Virtual Office: Mail Service Only or Full-Fledged Service?

If you find yourself reading this, it’s likely you’ve been considering renting a virtual office for a while. Making the move to a virtual office is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, just as you wouldn’t rent the first physical office your Realtor shows you. For all intents and purposes, the virtual facility you rent will be listed on your website, marketing materials, and government business registration profile.

Businesswoman working in a virtual office

Some CEOs rent a virtual office merely to legitimize the business, receive official mail, and have it forwarded from the virtual location to their actual location. However, that’s not all a virtual office service can offer. The vast majority of reputable providers out there offer full-fledged office services such as 24-hour: reception, call center (technical and sales), call forwarding, virtual assistants, and mail forwarding services.

Whether you just need the address, a full-fledged service, or a capable service that offers add-ons that can grow with the business; there’s sure to be a virtual provider out there that offers what you need.

What is a virtual address?

A virtual office is a real-world office you can rent out in order to legitimize a business’s reputation (Ie., mom and dad’s basement doesn’t make for a professional office address for a fledgling business!) Virtual offices are legitimate business offices outfitted with all the amenities and services you’d find in normal office: WiFi, printer, fax, kitchen, desks, chairs, conference and lounge areas, and much more.

They’re available in all major cities and many towns around the world. For instance, Bay Street in Toronto, Wall Street in New York, Square Mile in London, and most other major financial districts all have virtual offices available. However, don’t let these prestigious locations and their price tag intimidate you — virtual offices are available in several lessor-known, low-key areas, too.

Place to receive mail vs. Full-fledged office services

Office mailbox

Get your mail delivered to an official business address

There are a few options when it comes to finding an address to receive official mail at. As mentioned, doing this will legitimize the business over listing a residential address as your place of business. People sending you mail will never know you don’t spend much time there. After all, who’d rent an office they never use?

Virtual offices will include a search-able street address. Best, you’ll get a suite number where your business is officially “located” inside the building. You can use such a service for receiving mail — picking it up yourself or having it forwarded to your preferred location. USPS, UPS, Mailboxes Etc., and others also offer mail-forwarding, but tend to run on the pricey side for such a simple service. They also don’t offer office services like reception that can help your business grow.

Meeting with a client in a virtual office

Full-fledged virtual office service

A virtual office can also be used to route your phone calls through a virtual receptionist. They can take calls on your behalf, or act as a call-forwarding intermediary to convey more of a professional feel to callers. They’re also indispensable in helping with increased call volumes during business hours, and taking calls when you’re out of the office.

This is priceless when it comes to international business and online sales, as the business never has to let calls go to voicemail. Best, virtual office addresses allow you limited access (typically 3 to 10 days monthly) to the office to visit, conduct business meetings, and otherwise make use of the facilities as needed. A certain amount of access will be included in your monthly rental fees, whereas you’re also allowed to rent additional use at a reasonable fee, as needed.

Finally, when you choose a reputable virtual service provider, they’ll be able to offer access to other virtual services such as call center staff, virtual assistants of all kinds, and managed software solutions that include cloud-based virtual phone queue technology, collaboration software, CRMs, and many other essential software.

Save money

Save big money!

Cost-wise, there’s no comparing the savings of a mail-only or full-fledged virtual office over that of renting a physical office you’ll rarely use, or simply just don’t have the budget to justify. It doesn’t make any sense to rent an office simply to receive your mail at. A post office box is an option, but will often ruin a customer’s perception of your business and how trustworthy it is.

The best thing about renting a virtual office is that you’re in complete control at all times. If you need to make the switch from mail-only to a full-fledged service, changes can be made easily. Companies specializing in virtual services don’t need to worry about recruitment, phone answering, or other issues that face growing business owners running a physical office space. They already have the employees and infrastructure in place. Often, they can deploy requested changes in less than 48 hours.

Do you currently, or have you ever used a virtual mail or full-fledged virtual office service?

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