The virtual office has a vital role to play in protecting the public, its industry and its own business from being misused and discredited by fraudulent clients.
It should ensure that its staff is educated about the country’s specific requirements regarding mail forwarding, legal requirements and other regulatory restrictions.
Before the virtual office offer services to a potential virtual client, it should provide proper due dilligence.
It should include due diligence checks on individuals and company as well as verification and secure storage of ID documents to reduce risk of compliance failures, fraud and reputation damage.
In addition, it is a good idea to take advantage of internet resources available such as www.Google.com, www.BBB.org, www.RipOffReport.com and www.Complaints.com and check if the person’s name or company name comes up.
The virtual office should under no circumstance accept cash payment and stay especially alert if the client is asking for packages or mail to be forwarded to a foreign country. DO never provide any service before the due dilligence has been completed, the agreement has been signed, signatures checked and funds have been received. Remember it is always better to check everything twice prior to initiating service. If necessary go back to the client and ask for clarification, any honest client will understand and appreciate your due dilligence.
Continue to educate your virtual office staff and search the internet for current scams that may involve virtual office operations.
It is not only criminals that may damange your virtual office reputation!
The internet has become increasingly important to the way we do business and how we look for leads. Many companies pay a lot of money every month to show on top of Google search. A very popular and often effective strategy is to have your company show up in Google local search. Several businesses are taking advantage of virtual offices to show up in not just one but several locations, where they have no actual physical presence.
Even if Google is stepping up its efford to stop the misuse of its Google Maps and local business, your virtual office can suffer reputation damage when involved in this sort of practice.
You can read more about the Google guidelines HERE.
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The Business Club