A virtual office is a service that offers the same resources (workspace, tools, equipment, telephone answering, answer phone, company address,) that a traditional office does — but virtually.
However, before you choose the perfect virtual office service for your company, what does the set up a virtual office itself entail? Here are our top 5 steps to help you in setting up your virtual office.
Step 1: Create your business plan
The first step to setting up any successful business, whether you are setting it up virtually or traditionally is having a business plan. When creating your plan, it is essential to consider your business’ specific needs, as no two companies are the same. Of course, they may have the same concept, but each company will do things a little differently, or have different levels of service… If you look at a 5 Star Michelin restaurant in comparison to McDonalds, they both sell food but the levels of service you will receive at either restaurant is completely different and you could argue that you get what you pay for… But that’s why finding the perfect virtual assistant for you is so important because it is a reflection and extension of your business. V.Office pride ourselves on giving a high level of service and we ensure this with the extensive training given to each of our receptionists, all whilst keeping it cheaper and more affordable for you. Some essential steps to writing a successful business plan would include writing your executive summary which consists of your target market, your business model, marketing and sales strategy, your competition, your budget and financial analysis, staffing and your implementation plan. Once you’ve developed this plan upfront, you’ll be able to determine your resources, and other needs. These are all vital to ensuring the success of your virtual business.
Step 2: Get your domain name and create an email address
A domain name is the hostname used to identify your website on the internet, you don’t even have to do anything with it for the meantime but just having it means that it’s yours! Can you imagine finally choosing that business name that you’ve been deliberating over for the last six months, for someone else to buy the domain first! It’s good for you to know that you can get affordable internet domain registration with pricing from as little as 99p for the year. If you are also using a Hotmail or Gmail account, you should consider changing your email extension to reflect your company’s domain name to give your business a more professional image.
Step 3: Setting up your phone system
With any virtual company it is imperative to have a telephone system in place. Of course, it is the 21st century and some companies opt to use their mobile phones now but having an office landline serves more than just a practical purpose, it also coveys as professional image for your company. Here at V.Office we provide our clients with a unique London telephone number that can be used in correlation with any of our available telephone answering packages.
Step 4: Choosing your business address
Even though you are operating a virtual company, you’ll need a business address to receive your mail and use on your company advertisement and information. You may even require a conference room for client meetings on occasion. So, when choosing your virtual assistant, it is important to choose a location with an address that can cater for all aspects. We have three prestigious address locations available to choose from. Have a look at our packages. Did you know that a registered address is not the same as a business mailing address? To register your company in the UK, this is a process done with Companies House.
Step 5: Have your documentation ready when you choose your virtual office provider
Most virtual office providers will ask for some form of proof of identity for the directors of your company, there will be some paperwork involved initially which is all part in parcel to keep your business protected as well as the virtual office provider’s. If a company didn’t ask for documentation, we would say this is a ‘red flag’ as we here at V.Office have legislative obligations under the London Local Authorities Act 2007, Companies House and HMRC and are required to keep records, which are audited and monitored regularly as a virtual office mailing provider. All clients who use virtual offices and mail forwarding services are required by law to provide a copy of their identification and proof of address accordingly. By complying with the legislation this also reduces the risk of fraudulent companies using the same virtual business address as you. So, in essence have a copy of your ID and a utility bill to hand when you are signing up.