Starting A Virtual Office Business
The demand for virtual offices in the corporate world is growing at an amazing pace. Businesses today realize that they do not have to have their workforce in their offices. They also do not have to deal with payroll or offer vacation pay and health benefits. Not only that, they do not have to pay into an unemployment compensation fund. This makes hiring a virtual office very appealing to business owners. So now, in the age of information and where speed accounts for everything, is a better time then ever to start a virtual office business.
Start up costs can be either a lot of money, or just a very few dollars. This will depend if you already have a computer, printer, scanner, telephone, and high speed internet. These are the essential components of the business. Common sense says that without them, a virtual office will not be able to open for business. Most people have all of these things in there homes already and if they don't, well then they wouldn't be reading this article.
The next thing is to obtain a website. There are places online that will give out free sites but it is not recommended. Most of the free sites will come with ads installed and the templates all look the same. Also they do not come with .com email addresses. To get an original website, purchasing your own domain name and a web hosting account is best. Since all or most of this business will conducted online, the virtual office should appear to be as professional as possible. A domain will only cost 10$ per year and it's even cheaper if you buy them 5 years at a time. It's not only cheaper but it will help with the Google placement when users are searching for "virtual offices for hire". For the web hosting, DO NOT use a free service to host your domain. They are littered with pop-ups and other sneaky auto loaders. There are very inexpensive hosting companies that charge less then 3$ per month. Having a website custom built can be costly. A very sophisticated one will put you out hundreds, however there are some great templates for the un-web savvy that can be easily modified.
Now there is marketing to do. Business cards are a good idea. They can be purchased from the internet to be printed and delivered for very inexpensively, or if you have some basic graphic skills and quality paper, you can do these in your virtual office! Hand these business cards out to your friends and people you meet. Leave one laying on the counter of every place you happen to do business with. This is a great way to start a solid local foundation. Now marketing on the internet is a bit tricky. It requires a lot of participation. Join forums that interest you and use your website as a signature. Visit the blogs of other virtual offices and contribute to the comments. This will get leads to your website. Another good marketing technique is to post ads. You can do this in your local newspaper and also at online classified sites.
Another thing is a payment processing plan. You have to have a way to receive funds for the jobs you do. Accepting checks is always an option however it is best to have many alternatives. There are several FREE online payment systems. The best thing is to set up an account with all of them, that way your work base is covered and you will not exclude a potential job. Make sure that all invoices and payments are kept organized and can be easily obtained through the merchants because all of these records will need to be recorded for the end of year taxes.
Besides everything listed above, it is a good idea to acquire an occupational license. It enables your virtual office to be recognized as a professional legitimate business and can be obtained for very little cost. That's all there is to it.
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