Virtual offices provide small businesses with off-site communication services. This can include answering customer telephone calls, forwarding business mail and other general admin tasks, such as paying invoices and scheduling meetings. In this article we will explain five ways your small business could benefit from having its own virtual office.
If you have recently started your company or run your business from home, a virtual office can help enhance your professionalism. Having a virtual receptionist answer your calls will suggest to your customers that you have a dedicated team behind you, making your company appear much larger than it actually is. A virtual office can also provide you with a business address for you to give out to your customers, rather than your home address. A prestigious business address is an attractive quality that customers look for and will enhance their perception of your company.
2. Increased efficiency
If you are a freelance worker or contractor it can sometimes be very difficult to manage all the different elements of your business by yourself. Many people struggle to get on with important business tasks as they constantly have to take calls from their customers. A virtual office will be able to assign a virtual assistant to your business. They will answer your customers’ calls with your unique business greeting and either put them through to your line, if you are available, or take a message which will be sent to your email or mobile phone. Having someone else to answer your calls will enable you to get on with your work without disturbance.
3. Improved customer Service
If you run your business from home it can be difficult to provide excellent customer service when your children are making lots of noise in the room next to your office. Rather than face looking unprofessional to your customers, why not have a virtual office assistant answer your calls for you? Virtual office assistants will have the necessary skills, training and knowledge to be able to provide your customers with the best customer service possible. Your customers will feel happier knowing that they can leave their message with a person, rather than on a machine and will get a more positive and professional feel from your company.
4. Cost efficient
If you are struggling to take all of your customers’ calls yourself and organise your administration work at the same time, it may be tempting to hire a full time receptionist. The problem is that this is not feasible for many small businesses in terms of costs. Rather than having to pay a full time receptionist’s wage, along with entitlements like holiday and sick pay, why not outsource your work to a virtual office? It will work out much more cost efficient as you will pay an affordable fixed monthly rate for the services you receive.
Many people that run their businesses from their homes are reluctant to give out their personal addresses and telephone numbers to their customers. Not only can it seem like an invasion of privacy, but it can also look unprofessional. When you sign up for the services of a virtual office you will be able to use their business address and will be given a hosted telephone number.
Your customers can then send any letters and packages to the business address and it will be forwarded by your virtual office assistants to your home address. When they call your hosted phone number they will be greeted by your virtual receptionist, who can then put them through to your home phone line, if you are available to take their call. So for example you could have a prestigious virtual office in London without actually having offices there.
By outsourcing your work to a virtual office, you will receive all of the benefits of having a dedicated team behind you, without having to employ them in-house. Not only will it benefit your business in terms of cost, but it will also help to increase efficiency, whilst making your business look more professional to potential customers.
[author ]By Megan Hunt, a regular writer on business and technology related topics.[/author]