Davinci Virtual Blog



Virtual Offices Help Companies Expand to Philadelphia

Thinking about a business start-up, expansion or relocating to Philadelphia? The City of Brotherly Love would sure like to have you there.

Philadelphia is strategically located between New York City and Washington, D.C. and is home to many Fortune 500 companies. If you are in the alternative energy, life sciences, information technology, education, defense, logistics or financial services industries, you’ll find clusters of like-minded businesses there. But there are plenty of other opportunities for companies in the Greater Philadelphia area as well.

Greater Philadelphia is the fifth largest metropolitan region in the U.S. population with more than 6.1 million people. And the cost of living there is lower than other major northeast metros like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. In fact, Greater Philadelphia offers one of the lowest office rents among major northeastern U.S. metros.

Greater Philadelphia is there to help with site selection assistance and plenty of other economic development incentives that turn you head, including grants, loans and tax abatements. Davinci Virtual is also there to help with virtual office space that offers you a risk-free way to enter the market with a professional image, whether you are a bootstrapping entrepreneur, a global corporation or somewhere in between.

Davinci Virtual has two prime Philadelphia virtual office locations. There’s the Philadelphia Office Center at Two Penn Center and the Philadelphia Business Center at 1800 JFK Blvd. Both locations offer you a prime business address, mail and package receipt, a business support center, lobby greeter, client drop off/pick-up point and more.

The Two Penn Center location costs just $155 a month, and this includes 16 hours of shared office space. The Philadelphia Business Center runs $95 a month, but does not include the shared office space in the price. Both virtual office locations offer you the opportunity to rent a conference room by the hour, if needed.

Davinci Virtual also has virtual offices in other cities across Pennsylvania, including Allentown, King of Prussia, Plymouth Meeting, Bala Cynwyd, Malvern, Radnor, Erie, Exton and, of course, Pittsburgh. So whether you need a virtual office presence for a few months as you settle into Philadelphia or you need a long-term professional office solution, Davinci Virtual has you covered.

Virtual Office Takeaways from the Web Worker Survey

Are you a web worker? If so, you’ll be interested in results from the Web Worker Survey 2010.

WebWorkerDaily, along with GigaOM Pro, conducted the survey of web workers, loosely defined as “anyone who works using the web” to discover some keen insights. I wish they had included the use of virtual offices in the study, but we’ll talk more about how these two worlds meet in just a minute. First, let’s look at the survey results.

One interesting finding was that most web workers are actually not freelancers. That busts a myth, indeed. Sixty-one percent of web workers are full-time employees. That said, nearly half (45%) are freelancers (which seems to suggest that some full-time employees are moonlighting).

The survey also explored coworking, and discovered it’s more popular in Europe than in the U.S. Still, about 30 percent of overall respondents are using some type of coworking set up. What’s more prevalent is the use of Skype. A whopping 90 percent of web workers are using this instant messaging and VoIP tool. Another 38 percent are using cloud-based office suites like Google Docs and Zoho.

Virtual Office Takeaways
Again, the survey didn’t look at the virtual office. But here’s some of my takeaways from the survey as it relates to virtual office space and virtual office technologies.

First, nearly half of web workers are freelancers, and, as I mentioned, it seems some of them may be moonlighting. A virtual office can be a smart solution for a full-time employee who’s doing on work on the side. A virtual office gives the moonlighting employee a special local or 800 number where clients can call without disturbing them during their 9-to-5 job. The virtual office also offers the moonlighter a prestigious business address. The moonlighter can also meet with the client in a conference room at the virtual office provider’s bricks-and-mortar campus. This way the employee keeps the freelance operations completely separate.

I also thought it was interesting that coworking is more popular in Europe. Again, the survey didn’t mention virtual offices but we all know that virtual offices are extremely popular in the U.S. I would bet virtual offices are still more popular in cities like Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Cleveland than are coworking facilities.

So far as Skype and Google Docs, virtual office technologies can compliment those offerings. Davinci Virtual, for example, offers an attractive rate on Cisco WebEx technologies to its virtual office customers. There’s also Live Web Chat services that can help moonlighting freelancers stay focused on their full-time job while someone else deals with their clients.

If you haven’t tried Google Docs yet, check out this quick video explaining its benefits:


Virtual Offices Help Companies Expand to Miami

Thinking about expanding or relocating to Miami? There’s plenty of good reasons to consider the move—and a virtual office space could help you test the waters.

Miami is home to more than 1,000 multinational corporations and thousands of other companies. As an international gateway city, Miami offers you quick access to Latin America, the Caribbean and even Europe and Asia. The multilingual workforce offers you the international edge.

Miami has been ranked the “Best City to do Business in Latin America” by AméricaEconomía. Miami has also been named among “America’s 50 Hottest Cities” for relocations and expansions by Expansion Management Magazine. Of course, it’s no surprise that Miami and Miami Beach rank among vacation favorites. The quality of life is enviable.

Companies thinking about relocating or expanding to Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach—three of the best-known cities in the South Florida region—are increasingly turning to the virtual office as an option to test the market before jumping in feet first. A virtual office space eliminates the risk of moving or expanding into Miami.

With a virtual office space, a business in Wyoming can have a local Miami phone number (with a 305 area code), as well as a Miami business address that impresses. Davinci Virtual, for example, offers you a choice of South Florida addresses in area cities like Aventura, Boca Raton, and Coral Gables, among others. If you want to be in Miami’s urban core, you can choose an address like 1200 Brickell in the Financial District. If you want a virtual office in Miami Beach, you can choose an address like 1680 Michigan Avenue.

With a virtual office space, you can also have access to a conference room if you need to come down to Miami to have a business meeting. Your company’s name will be listed in the building directory, and you can have mail or packages delivered to your Miami virtual office forwarded to your company headquarters—no matter where that is.

Whether you are setting up a new business in Miami or thinking about expanding or relocating, these are some of the ways a virtual office can lower the risk with services starting at less than $100 a month. Be sure to ask Miami’s economic development arm about incentives for relocating and expanding—there are plenty.

Check out this video on expanding to Miami and see the benefits for yourself:


How a Virtual Office Makes Your Summer Vacations Better

I read an interesting study from Robert Half Management Resources. The gist of it was that financial executives can’t resist calling into work when they are on summer vacation. More than two-thirds (69 percent) of CFOs in the survey said they check in with the office at least once or twice a week during their vacation.

“While it is impossible for most CFOs to disconnect entirely, having a strong team in place makes it more manageable to get away,” says Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “Disconnecting from the office also sets an example for employees, encouraging them to take needed breaks.”

Whether you are the CFO of a large company, or the CFO of your own company, taking downtime is important. Any good success coach will tell you that you need to recharge your batteries and sharpen your saw for continued success. A virtual office system can help before during and after your vacation.

McDonald offers five tips to help managers ensure their time away truly feels like a vacation:

Schedule ahead. If possible, aim to leave the office during a light period or when key staff members aren’t on vacation. Those in the office won’t be stretched too thin by your absence or feel the need to be in constant contact with you.

Decide on a point person early. A few weeks in advance, designate a senior person you trust to manage day-to-day responsibilities during your absence.

Notify contacts and clients. Before you leave, make certain clients and other business contacts are aware when you’ll be gone. On your out-of-office e-mail response and voice mail, include the name of your colleague handling your responsibilities.

Divide assignments. Unless the project requires the focus of your most senior person, you may want to distribute tasks to multiple senior staff members to ensure that work gets completed and to avoid overburdening any single employee. Also consider bringing in project professionals to cover large projects.

Determine your check-in time. If you must check in, try to establish “office hours” prior to your departure. Provide your staff with specific dates and times you will be checking messages. Resist the temptation to always have your mobile device in hand while on vacation.

Don’t forget about the benefits of virtual office technologies…

I think all that is good advice. But there is one more tip that could make your vacation more  relaxing, even if you do have to take some calls during your getaway: virtual office technologies. Virtual office technologies can streamline communications during your time away from the office.

Here’s how: A virtual office phone system offers live answering and call forwarding services. So if a client really needs to reach you, your live receptionist can look at the list of people you are willing to take calls from and let the others know you are on vacation. The virtual receptionist can forward the appropriate calls to you and shield you from the rest.

Virtual office providers also give you access to fully equipped conference rooms and web conferencing technologies. So just about wherever you are, from Miami to Los Angeles to Seattle to New York and beyond, you can drop into a Davinci Virtual and rent a conference room with video conferencing or web conferencing capabilities.

On top of all this, a virtual office can make you more productive year-round, so when it’s time to take a vacation you are already ahead of the game. How many entrepreneurs never take a vacation—or even weekends off—because of the workload. With a virtual office system that includes virtual assistants, virtual receptionists and technologies, you can set the stage for a great vacation before you ever step foot out of your virtual office.

Be sure to take a real vacation. There are studies that give you a justification!


How to Choose a Virtual Office Provider

Is your virtual office provider accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? Does it even matter? Davinci Virtual thinks so. That’s why the company sought out BBB accreditation and has been proud to hold the distinction since 2008.

But what does that mean to you?

Here’s how it works: If a virtual office provider—or any other company—is accredited by the BBB, that means the bureau has determined that the virtual office provider meets certain standards. Those standards include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. Davinci Virtual actually pays a fee for accreditation review and monitoring and support for BBB services to the public. That’s just how committed this virtual office provider is to offering sterling service.

The Better Business Bureau has a Code of Business Practices that accredited virtual office providers must meet. The code is built on the BBB Standards for Trust, essentially eight principles for creating and maintaining trust in business. Those principles include:

  • Build Trust

  • Advertise Honestly

  • Tell the Truth

  • Be Transparent

  • Honor Promises

  • Be Responsive

  • Safeguard Privacy

  • Embody Integrity

So when you set out to choose a virtual office provider, check to see if they are accredited by the BBB. Although BBB accreditation doesn’t mean the BBB has endorsed a virtual office product or service, it does mean that the virtual office provider has been deemed trustworthy in its dealings with customers.  With so many virtual office providers springing up, it’s important to choose a brand with a trustworthy track record.

Check out this video on BBB and ethics: