1. You want to separate your personal life from your professional life.
You don’t want your home address to be the one you print on your business cards or provide in the Contact Us section of your website; you value the privacy and security of yourself and your family. Some day a client will decide they want to see you in person and will turn up on your doorstep. And you can be sure that will be one of the days you are working in your pyjamas.
As soon as you start to use a business address you will be projecting a more professional image and be taken more seriously in your sector. The business centre you use for your virtual services should always protect your privacy so no one need know whether you have a physical office or a virtual office - and when that client turns up to see you he can simply be told you aren’t in!
2. You want to meet clients in a meeting room, not a coffee shop.
A lot of start-ups will convince themselves that they “love meeting clients in coffee shops”. Realistically, who wants to discuss terms and condition, or more importantly your fee structure, while surrounded by an array of students, mothers and toddlers, and retirees enjoying a cup of tea and a scone? Do you feel comfortable opening up your laptop to present your proposal and asking your client to move a little closer so he can see the 11” screen?
Clearly you and your client would be more comfortable and able to communicate much better in a private meeting room, with IT facilities, reliable internet access and a door you can close. And if you choose the right business centre to work with the coffee will be just as good!
3. You want to print a landline number on your business cards, not a mobile
How many times have you seen a business card or a website that just gives a mobile number and fleetingly wondered if the business is legitimate? Even now in our mobile age we like to know that the people we deal with have a landline. There is a comfort factor in seeing that they have made a commitment to a place and clients immediately feel safer with that knowledge.
With virtual phone services you can give that reassurance by having a local landline number, even though you may not be physically located in the same place as your phone number. Your virtual number can be forwarded to your mobile, another office or your home phone number - just make sure you pick it up before your kids though! Of course if you (or your kids) don’t want to answer your calls you can simply have it answered for you, in your company name by someone who understands what you do and the message you want to give to your clients.
4. You want to see other people during the day, at least a couple of times a week.
Anyone who has worked from home knows that it can get quite lonely and sometimes it is hard to stay focussed and motivated. Using a Hot Desk can provide the balance between keeping the overheads low but also having some human contact. Like a secret medicine you can give yourself a Hot Desking injection just as often as you feel you need it.
Having other people around to bounce ideas off or just to have a chat with once in a while will do wonders for you and your business. Most people who use Hot Desking are in a similar situation to you and will be only too willing to find out about you and what you do, as long as you return the favour. A good business centre will have a strong community spirit and will offer networking opportunities to clients, both physical and virtual. Remember to ask about this before you sign up.
Plus - Future Proofing
When your business grows to a stage that you do need a physical office hopefully your chosen business centre will be able to accommodate you so you can make that transition with the minimum of inconvenience!