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Start-up business? Get that professional edge with Virtual Office services

Start-up business? Get that professional edge with Virtual Office services

You’ve taken the plunge: quit the day job, decided to go for it and set up your own business.

The dream has become the reality, and you know that every new customer is gold dust. So how do you best present your new business to the outside world?

Be contactable 24/7

Ok – maybe not 24/7, but potential customers/clients do have high expectations. Being able to contact you the first time they ring is a given. They won’t care if you are busy with another customer, sorting an order, or taking some well-earned holiday. They just want you to answer their call!

And faced with an unanswered call – or the voicemail – many customers will simply go elsewhere. If you want to make sure they don’t, you could enlist the help of a Virtual Office telephone answering service.

Services can be tailored entirely to your needs – for the calls you don’t get to in time or can’t answer, because you are with another customer. You can even use the service just to cover your holiday – ensuring the appointment book is full on your return.

The call is answered exactly the way you would want it to be, using your business name and your script. Your customer won’t even know it is a third party taking the call. And the appointments are booked into your diary for you.

Think about your ‘business’ address

You may be working from the spare room using your home phone and have a pile of stock in the garage – but no one needs to know that!

You can set up a business address with a Virtual Office Service and the use that address on all your business communication: website, business cards… even invoices.

Having a business address looks more professional and you can collect your post at a time convenient for you – before the school run or between appointments – or arrange to have it forwarded.

And, if you are already receiving large volume of junk mail, you can also opt to have your name removed from mailing lists as part of the service. This just frees up a bit more of your time so you can focus on the post that really does matter – customer orders and appointments.

Pay promptly. Invoice promptly.

Managing your cash flow is key and being able to pay suppliers promptly will engender trust and good will. So, while ‘doing the books’ can be time consuming, sorting through the receipts, paying suppliers on time and submitting invoices has to be done.

And if it is all taking up too much time, outsourcing to a qualified bookkeeper, for just an hour or two a month, could really help you keep your finances and cash flow under control – especially in the early days of a start-up.

And you’ll also have someone to assist you with those all-important Self Assessments, VAT returns and other HMRC requirements.

The real benefit of Virtual Office services

So, you’ve got that professional edge. Your calls are being answered. Your business address is set up. Your books are in order. But the real benefit of using a Virtual Office service is: now you can sleep easier at night!

Jenny Ridgewell