The Benefits of a Virtual Office in London

Virtual office | LowCost LetterBox
Date: Fri Apr 8 Author: LowCost LetterBox

If your business is ringing the changes and adopting a “new normal” approach to work-life, mailbox located at a physical address is invaluable for receiving business mail.

How London Can Boost Your Business

Credibility is a key factor behind the success of a business. Without the trust of consumers, partners and investors, there is no company in the world that will get off the ground. 


But growing a reputation as a London-based business comes at a cost. A hefty cost that will hurt the budget of most companies.


Neon light, pulsating venues and abundant business opportunities may call you, but the bloated rental costs for office space will push you away. 


Don’t let the lure of neon force you to return home to your parents with your tail between your legs, business-less. 


Research shows that 60% of small businesses fail in their first year. Statistics published by the Office of National Statistics tell a different story. London has had the lowest five-year survival rate year-on-years since records started began in 2009.


For the sake of balance, London does also boast the highest number of successful businesses in the UK as well. You will need some financial clout behind you for that though. Spend v income in the early days of running a business in London also eats into the amount of time you have to make your business successful. 


The financial commitment required to live and work in the capital is jaw-dropping and heart-pumping. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world and paying for a place to live and a place to work significantly drains your income.


So if you do decide to move to London, a virtual office will free up a significant slice of your budget to invest in other areas of your business.


If your company has a significant turnover to swallow the costs, a physical business address in London’s prestigious W1 certainly helps to leverage how your company looks in the eyes of investors and customers. 


But if the costs are more likely to kill your potential for growth, the alternative option is to rent virtual office space.


Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of renting a virtual office address in London. 

  1. Premium Business Address without the Cost

Having already established the steeeeep costs to rent office space in London, a virtual office with a London postcode can work wonders for remote businesses. 


Essentially, you get access to an address in central London together with other services that create a fully-functioning office (more about that below).


Here’s the thing; perception is everything.


The brand image you project into the public space influences the purchasing decisions of consumers and investors. Moreover, people are quick to make a first impression.


And you know what they say about first impressions. 


Yep, they can be changed. 


The important point to make here is that London-based businesses are perceived as successful. You have to be successful (or affluent) to afford to run a business in London. 


The concept of “fake it till you make it” doesn’t exist in the capital because most start-ups are more likely to run out of money before you make it.

 

Yet London has a global perception that can elevate your business – regardless of where you are actually running your business from.


It’s perfectly legal to register your business in the UK with a London W1 postcode whilst running your business from a straw hut in the mountains of Timbuktu.


Advertising a prestigious address in Mayfair or Oxford Circus on your website, letterheads and other marketing material projects a positive image of a successful business. 


And people trust successful businesses because successful businesses prove year on year that they are good at what they do. 


So running a business from London may not help you fake it till you make it, but advertising that your company is based in a prestigious London district can.


Wink. 

A virtual office address in London projects the same professional image of your business as actually owning a physical space – but without the cost. 


Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at the costs involved to rent office space in London.

2.Virtual Offices are Cost-Effective 

We’ve highlighted that most businesses will find London an overwhelmingly expensive hub. 


So let’s take a look at how expensive it is to rent and maintain an office in the capital. 


Having scouted a few office comparison websites, we learned the cost of renting business premises in our hood – Oxford Street – started at £65 per square metre. The most sought-after offices in W1 will probably set you back by £85 sq. m. 


I know, I blew my cheeks out as well!

As you can see, the cost of business premises is calculated on the amount of space you need. The more employees you have, the more space you need. 


For the sake of argument, let’s say you have a small team and are happy to work in a small office of 40 sq. m. That’s not very big for office space. At the lowest rate, you’re looking at £2600 a month in rent alone.


You then have building maintenance costs and utility bills on top. 


If we look at an example that is probably more realistic, the average office space occupied by businesses in London is closer to 400 sq. m – which bumps your rental costs up to an eye-watering £26,000 a month. 


The cost of a virtual office in London that you can use as your professional trading address starts at £34 a month. At RealisUK, this price also includes our mailing service and telephone answering service.


The premium service is £55 a month which gives you scanning and mail forwarding to your mobile phone.


Even when you compare our highest fee with the lowest cost of a physical office in London, you will save over £2500. Moreover, you will receive all the services you can expect from a fully-functioning office.


You could argue that the only thing you don’t benefit from is working with your team on a day-to-day basis. However, we can even provide you with meeting rooms and office space for when you do need to work with your team in person.


The cost for renting office space will obviously cost more than £55, but our pay-as-you-go model means you only pay for space when you use it. Our charges are based on hours, nit square metres. You certainly won’t be slicing off more than £2500 from your budget.

3.Increase Your Availability

A virtual office can offer a helping hand to solopreneurs and SME business owners that need to invest time to grow their business. 


We offer a 24/7 telephone answering service that is manned by a professional receptionist who will receive your calls and pass them on to you.


We have a couple of ways to do this. In the first instance, we will forward the call immediately whilst the caller is waiting. You can either choose to forward calls to a dedicated landline or directly to your mobile. This gives you the option to take the call or phone them back later.


If you choose the latter option, or if our receptionist cannot get through to you, we will take the caller’s contact details and the beef of the message and alert you via email. 


This means you never miss a call and don’t have to worry about taking every call as it comes through. If you’re in a meeting or ‘in the zone’ and don’t want to be interrupted, you won’t be disturbed or miss a business opportunity. It’s a win-win solution.


Not only that but you are given your own private line and calls are answered using your business name. This helps to leverage the reputation you are building by having a business postcode in a prestigious location in central London. 


Speaking of which….

4.Project an Image of Success

The location of a business can lend itself to how other people perceive your company image. London has a reputation as a world leader in commerce and finance – which is subsequently reflected in businesses based in the capital. 


Businesses that appear to be operating from a prestigious address project a positive image that suggests you are a successful outfit. Successful businesses give people the confidence to invest in your company. 


In today’s digital world, there is an added importance to fostering trust in your company. Businesses with a physical location can pin your office address on Google My Business which helps to leverage visibility in search engines. 

5.Access to Modern Office Space and Meeting Rooms

If you live in London, or within reaching distance, you also have the option to take advantage of meeting rooms and private office space. Therefore, if you’re meeting with a client or investor, you can rent whatever office space you need to create the impression you are based here full-time. 

We can arrange to install signs on the doors and walls that include your company logo and give you access to a member of our team that will act as your personal assistance. We’ll even provide refreshments.


As mentioned above, you can hire office space with us by the hour so you can manage your budget and only pay for the time you book.

6.There Are No Long-Term Commitments

Being tied into long-term contracts can hamstring SMEs and startups. First of all, you pay for office space even when you’re not using it. When you rent a physical property, you typically have to commit to a six months tenancy at least.


Secondly, being tied to a contract doesn’t give you the flexibility to move to other offices if you need to upsize of downsize. What would happen if three months into your lease deal you receive a significant investment but need to increase the size of your team?

7.Fosters Remote Working Models

The benefits of a virtual office also give all the benefits of working from home or abroad. A virtual office address in London has been a godsend for digital nomads that are travelling but needed somewhere they could receive posts for their business.


Our virtual office services include scanning and mail forwarding. This means you can receive your post directly to your smartphone or email – anywhere in the world.


If your company is moving out of London and and pivoting to remote working, you can still receive posts to a physical address in London. Likewise, you can either have your mail sent to you electronically or collect it in person from one of our five locations in London

8.Create a UK-based Company From Anywhere

You don’t have to be a UK resident to register a private limited company in the UK. However, because you have to navigate a government website, setting up a limited company in the UK can be time-consuming and frustrating.


Our company formation services eliminate that burden and do everything for you. Our staff has performed company formation service dozens of times so know that steps to take to get you registered promptly. 

We handle all the registration formalities on your behalf, submit your application to Companies House and forward the official documents to you electronically.


You’re also entitled to use our virtual office address in London as your official registered address. It is perfectly legal to do so and is a popular choice for businesses that use the address of their solicitor or accountant as their registered address.


The difference is, we charge far less than legal and financial firms in the UK. 


In addition, when you register a limited company in the UK, directors are obligated to provide a service address where they can be reached. Service addresses are available online and readily available to the general public.


This enables you to avoid using your home address as your office address which means you won’t be inundated with junk mail, cold calls or even a disgruntled client turning up on your doorstep.


Find out how a virtual office in London can benefit your business by getting in touch with a friendly member of our team today. 

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