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When the Internet's predecessor was first conceived, it was a military communications network designed to allow the United States’ army to improve the reliability of communications between battalions in the event of a radio outage. Today, the Internet contains millions of web pages and terabytes of information. Businesses can take orders online, communicate with clients online, and send invoices online. A business that functions purely online is the way of the future.

Understanding a New Era: How Virtual Offices Work

Unfortunately, the road to online business is paved with impracticalities. Standard mail is still the preferred method of sending many business documents, such as contracts and invoices. As such, a physical address is a requirement for any business. Furthermore, any business that wishes to attract clients must have an office space in order to be taken seriously.

In the aftermath of the recession, though, profits are down and costs are up. Many small business owners simply do not have the resources to afford an office, and this can hinder business growth.

The Practicality of Virtual Offices



The solution is virtual office space. A virtual office consists of various services, including receptionists, administrative support, telephone answering services, mailboxes and rentable business meeting spaces. The purpose of a virtual office is to eliminate the need for a physical office, thereby reducing costs associated with having a physical office, such as rent, utilities, and furniture. A virtual office can give a home-based business owner a professional space to meet and entertain clients, thereby improving brand image and recognition.

How Virtual Offices Work



A virtual office provider offers services such as a fax line, phone line, receptionist or assistant, and mail forwarding. In the event that a meeting with a client or business partner is required, it is possible to rent out a meeting space almost anywhere in the world. Rather than pay for utilities, rent and Internet for a permanent, physical office, the business owner only needs to pay rent to the provider for the time the office is actually required.

Who Can Benefit From a Virtual Office?



Everyone benefits from a virtual office, from the largest multinational conglomerate to the lone freelancer. International corporations who seek to experiment with a work-from-home program to improve productivity can rent out a virtual office to coordinate employees from one location. A freelancer running a one-person operation can rent a professional space to meet with clients. A virtual office can serve as a test-run for a company seeking to expand into new territory. Rather than invest in a permanent office space in a location where the business may not succeed, a virtual office allows a business to maximize growth opportunities with minimal risk.

The way that people do business is changing. Business owners and their employees may live several hundred miles apart. A company based in Maine may do business for clients in Dubai out of an office in Moscow. As more and more work moves onto the Internet, it will become more and more necessary for businesses to coordinate multiple employees from around the globe. Physical offices will no longer be necessary, and instead will cap business profits. The best solution is a virtual office.
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