Renting permanent physical office space is an expense many self-employed individuals feel they're unable to justify.
In nearly every case, a virtual office will meet all of your needs at a fraction of the expense.
Let's look at those needs in detail so we can tick them off the list.
1. Increase your credibility
We know that people typically make snap judgements, with first impressions being formed within one tenth of a second—whether it's an impression of a person or a website.
When it comes to building brand awareness and attracting customers online, having a prime business address can help ensure sure that a positive impression will be formed.
With our virtual service package, you can list a central London address on your website and business documents—rather than indicating your residential address.
And when someone phones your number, there will be a receptionist to answer enquiries promptly. These seemingly minor elements can help lend credibility to your business.
2. Improve your availability
Solopreneurs face a significant problem compared to their more established counterparts: you're running a one-man show. There are multiple roles and tasks that demand your time and attention, which means you're not always available to answer your calls.
The right virtual office service can help improve your availability. A receptionist will answer your calls promptly and professionally, so you don't need to worry about missing out on important calls or leaving a poor impression on your customers.
3. Access to reliable meeting spaces
Even if you're mainly working from home, there will be instances where it's beneficial to conduct face-to-face client meetings—as opposed to Zoom calls or Google Meets discussions.
There are several key advantages to doing so, as an Inc. article highlights: conversation is more engaging and to-the-point, there's greater clarity, individuals can pick up on each other's non-verbal communication cues, and it's much easier to build relationships.
Here's where a virtual office comes into the picture. Rather than meeting at a crowded cafe, you'll have access to conducive meeting spaces or conference rooms that can be booked by the hour.
4. Grow Your Business Awareness
Solopreneurs and any self-employed professionals rely on cost-effective ways to get the word out about their services. You probably don't have the resources for expensive advertising campaigns. Instead, you rely on tactics that help your business gain awareness without eating into your budget.
That's not a simple task. Fortunately, a virtual office can help. It allows you to leverage search engine optimization (SEO); according to some studies, it's one of the most cost-effective digital marketing tactics available.
A physical office location and local number mean you can leverage local SEO, ranking highly for searches within an area like London.
It doesn't end there. SEO might be cost-effective, but it's also complex for solopreneurs who might not be familiar with the ins and outs of digital marketing. Our virtual office support team can help you in the process of listing your company on online business directories, taking the first important step in building business awareness online.
5. Build your business knowledge
Find the right virtual office location, and you can gain much more than just a physical address and phone answering service.
Ideally, the provider you work with is committed to helping entrepreneurs like you grow their business. That's mutually beneficial: the more your business grows, the more you will need the services of a virtual office. In other words, it's a win-win for all parties involved.
We embrace that concept at Forma. As a result, you can receive unlimited advice from a team of accountants and tax experts that specialise in growing businesses and know all the nuances involved in running a limited liability company.
In other words, with a virtual office package from Forma, you get the office support staff and business resources when you need them.
You won't feel left alone in trying to grow your business while keeping your numbers and records above board.
Creating that business knowledge is vital for any entrepreneur. You're a subject matter expert in your field, which is why you're looking to expand. But that expansion likely requires you to go beyond your comfort zone of knowledge.
A partner who can supply you with the information and advice you need can be invaluable in that situation.
6. Keep your business and home life separate
Don't underestimate the importance of separating home and work life. Going back to the challenges of solopreneurs linked above, that separation (or lack thereof) is one of the major problems that can undo small business owners.
You need to make sure that your private life and business don't intertwine if at all possible.
A virtual office can allow you to accomplish just that.
The separate address allows you to keep your personal address private and away from any public records or sensitive information. The business phone number means that you won't have to contend with business calls at all hours of the day.
Finally, the mailing address also ensures that when you're off the clock and a package arrives, you don't feel the immediate need to open it.
Some of these benefits might seem trite. Add them up, and the benefit becomes significant. It allows you to completely separate your business and home life, working hard as a solopreneur but being able to enjoy the private life with your family or yourself to its fullest.
7. Save long-term costs
Finally, and most importantly, for the majority of solo entrepreneurs nowadays, the cost savings of a virtual office can be significant.
It is important to remember that all of the benefits and features outlined above come at little to no cost. Our plans are competitively priced; for a few hundred pounds per year, you get tax advice, a reliable phone number to use, a local address, and more for your business.
Put that in perspective, and the benefit becomes obvious. Imagine the office space you'd have to rent in central London to get similar benefits; the rental costs alone could eat up a sizable chunk of your profits.
With the solution that we offer, by contrast, the cost is just a minor budget expense that will more than pay for itself through convenience, credibility, and increased awareness.
8. [Bonus] Maximise your opportunities as a solopreneur
Running your own business is not easy. You don't have the support that your larger competitors can likely rely on.
But that doesn't mean you have to be entirely on your own. A number of services can help you optimise your productivity, minimise your challenges, and grow your business opportunities over time.
A virtual office should be chief among these opportunities. Its ability to build credibility, awareness and even business knowledge bundles several services that every business owner can benefit from. Find the right partner, and you begin to level the playing field with your competition.
Of course, you still have to find that right partner. That's where we come in. Our virtual office services are tailor-made for solopreneurs who need that extra bit of help to let their talent and skill shine.