If you’ve always dreamed of having your own business, a virtual office is the perfect way to start. Naturally, even a virtual office has to adhere to good business practices.
The use of virtual assistants working from a virtual office is an increasingly common choice. Companies everywhere have to take a look at their overhead expenses and ways to cut expenses yet keep up their daily business activities.
The first thing to take a look at is your home. Is there an area in your home that is away from the daily activities? Is it a quiet area where there is no outside noise? If you have children and or pets in your home, do you have the ability to prevent interruptions if you are on the phone with a client? You will need to take these things into consideration prior to setting up a virtual office.
What will you call your virtual business? The name of your company will be very important. You will want to have a name that is easily remembered. You also need to consider what type of business you want to establish. Are you going to be a Sole Proprietor, LLC or Incorporate? You will want to review your state website to ensure that you are following all the necessary steps to set up your business. Focus on the type of business you would like to work for. Design a fax brochure to send to businesses to let them know who you are and what type of services you offer. You will want to have your resume updated and put together a reference list to provide to interested businesses. I would also suggest joining the social websites and network with other virtual office businesses for ideas to grow your business as well as to find leads.
You will need to determine what you need to charge for your services. Will you charge a different rate for certain tasks, or will you charge a flat hourly rate? Will you have a minimum charge per month to provide your services as needed? Will you have a minimum minute charge for all requests? An important part of your business will be to establish charges and provide them to your clients. You will also need to have an Independent Contractor Agreement with your client to establish and document the details of the service you will provide and your compensation.
To start your virtual office, you will need a desk or working table so that you can organize your work space. You will need a computer, fax machine or ability to receive faxes online, printer, land line phone, calculator, filing cabinet, printer paper, log book, pens, etc. A helpful tool that I have found is if you are working for different companies, use colored file folders. A different color file folder for each company helps keep each separate and quickly accessible.
Having your own virtual office is a great opportunity to provide needed services to businesses that need them and the luxury of working from your home. This provides the best of both worlds. It's important to keep your home business competitive, though - online courses in business marketing and promotions can help you with this. I hope this information has been beneficial to you!