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The best way to set up a cheap virtual office is often to take advantage of as many free or inexpensive online services as you can. You may want to begin by outlining the functions that you want your virtual office to have so that you can work each one into your budget. Some of the components you may want to include in your cheap virtual office are a phone answering service, business mailing address, Internet-based faxing, and a shared physical space. One option for a business phone is to use an inexpensive or free voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) service that allows you to make or receive calls anywhere that you have access to the Internet. Free or inexpensive fax services are also available over the Internet, which can allow you to avoid buying a fax machine and paying every month for a landline.
For a small business that is just getting started or anyone that requires a great deal of flexibility, setting up a cheap virtual office can be an attractive alternative to maintaining a permanent physical place of business. The amount of money that you spend setting up a virtual office can depend on how elaborate and functional you want it to be. If you want to project a very professional image, there are companies that can offer complete virtual office services. These services typically include a physical location to do business or meet clients, a shared phone answering service, and a business mailing address. This option is typically easier than setting up your own cheap virtual office, and it can be much less expensive than maintaining a permanent office.
A cheap virtual office can also be set up using various services offered by different companies. One place to start is a telephone number for potential clients, customers, and business contacts to call. This can be obtained through a shared answering service, which allows you to project the image of having a professional secretary that screens your calls. A less expensive option is to use a VOIP service that allows you to make and receive your own calls via the Internet from wherever you happen to be.
Other means of business communication can also be integrated into a cheap virtual office plan. A professional sounding domain name can typically be registered for very little money. This domain can then be used to set up a website and also for email. Free and inexpensive fax services are available on the Internet as well, and you can also make arrangements to receive mail at a private mail box service or a post office box. Office space in shared environments can typically also be rented on an hourly or daily basis if you need a place to meet with potential clients.
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