When I started coworking nine (9) years ago, I wish someone had said to me: “Invest and focus on Virtual Office growth”
At the time, I had yet to learn what a Virtual Office offering should include, and I certainly didn’t realize the impact this offering could have on my business and community. I spent my time and my team’s time focusing on selling physical space, obsessing about revenue and cost per square foot. I was disappointed by the low margins and our inability to invest more in member experiences, despite our continued growth to more locations and square feet.
Three locations, over 50,000 square feet, and hundreds of members later, I vividly remember asking our accounting team about this small line item in our P&L that was far outrunning all other business lines in growth and was virtually all profit (no pun intended). Back then, we had started offering a single Virtual Office product based on demand from entrepreneurs who needed a business address after moving to Puerto Rico. We had yet to market this product, spend money on it, or attempt to sell it in our spaces. Yet, initially spurred by a few dozen tax haven seekers, it multiplied in an organic, word-of-mouth fashion. We wanted more of them and were ready to invest resources to intentionally grow this business line that could help us improve profitability. However, a question kept us up at night: where do we start?
Hindsight is, of course, 20 / 20. Although we eventually learned how to systematically scale our optimally structured Virtual Office offerings through trial and error, we didn’t arrive at our formula for success overnight. We have broken down much of this formula in our Freedom from Square Feet workshop series. However, if you’re just getting started and want to kick off the new year with a plan to grow your revenue past the square footage cap in your spaces, keep reading below.
We’ve talked about Virtual Offices comprising 40% of our revenue stack at our Piloto 151 Coworking Spaces quite a lot this year. This didn’t happen magically overnight. We started by setting reasonable and achievable S.M.A.R.T. goals. We dug deep into our financials, set up an inter-department council of team members in sales, marketing, and finance, and set yearly goals for Virtual Office growth as a percentage of our total revenue. The first step is always being intentional about the way forward and setting an initial goal. If you haven’t done this already, go ahead and do it today.
Once you’ve decided to go for Virtual Office growth and at least set a loose goal as a percentage of your total revenue, it’s time to get your team behind this. Start with key members from your executive team, specifically in finance, sales, and marketing. Strategize with your team, and assign resources to this new effort. Then, communicate to your entire organization why you’ve set this priority and why it matters to the organization and each team member individually.
An initial go-to-market strategy for your Virtual Office offerings is essential, but even more important is understanding that you will likely not nail it from the get-go. Course-correcting along the way is crucial. Make sure you have team members from different departments collaborate to check progress systematically. Also, evaluating what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be scrapped, and where more resources are needed is critical to ensuring success moving forward.
These three steps will surely help get you on your way to kickstart your Virtual Office growth. However, a true Virtual Office scale, as we like to say, can only happen with software to help you automate and streamline mail operations and take care of liability-reducing compliance issues. Of course, we’re always around to help with this, and you can get in touch with us
But beyond great software, we are here to help you with strategy along the way because there’s nothing that gives us more satisfaction at PilotoMail than to watch our clients grow and achieve their goals. When it comes to growth-related opportunities, I’m a big fan of tackling them head-on when they present themselves.
PilotoMail is a mail management platform powering mailroom automation and virtual mailboxes for the remote workforce. By giving mailrooms a digital-first makeover, mail operators can deliver outstanding services all while managing large volumes of mail efficiently, complying with all postal regulations easily, and increasing revenue effortlessly.