A virtual office is a great way for your small business to save on the cost of renting an office space. Here we walk you through the 5 easy steps to setting up your virtual office in under an hour:

  1. Mapping out your strategy

  2. Obtaining a virtual business address

  3. Selecting a virtual assistant

  4. Training your virtual assistant

  5. Getting a virtual phone system

Step 1: Map Out Your Strategy

Not everyone's virtual office will look exactly the same. Perhaps you do have a physical office, but would like to complement it with virtual assistants. Or, maybe you truly are starting with nothing and want to go 100% virtual from the beginning. No matter what your ultimate goals are, it helps to map out your strategy before diving in.

Possible elements of a virtual office include:

How many of these things you wish to utilize will decide how much work is involved in getting started.

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Step 2: Obtaining a Virtual Business Address

No virtual office is complete without a professional address to receive mail at. As we noted in another article on virtual offices, you don't have to actually reside at the business address your mail gets sent to.

Services like NYMail.com, for instance, allow you to give key contacts and business partners a prestigious, professional-looking 5th Avenue business address. Using such a service, you can:

A $20.00 business pricing plan is available which enables business owners to obtain a prestigious business mailing address in 24 hours. Theoretically, you could sign up today and accept mail at your new, professional address the very next day.

Step 3: Selecting a Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants are one of the most popular virtual office fixtures of all. However, beyond the idea that a virtual assistant would be helpful to have, many of us get stuck in the process of actually finding and hiring one (much less training one.) Fortunately, dozens of different companies offer virtual assistants on flexible pricing models. Here are a few we recommend:

Note: Your life will be made infinitely easier by requesting a VA (from AskSunday or any other provider) with excellent command of English.

Step 4: Training Your Virtual Assistant

The actual hiring of a virtual assistant can be executed in under five minutes. The next, slightly more time-consuming task is training them to perform to your expectations. Here, it's all about specifics.

Because you will not be supervising a virtual assistant the way you would an in-person assistant, instructions, rules and procedures are a must. Below are a few articles with virtual assistant training tips:

No matter which tasks you envision a VA carrying out, you'll need a similar but modified list of rules for them to follow. In this way, the virtual assistant you hire will cease being merely an assistant and become your assistant.

Step 5: Getting a Virtual Phone System

If you've owned a 'real office' before, the idea of getting a phone system installed in an hour might sound like a pipe dream. But with a virtual phone system, the fantasy is a reality. A virtual phone system lets any business get up and running in just a few quick steps. All it takes is:

That's it. Following these simple steps, you and your team will be able to take calls and receive voicemails and faxes from anywhere you happen to be.

Get Down to (Virtual) Business

Now that you've hired an assistant, acquired a virtual business address, and set up your phone system, your virtual office is in great shape. You're ready to get out there and start making waves in the business world.

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