Maintaining a professional image if you work from home can be tricky. Your mailing address may clearly be a residential address and your best option for the location of a client meeting may be your local coffee shop.
Traditionally, options to solve this included having a PO box to keep contact with your business separate from your home address, but PO boxes can have negative connotations. A separate mobile phone for business use means you can answer it professionally and other people in your home won’t answer business calls, but a downside is that it doesn’t always look as professional as a landline number. Email addresses and online communications go some way to creating a professional image, but still lack a number of key factors.
Twenty years ago virtual offices were practically unheard of. However, changes in technology and communication methods have meant that virtual offices provide a very real offering and an extremely useful service for companies that fall into the gap between working from home and requiring an office.
Virtual offices can create a professional image for small businesses that work from home, but at a fraction of the cost of running your own traditional office. They are also ideal as a base for those that travel, but want to be able to receive deliveries and calls, as well as checking into their office whilst on the move.
Virtual office services vary slightly but typically include a telephone answering service, professional mailing address and access to meeting rooms that can be hired, often at discounted rates. These provide the appearance of a professional office to clients, as well as keeping clients and deliveries separate from home life. Some virtual office providers offer additional services including networking opportunities or the opportunity to use a workspace occasionally when you want to be away from the distractions of home life.
If you’re ready to move your home based business to the next stage or just want to give your business image an upgrade, then it is worthwhile considering a virtual office.
Jen Blue writes for Evans Easyspace, providers of office space, workshops and virtual offices.