Friday, 28 September 2012

What are the Advantages of a Virtual Office?

View the advantages of using a virtual office over a traditional physical office service. Learn how to expand into new markets, or test new business environments with a flexible and affordable service.

Working from home can seem very appealing. Imagine just being able to roll out of bed, have breakfast and work without all of that annoying travel time. Yet there are also downsides to working from home that aren’t considered. Working from home destroys the barrier you erect between your domestic and work life and identities. This can take the form of working late into the night, or dealing with customers at unsociable hours who can now contact your 24 hours a day. The lack of privacy can also leave you open to cold callers trying to sign you up to services you haven’t requested and don’t require.

Physical Office Space
The traditional solution to this problem is to invest in a small amount of office space. Yet this is often expensive and inflexible with lengthy tie in contracts that are hard to get out of should you run into financial difficulties. When you consider that almost half of new businesses fail within three years this is a large risk to take when starting out. Also, for many – such as those who work on the internet or in different locations – office space is simply unnecessary.
Office Space
What a Headache

Virtual Offices
A virtual office offers a number of benefits to the traditional office environment. The lack of traditional overheads means that you could save upwards of 80% on a physical location. Also they allow you to create a presence in a new country, region or city without real expansion, increasing your market opportunities. Similarly they allow you to recruit qualified freelancers that may not live in your area of business. A virtual office removes physical limitations and allows you to become a truly global company.

Virtual Offices also allow you to appear like a more professional company with a corporate sounding city centre address. Many people mistrust home or PO box addresses, a mailing address service with a department name or suite number will make you appear like a larger company and potentially attract new business.

Another advantage is the speed at which a virtual office can be setup meaning you can be operational more quickly and, if necessary, close down more quickly. The greater flexibility offered by short virtual office contracts mean that you can cheaply test out new markets before fully committing to see if they are actually profitable.

Lastly Virtual Offices normally include a mail forwarding service. This is perfect if you are always on the road as it allows you to have important mail sent to you on demand. This can mean saving time sorting through unnecessary junk mail. Mail forwarding services are also happy to sign for packages that you can then pick up or mail that requires a signature. Mail forwarding can allow you to maintain a presence in the country and then have your mail send worldwide.
UK mail forwarding
Mail Forwarding Worldwide 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

PO Box Rental vs Mailbox Rental in the UK – What Should You Choose?

A straight forward analysis of the age old PO Box or Mailbox dilemma. Are you starting or do you own a small business? View the pros and cons of using each service.

Many small businesses use PO Boxes to separate their work and domestic lives. If you run a small company from home you know the importance of privacy in your home life – something a PO Box used to provide at an affordable rate.

PO Boxes cost just £62 pounds per annum in 2009 and were an ideal solution. However in the last 3 years they have increased in price to a massive £222 per annum, an increase of 350 percent! With the recent price increases PO boxes no longer seem the good investment they once did. Price drops seem unlikely with the Royal Mail increasing the prices of stamps, closing local branches, making record loses and receiving no relief from a government implementing tough austerity measures.

UK Po-Box Price increases
Price drops seem unlikely

But Are Mailboxes Really More Affordable?

A quick search for UK mailbox rental showed that prices can start from as little as £5 per month! That’s £60 a year, a saving of £162 for your business. In such a tough economic climate savings such like this are really too good to pass up.

Business mailboxes also give you the option of having a physical address which seems far more professional than a PO Box Number or a residential address. For example who would you trust? The business based at a flat address or the one which is listed as being based in a busy inner city commercial sector? Premium business address services also allow you to use something like ‘department’ or ‘suite’ as your address – perhaps even the building address itself— making you seem like a successful and large organisation.
Also consumers often have more trust or search for businesses close to city centres. Having a mailbox with a physical address near a large town or city can potentially tap into a much larger client based then one based in a small town or rural location.