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How a virtual office can cut costs – and pay dividends for UAE entrepreneurs

Keeping costs under control is a priority for any business.

One of the largest of these expenses is office space. When you’re just starting out, or navigating choppy economic waters, signing up for a fixed term high-cost tenancy is often not a practical option. It just doesn’t feel right.

So what’s the solution?

Virtual offices. Get one in Dubai and you gain all the advantages of a premium business address and office infrastructure, without the financial commitment associated with bricks and mortar. It provides the flexibility to work where you want, in the space you need, for a period that suits agile companies.

So let’s look at why more and more forward-thinking entrepreneurs and startups are embracing this way of working.

  1. A real base for your businessMany small businesses/entrepreneurs operate from home. This can save a lot of money in the first few years, but it also means giving clients your home address.Using a virtual office keeps your home address private and means you can provide customers and suppliers with a recognisable business address. This goes beyond just practicalities; it has a positive knock-on effect with how you are perceived by your industry peers and competitors.

    How this could benefit your business

    The way your company is perceived is vital. Virtual offices allow you to place a prestigious office address on your business cards, website and marketing materials. That means clearly demonstrating to those you work with (and compete against) that your venture is a serious and established proposition.

  2. Permanently manned offices – without overheadsHiring full time employees to do tasks around the office such as answering phone calls and opening mail won’t be worth your investment if you’re starting up. Virtual offices provide answering services which respond to calls in a professional manner, taking messages and forwarding calls directly to you. In addition, they will also be able to scan the contents of your physical mail and email it to you.You will also receive IT support, and have access to a network of well-appointed work spaces
    and meeting rooms in multiple locations where you can meet both your team and your clients.

    What this could do for your business

    Having access to these reception facilities and administrative support can be highly beneficial to your company. Expenses on office space and staff are minimised, while your business retains the impression of a traditional infrastructure.

  3. Work wherever you’re comfortableIn 2003, the Journal of Vocational Behavior noted that, ‘the influence of the home office appears to be mostly positive and the influence of traditional office mostly negative on aspects of both work and personal life. ‘Why? In short, people are more productive when they’re happy with their environment. If your team functions best while working at home, or in a café, or in a shared meeting space that you rent from time to time, then a virtual office could be the perfect solution.

    How this is good for your business

    Even if you’re a small company, allowing people to work from a place where they are comfortable will reduce the amount of days they take off work and boost their overall productivity.

  4. Room to growExpanding is always difficult when you’re running a small business. It can actually put you out of business if you don’t have the finance and workforce to see it through.So if you are unsure about expanding into new areas of business, or even new geographical locations, and want to limit your risk, virtual offices can provide workers and facilities on a temporary basis for a significantly lower price than an employee on payroll.

    Why this is good for your business

    Virtual offices give you the chance to grow while minimising the risk. But if you’re unsure whether your type of business doesn’t lend itself to this type of working, consider the findings by Melanie Pinola in her book The successful virtual office in 30 minutes.

    Pinola noted that ‘according to one estimate published in the Journal of Labor Research, 65% of all jobs are amendable to at least part-time telework. This number will surely only get higher as technology continues to evolve.

  5. Reduced operating costsHaving enough finance to get started in the first place is one thing, but keeping your business afloat is something else altogether. Transport, office equipment, rental fees, wages, all come under operating costs and if you don’t have enough to cover them, your business will fail.Virtual offices significantly reduce these fees. Since you won’t have a physical workspace, you completely bypass transportation costs and only use specific services and facilities as and when you need them.

    Why this is good for your business

    With office-related costs likely to rise as we move closer to Expo 2020 in Dubai, startup businesses are looking once again at the space they pay for each month and comparing it with what they actually need and use. The savings here can be significant.

  6. The flexibility to change things – fastWhere conventional office leases tend to cover periods of several years and require significant financial commitment and outlay, virtual office agreements can last for however long you need.Why this is good news for your business

    If you have a financial shortfall, you’ll be able to amend your agreement and change the terms of your contract. For example, if you would like add or remove any services – such as telephone answering or a mailing address – you have the flexibility to turn them on and off as required.

    Whether you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, or an established mega-brand, the virtual office option is there to fit your needs and should be something you consider for your business.

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