Choosing a Virtual Office? Some Things to Consider… by Roger Kahn
Virtual offices are a great alternative to the traditional office. More and more companies are finding that technology is freeing them from the ‘old style’ office and allowing them to take advantage of the flexibility and the extreme cost-savings of today’s virtual office, or as I like to call it, the Ready-Office. The office that is ready for you, when you are ready for it.
That being said, virtual offices, and virtual office providers, are not all the same. A virtual office is far from a commodity and shouldn’t be purchased as such. There are a number of factors that you should take into account before making a decision as to which virtual office is the right one for you. Here are just some of the factors to consider.
First, as with all real estate purchases, is location-location-location. Is the VO facility located in an area that is convenient for you? Your clients? Is it readily accessible by mass transit – if that is a consideration? Is there easy access from major highways? Is the neighborhood safe? Does it reflect well on your business? What is it like in there after-hours and on weekends when you might be there meeting with an important client, or collaborating with colleagues?
Next, what is the facility like? Is it neat and clean? Is it well-maintained? Does it show well? Is the paint in good condition? What about the furniture? Is it in good repair? Do they have the office equipment that you would need to support your business? What sort of shape is it in? How is their Internet? Is there any sort of redundancy? What about their phones? Again, is there redundancy? What are the operating hours that you will be able to access the space for meetings? What happens if it is closing time and you are in a meeting with a client? What will the facility do?
Pay close attention to the staff. Do they present well? Are they courteous? Pleasant? Do they seem customer-oriented? Observe how they interact with others in the office when you are visiting. Will they represent you well when your visitors come to the space?
Finally, what can you find out about the operator? Are they a large company or a local/regional business? How long have they been in business? Who from the hierarchy will you deal with if you have an accounting question or a service issue? How accessible is the owner? Did you interact with the owner in the process of visiting the space or in finalizing the transaction? Were you comfortable with them? Were they attentive? Did they answer your questions? How did they interact with the staff? Were they respectful? What other services do they offer?
There are myriad factors to consider and evaluate when selecting a virtual office location and provider. The ones above serve as thought-starters for the process. Champion Office Suites has been providing virtual office services and telephone reception services since 2003 and is one of the earliest adopters in the field. Contact them at virtualofficeny.com and request their white paper on the Factors to Consider when Evaluating a Virtual Office Suite for a more comprehensive overview.
Roger Kahn, a seasoned NYC real estate executive, started Champion Office Suites over 13 years ago. His customer-oriented approach to managing some of Manhattan’s most prestigious office buildings translates directly to the high-level of service that Champion is known for.