Simply put, a Virtual Office is a type of service that provides communication and address services that allow users, which are all usually start ups, to reduce their more usual traditional costs while still being able to maintain their business professionalism. The communication services include Remote Receptionists, Virtual Assistants, Answering services and Call centres, Voicemail and the Virtual Office itself in which you'll get a chance to own a high profile address in a city of your own choosing. |
To have your own virtual office the very first thing that you must do is to do a Virtual Office Setup. If in case you are a travelling person that needs to go from place to place a lot, having a laptop at this point will be a good idea. With this, you will have your files anywhere, and you will be able to access them anytime as well. Technically, once you already have access to your files and you have the opportunity to connect to Wi-Fi spots, your "office" technically is already with you.
If you indeed do not travel all that much, having a desk top set up on your own home is enough. But you also need to be sure that you have ample hard drive space and memory because you will be running a lot of programs all at once and also you will need a lot of the space to store all of your office files. For graphics work, and anything involving photo images and editing or animations, you'll need a much faster processor.
Also you will need a printer, if you require crisp, high quality black and white prints. But you can also benefit from having the coloured features of your printer, for those graphs and charts. Fax Machines are also needed to fax some documents and also a Scanner, CD Writer and a DVD Writer. For Software, there is a lot of options to choose from. Either you work alone or you are working with a group and you need to coordinate with them, choosing from these software requirements will not be so difficult. These are some of the categories of software you might actually need, MS Word, WordPerfect and Lotus Word Pro, Spread Sheet and Database programs like Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1 2 3, Intuit QuickBase, some presentation Software like PowerPoint or Astound, virus protection programs for safety of course, a utility program for computer maintenance, PDF Reader, graphics and/or image editing tools and of course Internet Browsers. Some business applications come packaged in "Suites" that provides all of these programs and software.
If you are actually working alongside other people you will need to coordinate scheduling, access central files, maintain a contact manager and meet in chat rooms. The programs that can help you with these are, Lotus Notes and Novell Groupwise. If you have a person assigned to the IT tasks, he's the one that you should assign to manage these programs.
Also there are a lot of alternative management programs like:
Virtual Office: Afteroffice Visto: Web Based Scheduling File Storage and Management Tools OfficeClip: Clip your Team Together PlanetIntra: Web Based Management and Communication Tools Punch Network: The Internet File Management Platform
Now that everything is now set up and you are of course already connected to the internet you might wonder on how you will be able to have meetings with your clients.
These client meetings should not always take place in cyberspace, or at the client's location. The best choice would be to look for executive suites or hotels that offer space that can be leased for short periods of time. If you are indeed a business owner and this happens to you a lot, you may want to consider leasing an Executive Suite that provides you with your own receptionist, voice mail, email, and other services along with time-limited access to private offices, a reception area, and a meeting room.
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