Are you opening a new branch location? Then you should consider getting a head start on business by creating a visual and virtual presence at the new office even before your team moves in.
This is important because a business that provides services to the public benefits from starting operations even before the building itself is ready. Mainly, these benefits are in the form of extra time, extra visibility, and the ability to test processes.
The extra time you garner gives staff time to train and prepare for your grand opening. Minimal operations allow managers and administrative staff to handle setup and emergencies without a crowd of customers or phones ringing off the hook.
So, if you think that your new location could use an early presence, how can you start? Here are three ideas.
1. Establish Telephone Lines
Your people don’t even have to physically be in the office in order to set up its phone presence at any time. With today’s multitude of options, this phone setup could be anything from a landline forwarded to another office phone or even a cellphone number that serves as a temporary main line on the go.
Since you aren’t fully staffed yet, hire a professional answering service to answer this line and manage routine calls. They will send messages to other staff and route emergencies to current employees or providers as you designate. Future customers and vendors for the new location may not even be aware that you aren’t actually in the office just yet.
2. Assign a Location Liaison
Put one person – perhaps with a team, depending on the size of the new office – in charge of its setup. This person might be the future office manager or it may be a temporary move-in manager who focuses on getting the place up and running. This liaison should work out of the new location, in temporary work spaces, at least some of the time to coordinate setup, deliveries, and construction work.
Give your move-in manager a local phone number to handle business for the office no matter whether they are there or working at the existing locations. Because opening a new location is complex, this is another good time to use an answering service. You don’t want to overwhelm the liaison with too many fires to put out at once, so make sure they have the tools they need to prioritize their duties efficiently.
3. Add the New Office to Your Virtual Presence
As with phones, modern technology means that you can set up a virtual presence for any location whether or not it’s staffed. Add the new office to your business website and treat it as you would other, already functioning locations. Create its own temporary stationary, using a local post office box address if needed. Just make sure that as you advertise the new office, you don’t unintentionally cause potential customers to show up before you’re there and ready for business.
Using your website or customer portal, set up customers and complete online forms so everything’s ready to go when you move. As customers become established in your system, you can also direct them to existing offices – building the new location’s customer base as soon as possible.
As you consider when to start operating your facility, don’t overlook the good that can come from creating a visible presence long before you officially open the doors. For a little extra work, you get a jump start on your customer base and work out the kinks.
Professional Answering Service
can help. From routing calls to making appointments, let us be part of your virtual office. Reach out to our team to learn more about what we do and how we can help.