People working from home are often juggling between family commitments as well as running a business.  Here are some of the services which can be offered by Virtual Offices:

People working from home are often juggling between family commitments as well as running a business.  Some of the services which can be offered by Virtual Offices are the following:

  • Business Address
  • Virtual Telephone numbers
  • Telephone Answering Services
  • Outsourced Administration
  • Book-keeping services

The cost of paying for these services will be a huge deciding factor for new business owners as the temptation is to try to do everything yourself and save on the overheads.  However, I often ask prospective client’s to think about the cost of not outsourcing work which is not your area of expertise.  What is the cost of calls going unanswered?  What is the cost of not issuing your invoices promptly?

With this in mind I have put together a checklist if you are considering using a Virtual Office or Serviced Office but not sure which is best for you.

  • Business Address – Think about your target customers.  If your business is B2B then a business address is vital.  Somewhere close to where you live might be preferable in case you need to call to collect post.
  • Meeting Room – Does the Serviced Office/Virtual Office have a meeting room which you can use for meetings with clients.
  • Virtual Telephone Number – A virtual landline such as 01, 021, 061 can be a great asset in separating your personal calls from your personal calls at home. You can have calls to the virtual landline diverted to your mobile so that you will never miss a call.
  • Telephone Answering Services – Ask for a Free Trial for a week and ask your friends to call you and get feedback.  Ensure the call is answered promptly and professionally.  Check for accuracy and prompt deliver of messages. Check the hours during which calls will be handled – some are open 9-5 while others are 8.30-6.  Ask if the Telephone Answering Company have ISO accreditation.  How many people will be answering your calls? What is their knowledge of your business?  How are new business inquiries handled?
  • Outsourced Administration – Ask for testimonials and speak to existing clients.  Consider putting in a Service Level Agreement to ensure that all your requirements are met within agreed timeframes.
  • Book-keeping Services – Testimonials and a Service Level Agreement are vital to a good working relationship.  Location may also be important as you may need to drop in to the office to drop or collect paperwork.