What’s a virtual business address and how is it beneficial to the growth of your company? These are important questions to ask, especially during a time when remote work is happening more than ever.
In this day and age, many businesses don’t need physical locations to exist, operate, and thrive – and with the pandemic, more businesses than ever are embracing a hybrid or fully remote organizational structure. For many service-based startups, from SEO and content to software development, there are very few things speaking against this kind of setup – especially in terms of cost. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. People are more likely to trust a business with an existing address – and oftentimes, they want to know that their product or service is being handled by real humans, in a real location.
Sadly, it’s getting harder and harder to afford quality commercial real estate, especially when you’re in an industry that doesn’t require physical manufacturing or a dedicated office setup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of a real business address.
You can lead a fully or mostly remote business, and still have a set professional business address to share with clients, customers, and potential business partners. This is where the virtual business address enters the picture.
What is a Virtual Business Address?
Virtual business addresses are real-life addresses in a coworking space or office space managed and leased out to companies as mostly virtual fronts, designed to interact with clients and customers, redirect mail and communications, and even host meetings when need be.
These spaces are real, and do exist, and are usually set up in business parks and commercial or corporate districts. However, all you are paying for is the nominal use of the address, rather than the entire space or office. Because the terms are much more minimal, they are also much more flexible.
Virtual business addresses are usually leased monthly, can be canceled at any time, and allow you to legitimize your business through a physical location (rather than a simple P.O. box) without anywhere near the same costs. Below are some of the advantages of working with a virtual business address rather than your own home office address.
In short, a virtual business address allows you to put a real-life address to your business, without the associated costs of leasing an office space in an expensive commercial district. Why bother? Because having a professional business address comes with a suite of benefits.
The Legitimacy of an Established Business
There is more to being successful on the Internet than a pretty façade. The advent of reputation-based marketing, customer reviews, and social media has drastically changed the way companies need to present themselves when vying for clients and keeping customers. Yet despite that, first impressions still matter.
Customers are more likely to take you seriously when knowing that your company has a location and address behind its name, one that isn’t tied to your personal home.
While it is becoming more and more normal for certain industries to feature 100 percent remote start-ups, and home-based freelancers or contractors, there is a certain reassurance behind knowing that the people you’re talking to are human beings working together in an office, rather than a group of strangers interacting online.
True, the latter is a completely misleading take on how remote companies function – but with the information age also comes the overly-cautious customer, warier than ever of scams and schemes. Legitimacy, even if it comes in the form of a virtual address rather than one you own the keys to, can go a long way towards convincing leads that you are every bit as authentic as any other ambitious business on the market.
Privacy for Your Home
With a virtual address comes an added benefit of not having to name your own address instead. There are still processes for which a business needs an address, such as registering as an LLC, entering a limited liability partnership, or seeking financing.
Most of the time, these processes do not accept simple PO boxes as addresses. And for everything else, you should still hesitate to place your home address as the base of operations for your business.
Not only will you be eliminating yet another crucial separator between work and life, but you are putting yourself at risk of going through lengths to address the problem of address discrepancies whenever you need to move.
Clients who decide to look your business up would also know exactly where you live, which can be more than just an uncomfortable fact – it can be a security risk.
Local SEO Benefits
While so much of our life has been supplanted or changed by the creation of internet services and social media, we’re still ultimately people living in towns, cities, regions, and countries – and that fact isn’t lost on search engines.
Most search engines (especially Google and Bing) place a great premium on location and are more likely to recommend services that are close by. In order to take advantage of that fact and ensure that you’re the biggest fish in your pond, you need Google to know where exactly you do business – and where your company can be found.
Even if you specialize in a good or service that never requires a customer to come anywhere near your main office, taking advantage of local SEO can greatly boost your traffic, which translates into relevant leads, and better sales.
Choosing a Virtual Business Address
Virtual business addresses are usually one part of a larger package, which can include virtual assistant services, receptionist services, email and phone redirection, package receiving and forwarding, and much more.
But when you take advantage of something like a coworking space as your virtual business address, you’re paying for more than just an expanded P.O. box and receptionist’s desk – you get an actual space for your company, one you can use from time to time to host important clients, schedule monthly or annual team meetings, and make use of as an onboarding space for new local talent.
By taking advantage of the full benefits of a coworking space, you’re not just getting a business address for your company in a prime location, but you’re getting an office space too – for a fraction of the cost and hassle.