There are four types of virtual office services: physical office space, mail forwarding, telephone center, and support staff. These options have different costs and it is important to select a virtual office services company with care. These services must be consistently available and provide a high level of service.
Physical office space in a corporate neighborhood is an important first step for a freelance or home based business. Many start-up companies use shared office space to meet with clients, hold interviews for telecommuting positions, and have video conferencing calls. All these items require a professional space with certain level of amenities and services.
Mail forwarding is one of the most popular options from a virtual office services firm. Many businesses are unwilling to deal with businesses operated out of a residential address. Providing an alternate address improves the profile of your firm as a legitimate, viable business. Some firms have locations in several of the world's major cities, such as London, New York and Tokyo. These alternate addresses help solidify your firm as a well-established company.
A professionally managed telephone center ensures that all callers receive a business greeting and an opportunity to speak with an operator. Urgent messages can be forwarded directly to you outside standard business hours. This service can also be used when you are in meetings, traveling or unavailable to receive phone calls.
Support staff can be critical to the success of your new business. Some virtual officer services companies have accountants, lawyers, bookkeepers, and secretaries available as resources. If you require their services, contact them directly to arrange for the needed assistance. Having these resources already pre-selected saves valuable time and effort. Work closely with other members of the virtual office services firm to pool resources and share skills and services.
When selecting this type of firm, it is very important to check references. Speak with at least four current clients and two prior customers. Find out if the services are professional, consistent, and available when needed. Determine what the conflict resolution process is and if there have been any civil court cases against the firm.
Review the contract carefully and sign up for a short-term lease that does not exceed three months. This time period gives you an opportunity to test the services and determine if they meet your needs. It also allows you to find out if virtual offices suit your work, business, and personal style.