Bruce W. Fraser of the New York Daily News interviewed VH International Business Solutions, Inc. regarding our virtual office services.
Here’s the story, which appeared in Monday, October 26, 2009 NY Daily News on page 3 of the Money section:
Despite lower prices due to the deep recession, renting an office in Manhattan can still be well beyond the budgets of many small businesses.
Yet some companies that really want to claim a Manhattan presence rely on a crafty solution: Instead of renting office space, they effectively rent an office address.
A company based in, say, Maplewood, N.J., or Dallas, or anywhere, really, can sign up with a virtual office firm. Customers can pick from actual Manhattan office addresses that can be used on business cards and correspondence.
For a fee, a virtual office firm makes it seem that your business is operating in Manhattan.
They collect your mail. If you happen to be in town, you can book meeting rooms or rent desks with computers. You can arrange to have a receptionist greet clients.
End result: You’re a player in Manhattan.
“We run their office for them while they run their business,” said James Richport, marketing manager at VH International, which has about 3,000 virtual clients, mostly from the tristate area.
“The past year or so, with a lot of companies cutting back, has been good for us,” he said.
Clients run the gamut from authors to consultants, importers and exporters, and international firms that want to meet with clients in New York.
At VH International’s facilities in the Flatiron district on Broadway, the most regular clients are lawyers, sales people and accountants at tax time.
“We’re seeing a lot of lawyers breaking away from larger firms, or being laid off, going solo with us,” Richport said.
Users adapt the service to their needs.
Jack Smith, a lawyer who works from his home in midtown, has been a customer for six years.
“They enable me to be very supportive of each client’s needs. I can rent a larger room to assist for tax audit matters, or a smaller, more intimate, private room to review a will or an estate. It makes it an exceptional value relationship for me and my clients, and I don’t have to charge to cover for an unreasonable expensive infrastructure,” he said.
Potential virtual office customers should be aware, though, that using such a service could create tax issues, making it wise to check those out first.
Guy Brisson, marketing director in Montreal for Softmotion, a firm that produces animated images that change or move as it’s viewed from different angles for architects, ad agencies and arts clients, meets several customers a month at VH International. “They are my managers in New York,” Brisson said. “It allows me to spend quality time with clients without the distractions of a restaurant, hotel or other facility.”
He’s used projection equipment for PowerPoint presentations, as well as catering and mail-forwarding services.
Another virtual office firm, Prime Office Centers, has three Manhattan locations and about 300 virtual clients, as well as 250 onsite tenants.
Many clients are from “out of state who would rather work out of an office than Starbucks. We get a lot of those,” said Colleen Hickey, a Prime manager.
“We offer solutions to people who need to downsize from a traditional office,” she said, “but still want to keep an office presence that includes all the amenities.”
Customers “come in, set themselves up and, when their guests arrive, they get the impression this is their place of business,” Hickey said.
How can VH International Business Solutions help you?
Website: Manhattan Virtual Office