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What should I look for in a virtual office?


I'm bringing a few disparate people into one organization.  To solve the business address problem I'm planning on doing the "virtual office" thing.  What services have you found especially valuable?  What has been missing?  What did you discover that you didn't need?.

Bonus points for pricing on services.  I've gotten a variety of bids, but would like to hear what competitive really is:

Mailbox / Mail forwarding: Upwards of $20 plus expenses.

Scanning / DMSing: Upwards of $1.00 per page.

Admin / Receptionist / Virtual Extension: I've seen a variety of approches here....I'd like advice on what is actually functional.

Conference Room Access: Upwards of $30 per month for an hour (usually with miniumums)

Workstation Access: Same as above

Thanks for your input!


Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

There are so many virtual office formats. Sales folks usually work out of their cars and Starbucks. All business is transacted at the client site. But the most formal virtual office I experienced was at a shared office location. The provider was a company called Regis (absolutely no connection). It was great as all services were available on an as you needed basis, I.e. reception, conference room, mail service. The car/Starbucks or work from home structure becomes a little troublesome when location licensing is involved. I am sorry I do not recall the costs, but I know it was at that time a reasonable option. I came and went as I pleased with a locked door. Interestingly, the internet was hard wired, for security reasons.

Topic Expert
Dana Price
Title: Vice President, M&A
Company: McGraw Hill Education
(Vice President, M&A, McGraw Hill Education) |

Cowork space is useful depending upon the specific needs. I have worked in one in NYC, a permanent desk was $500 per month, that gave you access to a secured room with other permanent desks, copying/printing (with a limit per month), and conf rooms. It was startup focused, so the collaborative nature was free. No phones though. A roaming seat in the community room was $300 per month.

Maria Marsala
Title: Financial Advisor Coach, Speaker, Author
Company: Elevating Your Business
(Financial Advisor Coach, Speaker, Author, Elevating Your Business) |

One thing you can do is see if a Business Incubator is in your area. NABI I think is the website. I volunteered and then worked at one for a while. Very good rates. (It was a while ago, so I'm not posting them here). It may be a better deal than a virtual office.

The other thing I've seen work out very well are offices suites where there is one reception area, a conference room, etc -- but 4-5 offices attached to it. Again, you'll have an "office and conference room".


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