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Tampa’s Low Business Costs Make Virtual Office Expansion Attractive

Businesses that use virtual offices appreciate the concept of keeping business costs low. Beyond the costs of physical offices, of course, there are labor costs and taxes to consider when choosing where to expand your company.

Virtual offices can cut the overhead, but if you expand into a city where other fixed costs are through the roof you can erode your competitive advantage if you eventually plan to establish a larger presence.

KPMG is offering some insights on the cost of doing business in U.S. cities in a new study called “2010 Competitive Alternatives.” Armed with this information, companies looking to expand in new cities factor in costs beyond the nominal fee they’ll pay for virtual office space.

"Our study offers a comprehensive guide for comparing business costs in the United States and contains valuable information for any company seeking a cost advantage in locating a business operation, especially in the current economic climate," said Hartley Powell, national leader for KPMG's Global Location and Expansion Services practice. "Selecting the best site for a business operation requires balanced consideration of many factors, including business costs, business environment, personnel costs and quality-of-life issues."

Tampa Wins Cost Battle
Tampa the least-costly place to do business among 22 U.S. cities and locations with populations exceeding 2 million, according to KPMG. Tampa had a cost index of 96.0, representing business costs 4.0 percent below the U.S. national baseline of 100.

Atlanta was the second most cost-competitive location in the large-cities category, followed by Miami and Baltimore, ranking third and fourth, respectively.  Atlanta’s cost index is 96.3, Miami sits at 97.0 and Baltimore at 97.1.

The KPMG study reveals Atlanta's ranking was driven primarily by competitive business-operating costs in such areas as office leasing, transportation, labor, and employee benefits, along with a favorable effective corporate-tax rate. Miami benefited from low labor and transportation costs, while Baltimore was helped by low property tax and sales tax costs.

Dallas-Fort Worth, St. Louis, Houston and Phoenix also rated high in the study. Dallas-Fort Worth has a cost index of 97.7, ranking fifth among the large U.S. cities.  St. Louis ranked sixth with a cost index of 97.8, benefiting from very competitive salary and wage costs and very low industry lease costs. In fact, St. Louis tied with Chicago for the lowest industrial-lease cost among the 22 large cities in the study. Houston and Phoenix ranked seventh and eighth, with cost indexes of 97.9 and 98.1, respectively.

Los Angeles Most Expensive
By contrast, the most expensive places to do business in the large-cities category were Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. San Francisco and Los Angeles, with cost indexes of 104.1 and 101.4, respectively, also have very high sales tax costs, while New York's very high industrial-lease costs contributed to its high ranking with a cost index of 102.0.

And while San Francisco ranks as the most expensive place to do business among 22 large U.S. cities studied, it is not the most expensive U.S. city to do business, according to the study. That distinction goes to Honolulu, in the study's small-cities category, with a cost index of 107.3.

When it comes to site selection, these are all factors to consider. The beauty of a virtual office is that it lets you avoid most of the costs of doing business in a city. You pay one monthly fee, with prices beginning at $75, and get a prestigious business address in your city of choice, along with support services like call forwarding.

Check out this video and get to know Tampa...

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Live Web Chat Services Help Avoid Virtual Protests

If we work in virtual offices, does that mean we have virtual sit-ins? In the 1950s and 1960s, college students orchestrated sit-ins as part of the Civil Rights Movement. Today, college students offering a 21st century spin on that theme with virtual sit-ins.

According to Inside Higher Ed magazine, thousands of students and faculty recently took to the streets to protest budget cuts and tuition increases across the state’s university system. A professor at one of the California universities organized a virtual sit-in, which basically meant logging on to the Office of the President portal on the system’s web site and causing the page to reload over and over. That occupied the president’s virtual office so that others couldn’t enter in.

When it comes to Davinci Virtual office space, you don’t have to worry about people protesting with virtual sit-ins – and you don’t have to worry about your virtual receptionist calling in sick. Davinci Virtual offers a host of virtual office solutions that enable you to offer stellar customer service, from virtual office space with the availability of meeting rooms to Live Receptionist Services to Live Web Chat.

If the Office of the President had Davinci Virtual’s Live Web Chat Services, they could have continued to service students even during the virtual sit-in. Here’s how it works: Davinci Virtual’s live representatives engage in a “live chat” with your Web site visitors as they are viewing your Web site. Davinci Virtual’s chat agents are trained to deal with a myriad of questions about your organization so you don’t lose qualified leads.

The Live Web Chat service is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST from Monday through Friday. Davinci Virtual’s U.S.-based chat representatives proactively engage with your visitors and leads are instantly sent to you both via text and e-mail. So if you are ready to avoid virtual protests and encourage virtual interactions that lead to sales, click here to learn more about Davinci Virtual’s Live Web Chat service.
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Davinci Virtual Offers Virtual Offices in 50 States

Who would have thought that in four short years, Davinci Virtual would be operating virtual offices in all 50 states? And not only in all 50 states, but in 26 countries and 300 cities? That's what you call a virtual office explosion.

Davinci Virtual has led the virtual office trend and is building plenty of virtual office momentum of its own with the announcement that the company now offers complete coverage in the United States from sea to shining sea.

In all, Davinci Virtual offers virtual office solutions to more than 6,000 companies and entrepreneurs across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Central America, Asia and Australia. That makes Davinci Virtual a truly global virtual office provider—the largest pure virtual office provider in the world.

Bill Grodnik, President and CEO of Davinci Virtual, offered some words at this important milestone in the company's young history: "We are thrilled that many new locations continue to join our preferred partner center network. The continued addition of prime office locations shows that our company truly provides a win-win for our partners and our customers. Whether you need a virtual office in Atlanta, a virtual office in Chicago, a virtual office in New York, a virtual office in Los Angeles or services anywhere else in the world -- Davinci Virtual clearly is the only provider of choice."

All this means you can get a professional business address in over 700 prime locations. Where will Davinci Virtual go next? The company isn't offering specific plans, but based on past experience you can bet the company will go wherever there is a strong demand for turnkey virtual communications and virtual office solutions.
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The Value of Virtual Offices in a Recession

The economy is definitely improving in many areas, but the arbiters who declare the beginning and end of economic woes aren’t quite ready to declare an end to the Great Recession just yet.

On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the group of economists who make the declarations, declined to signal an end to the recession it said officially began in December 2007.

“Although most indicators have turned up, the committee decided that the determination of the trough date on the basis of current data would be premature,” the National Bureau of Economic Research said in a statement. “Many indicators are quite preliminary at this time and will be revised in coming months.”



Virtual offices in a recession
Many companies have discovered the value of virtual offices in a recession. The virtual office is a low-cost alternative to traditional office space, yet still gives entrepreneurs, small businesses and expanding enterprises access to all the office bells and whistles on demand.

With a virtual office, cautious companies can launch with a prestigious business address, a local or 800 phone number, and still work from a home office. Entrepreneurs who need to have a client meeting don’t have to invite the client to their home, or even a restaurant. Virtual office providers like Davinci Virtual offer meeting rooms and day offices for rent by the hour.

The virtual office has gained momentum from New York City to Seattle and most cities in between during the recession because it’s the most flexible, value-oriented officing solution on the market today. When you compare the cost of a virtual office at about $75 a month to renting an office space, even one for as little as $350 a month, it the value of virtual offices become clear.

Of course, there are other alternatives, such as co-working or jelly groups rising up in cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Atlanta. Although co-working is a less expensive way to tap into shared office space, virtual offices still let you work from the privacy of your own home without the distractions of other entrepreneurs.
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Should Tiger Woods Use a Virtual Office?

Tiger Woods is tearing up the greens at the Masters. On the first day of the tournament he made his best impression ever, shooting a 68. That’s his lowest opening round at the Masters. What does this prove? First impressions count.

Davinci Virtual also subscribes to this philosophy. In fact, Davinci Virtual has trademarked the phrase “First impressions count.” The company works to help you “establish instant credibility and project the image your company deserves” with its virtual offices, live receptionists, web chat and other services.

Whether your business is located in Houston, Raleigh or Augusta—the home of the Masters—a virtual office can allow you the liberty to work from a home office or a café somewhere on the road without missing any important calls.

Virtual offices offer you a prestigious business address where you can have clients deliver mail and other packages. You also get a phone number, either with a local or toll-free area code. And if you need a meeting room or day office space, a virtual office gives you low-cost access to the space and the equipment you need to get the job done.

So if you can turn your attention away from Tiger Woods as he starts Round 2 at the Masters today, check into the possibilities of a virtual office. Just as Woods played a nearly flawless round on Thursday, you can present a nearly flawless business image when you leverage the power of virtual offices.

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