The cost of a virtual office will vary depending on a number of factors. As an estimate, you can expect to pay anything between £25 to £75 per month, with most virtual offices costing around £40 per month.
Unlike the traditional office there are no lengthy rental contracts to sign or utility and maintenance fees to worry about. Most virtual offices allow you to pay a monthly fee with flexibility around what services you use. There may be additional fees for these add-on services, if you wish to use them.
So, what can you expect to get for this?
A virtual office usually offers the following facilities:
- • A main postal address assigned to your business
- • Mail handling services
- • A business phone number (with calls directed to your personal devices)
- • Reception desk services
- • Call patching
- • Access to professional meeting rooms, conference rooms and desk space
What do you pay for in a Virtual Office?
One of the main benefits for using a virtual office is you get an address. There are virtual offices available throughout the UK, so it’s up to you where you want to be based ‘virtually.’
What’s important is a prestigious city centre address provides your business with a level of professional legitimacy. This is something your home address might not be able to do (especially if you work in your garden shed).
By having a well-known address on your business cards, websites, headed paper your customers and clients will immediately recognise it. If you want to create an established corporate brand, this will go a long way in helping you make the right first impression.
Let’s also not forget the legal benefits of a managed address. For instance, as a Limited Company you often have the option to use the address as your registered correspondence with HMRC.
Please be aware prices can vary significantly for different locations. For instance, if your virtual address is in a central London, generally-speaking you can expect to pay more for this than if it’s based in a smaller city like Bath.
The location you choose for your mailing address will depend on the nature of your business too. If you’re providing high-end service solutions targeted at business professionals, a city centre address will more appropriate and suit your brand image. Whereas, if you’re manufacturing a product and your customers are mainly online, an address in a location on the outskirts of town may be more practical and cost-effective.
Reception services and telephone answering
- • Telephone answering
- • Call forwarding to your mobile
- • Text and email alerts
- • Receptionist service
You can expect to have two payment options here:
- • Pay-as-you-go (so you pay a fee per call received and forwarded)
- • Subscribe to a monthly charge
For instance, if your business provides customers with technical support, you will receive large volume of calls per day. So, it would be far more cost-effective to sign-up for a monthly fee.
But if you operate an online business and receive only a few calls — you may prefer to pay-as-you-go.
Mail management services
- • Mail forwarding services — your mail is sorted on your behalf and then sent to you via first class postage. Here you can choose to have this done either daily, weekly, or monthly. Charges for this service usually cover cost of the postage and a small administration fee. The average charge is usually just a few pounds per month.
- • Mail Scanning — if you dream of a life without piles of post, then this is the service for you. Save yourself time and clutter, and have your mail opened on your behalf. The virtual office can scan it and then immediately email to you. This can be done on daily basis, so you never miss anything important. You can pay either for a pre-agreed bulk amount or per item.
- • Scanning and Forwarding — if you have important documents arriving and need a hard copy, in additional to the scanning facilities, this can be forwarded to you via first class post, arriving the next day. The same costs apply as the mail forwarding service.
There will be times that you may need a physical office space to work in. For instance, if you’re a digital nomad moving around but need to come to London or Edinburgh to meet clients. So, rather than working from your hotel room or a cafe, it makes more sense to rent a casual workspace. Or if you’re a sales team and require a desk space between appointments.
And, the great thing about this is that you can either pay per hour, day, week or month — depending what suits you best.
You can choose from a range of options: a private office or a coworking space.
Also, if you need to meet clients or organise events, you can hire a conference and meeting facilities. Expect prices to vary based on location, facilities and capacity.
Office supplies and equipment
Again, you can expect to pay for what you use. For example, printer paper is usually charged per sheet and prices will vary depending on if you use black and white or colour.
Many virtual offices offer a range of membership options. These include a month to month agreement. Or, you can subscribe to an annual fee, and receive services at a discounted rate.