Recently you may have heard the news that more and more businesses are going online. First it started in retail, with multi-billion dollar companies like Amazon entering the marketplace. Then we moved over to anything media-based. So you had companies like Blockbuster video going out of business, and video services being streamed online.
Now we’re moving into a new phase where entire businesses are moving into the digital space. In fact, they’re so digital that even the things that were once considered implacably real are now just as virtual as anything else.
Just like you can outsource your catering, computing and marketing, you can now outsource your office. If you’re a startup, you’ve no doubt considered whether or not you really want an office. Yes, an office gives your business a sense of professionalism. And yes, it makes it appear as if your business is well established and is able to maintain an impressive portfolio of clients. But do you really want to be paying exorbitant rents when the need for doing so has disappeared?
Mobile and cloud computing have all but eliminated the need for most small startups to have an office. Virtual offices are ideal for companies that want to operate with as few overheads a possible. With a virtual office, you can effectively establish yourself as any other company would, but for a fraction of the price.
All you do is find a virtual office company and pay them a monthly fee. Have a look on regus.com for prices. In return, you’ll get limited time access to office meeting rooms each month at an assortment of locations. They’ll usually throw in a receptionist and allow you to put your business address as their prestigious downtown address. It means you get all the benefits of having a prestigious office, with a fraction of the cost. You can still meet clients, you can still take phone calls and you can still give off the impression that you’re based somewhere exclusive.
Physical mail is another one of those things that are going virtual. Sites like physicaladdress.com explain how it works. Basically, all your physical mail is redirected to a third party. This third party then collects all your mail and scans it so that you can access it over the cloud. They might throw in a few freebies, like shredding too.
A virtual mailbox allows you to streamline your business. By getting all your correspondence digitally, you enjoy less paperwork and don’t have to switch between systems.
A virtual server is just like that server you’ve got in your office but hosted at another location. But because it’s at another location, it’s somebody else’s responsibility to make sure that it works. And boy, do they want to make sure it works!
If there is a problem with the service you receive from a virtual server, you can just switch your operations over to another. Because of this fear, virtual server companies offer a far better service than anything you could do in-house.