What is a virtual office? How APSO is helping small & start-up businesses build success
The world as we know it has changed almost beyond recognition. Technology, particularly the internet, has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives in ways that would have been all but unimaginable just a couple of short decades ago. The electronic revolution is nowhere more evident than in the workplace. The way that we work has evolved and adapted at a staggering rate as the influence of internet connectivity, email, mobile, cloud computing, AI and other technologies have exerted their radical influences.
While the phenomenon of work following you everywhere is a common complaint, there is no question that all these developments have contributed enormously to the level of productivity and efficiency that we can now achieve. We might groan at never being able to escape the ubiquitous email, but being able to get things done while sitting in your lounge helping kids with their homework comes with significant benefits.
The common thread to all these technologies is that each allows you to perform critical tasks without having to be in the office. As a result, remote working and telecommuting are rising at a phenomenal rate in our business culture. I, for one, am writing this blog from my home office using cloud-based document creator and grammar-checking tools while bopping along to streamed music and communicating with my colleagues via a web-based team collaboration tool. The natural extension of all this is the advent of the virtual company; one without a physical office or assets, and in some cases, with few if any direct employees. Thriving companies such as Scopic Software, Basecamp, Mozilla, Clevertech and others have dozens, if not hundreds of employees and millions in revenue are all running predominantly or fully virtual models.
However, this style of business is particularly applicable to small, start-up firms with small budgets and big dreams. Many modern businesses can operate with little more than a laptop, a phone and a wireless connection. In such circumstances, it makes perfect sense to forgo the traditional office setup and opt for something a bit different. In fact, numerous studies have shown many benefits to the remote/virtual working model.
While that’s all wonderful in theory, there comes a time in the development of even the most staunchly virtual of companies when some form of structure becomes necessary. As the stakes grow higher, the need arises to present a more professional and robust front to prospective clients, partners, collaborators and other stakeholders. There is only so far that your Mum’s basement can take you when you need to pitch to investors or receive calls from major customers. This is precisely where the virtual office comes into play. As the name suggests, a virtual office delivers all the amenities, services and benefits that are provided by a traditional office, without being tied down to a physical location. Virtual office solutions providers such as APSO can give your business a professional, polished face while allowing it to continue to operate virtually and at a fraction of the cost of leasing and maintaining regular premises. Let’s look at how it works:
Mum’s basement, 13 Amateur Crt, Suburbia is not an address that is likely to instil great confidence in the heart and minds of those people that matter for your company’s growth. A virtual office will provide your venture with an impressive business address that you can display with pride on your website, business cards or other collateral, without the cost or headaches associated with physically occupying a space.
By the same token, when it’s time to conduct that critical meeting, shooing away the cat from the battered old couch with the stuffing coming out and throwing down a couple of mismatched coasters onto the ancient, coffee-ring stained table might not communicate the kind of image that you wish to portray. A virtual office package will grant you access to professional boardrooms or meeting rooms that you can utilise an allocated number of times per month. With all the facilities you need, you can conduct your meetings with confidence and style.
Communication is the key to business, and virtual receptionist services will ensure that the wheels are well oiled. A dedicated phone line with call answering, forwarding and message taking services will ensure that you never miss a call and those on the other end of the line are presented with a professional front.
When any mail arrives at the address you have proudly emblazoned across your marketing materials; mail forwarding services will get it to you in a timely fashion, so you can respond to urgent business communication promptly and senders need never know that you’re remotely located.
These are just some of the many benefits and features available with a virtual office. For more information on how you can get started with one of APSO’s virtual office offerings, call us today on 1300 211 742.