For many, the allure of being your own boss and the freedom that comes with it is more than appealing. However, thousands of enterprises open up every month, but only a few survive the treacherous waters of doing business. One of the main shortcomings that startups have to put up with is lack of a physical business address. In developed countries like Singapore, it is compulsory for any legal entity to register a business address, in order to comply with regulatory requirements.
While it is important to have a registered business address, this is often not a viable option for startups. New entrepreneurs might not have the necessary funding to invest in a business address. Using a home address, as a business address becomes one of the acceptable alternatives. However, this is not always the best choice, especially when trying to portray a professional image to prospective clients. Remember, image is everything in business, and having a professional image can make all the difference between building a reputation and attracting new customers. Additionally, having a registered business address can go a long way in instilling a sense of legitimacy.
Corporate clients may be put off when a residential address comes up during a business profile search. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a registered business address, and this is where the notion of virtual offices comes in. In essence, a virtual office is a service that facilitates the normal running of business functions from any location. For a small fee, an entrepreneur is able to access the services of a virtual office. These services include a professional address, a virtual assistant and mailing service, among others. To protect the professional image of a startup, a virtual office service provider can direct mails to the entrepreneur’s home address, without revealing the actual address of the business owner.
Benefits of a Virtual Office
- Address Requirement
A valid business address may be necessary for various reasons. Firstly, when registering a business in Singapore, it is mandatory for a company to provide a valid office register address. Additionally, most online auction sites require sellers to indicate a valid address for purposes of verification and for exchange or return purposes. Virtual office addresses fulfill this requirement and that is why they have become tremendously popular with most startups. For a foreign company with their business register in Singapore, a virtual office provides a local address, which may make the company to be in good standing with local customers. For a Singapore company with no physical office, having a virtual office will make the business better image and better manage their important business documents.
- Cost Effectiveness
Subscribing to a virtual office service is much cheaper than renting a physical office space. Importantly, startups that use virtual offices only pay for what they need. Entrepreneurs do not have to invest in office furniture or other office equipment. Additionally, they do not have to worry about paying rent and utility bills. Services such as mailing, meeting space can be added to a package when the need arises. The ability to pay for a service only when the need arises, makes hiring a virtual office cost effective.
Issues with legitimacy may arise, if a company does not have a physical office space or a registered business address. Nevertheless, by using a virtual office, issues with legitimacy will no longer be a problem. A virtual office provides services similar to a conventional office, including a prestigious address. Interestingly, customers seem to have more faith in a business that has a prestigious address. Having a prestigious address tackles not only the issue of legitimacy, but also handles the question of customer trust.
As a company grows, the demand for more office space is not an option. However, moving from one office to the other after every few months is not a good idea. It disposes the growth of a business and affects customer retention. Having a virtual office is a viable option in realizing business continuity. Rather than move to a different office, a virtual office accommodates extra services that a business might need.
The benefits of utilizing a virtual office are many. Startups have since blossomed into large companies, by simply using virtual offices. It is true that physical offices are still important for any business setup. Nevertheless, in view of all the benefits that virtual offices bring, it will continue to be a popular choice for many businesses.