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US Business Expansion: How to test your market with a Virtual Office
Expanding your business to the United States - at any time - needs to be done with planning and testing.
However, now more than ever, testing your expansion during these uncertain times is critical. Testing your product or service with new customers in a new market to ensure viability is necessary before investing significant resources. In 2020, startups and more established businesses are using Virtual Offices to do this vs. physically moving or starting new offices. Itís a relatively low risk and low investment way to enter a new market to test your business, as well as establish a credible business identity in the US.
Letís take a look at how a Virtual Office can help you test your business in the US, as well as build trust and visibility for future customers.
What are Virtual Offices?
If you are new to the world of virtual offices, letís first review what they are. A Virtual Office is a service that provides businesses a physical address without the high costs of physical office space. You get the benefits of a physical office without having to pay leasing costs, hiring administrative staff, paying services and equipment, etc. Some of the physical benefits in addition to the physical address are local office space, mailing services, messaging, reception services, and more. But you also get the benefits of working remotely Ė overseas if needed!
Register Your Business in the US
Once you have narrowed down the city or cities that you want to expand to in the US, you can establish a presence in those markets with a Virtual Office. The first thing you will need to do is register your business in the US by selecting the city you want as your home base. While you may sell your product or services in other cities, you will need to register your company with one particular state first. This requires a Business Name, a Business Address, and a Registered Agent.
As mentioned previously, a Virtual Office provides you an actual business address, which is a real physical location. Therefore, this address can be used to register your business. It can be used to apply for licenses, set up U.S. bank accounts, and more. PO boxes are not adequate to fulfill the legal requirements of setting up a U.S. business.
Some Virtual Office Providers, such as Starthub in Miami, Florida, include a free Registered Agent with Virtual Office plans. A registered agent is required in most United States jurisdictions and is a designated individual in the US who will be legally responsible for incoming correspondence for your company. The registered agent has to be located in the state in which your business will be incorporated and can be difficult to find without connections.
Presence & Credibility
As mentioned, virtual offices allow you to establish a presence without the high costs of fully moving your business into a physical office. You can have remote workers both from your corporate office as well as locally. Coworking offices and conference rooms are available for day-to-day work, sales meetings, client meetings, agency meetings, or any other needs. Receptionist services are also available to make sure you never miss a call from local partners or potential customers.
Credibility and reputation are important when testing markets. If potential customers perceive that you are not serious about them, they will not trust you. If they believe you are not there to stay, they will not trust you. A local business address and phone number can give you the credibility you need and establish trust.
Building a Team
As you build your local team for validating your launch strategy, itís likely to include both corporate and local players. The expertise for your product or service resides with the team members that have been with the company at its current location. That location could be across the country from the test market or it could be across the globe. Virtual offices allow all team members to work remotely, as needed. Virtual Offices also allow them to come together in person as needed! Itís truly the best of both worlds where you can take advantage of local office spaces that your Virtual Office provider has.
Ultimately, this means that you can tap into expertise wherever that expertise resides!
Grow with Your Business
Once you validate the test market and viable launch plan, you can stay with your Virtual Office as long as needed! The flexibility of a virtual office allows you to grow your team without having to expand a physical space. If you need to ultimately establish physical offices, your Virtual Office can help to seamlessly make that transition.
Starting Your Virtual Office
If you are looking to test your business in the United States, a Virtual Office is the easiest, lowest risk, and most economical way to get started. A virtual office can get you started in minutes and establish your company as a legitimate business to start testing in the US.