A virtual office service provides a legal business address and coworking space facilities to other businesses. It is a service that takes responsibility for handling the office workload of many other businesses simultaneously. If you are planning to establish such a company then understand that your vigilance and professionalism will be affecting other companies.
This is a lot to take on, so be very sure that you are ready for it. There is nothing that cannot be achieved with proper planning. This concept is gaining popularity rapidly because of the ease of business it provides. This is a cut-throat competitive industry, make sure you are properly armed before charging the battlefield.
There are a lot of important issues you need to handle like: legal issues, renting a proper place, hiring vigilant staff, equipping your physical space with state-of-the-art office equipment, and decorating it as per the latest office interior designs, to name a few. The reason for listing all this is not to scare you off but to get you better prepared for the challenge.
The bright side of things is that starting a virtual office business is doable and affordable. Let us dig deeper into the elements that we need to start an immaculate service provider business.
Starting your virtual office business? These are things you need to do:
Business plan and feasibility:
Like every business, you need to have a proper road map in your hand. What do you want to achieve? What do you need to do? How much money do you have? How to market it? Etc.
A virtual office business is heavy on office management. You need to have a good understanding and experience in this area. If not, you need to hire the staff that does. Your main focus should be on marketing it to the right audience by understanding the demographics of your target market.
Do some marketing research as a part of your business plan and include research about your competitors too, while you are at it. Your feasibility also includes your budget and how you are distributing to many different phases of your business. That is why this initial phase is the most important one in establishing your business.
Make sure it includes the cost of marketing, advertising, and customer acquisition in addition to other costs. Other costs included in financial analysis and feasibility are the infrastructure, equipment, real estate, and HR.
Decide on the business structure you want based on your market analysis. If you are planning on opening it on a small scale, go for a sole proprietorship. If however, you want it to be an extensive scaled business with offices in different countries or states, a limited liability company (LLC), or a general partnership.
Next comes the legal license as a service provider, permits, and tax ID, etc. Make sure to cover your legal documents properly and get suitable insurance. Be careful because some people do subscribe to these services for illegal businesses.
Get Services and Solutions:
Find yourself a prime location for your office service. Aim to get it in a business hub or renowned commercial area. If you are targeting a specific niche in your industry, then look for commercial areas about that niche. This will make reaching out to your prospects easier. A good and relatable location means half of your work is already done.
The next thing that you need is a local business phone number to set up an exchange. To complete this setup you will need a receptionist and front desk staff trained in handling calls. They are responsible for mail forwarding for your clients as well. Make sure to hire trained and experienced staff. Don’t even think of giving them on-job training, it can adversely affect your performance. Signup with a reliable mail and courier facility to support your service.
Your office premises is the face of your service. The customers visiting the premises will decide whether to hire you or not based on how well furnished your office is. The interior design and furnishing of your office should be trendy. Make the space to be inspiring, practical, and professional. Meeting and conference rooms should be included as required.
Office space is incomplete without proper office equipment. Copiers, fax machines, conference calling, Wifi, etc. are a must-have in every office. You should design your services as per market demand.
Promote your virtual office business:
The final phase of your business is promotion and marketing. Since it is a virtual service, online marketing and advertisement are more effective than offline. Your business should have a website with a subscription signup form. The packages and pricing should be displayed on your home page with proper call to action buttons and links. All the important information should be mentioned on the website.
Run proper social media campaigns and ads. People looking for such services always look online on different forums and search engines. Use the online platforms and yellow pages, according to what works best in the area you are targeting. You can also use referral marketing as a way for promoting your business.
Google Adword campaigns and Facebook Ads are very effective ways of sales promotion. Sign up for online directories, attend trade shows, and sign up for Google my Business. These are all result-oriented ways of marketing.
The final verdict:
Setting up a virtual office business is no different than any other business. You require a proper plan and feasibility. You need financial analysis and marketing surveys, to decide the direction for setting it up.
Other than that, like other businesses, there is some criterion you have to fulfill. Set up some milestones for yourself to measure your progress. Your business must provide some elements and features to its customers. You have to ensure that they are in place and working.
You will need a prime business location, office interior and furnishings, some office equipment and infrastructure, experienced staff, and telephone services. In addition to all this, there are some legalities to look after. All in all, it is a lot to take in and manage. But, if you do it right, you can enjoy a smoothly operating virtual office rental business.