Sunday, November 1, 2009

Get a Professional Looking Business Address

"T41, Roseland Residency, Pasadena, US" - how does it sound for a business's address. Imagine you are looking to buy some product from a business that has this address. How would you feel? Do you feel safe and confident that this is not a fly-by-night operator? Now imagine, the one mentioned above is your business's address.

Most mom and pop businesses today operate from personal living space, your apartment. Each year there are thousands of new entrepreneur business kick starting from their small garage or may be their bedroom.

Trust is the most important factor that alone, I think, is more important that anything else...assuming you have a competent product and customer service. You don't need to be 'best' in industry, but you certainly must be competitive.

So how do you build trust and instill confidence in your future customers while still operating on minimum cash. Building Trust with customer is long process and lot of factor goes in to the process- providing best in value competitive products, having clear privacy, user agreements, and return policy, being transparent in your transactions with customers (e.g. upfront disclose the shopping cost). One of the ingredient ofcourse is business's physical address.

When a customer thinks your business has a product that fulfills his needs, next thing he would do is try to get your phone no, email or address through 'contact us' page. Most startups are often single man office and can't really afford lavish office spaces. Not that they need too. But having a famous landmark as your office space can certainly increase your credibility.

Every problem has a solution!

Virtual Office

What's a Virtual Office you ask? It's an office and it's virtual :). It doesn't exists...not in literary sense. But instead there are companies that specialise in arranging the infrastructure, logistics to 'stand in' as a face to your business. These are just more that mail forwarding business. They often provide additional facilities and support needed to run a business. For e.g Personal assistant, Call centre to manage your calls, Conference rooms, etc

Why do you need a Virtual Office? There are many benefits using Virtual Office:
  • Pay for only what you use- the disadvantage with traditional renting is you probably are only going to use your office for one-third of time. You still pay for rest of the time. Besides, you don't need other facilities like Conference room for full day, so why pay full rent? 
  • Brand your business with an address that complements your professional image
  • Increase your business's perceived value just by renting out prestigious location
  • Receive all your mails / couriers forwarded to your residential address. 
  • No more need to beat the traffic, do all your business at convenience of your home. What's more you all contribute less to pollution (if you normally drive) and help the green cause
  • Still maintain a professional business address even in cost cutting mode 

Having virtual office needn't cost you fortune, there are different products/ plans available that can be used as per your needs. So it really is pay for what you actually use.


  • If you have just started and just need to test waters for a new business, and may be you are very tight on your budget, then ofcourse I wouldn't recommend investing for a virtual office just yet. 
  • If a client decides to visit your office, may be to meet you, or do some background checks, then of course they wouldn't find you. Instead they may meet a Mail Forwarding office. But you can make use of cheap conference room facilities at the very same location to meet your clients.
In next article of this series, I will compare some reputed virtual office providers that offer reasonable and flexible plans for Office space. You are always welcome to leave your comment if you want to know certain other aspect of virtual offices on this article.

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