One of the most inspiring movements in the current economy is the rise of small businesses and overall American entrepreneurship. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are responsible for more than 60% of all new jobs in the last 20 years, and recent studies indicate that more than 25 million small businesses are currently in operation across the country. Surprisingly, many small businesses operate remotely: employees “telecommute” from home and deliver their work via the internet.
Understandably, many small businesses seek to avoid office space leasing costs. Experts do note, however, that if a small business owner does want to rent office space, there are often extremely flexible lease terms. New businesses spend at least $30,000 in the first few years of doing business, and there are actually temporary office space leases available throughout the industry. Sometimes owners want to wait until they are assured of long-term success before committing to a lease.
Finding office space to rent could help small businesses succeed, experts say. Having a “brick and mortar” retail store can help customers become accustomed to a new brand name; for businesses whose workers primarily telecommute, having a central office space can allow for weekly or monthly meetings among employees. Some business owners find that renting virtual office spaces is the most affordable and flexible solution for their business needs.
Typically, a virtual office can provide new businesses with mail receipt and forwarding services. Business owners may not want to publish their home addresses for public view, and renting space in a virtual office can allow for a smoother administrative experience for home-based businesses. Also, virtual offices can offer small businesses access to professional secretarial and call answering services; sometimes, raising a business’ public profile can be as simple as having on-call staff who are available to answer questions at any time of day.
If a home-based small business owner needs to meet with clients, virtual offices can often allow them to rent conference rooms on an as-needed basis. Instead of paying to lease office space that may not see much use — due to telecommuting employees — small business owners can rent meeting and conference rooms to ensure that they present a winning image to new and existing clients.
Renting professional office space from a virtual office may also allow small businesses to obtain a single office within a larger office complex. Some office spaces for rent have a single administrative employee who works — again, on an as-needed basis — for as many as 30 professionals who rent individual offices on a monthly or yearly basis. Traveling salespeople may wish to keep an office in cities they visit often, and being able to avoid the costs of hiring a full-time typist or personal assistant remains an attractive option for small business owners worldwide.
In the late 1990s, economists wondered about the future of small business in America. Large-scale shifts toward outsourcing call center and other semi-skilled labor positions gave mid-level workers the push that they needed to start their own small businesses, and the widespread availability of high-speed internet and “do-it-yourself” web sites worked in tandem to make them successful. While not every small business succeeds, having the option to contract for virtual office space is helping make millions of startups into success stories.