Through one small, seemingly insignificant change in my business, my client roster and turnover has increased dramatically. Following advice from owners of companies similar to mine, I chose to establish a virtual office in the Netherlands. To be perfectly honest, I did this with a certain amount of scepticism, but I have yet to regret it for a single moment. A year or two ago I had never even considered that a virtual office in the Netherlands could be an option. Once an old school friend suggested to me that my import/export company might benefit from making use of a virtual office in the Netherlands, I decided to look into the possibilities. When discussing it with other medium and small business owners, the main topic that kept coming up was client perception. My particular business is based in Harwich, a busy port town which is logistically ideal for the type of work that we carry out, as well as being close to my family home in Southend. The trouble is that Harwich is not particularly well-known, especially abroad, and certainly lacks the glitz and glamour of larger cities. I had no intention of moving my business away from Harwich, as that would only serve to make my day-to-day life more complicated, both in terms of the business but also for my happy private life. What I quickly discovered though, during my research, is that a virtual office in the Netherlands, in my case in Rotterdam, would add a lot more prestige and recognition for potential clients based outside of the United Kingdom. My business involves both importing from the European Union in the Great Britain, and moving products back in the other direction, so a virtual office in the Netherlands, having a Dutch business address, is entirely sensible, logical and easy to understand for my clients on mainland Europe. Once I decided to take the step of establishing my virtual office in the Netherlands, the effect was obvious within weeks. We had far more unexpected new clients – clients who had encountered our business online rather through direct interaction with us or referral from existing clients. This allowed our network to grow exponentially, and has given us a lot more financial freedom and space to grow.
How we established our virtual office in the Netherlands
I am proud that I have grown my business from a small, one man operation to a successful, international operation. I achieved this through:
- Hard work;
- Will power;
- Good luck;
- And knowing when to delegate.
The process of opening a virtual office in the Netherlands was clearly a time to delegate. Hiring experts to do that kind of work is always a sound investment, particularly when it involves another country. Fortunately for me, a fellow importer was able to direct me to Easystart Office. They are specialised in exactly the kind of tasks that I needed. I found their contact details on easystartoffice.com, and within 10 minutes they knew exactly what I was looking for and I knew that they would get the work done for me.
What has changed
The day-to-day working of my business is exactly as it always has been. The logistics of the company run exactly as they always did, and I spend my days doing the work that I love. Yet since establishing our virtual office in the Netherlands we have much more security, thanks to clients being able to find us and trusting in us even more easily than they did before we took the step.