VIRTUAL OFFICE: SAVING TIME AND MONEY
Is your office rent too expensive? Does your house appear in your businesses Google My Business listing?
Then a Virtual Office is definitely the right answer for you.
You run a business and, at the same time, you live in an era where technology (incl. Social media, facetime, etc) is starting to consume most of your life. And, organizing your time, in a useful way, is becoming a real challenge because you not only need to invest money in your business, but you also need to invest a lot of time. So, how can you maximize the necessary money and time your business requires?
With the new world being forced upon us by COVID-19, the right option might be to get a Virtual Office.
First Up, What is a Virtual Office?
In 1966, Paul Fegen founded Fegen Law Suites. Although most of his space was rented out to fellow lawyers, his space was used to offer the first serviced offices and executive suites. He rented out large blocks of office space to different professionals and leased out furnished and decorated suites. The services that “Fegen Suites” offered included reception services, telephone answering, photocopies, conference rooms, and a law library.
Later, in 1973, Attorney Office Management, Inc. (AOMI, or better known as Fegen Law Suites) offered their tenant an “off-site tenant program” to semi-retired lawyers and those who were in Orange County, and wanted an LA County headquarters.”
It took another 20 years for this concept to get traction, when in 1992 Richard Nissen, founder of Business Space Limited, registered and trademarked “The Virtual Office” with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. Under the list of services for this trademark, the following were included: “telephone and telephone rerouting services; rerouting of telex and facsimile messages; mobile telephone services; mail forwarding; message delivery and sending services.”
Fortunately, these days, the typical Virtual Office package includes telephone numbers, number re-routing, mailing address, temporary office services such as meeting rooms or short-term office rental along with mail forwarding and scanning services, etc. Which is proving to be increasingly popular with entrepreneurs, start-ups, freelancers, and small businesses alike.
Because, unlike a traditional office, a Virtual Office comes with obvious and undeniable advantages like: flexibility in contract lengths, no set-up fees, fewer to no office expenses, a more appealing and professional place to meet with clients, and more.
A concept, not very well known but extremely practical, for anyone who wants their business to have a perception larger than it currently is or to be smart around cost management.
Can Virtual Offices Really Save Time and Boost Productivity?
Imagine what it means to rent a traditional office space? Where you put down a bond, pay-upfront, put up walls, purchase furniture and have to commute to “work” every day, from 9-5pm.
Sometimes you need to head into the office to meet clients, but most of the time you are there to do work, meet the team, or send emails.
- Is this an unnecessary cost that you, as a business owner, have to support?
- How much value does that expensive traditional office really add to your business?
Imagine being able to cut out one of the highest expenses in your business? Would it allow you to hire another sales representative? Put the money into marketing that generates more leads? Or even be the catalyst that makes your business profitable?
How profitable could your business be if you cut the lease/rent of your traditional office?
Let’s walk through an example:
You are a start-up and, of course, you need an address and an Australian landline phone number to appeal to those large, profitable clients that will grow your business. You start writing your “Pros” and “Cons” list and begin to realize that the “Cons” outweigh the “Pros” when it comes to a traditional office, because:
- You need to pay a 2-month deposit.
- You sign a lock-in 12 to a 24-month contract.
- There is a cost to set up furniture, monitors, etc
- You need to commute to work there every day.
- If you have employees, they hate the costs to get there
And then I am sure questions arose, such as:
- How can I use and pay for a professional office only when I am looking to sell a customer or workshop with the team?
- How can I have the flexibility and freedom to change providers if I am unhappy, without being locked into lengthy contracts?
- What can I invest this same amount of money into marketing or sales activities?
- How can I make it more profitable for my business?
- Can I find a space that will make a good impression on my clients, but at the same time be financially convenient?
And, the answer to the above questions is: IT IS POSSIBLE! This is the beauty of having a Virtual Office.
- They are extremely affordable ( with some, like B2B HQ, being just over two dollars a day )
- No more spending an hour stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic every day
- You get your own business address – separate from your home address – which significantly improves your client’s perception of you and will help you close more sales
- There are no long-term commitments – eg, it can be a month to month agreement, so you can cancel anytime
- Meetings rooms are available 24/7, not just between working hours – meet anyone, at any time
- And, there is no branding anywhere, so you can say the entire space is yours if you would like
(I might be biased but many of the above benefits are only available at B2B HQ)
If you add to all these advantages the fact that you can have access 24/7, whenever you want and you have all the tools you would have in a traditional office, you might even start to feel as though you have just won the lottery – okay, no quite… but it probably feels pretty good.
How much money can you save from renting a Virtual Office?
Did you ever think about how many other useful investments that you can make for your business with the money you will save with a Virtual Office?
Traditional office lease rents are usually advertised as a dollar-per-square-meter figure. This can be advertised per annum or per month and is typically exclusive of GST. For example, say a 50sqm office is advertised at $65 per square meter per month. The annual cost to rent (excluding GST), would be: $65 x 50 x 12 = $39,000 +GST (which is an extra 10%). Therefore, the annual rent inclusive of GST would be: $39,000 + $3,900 = $42,900, according to Commercial Real Estate.
It is obvious that renting a traditional office, in a decent area of Melbourne, requires a considerable amount of money.
On the other hand, a Virtual Office is approximately $50/month and a ‘cost per use’ agreement on the meeting room hire. Making a simple calculation, it results in about two dollars a day – less than the coffee you purchase every morning.
So, with the price being less than your daily coffee, you can effectively have a business address and Australian Landline phone Number that you can meet clients at.
An office that not only looks remarkably professional but can also provide your business with mail forwarding, an Australian Landline phone number, telephone re-routing, sorting of mail, and meeting rooms. A lot of facilities that in a traditional office would generate an insane amount of additional costs.
This is not to mention that you and your team are able to work where you would like and no need to fight the early morning traffic commute. And if one of your clients sets a meeting with you at 7 pm, you can schedule that meeting without any problem, because you have 24/7 access to “your” office.
In summary – A virtual office offers you, in addition to many other advantages, privacy, a professional look in front of clients, efficiency, freedom, safety, and, last but not least, time back in your day for working “on” your business and money, which you can use and reinvest in your business, profitably.