Setting up a small business can be expensive, if you opt for a physical office space then you can end up paying a fortune for rent, office furniture, all of the technology that you need plus all of the deposits and installation costs related to getting your internet connected, phone service connected plus all of those other services that you need to keep your business going. At the end of the day you could be up for several thousand dollars before you even open your doors. Another potential option for small businesses and startups is that you start off with either a virtual or serviced office.
There are many benefits that a serviced office has over a physical office. Firstly, you don’t have to outlay all of that cash up front. With a serviced office you will generally just move in to a functioning office that already has furniture, electricity, internet, shared office equipment and kitchen facilities. Basically, you can mover in to your serviced office and start work on the same day.
Secondly, with a serviced office you can expand or contract to suit the size of your business. If your business grows at a rapid rate then you can swap your office for a bigger one, get yourself more offices or potentially add desks when needed. If your business is in a decline then you can generally scale things back reasonably quickly. Try doing this with a physical office.
Thirdly, with the majority of serviced offices you don’t have to sign a lengthy contract. Unlike a physical office you are not locked in to a multi year lease, with most serviced offices working off significantly shorter time frames.
A virtual office gives you many of the benefits of a
physical office without the sky high cost. You are able to make use of the
address on your website, your business cards and your marketing material. You
can also have your mail delivered to your virtual address and they will either
keep it for you or forward it on to your regular address.
Here are a few more benefits that virtual addresses have
over physical ones;
You are not locked in to working from a specific
location. You can work from wherever suits you best at the time. For instance,
in summer you may want to work from a cafe near the beach whilst in winter you
may head up to the mountains and work from there. A virtual office gives you
The cost is significantly less. You can get
virtual offices from as low as $48 per month. This is just a minor percentage
of what you would end up paying if you were to get yourself a physical office.
With a virtual office you can take your business
national for a very small cost. Imagine having to pay out to have branch
locations in different states. Not only would you be up for the office costs
involved but you would also have to think about local staff. With the right
virtual office supplier you can not only go national but also potentially go
With a virtual office you donâ€™t need to be
locked in to a long term lease or contract. With most suppliers you can simply
go on to a month to month contract. This gives you ultimate flexibility in your
Unless you have a small business or startup that needs to
store a lot of equipment or stock or you attract your customers via a street
frontage you are probably better off starting with a virtual office. If you
have more than 2 or 3 employees and you have trouble managing them remotely
then you are probably best to go for a serviced office.
For a small business that is already established and is
finding itâ€™s level in terms of employees and in terms of revenue levels I would
suggest to opt for a serviced office before jumping in and taking a physical
office. A serviced office can grow with you as you go through those early
growth years and once you are settled at a specific level and you are
relatively certain about the ability to sustain that revenue you can think
about locking in to a physical space.
If you are considering getting a serviced or virtual office then it may be an idea to also get yourself a telephone answering service from someone like Ruby Receptionist. An answering service combined with a serviced or virtual office will give you a cost effective virtual experience.