Virtual Office businesses seem to have sprung up all over in the last few years. These are administrative support businesses that usually offer such services as business addresses (with suite number), conference rooms on as-needed basis, administrative services for hire, copy and mail services and more.
I suspect a significant factor in their success is that they’re a natural fit for home-based businesses. I see at least two huge advantages that Virtual Office businesses can provide for a home-based business: Address and Meeting Space.
Address service is a biggie because you probably don’t want to list your home address as your business address for privacy reasons. In this blog post, I talked about the advantage of having a mailing address separate from your home address. I suggested the use of a Private Mailbox service to accomplish that. Virtual Office businesses accomplish this purpose as well although I don’t believe they are set up to receive packages (check with the individual service).
Meeting space is another significant challenge for the home based business because you may not want to have clients or prospects coming to your home to meet. In this blog post, I talked about using public places such as Starbucks for meetings. While this may serve you on some occasions, you might want to convey a more professional appearance. You might also want to discuss things you don’t want everyone around you to hear. Virtual Office businesses offer private conference rooms you can rent on an as-needed basis. A block of hours of meeting time usually is included with your plan. This can really resolve the issue of needing to meet with clients and/or prospects but not wanting to use your home or a less formal setting.
The best news is that many of these business offer affordable plans starting at a few hundred dollars per month. 3 large organizations that provide Virtual Office services are listed below. You can also find the local ones just by typing ‘Virtual Office’ along with your city name in a search engine such as Google or Yahoo!