Having a virtual office means that your company can significantly reduce the costs associated with renting office space, furnishing it and employing staff to run it. Whether you run a large enterprise or a small company, you are constantly looking for new solutions to properly manage your company finances and you are constantly working on optimising costs.
There’s no denying that renting your own office, purchasing equipment and operating a secretariat requires a considerable financial investment, and these costs are even greater if you decide to locate your office in the heart of the city.
One of the most effective ways to reduce the costs associated with running a company office is to use the services of a virtual office.
What is a virtual office?
The idea of a virtual office is linked to outsourcing, i.e. the transfer of certain tasks that are carried out within a company to specialised external entities.
Many companies (especially global corporations) have recognised the benefits of outsourcing solutions and are keen on using them. Outsourcing solutions is cheaper (e.g. owing to savings on employment costs) and is associated with high quality, as outsourcing companies employ industry specialists in order to provide high-level services to their clients. In addition, outsourcing allows company managers to focus on their business goals and on the development of the company, without getting too wrapped up in matters that are not critical to the company. They simply know that someone is doing it for them and doing it well.
Therefore, we should not be surprised if entire divisions (e.g. sales, marketing, IT or accounting) are being outsourced. The truth is that many manufacturers of everyday items only put their logo on ‘their’ products.
It has also become apparent that when it comes to the physical location of a company, outsourcing has a lot to offer.
It should be noted that for a new company, renting premises, maintaining them and paying staff can usually be a challenge. And can a company give up its address? It cannot, but it can share it with someone. And so outsourcing firms specialising in providing external companies with an address have emerged. The more common name for these companies is ‘Virtual Offices’ or ‘e-offices’.
The name could be associated with a service available over the Internet, but in reality we are dealing with a specific place (e.g. premises in an office building) and staff (employees of the virtual office) who work for the benefit of the company, not just one, but all those who have registered their business in the virtual office.
To whom are these services directed?
The sector that is most likely to use virtual office services is the small and medium-sized enterprise sector. Often, small companies do not want or even cannot officially run their business, e.g. in the place of residence of the owner or partner. Therefore, in order to avoid the high costs of establishing their own premises and the legal and tax problems associated with running a company from home, they opt for an e-office.
There are certain industries that can operate very well on the basis of virtual office services – for example small IT companies, e-commerce, interactive agencies. Therefore, if the business profile does not require a group of people to perform specific activities in a specific location, virtual offices are recommended.
How much can You save?
The answer to this question is simple – a lot. And the funds saved can be allocated, for example, to the development of the company.
Is it safe?
Employees of a virtual office should realise that they have a huge responsibility for the safety of any documents that their clients keep in their office. Often, these are the documents that the Tax Office asks about in the first place during an audit. Therefore, when choosing an e-office, pay attention to things that might seem mundane – whether filing cabinets are open to the public, whether they are lockable and whether the employees keep things tidy, particularly the documents.
Then there is the question of discretion and reliability. Information that a company receives in e.g. official correspondence should be securely and promptly forwarded by the virtual office staff to the recipient only.