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A virtual office a ‘capital idea’


Dusted office

Dusted office  Image source: Dwonderwall

A virtual office a ‘capital idea’

Rory Whelan 

Reports recently from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), are showing that UK house prices rose by 8% in the year to the end of March, While it’s no surprise the biggest rise was in London where houses are now selling for an average 17% more than last year, there were also big rises across the rest of the country. Regionally, in the North East prices rose by 4.1%, Yorkshire 5.3%, the South East 6.1%. Scotland 0.8% and Northern Ireland 0.3%.

This follows on from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors reporting in April that house prices are set to keep rising until 2020 and George Osborne’s statement in February that the UK property boom was set to last for the next ten years, with demand continuing to outstrip supply. 

When starting up, many businesses see a city presence as crucial for networking, getting the business off the ground and attracting new customers. However, while London is beyond the budget for many start-ups for some time, it was recently named the most expensive city in the world by global property and investment firm CBRE, with office rents in certain areas of the city going for £100 per square foot. It’s also evident that it’s not just London where it is unaffordable to open an office. Of course, creating the right impression is important, and companies need to create a professional image. Even with minimal staffing, if you generate an air of sophistication and scale, then customers are bound to take you a lot more seriously. But very often the only real indication of a company’s location – particularly one offering a virtual service – to the majority of prospects, is its phone number.

Time was that to have presence in a city meant just that – bricks and mortar (and spiralling rental costs) but thanks to changes in technology, when you dial that 0207 or 0208 phone number your call may actually be being answered by someone in rural Northumberland or even on a mobile. Due to the latest generation of phone systems, a business phone number no longer ties you to a physical location. For many businesses, having a virtual city office, with city centre phone and fax numbers receiving and diverting calls, means the company itself can be based in the suburbs or another town or city altogether.

This actually puts small companies at an advantage because unlike larger companies, they don’t need expensive fixed phone lines or the premises to house them in. Utilising mobile and virtual office technology they are able to respond quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to customer queries, regardless of where they are located; all while maintaining a local and more established image.

There is no difference when dialling a virtual city number or a virtual office. Calls ring through to the designated phone number and the chances are you’ve been dialling virtual numbers already (it’s the same as how 0800 numbers that aren’t tied to a specific location work). But virtual local numbers also bring that ‘local’ image to the business – no matter where you are, the heart of the city or out in the country, people always tend to try local suppliers first. It’s not easy today getting a business off to a flying start, especially with increased competition, the seemingly never-ending uncertainty over the economy and the booming property prices. However, those who have ambitions to start their own companies don’t need to let soaring office rents across the UK put them off. The virtual office system which is cost efficient and can be set up within minutes, it’s only a few clicks away.

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