By Robert Okulus
When it comes to choosing a virtual office, it pays to choose wisely at the outset. Many virtual office organisations present well on the surface but underneath the reality can be far from the promise. Before you sign on the dotted line (and get locked into a contract which is often the case) take the time to consider what’s important to you in your working day – it may be different for each of us.
Here are some guidelines to help you:
1. Technology – we rely on it to keep our business going and when it’s going well, it hums along nicely in the background. But take a minute or two to think about ‘those days’ – you know, the days when the computer crashes, emails bounce back or don’t send and everything slows down to a snail’s pace. That’s when you realise how much you need reliable, fast-speed Internet to keep your business ticking over nicely, so you can concentrate on getting the job done. At Anytime Offices, we offer a reliable hi-speed fibre optic Internet service that allows you to manage your business communication smoothly and effortlessly, helping you stay on top of your game.
2. Admin support – if you’re a start-up or running a small business, then you’ll be used to turning your hand to every task, no matter how small. You could go from errand runner, to PA, to envelope stuffer – and that’s before you’ve even got to your ‘to do’ list. Before you sign up for your virtual office arrangement – have a look at the services provided because even the most basic admin support can make a huge difference to getting your business off the ground – freeing you up from the detail to concentrate on growing your bottom line. At Anytime Offices, we’ll manage your admin tasks for you – we will collect and safe-guard your mail, we’ll forward it on, we’ll help you with big deliveries and we even throw in 20 pages of printing per month into your package, making it easy for you to get on with doing what you set out to do – working on your business, not in it.
3. Acoustics – so many of my clients have told me they have come unstuck in the past with noisy co-working spaces and virtual offices where voices and other people’s conversations simply bounce off the walls. One client was previously paying big bucks to work in a fancy co-sharing space in Surry Hills but she said it was like working in a public bathroom! At Anytime Offices, we have invested in noise reducing materials so that you can close the door on other people’s conversations and get on with your own.
4. Convenience – if you’re considering a co-working or virtual office space for the first time, then think carefully about how far you are willing to travel to get to it. If you’re used to working from home, then consider the travel time it takes to get to an external office and make sure you are ready and willing to make the journey. With offices in Botany and Randwick, we find many of our clients live close by and they enjoy the convenience of living and working within their own neighbourhood without a big commute.
5. Clean and tidy – our clients tell us that one of the things they love about Anytime Offices is the attention we pay to careful cleaning. We believe that coming into a fresh, clean office is a great way to feel happy and relaxed in your workspace. We dust, mop, polish and empty bins every night so you can enjoy an uplifting, energising office environment each and every time.
6. Less is more – if you love to work with a coffee or tea in hand, then look out for complimentary refreshments in your virtual office package – it can save you time and money. Also check out your access to meeting rooms – do you need to pay additionally for this or is it included? If you’re big on meetings, it would be worth considering a package, such as our virtual office all-in-one package which includes up to eight hours of meeting room usage every month with no lock-in contract too – perfect for when you’re starting out or trying a virtual office for the first time.
7. Watch out for set up and exit fees – at Anytime Offices we understand that one of the biggest challenges for small and start-up businesses is the cash flow. Our virtual offices come with $0 set up fee, $0 bond / deposit, $0 exit fees and no lock-in contract. Virtual office is set up and available to use on the same day and the only fee you must pay is the monthly service fee. To end your virtual service, you must provide only one-month notice. Many providers require up to three-month notice to end the service and take up to two months to return the bond. Some serviced offices offer flexible month to month contracts but the price is up to 60% higher than the rate for the same service which is locked in the 12-month agreement. At Anytime Offices we offer the same rate for short and long term contracts which makes our rates transparent and easy to understand.