Are Virtual Offices the Next Business Process Revolution?
Cloud computing is one of those phrases that we have quickly become accustomed to hearing, and these off-site services have become a crucial element for many businesses, no matter what their size or business sector. Likewise, virtual solutions, such as our Complete Virtual Office service, or Virtual Personal Assistants etc. are another aspect of remotely based, off-site services that are commonly used by business owners in a variety of different ways. But there can be some confusion between cloud computing and virtual services.
Part of this is because both concepts are still considered pretty new to the business scene. While company owners are quickly embracing the benefits of both options, the definition is still subject to variation for those unfamiliar with how they work. For example, businesses that have remote teams of employees use the cloud to collaborate together on projects and to keep up with progress while away from the main office. Virtual offices are starting to play a major role in many modern business models where a central or main office or hub isn’t convenient or even necessary. So, is the virtual office the next business process revolution for your business? Lets take a closer look….
What are virtual offices?
A virtual office is just what it sounds like – a facility that you can use as an office for your business without the physical location actually being needed. There is a real and very physical location in many of these services, including ours, but the physical office isn’t associated solely with your business alone – and that means you have no expensive office space to rent, no electricity bill, business insurance or other associated costs that come with running an actual bricks and mortar office of your own.
Virtual offices offer their individual clients a whole range of services that businesses need to function, both internally for physical mail sorting to customer service purposes that professionally handle all incoming business calls. These services can be accessed remotely, often using the cloud.
You can find out more about why it’s a good idea to have a virtual receptionist, especially if you are an entrepreneur or single sole trader, in our article “What Benefits can you get from a Virtual Receptionist” on our blog.
Your Virtual Office service can use the cloud to access relevant information about your company that is stored on a virtual server or cloud server. This allows them to not only learn about your company but become part of your business too, even if they are based in a different region of the country.
Using the cloud
Virtual offices do rely heavily on the cloud, but this isn’t actually as complicated as it may sound. All ‘cloud services’ really mean is that you can access the software needed via the internet rather than having a physical copy of it stored on a dedicated server within your business. This cuts down greatly on hardware costs, eases data protection security concerns and makes your information accessible from anywhere in the country – creating the ability to work from home, on the road, or from flexible working spaces.
Virtual offices make heavy use of cloud technology because their location and that of their client becomes much less important than it used to be in years gone past. Virtual offices are not location based and their connection to their client is virtual, through the cloud.
Benefits of virtual offices
We’ve already mentioned a couple of important points as to the benefits of virtual offices but let’s lay them out clearly so that you can see if using one is something that would really help your business to grow and become more successful.
For starters, you don’t pay office rent on a virtual office, you don’t have to pay business rates, electricity bills or even have to pay for a business premises in any way. Because Virtual Offices offer you everything from receptionist services and email management to call handling and mail sorting, you can work from your home office or spare bedroom, but still seem as if you have an efficient, fully staffed and professional office at your disposal – because in reality – you do!
It doesn’t matter if you are a sole-trader, an entrepreneur, a two-person partnership, or a small, medium or large company, any size business can benefit from setting up a virtual office partnership. However, smaller businesses and entrepreneurs are the ones that see the biggest difference. It costs a lot to employ someone as a receptionist, even part-time, or to have someone in your premises who handles phone calls and mail. By outsourcing this to a virtual office, you save on that wage and don’t have to cater for extra provisions such as holiday entitlement, or have pension contributions to handle.
With Your Virtual Office services, you can also tailor the services to perfectly suit your needs – there’s no set amount of services you need to take. Maybe you need call handling for the next three months during a big launch. Or you are moving into premises in six months but need mail handling and call forwarding during that time. You may only need one or two services rather than a complete package. You can simply take what you need and for the duration you require it.
Starting with a virtual office
It is surprisingly simple to start with a virtual office service. You can simply pick the service you want online and activate it, or if you are unsure about exactly what you need, you can contact us for a friendly chat and we can offer our expert help to ensure you get a bespoke package tailor made to suit your needs. You will quickly be enjoying the benefits that a professional virtual office can bring to your company!