How do I know if a Virtual Office is For Me?

How do I know if a Virtual Office is For Me?

Welcome back to another edition of this fine business blog!  The fact that you’re here, tells me you are a savvy minded individual looking to maximize profits and minimize expenses.  Before I get into the pro’s and con’s of having a virtual office, I want to first make sure we’re all on the same page by briefly explaining what a virtual office is.

A typical business owner is a lone wolf, spending the majority of his/her time plugged into a computer, attached to a phone, and completing paperwork.  All of these things can easily be done in a home office.  However, one of the most vital aspects of business is working with clients.  The best client relation techniques is done face to face.  This is where the home office has limitations as it’s not ideal to invite clients to your home.  

This is where the virtual office comes in as it allows home based business owners to appear as if they work out of a prestigious office complete with large conference rooms and a receptionist.  This allows the business owner to work from home, from a lounge chair on the beach, or really from anywhere.  The virtual office doesn’t mean the office is virtual, it actually means the business owner is virtual as they can work from anywhere.  The virtual office is a physical location where the business owner can utilize the office space when needed, such as meet with clients.  

Okay, now that we have established what a virtual office is, let’s talk about the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Appear as if you are a much larger company than you actually are.
  • Maintain professionalism with a beautiful office space, a commercial address, and a receptionist.
  • Have the freedom to work from wherever you want.
  • Low cost, the cost is very low vs. renting a full time office.  I have seen virtual offices below $100/m.
  • Have an office in any state you do business.  
  • A place to receive your mail.

Cons:  

  • Distractions, at home there are a lot of distractions, studies show most people get more done in an office away from home.
  • Commingling of work and home, it becomes very difficult to leave work at work when you have a home office.
  • Even though the staff at the virtual office is very friendly, you still feel like a guest rather than your personal office.

Overall I think a virtual office is a fantastic idea.  The cons come down to personal habits.  Are you disciplined enough to stay focused working from home (or wherever).  Are you the kind of person that won’t allow work to take over your life.  I have worked from home before and these are pretty serious questions to ask yourself and answer honestly.  If your answer is “no” to either it can cause a lack of productivity or burnout and both can be devastating to your business.     

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