Modern businesses can run almost entirely online, and thrive through the internet business culture.
From e-commerce to freelance programming, it's amazing how many small businesses can thrive without booking a commercial location as a headquarters. It's even possible to have a completely remote team, none of whom have ever seen each other in person.
However, there are some things that you can't do with online platforms and email alone.
Here at Forma, we know know that some aspects of business require a physical location, and many of them are not well-suited to using a home for that purpose. Even if your home is your official HQ, you'd likely rather not share that information with customers or business partners.
The simple addition of a virtual office to your business resources can provide everything you might need from a commercial office-without the hassle or expense of actually relocating your business or renting commercial real estate.
What is a Virtual Office?
Contrary to what it sounds like, a virtual office is not a Virtual Reality (VR) office that you visit using a headset.
Rather, it's an office that offers you everything but a desk with your name on it. A virtual office is a commercial office in a desirable part of town that does all the things an office ought. It answers phones, hosts meetings, and handles mail and packages.
The only difference is that the only people who work in the virtual office are office support staff. Everyone else-including all the businesses and their teams-simply use the office as an address and a shared office resource center.
This is incredibly useful for online businesses who have no need to rent commercial office space.
We're here to help businesses that share the Forma virtual office to save money on commercial rental, and the hassle of actually working in an office. While also providing all the perks of a fully staffed and highly effective office environment.
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What an Online/ Remote Company Needs from a Physical Office
As a self-employed person or small business owner, you likely already know there are certain benefits to having a real commercial office.
Benefits you may have chosen to give up on to keep working at home. However, there's no reason for your business to miss out or suffer from lower credibility because of a practical logistics decision.
You shouldn't have to choose between your home address or a post box as your business address.
You shouldn't have to answer all your own phone calls just because you have no office to host a receptionist. You shouldn't have to host meetings in a Starbucks for lack of a conference room. These are only a few aspects of how a virtual office can help you by becoming your official office location.
Today, we're here to highlight why any online company would benefit from working with a virtual office like Forma in London.
Benefits of a Commercial Address
The first major perk of working with a virtual office is that you can use the office address as the on-record address for your business.
Many online entrepreneurs already know that this is valuable from their experiences.
However, startups may be surprised by the impact an official commercial address can have in the business world.
1. Customers Trust an Office Location
When a customer or business partner looks up your location, what they want to see a commercial address in the city.
A commercial physical address builds trust through credibility. It projects a more professional image to the business world at large.
2. Commercial Office as Your Registered Address
Of course, it goes further than that.
You can also use the virtual office as your company's official registered address. This is the address of the business location where your company is incorporated. With Forma as your registered address, all documents on your business will lead back to our central London location.
3. SEO Geolocation
Among the best online benefits of using the virtual office as your registered address is SEO geolocation. Many online services still benefit from the 'near me' feature in search engines.
It allows clients or new business partners to seek targets out based on where they are located. Virtual offices are most useful when they are located in the heart of the nearest big city-especially if you run the business from a home located out of town or in a nearby suburb.
With our virtual office location, your business will appear to be in EC1 central London, surrounded by your potential clients. As an online business, you no doubt know exactly how powerful a well-placed SEO geolocator pin is in the modern business world.
4. Keep Your Home Address Private
A final bonus to the virtual location is that your home address no longer has to appear anywhere in the business documentation.
In fact, you can once again return to a life of privacy. Customers and business partners will have no reason to know your home address or your home phone number.
You won't need to list it on the website, business partners won't need it to send packages or mail. Even if you are still running the business from your home, we can help you keep your home address private.
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Hosting Clients in a Virtual Office
Of course, the benefits of working with a virtual office doesn't stop at simply having access to the address. There is a real functioning office at that address and you have just joined the club of businesses that share its functions.
At Forma, we can provide your business with elegant meeting areas, conference rooms, and courteous reception staff ready to serve your business needs.
This opens up an entirely new realm of options for online businesses.
5. Meet Clients in a Real Office Space
When you need to meet a new client, taking them to coffee is better than meeting them at home. But a real office space with meeting rooms, Wi-Fi, and comfortable chairs is infinitely more credible than a coffee shop meeting.
With our virtual office, you can access formal meeting spaces where clients will feel comfortable and relaxed in the business environment they expect.
6. Book a Conference Room When Needed
Virtual offices even feature fully functional conference rooms for when their client businesses need to hold a meeting.
Whether you're holding an unusual all-hands staff meeting to cover important business plans or meeting with a group of new clients or business partners, you finally have conference rooms that are easily booked by the hour.
Meeting in a real office conference room adds credibility to your business. They allows you to treat your clients or partners with decorum and respect.
7. Unexpected Visitors Greeted in a Real Office
In fact, the virtual office can even serve your purposes when things don't go according to plan.
Let's say a client comes looking for you unannounced and arrives without an appointment at your business's listed address.
Rather than arriving confused at your home wondering if they have the wrong address, the client will be stepping into our lovely city office. Here, the Forma the reception staff can kindly tell clients that you're out or ring you on their behalf.
The Perks of Having a Virtual Office
We realise that online businesses often miss out on the niceties of working in a fully staffed city office. Things like having a receptionist handle your routine calls and emails, a working mail room, or access to other business professionals to ask for advice.
At Forma, we strive to provide these services to online businesses to round out your resources in the ways that are most convenient to you.
8. Phone & Email Reception Services
Virtual offices don't have the usual business employees.
Instead, we are fully staffed with the support personnel that every office needs to survive. A big part of that is having a receptionist, shared or personal, who can answer phone calls and business emails. Our staff will only send along the important details so you can focus more on running your business.
9. Business Mail & Package Forwarding
One of the biggest concerns for online businesses using a virtual office is the mail.
It's good for business if your mailing address is an office in the city, but you actually need your business mail and packages at your home, the real HQ.
Not to worry, our virtual office staff can handle it. Our office not only receives mail for you personally (not a PO box). We will also offer a mail forwarding service so that once the packages arrive at your listed address, they will be sent on to your functional address post haste.
This ensures that you get all your mail and packages where you need them. While still gaining all the benefit of a commercial address.
10. Local Telephone Number
Telephone number locality is a subtle code for local customers. Your local clientele knows their area codes, and they know a non-local area code when they see it.
While phone locality hardly matters in a functional sense, it can matter with your reputation and credibility among local clients. When you join our virtual office, you will also gain the benefit of a local business number that your clients can trust.
11. Unlimited Business Advice
Finally, there is the value of business advice.
Every business owner, big or small, new or established, needs advice from time to time. Particularly when navigating the maze of paperwork and taxes that keep a business afloat.
Not all virtual offices offer this service, but some will provide you access to their own team of financial and legal staff (after all, a virtual office is its own business). At Forma, we will gladly provide you with unlimited practical advice and small business resources on how to navigate your finances and the choppy legal waters of business.
A thriving online business is a powerful thing in today's world, but you still need a commercial office as your headquarters.
Fortunately, with the service of our dedicated virtual office, you don't have to break the bank or uproot your operations to acquire your own office.
Let us handle everything you need in a commercial location and office services while you do what you do best: run your online business.
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