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Current Trend to Virtual Offices

Virtual Offices

Many people are working from home these days, enjoying the flexibility  of looking after our families while still earning an income. Some of these are people in the full time employ of large businesses, which recognise the wisdom of freeing their employees from the tedium of coming in to an office at fixed times, as long as those people produce the results that are required.

Many however, are self-employed, running various types of service businesses. And a number of Australians might be tempted to open their own businesses now, with the tax windfalls that are coming our way – a little extra cash in your pocket might just give you the boost to start your own business that you have been dreaming of.

But how can you be taken seriously if you do not have an office address, a receptionist, and a place to meet clients?

The need for a “real” office

Most people who work from home will from time to time need a space where they can meet with colleagues or with clients. It looks most unprofessional when you need to meet in your home: it somehow looks as though you are not running a proper business, but instead are a fly-by-night person with whom it might not be wise to do business.

It is also not always comfortable to meet in coffee shops and restaurants. Sometimes you need a proper place to do a presentation, and you may need access to copy machines, teleconferencing facilities, and the like.

Apart from people who work mainly from home, there are many others who are project managers and consultants whose clients are spread across the Australian continent. Such business people travel widely to engage with clients and to market themselves to potential new clients.

Cost concerns

 If one is a consultant or project manager needing office space from time to time in various of Australia’s cities, then one has to be firm about containing one’s costs. Accommodation is expensive in Australia, particularly in cities such as Perth, because of the large number of   business people going there, particularly during the week.

Ken Minnikin of Mantra Hotels has pointed out that Perth and Brisbane’s hotels are in great demand during the week, and often difficult to get into when conventions are being held. So if you are flying to different cities on business and staying over, you really need to find affordable meeting places. Virtual offices would be the answer, as hotels’ facilities will be pricey.

Even if you are not flying around the country, when you are a small business starting out, the chances are that you cannot afford all the expenses of opening your own business. It would be a lot cheaper to work from home and then just hire the services of a virtual office, and only pay for the use of a physical office space when you really need it. To test out the opportunity, we requested an online quote via Regus.com.au. The answer came shortly.  We found that virtual offices are the way you can still impress your potential clients with a professional image, which will instil confidence in them, while sharing the costs of the services with several other people, so that you only pay what you need.

People’s wish to be self-employed

We Australians are a resourceful crowd of people, accustomed to making our own way and solving our own problems. The recent economic meltdown has fortunately not affected us as it has Britain, the US and Europe: our economy has continued to grow for the last 21 years, and showed a 3.2% increase in the year to June 2012. But in spite of this, Australian businesses are pessimistic, says Chris Richardson, director of the Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook. So, many of us are probably looking to find ways to launch our own businesses in an economical manner: and using a virtual office would be a safe way to start an impressive-looking business in an affordable manner.