For most small businesses, watching the monthly finances is a crucial part of staying afloat. Oftentimes, one of the largest expenses that a new company will face each month is the rent on their office lease. If you are operating a small business, it may pay off to examine the other options out there as opposed to leasing traditional space. Today, one of the most popular options for some small businesses is renting a virtual office.
Saving Money by Renting a Virtual Office
A virtual office is a service which provides you most of the benefits of a traditional office, just generally without the dedicated office space. These business centers are located in major cities all over the globe, and you don’t even need to live in the same country to have your business presence in one. These offices can provide your company with a number of different services such as:
- Receptionists to handle incoming phone calls
- Advanced phone and messaging systems
- Receiving and scanning or forwarding of mail and packages for your business
- Office space that can be rented for working or meetings if needed
In addition to providing the services that you would expect from a traditional office, these virtual offices can save your business significant amounts of money as they are normally priced much less than dedicated office space.
The savings does not stop at the business level. Employees, as well as yourself, can also save significant amounts of time and travel expenses on the normal travel to and from the office.
How Technology Makes This a Reality
Thanks to advancements in technology over the past few years, it is now fully possible for many different types of businesses to be run through a virtual office. The widespread accessibility of high-speed internet and a number of commercial programs allow working collaboratively from different locations feasible. A couple of the most important pieces of software include:
- WebEx – WebEx is a subsidiary of Cisco which provides online meeting and conference services. This can allow coworkers to meet with each other from any location, whether by chat, audio or full videoconferencing.
- GoToMyPC – GoToMyPC gives your employees the ability to access a central company computer from anywhere via the internet. This acclaimed software allows employees to securely access needed files from wherever they are, helping reduce the overall amount of office space needed.
Words of Caution
While a virtual office is an ideal choice for many different types of businesses, it is not the best fit for everyone. A few of the questions you can ask yourself to determine if a virtual office may be feasible choice are:
- Do I need space to meet with clients or suppliers regularly?
- Is it difficult my employees to stay on focus and productive away from a central office location?
- Will the lack of direct interaction between my employees lead to a decrease in productivity?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your business type may be better suited for traditional office space. For those who still feel like they can operate independently of a normal office setting, virtual offices can prove to be a very valuable option.
If you’re looking for ways to save your small business money, don’t pass by virtual offices without giving them consideration. Not only can they save you cash each month, but in many situations they can allow for more flexibility in the operations of your company. While they may not be for everyone, renting a virtual office can be one of the wisest decisions a small business can make to help its cash flow.
About the Author
Stefan Loewer is a business consultant and writes for pbcenters.com, a leading provider of any kind of office space.