How to Get Virtual Office Services
A virtual office service is simply a third party company offering business services to your company but isn't an employee of your business.
These services are similar to what are offered by serviced offices and may include a virtual receptionist, secretary, assistant or simply a physical address you can use that's different from your own business address.
Why Choose Virtual Services in the First Place?
Many startup entrepreneurs, small business owners and sole trading companies use virtual services because they simply don't have the workload to employ a person full time. They also don't need to manage a person directly and all the PAYE hassles and employment law that goes with it.
They can choose to dip into certain services and pay professional companies to undertake the tasks for them knowing that certain key elements of their business operations are taken care of. With these services in place, they can get on with running their business, or the office is still functioning full time if they're off-site for customer meetings.
Telephone answering services are perhaps the most popular because the business phone line gets answered by a real person who knows about the company and can take details for future use. This is much preferred than the call going to an answer phone and delivers a larger company feel.
What Type of Services are Available?
Deciding the type of solutions you require for your business is the first step when thinking of hiring virtual services and there's a whole host to choose from and many companies looking for your business. Here are some of the services available to you:
- Virtual assistant - Someone who can help you with a whole host of administration tasks.
- Telephone answering services - You can forward all of your telephone calls to an outsourcing agency who will answer in your company name and take a message. This message can then be forwarded to you in a number of ways including email and text message to your mobile phone. This is great for small business owners who do not want people contacting them directly and avoid all the harassing telemarketing companies. Many providers offer this virtual phone system and prices are competitive.
- Virtual office space - This is great if you're a sole trader and don't want to put your home address on your website or marketing materials. Many virtual offices have highly desired main city addresses so makes your company feel bigger and more corporate. You can have all your mail forwarded back to your real address, and many virtual offices have meeting spaces as well if you choose to pick up your mail yourself.
- A simple mailbox - Together with a mailing address, your mail will be sent to the mailbox for your collection. You can opt to have your mail forwarded to your main address.
Virtual Services Providers
There are many virtual office services providers in the UK who generally specialise in one area in this market. Here are some companies worth exploring for the right solution for your business:
- Kendellbell answering services - we use Kendellbell for one of our businesses and we highly recommend them. This is a franchise operation with bases around the country so you can match the accent of the operator to where your business is based. They have all types of packages to choose from including inclusive minutes.
- Yourcityoffice offers all types of services from offices to answering services and mail forwarding at all the major UK cities.
- The major player Regus also offers virtual offices in 150 locations around the UK and can also offer phone answering, virtual receptionists and mail collection and forwarding.
As most people are looking for answering services, it may be worth looking at niche suppliers in this industry. As with all business expenses, it's worth comparing a few suppliers first before signing up for any virtual office services for your business operations.