With the growing popularity of flex office solutions, the term virtual office is becoming very popular.
It is therefore important to bear in mind that not all domiciliation addresses offer the same quality of service. As with any service, it is therefore essential to compare the different virtual offices available and to determine whether their price is reasonable in terms of the quality of service offered.
In this article, ALAC analyses for you the important considerations to be taken into account when signing a company domiciliation agreement.
Simply put, a virtual office is a service that gives you access to a part-time physical office infrastructure with a head office or business address.
Most of the time, the office where the user actually carries out his activity is different from the virtual office he has chosen for his company domicile. In most cases, it is even located in another city.
Virtual offices offer subscription packages that include various services:
Unlike a traditional full-time office user, a user who has taken out a domiciliation contract does not therefore have a permanent office on site. However, he or she does have the possibility by the virtual office provider ».
Access to shared offices on an ad hoc basis is one of these services.
The business address you choose for your company domicile is one of the most important choices you will make. It can have a direct impact on the success of your business, whether positive or negative.
Indeed, it is this address that will appear on your sales and marketing materials, business cards or website. And, most importantly, the agent who will host your virtual office will receive the mail on your behalf, store it for you to retrieve, forward or scan it and send it to you by email, according to the instructions you give him/her.
This is what a domiciliation contract with full mail service and mail scanning allows you to do. Make sure that the domiciliation agent of your virtual office has this type of service. A traditional office without dedicated staff will not be able to offer these services properly.
Some domiciliation providers offer low-cost virtual offices with sometimes questionable digital mail services. Often, with these low-cost offers, the domiciliation company does not have the necessary staff to be able to offer a quality service.
Lost mail, late receipts etc. These are all inconveniences that you are likely to encounter with the low cost offers of a virtual office supposedly offering a complete mail service. The low cost offers at 10 euros per month that are flourishing on the Internet usually lack infrastructure. What does this mean for your company? A degraded image and a service that is more likely to harm you than help you.
According to our experience of more than forty years in the virtual office sector, the budget for a domiciliation contract that includes the use of a real business address with a mail service worthy of the name should be between 50 and 100 euros per month.
This is in any case at least what it costs to have a virtual office in a building located in one of the most prestigious business districts of Paris. Addresses in cheaper areas may also offer efficient domiciliation services at the lower end of this range. But below 10 euros/month, the services offered cannot be qualitative.
One of the key factors in the choice of a virtual office is the image of the place to which the main company address is attached.
This image is essential as you will be basing a large part of your commercial identity and marketing materials on the business address of your domiciliation address.
If the building that provides you with your company address you is a former hangar converted into a shared office space that does not look very professional, your company’s image may suffer, even if the location is attractive. For example, a city centre address may look good on paper, but if the appearance of the building does not match the prestige of the address, your corporate image may be damaged.
Location is also important when choosing a virtual office. If you live outside the city but need to do business close to your customers or a particular location, you should choose a suitable address. For example, near the courthouse, if you are a lawyer.
It is also important to choose a virtual office offering a meeting room with all the digital equipment expected in today’s environment. This will enable you to receive your clients and/or suppliers more easily at the address that appears on your various communication media. This will strengthen your credibility and the confidence your contacts have in your company.
Also make sure that your virtual office provider complies with legal obligations and is a member of the professional association of of business centres (SYNAPHE). It is even better if he or she belongs to a network of business centres. In this case, you will have the possibility, if the package offers it, of using several locations for your meetings.
A good way to establish a stronger business identity is to set up a local telephone line (different from your mobile phone) and telephone reception services associated with your business address.
Combining these two services will help you project a much stronger professional image and give credibility to your business. Customers or potential cients will have more confidence in a telephone number with an area code that corresponds to your business address. And having a real operator answering that phone number will further increase their sense of trust.
Given the current health situation, it is of course out of the question to organise a business meeting in a hotel or in your own home.
However, you can occasionally organise meetings with a few people when virtual meetings are not enough. It is simply a matter of respecting the rules of social distancing.
Member of the TBC network of business centres and partner of the Choose and Work platform. Alac Etoile can offer you access to numerous offices and/or meeting rooms on a daily basis.