Physical Office Space or Virtual Office Space?

For many consultants and entrepreneurs who telecommute, the question arises about whether to set up shop at a brick-and-mortar location or create a virtual office space on the internet. Of course, it’s possible to do both, but many businesses in the introductory or start-up phase lack the money and the capability to handle both at once. A physical office space allows you to meet with customers in a professional location as well as keep regular hours at the office. A virtual office space allows you to work from home or another convenient location and communicate with clients and staff via email or video messaging.

Every Business Is Different

When considering whether you want to set up a physical office space or virtual office space, keep in mind that every entrepreneur and every business is different, often even within the same industry. What works for one business owner may not necessarily work for another. Evaluate what works for you and consider all aspects of both options, weighing out the pros and cons before you make a decision.

Know What You Can Afford

A prohibiting factor that often prevents many small business owners from using a professional office space is the cost of rent. Many small start-ups and entrepreneurs simply don’t have enough capital to pay monthly rent for an office space. If you’re thinking about renting an office, seriously consider how much you can afford to pay each month for the privilege of using that space and whether it’s really necessary in your industry to have a physical office. You may also need to furnish the office with your own office equipment and furniture as well, so be sure to consider these costs too. Good office furniture can be pricey, and cheap office furniture can turn clients off and give the impression that you’re less than professional or that your company is struggling financially.

Benefits of a Virtual Office Space

Creating a virtual office space can save a lot of money for the tech-savvy business owner. If you’re well versed in video conferencing, Skype and email and your clients are as well, creating a virtual office space may be right for you. Having a virtual office can actually benefit you, your staff and your clients in multiple ways. By eliminating standard office hours at a physical location, you can also eliminate down time and lost productivity. Rather than sitting in an office and “killing time” between jobs, you and your staff can work on projects from the locations of your choice and use any time not spent on work projects to devote to other aspects of your lives. Additionally, because of this shift in the structure of the workday, many telecommuters and entrepreneurs who work from home are available to answer their clients’ calls, emails and questions at extended or unusual hours.

Virtual Offices

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/8050527088/

Know Your Level of Tech Savvy and That of Your Clients

There is one major drawback to the virtual office. It doesn’t work if the business owner, employees or clients are not tech savvy or willing to learn how to communicate using modern technology. If you’re thinking of developing a virtual office for your business, consider whether everyone involved in the business will be able to work effectively if the business is heavily dependent on technology.

Harry is a successful Entrepreneur from Sydney, Australia. He has used virtual offices when his businesses were in their early phases and money was tight. They allowed Harry to successfully grow his business and minimise his expenses at the same time.

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