What is a Virtual Office?
Permanent office space in New York City can be prohibitively expensive. The same is true in just about every other metropolitan business center. Fortunately for small businesses and startups, there are options. One such option is a virtual office.
What is a virtual office? The Business Dictionary defines virtual office space as a “mobile or remote work-environment equipped with telecommunication links and basic office furniture, but without a fixed office space.”
In short, a virtual office is one with functionality that exists only in cyberspace. It is an office in which communication, workflow, business meetings, and all other functions are facilitated through electronic and digital means.
Virtual Office Amenities
As succinct as the Business Dictionary definition is, there is more to virtual office space than might be readily observed. In other words, there has to be more to it than just a mobile or remote work environment. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth paying for. That’s where the valuable virtual office amenities come in.
Good virtual office plans include:
- Physical business address
- Proprietary phone number answered in the name of the business
- Around the clock, state-of-the-art voicemail
- Reception area and receptionist
- Mail and fax reception
All of our virtual office packages include these basic amenities. Some packages include extras like use of conference room space and occasional private office space.
Virtual Office Uses
The types of companies that utilize virtual office space are as varied as the service providers. Many of these businesses are startups and small businesses in the technology, legal, and consulting sectors, and companies whose success depends on having a physical mailing address despite not having the need for a full office suite. Startups can consist of a single individual or an entrepreneur with a team of employees.
Young attorneys just starting out make good candidates for the virtual office as well. Especially here in Manhattan, attorneys need to stay close to the action at all times. A virtual office fits the bill without requiring an attorney to invest in pricey office space that could seriously hinder growth.
Even contractors in need of 24-hour voicemail and dedicated receptionist services find what they need in virtual office space. They enjoy all the benefits of a fully-staffed, conventional office without the attached price tag.
The Benefits of Virtual Office Space
1. Professional Receptionist
Virtual office space provides a number of benefits entrepreneurs find rather valuable. At the top of the list is a reception area and professional receptionist. Just having the receptionist answer the phone and greet visitors can make a big difference in presenting a professional company image.
2. Mail Handling
Having a physical mailing address and fax handling capabilities is another big draw. Clients can be assured that both their mail and faxes will be handled professionally and safely in a controlled environment.
3. Company Address
One last thing to consider is the actual physical address of the virtual office. An address says something about a company, especially in New York City. Choosing a service provider with a prestigious address can be very helpful for reputation management and branding.
Setting Up a Virtual Office
Setting up a virtual office begins with researching virtual office services. Clients should be researching office addresses, amenities, service provider reputations, package prices, and total value. Suffice it to say that there is no shortage of service providers in New York.
Once a service is chosen, setting up the new virtual office is as easy as submitting the necessary information – either in person or online – and making the first month’s payment. Business owners may elect to visit the physical location to meet reception staff and look over conference room space.
The final step is to establish the communication methods by which the client will interact with staff members and customers. Examples would include virtual meeting software, VoIP software, digital collaboration space, etc.
The Cost of Virtual Office Space
Attempting to come up with an average cost for virtual office space is nearly impossible. There are far too many factors to consider including geography, market prices, the volume of available space, the number of service providers in a given location, and so forth.
There are some virtual office space providers offering prices as low as $99 per month for a physical mailing address and mail handling. But to secure a virtual office in New York, an office that includes all the basic amenities listed above, expect to spend between $200 and $300 per month.
A virtual office is the right solution for entrepreneurs who want the benefits of a physical mailing address and reception services without investing in permanent space. Virtual office space is inexpensive, efficient, and very helpful in putting their best foot forward.