real business asset, so treat is as such.

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