In a post-covid world, where working remotely and ditching the physical office has become something of the norm, many are asking whether using a virtual office for their registered business is the next step.
In our view, using a virtual office is the final piece in the remote working jigsaw.
Why? Well, it removes the need for a costly physical office space for a start – and as we are constantly faced with the increased cost of living, keeping overheads low is a priority.
Furthermore, using a virtual office allows you to maintain professionalism and manage people’s perceptions of your company size because you’re provided with an actual business address, not a residential one.
Of course, there’s more to it than meets the eye. But, if you’re interested in finding out more about using a virtual office for your registered business, read on as we guide you through it.
What is a virtual office service?
A virtual office is basically what it says on the tin. An office which exists virtually. That means you get the office address, the telephone line, and office related services, without the need of having to pay for a physical office.
How does a virtual office service work?
A virtual office service is usually offered by a company which exists to provide a mailing address and registered office location for businesses who don’t have a physical office.
It’s usually a company which owns its own building and offers the address out legally for businesses who want to have a registered address.
You usually pay a small monthly fee to the company and in return, benefit from the use of the address, mail hub and sometimes even a telephone line. You are then legally allowed to register your business at that address with Companies House and across all your socials and website.
Beyond this, some companies even offer professional meeting spaces for virtual office customers – this is mostly provided by coworking spaces who have a virtual office service.
What are the benefits of using a virtual office service?
The biggest benefit, as we’ve already alluded to, is the cost reduction. No more large office overheads. No more large electricity and internet bills. It’s a no brainer.
However, there are also many other lesser-known benefits to using a virtual office service.
Despite remote working becoming the norm, having a physical office address that isn’t residential still holds weight in the business world.
It’s perhaps something which may change over time, but right now, businesses looking to do business with other businesses still perceive those with actual office addresses to be more credible and trustworthy.
It’s a point for debate as to whether this should be the case, but we can’t ignore the fact that it’s a perception many hold. With a virtual office service, you’re given an official business address rather than a residential, but without the cost.
On hand receptionist
When running a business, you already wear multiple hats. Why also take on the role of a receptionist?
Most virtual office services offer call and mail handling. This means, you can focus on other areas of the business with the peace of mind that a professional is answering your calls and dealing with important mail.
It supports SEO
An often-forgotten key advantage of using a virtual office is the address – as the registered address of the business is an ‘SEO geolocation’.
This may seem obscure, and tech nerdy, but it is important. Because many online services still benefit from the ‘near me’ feature in internet search engines. Therefore, this allows prospective clients or business partners to seek out targets based on where they are located.
So, with a virtual office location, a business will appear to be located in a particular address, surrounded in turn, by potential clients. As all forms of business are becoming increasingly digital, the value a well-placed SEO geolocator pin brings should not be overlooked.
Professional meeting space
When meeting new clients, you are unlikely to want to hold a meeting at your home. Yet meeting up at a Starbucks or Pret is not always attractive either. In some virtual office situations, you can access formal meeting spaces, where clients will feel comfortable and relaxed. And it gives you the opportunity to get out of the house into a change of scenery.
Virtual Office Service for Overseas Businesses
Virtual office services are popular amongst business outside of the UK who wish to do business in the UK without purchasing an office.
You see, it’s a legal requirement to have a registered business address in the UK if you wish to do business in the country. This must be displayed on Companies House.
The reason virtual office services are popular therefore, is because foreign businesses can pay for a UK address without having to invest in and open a physical office space.
Shenward Virtual Office Service
When it comes to choosing the right virtual office package for your business, there is much to consider It’s important you understand what services and facilities your company needs to support day-to-day operations. For example, a manned reception desk to handle any administrative tasks, such as signing for mail or answering phone calls.
Here at Shenward, we meet the challenge companies face by offering a unique provision, extending our Company Secretarial Service to offer a virtual office service. This means, in short, offering businesses the opportunity to reduce business costs permanently through a professional virtual office service. It is a clear win-win proposition.
Our virtual office service comprises of a smart and professional UK office address, a local telephone number and a personal receptionist to handle calls and take messages and mail handling. Local telephone numbers with any UK area code and even international can also be arranged.
And, if you are an overseas business looking for further support to remain compliant, you can choose to benefit from a full finance function: this includes a dedicated bookkeeper to take care of the management accounts and tax, as well as a virtual company secretary to ensure the legal requirements of the Companies Act are met. Virtual working may well be the future of work and with a virtual office the future of business could be even brighter.