As a new or even small or mid-sized business, renting or purchasing an office is often your largest expense. In most cases, if you’re unable to make rent, you’re out, your business is done, and you either have to start from scratch or find ways to cut funding dramatically. Which guess what? It is not good for business, but you already know that.
So, what if we told you that you could work remotely but have all the benefits of a regular office for a fraction of the cost? This would allow you to seem equal as professional as your competitors, still have a physical address to which mail can be delivered, but most importantly, allows you to save and reinvest cash flow back into your business for optimal growth.
This article will discuss the topic of virtual office services, beginning with what they are, a round-up up of our top picks, the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a virtual office space, and more.
What is a Virtual Office?
We’ve briefly touched on this already. However, a virtual office is an office for those who work remotely, not in a fixed location. Virtual office service provides the company with a business mailing address. In addition, virtual office packages provide an abundance of further tools, including a phone number, phone answering services, receptionist, mail handling, private hot desks, and even customer support options.
Virtual offices are becoming more and more popular, mainly due to the low overhead without sacrificing the key benefits of owning or renting an actual office space.
6 Best Virtual Office Services
Okay, now that we’ve explained what a virtual office is, hopefully now you’re excited to see the options you have available. Below, you will find our top picks:
- Alliance virtual offices
- Opus Virtual Offices
- Allied offices
- Office evolution
We will now explain each of these virtual office services in greater detail below.
Through its network of 1200+ global locations, Alliance Virtual Offices provides recognized business addresses, mail handling, mail forwarding, office space, meeting space, live receptionist services, business phone numbers, and a virtual phone system.
With a Virtual Office plan, the mail is received by onsite receptionists and stored securely for local pickup, including the monthly Virtual Office fee. Clients can collect mail as often as they like at no additional charge, or various mail forwarding options are available. For example, you can forward mail daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly with an additional fee for handling and postage (see rates below).
A virtual office address through Alliance is used for various other functions besides mail. For example, one of the big benefits of using an address at a recognized commercial building rather than a PO box is that you can use it on business license applications, credit agreements, entity formation, and other purposes.
Clients can also visit the center to work or to meet clients and coworkers. Centers have receptionist staff, onsite meeting rooms, and day office booked on flexible hourly rates starting from $10 per hour. With Alliance’s premium Virtual Office plan, up to 16 hours of the meeting or office space usage is included each month, saving the client around 75% on hourly meeting room rental. Key features of the popular virtual office service include:
- Locations available in most major big cities
- Professional business address
- Mail handling and mail forwarding
- Flat rates
- Friendly support
- Local or toll-free number
- Dedicated live receptionist
- Telephone answering services
- Private offices and hot desks
Virtual Office plans start from $49/mo.
Standard mail forwarding rates (correct as of September 1, 2021):
- $10.00 for monthly forwarding
- $20.00 for bi-weekly
- $30.00 for weekly
- $70.00 for daily forwarding
Other services include:
- Live Receptionist service starting from $95/mo
- Virtual Phone + Business Phone Number $30/mo
- Meeting Room & Office Rental starting from $10/hour
- Coworking plans starting from $55/mo
Other pros and cons of Alliance Virtual Offices consist of:
- Choice of either a local or a toll-free number
- Low-risk pricing options
- Premium business address
- Locations in 50 states and 42 countries.
- some users had issues receiving their mail
Opus Virtual Offices is the best virtual office service for beginners. They have +500 locations in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Opus’s service is straightforward for business owners to set their virtual office. Their services include full mail handling and virtual phone services, and live receptionist. Also, they can convert all your faxes and voice messages into emails.
Key features of Opus Virtual Offices include:
- Live Receptionist Answering Calls
- Corporate Mailing Address
- Company Phone Number
- Company Fax Number
- Premium Call Forwarding
- Voicemail Converted to Email
- Fax Converted to Email
- Business Credit Building
Opus’s flat pricing is $99 monthly no hidden fees or extra costs. If you signup for a year of their virtual office services, you will get one month for FREE.
Additional Services Pricing
- Call Out Feature – $10/month
- Texting Feature – $10/month
- Toll-Free Number – $10/month
- Audio Conferencing Bridge – $10/month
- Additional Extension(s)/Voice Box(es) – $25/month per extension
- International Call Transfer – $10/month
Other pros and cons of Opus Virtual Offices consist of:
- Best for new business owners.
- Straightforward signup process.
- Located in all 50 states
- Only 2 international virtual office locations (Canada, Puerto Rico)
- No physical workspace
- Opus offers only one basic package, no higher-end packages.
Sococo is an excellent virtual office solution for those operating and managing remote teams. Key features of Sococo include:
- Choice of floor plan for your virtual office space
- Video conferencing within the platform
- Ability to share screens with others
- Real-time management
- Chat in-app or through a microphone
In addition, Sococo virtual office plans begin as low as $13.49 for a seat.
Other pros and cons of Sococo include:
- Dedicated iOS and Android app
- The service can share multiple screens at once
- You can even choose office decor
- Joining a meeting may seem a little “clunky” from time to time
- Video consistently is not the best of all available platforms
Davinci virtual office solutions are great value for money, a great option for many businesses looking for a virtual space. For example, key features of Davinci include:
- A business support center
- Professional business address
- Mail handling and mail forwarding
- Toll-free number
- Live web chat
- Live answering and call forwarding
- Voice mail management
- Day offices
- Lobby directory
- Meeting rooms with A/V equipment, reliable wi-fi, and catering options.
Choosing the Davinci virtual office space also presents various pros, including:
- High-speed internet if required
- Ability to forward your mail
- Registered agent
- Cost-effective beginning at $49 per month
- The basic plan doesn’t include live receptionist services
- Popular ZIP codes are considerably more expensive
- The first contract includes a setup fee of $150-$200
- Six-month contract required
Second, to last, we have the Allied offices, virtual phone system, and office platform. The main difference between the others is the ability to run your entire business via your smartphone – a factor that is becoming more and more important in the increasingly digital world. Nonetheless, key features include:
- Mail and content delivery safety
- Appointment booking tool directly from your smartphone
- 24/7 access
- Live or automated receptionists
- Prices start from $44 per month
- Advanced smartphone functionality and accessibility
- Meeting spaces
- Smartphone compatible
- Some users reported issues with stability
Finally, we have office evolution – often considered the best virtual office spaces for small and mid-sized businesses in the United States. However, what makes it so good? Key features of Office Evolution include:
- Personal mailbox (locked) or forwarded
- 24/7 workspace access
- Access nationwide
- Proper business address
- Flexible contract
- Conference rooms
- Dedicated support team
- Private office options
- More expensive than other providers ($99 or $179)
- Only two plans to choose from
Virtual office advantages and disadvantages
If you’re considering setting up a virtual office for your business, then you’re likely wondering if there are any downsides. Therefore, we’ve put together a few advantages and disadvantages for you to see below:
- Save money
- Obtain a professional business address
- Work remotely
- Professional mail and phone services
- Protect your home address
- Working remotely can be distracting for some people.
- No set environment
- May deteriorate human connections and social interaction.
Mainly, the key advantages lie within the increased flexibility, essentially enabling you to run an office-like environment from anywhere in the world, but still benefiting from a permanent mailing dress and a proper phone number and phone system, allowing you to look and act professionally.
SEE ALSO: Benefits of Virtual Office Services
How to choose the best virtual office service?
With so many virtual office options available, it cannot be easy to know which one is the best for you. However, this generally comes down to a few points:
- Where is the permanent mailing address?
- How much does it cost?
- Do you receive any other benefits or commodities?
- How good is the customer service?
It would be best if you asked yourself these questions before picking a service, especially the question about customer service. If you use virtual receptionists and others, then these need to be friendly, leaving a good impression as all customers will interact with these people.
How to set up a virtual office service?
Setting up a virtual office may some difficult, especially if this is the first you’ve heard about them. However, it really isn’t that difficult.
To begin, you need to pick an ideal business mailing address, you need to hire a virtual assistant (some virtual offices come with staff), and then you need to submit your company name and description. After that, the rest is pretty straightforward, with your chosen virtual office service walking you through the rest and ensuring the setup process is a breeze.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If so, you might enjoy these resources:
- Best Virtual Mailbox Services in Canada
- Virtual Mailbox Services for Business and Travelers
- Why You Need a Virtual Address for LLC? And How to Get One?