Legitimize Your Tech Startup with a Virtual Office Address
Technology startups are often cash-strapped, and the office addresses for them vary. Some elect to use the home address of an owner when they first launch, with employees working from home offices and often in different geographical locations. Others use a post office box while working from home offices, coffee shops, and/or coworking spaces. Still, others attach themselves to long-term permanent office leases.
Little thinking often goes into an office address for a tech startup. Founders worry about much bigger—or seemingly—issues such as the next code release, what DevOps container(s) to use, which cloud service is the most cost-effective option, how to design the website for optimized SEO traffic, among others.
But research shows that startups of all shapes should be concerned about their office addresses. Instead, tech startups should look to virtual office addresses as a solution. Following are some of the key reasons to do so:
1. Transformed Brand Perception
At the top of the list is brand perception. The old adage that first impressions count is important—whether it is an email, website, brochure, social media post, phone call, live web chat, or physical office location. And while it applies across all industries, it is particularly relevant for tech companies that are expected to “have it together” when it comes to their brands. Yet, home addresses, post-office boxes, and permanent office addresses in locations, which fail to garner respect, can convey diminutive first impressions—fly-by-night companies unable to afford office locations where “successful” or “up-and-coming” businesses are located.
Virtual office addresses solve this brand issue. Physical mailing addresses in professional locations that demand respect, a tech startup is assured of great first impressions with a virtual office address.
2. Recaptured Time
For tech startups electing to use their home mailing address as their office address, sorting through and separating all the mail can be a real irritant and time-consuming task. In addition, businesses can receive a lot of mail—more than what will fit into a home mailbox. For those using a post-office box, driving and retrieving mail from the facility takes valuable time, which could be used for much more important business activities. Further, if a startup is not able to check their post-office box every day, your mailbox will fill up and you will find yourself waiting in a queue to retrieve it.
Mail receipt is not location-bound for a virtual office address. Mail can be sent to any location and is not put on hold because the mailbox filled up. All the time a tech startup spends sorting through mail, driving to and from a post-office box location, or waiting in long lines to retrieve their mail that was put on hold because the mailbox filled up is recaptured for much more important business tasks with a virtual office address.
3. Business Licensing and Registration
Business licensing and registration is another problem for tech startups using home addresses or post-office boxes. Specifically, a physical mailing address is required in order to license and register a business. Post-office boxes will not work. Tech startups need to think twice before using their home addresses, as the physical mailing address a business uses for licensing and registration gets published. Most tech startups do not want their customers to know where they live. The problems do not stop there, however. In certain cases, businesses cannot use their home address—some homeowners’ associations (HOAs) prohibit listing home addresses as business addresses, while some municipalities have zoning regulations that prevent homeowners from running a commercial business with their home address.
A virtual office address solves these licensing and registration issues. No longer will customers unexpectedly show up at the house of a tech startup founder.
4. Internet Search Engines and Directories
The internet can make or break a business. Having a physical mailing address is critical here; home addresses and post-office boxes will not work. A tech startups digital list requires multiple actions that must be completed in order for the business to achieve search engine optimization (SEO): a) Google My Business, b) Facebook Professional Services, c) Yelp for Business, d) Yahoo Local, e) Bing Places for Business, and f) Foursquare for Business. The information a tech startup puts into each of these categories will affect its SEO ranking. Of course, there is a long list of other SEO factors when it comes to the website and content for which a tech startup must account.
When tech startups use a home residence for internet search engines and directories, this has a discernible SEO impact on their online presence. But with a virtual office address, this is no longer the case—as long as the virtual office address is listed correctly on each of the appropriate search engines.
5. Client, Partner, and Team Meetings
Tech startups should look for virtual office addresses such as Davinci Virtual Office that have rented meeting rooms with them for meetings. Tech startups that rely on coffee shops and hotel conference rooms for client, partner, and employee meetings lack privacy and the presentation tools needed to facilitate successful interactions and collaboration. Indeed, with business professionals claiming that most meetings are a waste of time, meeting space can make or break it.
6. Business Expansion
Tech startups often need to show a wide geographical presence, and this is impossible with home addresses and post-office boxes. Virtual office addresses enable them to secure office addresses in multiple locations—for example, a west coast office in Silicon Valley as well as an east coast office in New York—without paying for expensive physical office locations in each location. This eliminates the bar between tech startups and larger enterprises. And the tech startup gets the benefit of on-demand meeting space, day offices, and coworking space—assuming these capabilities also come with the virtual office address.
Tech startups operate in a highly competitive space. The company’s office address—or addresses—should not be a detractor but rather enabler of the business. Virtual office addresses do exactly that.