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Having a solid business identity is vital for startups and small businesses (particularly those that operate from home) as it shows your business in a more professional light. It is an indication that you are in business to stay and are serious about success which is the foundation upon which you earn trust and loyalty. At a time when home-based businesses are commonplace, having a business address and a phone number are at the core of what it entails to create a business identity. In response, there are multiple solutions that enable businesses to have an address and phone number at a fraction of the cost. One of them being the now popular concept of having a virtual office.
Setting Up Your Business Address and Phone
The first step before deciding your address and phone should be to determine how you want to set up your business and come up with a business name. This is because you will need that contact information when applying for licenses and on other official business documentation. Your address and phone will also appear on marketing tools and channels, contracts and business cards.
Business Address Options
Over time, people have become accustomed to the idea of home-based businesses and it is no longer considered unprofessional to use your home address and your business address. However, there are rising concerns over privacy. Having your home address available to the general public on documents and online is probably not a good idea. It doesn’t help that the CAN-SPAM law requires that you include your address in all your emails. So, what are your options?
Virtual address. This is a service that allows businesses to have a corporate business address in a given location without necessarily having physical office space or operations in the given location. Although the name says virtual, this is a real address that does actually exist and performs all key functions or a business address such as accept mail and packages through a virtual mailbox. Having a virtual office address allows businesses, particularly home-based businesses to appear more professional and trustworthy to potential clients.
Business Phone Options
Every business needs a phone – including online businesses. Your clients may not necessarily call you but you still need it for services such as web hosting. It is more effective to set up a business line rather than just sticking to your current mobile phone. Here are some advantages.
- It allows you to make a clear distinction between business and personal calls.
- It is easier to track phone-related tax deductions using a business line
Most virtual office rental services also offer additional business solutions. In addition to getting a virtual business address and virtual mailbox, you can also get a local business phone number and a personalised phone answering service to go along with your address. At a time when customers have hundreds of options readily accessible at the palm of their hands, having a personalised phone answering service is important, particularly to businesses that rely on lead generation and online marketing.
Clients need to feel that their call is important and that it is handled professionally otherwise they will contact the next business on their list. As such, when potential clients call, they have little patience for businesses that choose to wait for a return call after being sent to an automated answering system. Hastily answered calls are equally repulsive. Customers need direct contact with a live person even for minor enquiries. It gives them assurance of good customer care and effectively ends their search for a suitable company – that’s one more high-quality lead for your business that has a high chance of completing a transaction. That is the real value of having a personalised phone answering service and if your virtual office rental service provider is offering it, it is a worthwhile investment.
Using a Virtual Mailbox for Your Home Office
If you are running your business from home or you operate from an office space that is not always open during normal business hours, getting a virtual mailbox will do your business a lot of good. It will directly translate to better mail and package management.
Advantages over a Traditional Post Office Box
While you still have the option of using a traditional post office box, there is real value in using a private mailbox such as a virtual mailbox.
Full-Service Package Receiving
Unlike the US postal service which does not receive packages from other carriers, a private mailbox has no such restrictions.
Comes with an Actual Street Address
Certain situations require you to not only have a P.O. Box but also an actual street address. A virtual mailbox uses the street address of the service provider. This is a real street, typically in the business district and is considered more credible.
Alternatively, you can get all these services from one provider of Coworking spaces such as Officescape Markham. In addition to getting a virtual office with a business address and a virtual mailbox, you can also get additional services such as phone answering and a receptionist at an extra charge. As an added benefit you also get access to a great location where you can work or hold important meetings on a need basis.