When it comes to virtual offices, it’s not one size fits all. Discover what you need to be looking for in your next law firm virtual office provider.
Nearly every executive office center offers virtual offices. There are office centers in every major (and secondary) business center around the globe.
Virtual offices are generally sold in packages. The least costly packages will allow you to use the center’s address and will collect and forward your incoming mail. The more expensive packages will include ample conference room and day office time each month.
The centers are generally professionally operated and well appointed.
Take time to find a space that best suits your needs. Things to consider are:
The starting price for virtual office packages are reasonably consistent around the country, with packages starting at around $100/month. However, the main difference will be the cost for extra services, including conference room and day office usage.
Rates can vary from as little as $10/ hour for a regional business city to $250/hour in London or Manhattan. Prices can vary substantially even in different centers located in the same city. Check a few places to get a feel for the local market before choosing a location.
Just because you need a virtual in a city doesn’t mean that all locations in that city will be convenient for your needs or that of your clients. Pay careful attention to where you will be traveling in and out from, and also where your client will be coming from.
A location close to a central transportation hub, where you can easily get to the airport and your clients can easily get to you, is ideal. And this will give you a significant advantage over your competition.
Make sure the center has space and amenities that adequately meet your needs. Office centers sometimes skimp on conference rooms, making it hard to get reservations when you need them. Also, bigger conference rooms will cost more than smaller rooms, so if the center only has a 30 person boardroom available for rent, consider renting elsewhere.
4. Onsite Staff.
When you first reach out a virtual office provider, pay close attention to the staff that you’re dealing with. This staff will potentially be interacting with your clients and their behavior and professionalism will be directly attributable to you.
Always ask if there will be staff members on hand during business hours. You would be surprised at how many executive centers leave their reception areas unattended during certain portions of the day, or worse, leave the center in the hands of someone who is completely incompetent.
5. Check Testimonials & Case Studies.
Most executive office centers will provide testimonials from current virtual office clients on their website. In particular, look for testimonials from other attorneys. Specifically, look for testimonials from attorneys whose practices are most similar to yours.
For example, if you are a DC firm looking to establish a satellite office in New York, look for testimonies from other out-of-town firms about how the staff’s local knowledge was helpful. However, if you see testimonials from other professionals whose presence in the center may be disruptive to your meeting (like stock trading firms who scream at their computer monitors all day), consider a different space.
6. Office Environment.
Different virtual office providers have different business cultures and the working environment in any center will be dictated by center’s core clientele.
For example, Law Firm Suites services attorneys exclusively. When you come into one of our suites it feels like a working law office. We have mostly closed-door offices and the working environment is professional and subdued.
Techie professionals would likely find Law Firm Suites’ space boring, and attorneys would likely be annoyed by more open and loud environments due to the lack of privacy.
Your clients and colleagues have an expectation about what your office space will be like. They expect that they will be meeting you in a law office. Make sure the office center where you are renting your meeting space is consistent with your clients’ expectations. An office center with a high percentage of attorneys (or one that is exclusive to attorneys) is your best bet.