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Affordable Virtual Office Luxury in San Francisco

As the song goes, I once left my heart in San Francisco. I also left a whole lotta cash! Wow!! It's a gorgeous town, with the seductive bay just beckoning all who go there. But like a lot of cool places, it's really costly to visit there.

Given the cost of what it takes to visit, I cannot imagine the coin it takes to live there! A friend begged me to move down there years ago, but I wanted to start a business and I just couldn't see how on earth I could do that in that town.

My friend has since moved on - but had Davinci been around, I could have gotten a virtual office and rented meeting rooms when I needed them. But back then, laptops weren't even on the market as I recall.

Okay, so now I'm dating myself, but as I was saying. I could have had a great virtual space where they would answer my phone, take messages, forward my calls, and get my mail, all for $80 right on Market Street. For those who don't know, that's the heart of the business district - and everything else for that matter. You can go on boat tours, eat at the best restaurants, and at Ferry Building Marketplace, they have some great seafood and awesome happy hours!

And if it were back then, the costs would have been lower. But even by yesteryear's standards, that's a bargain rate to have a business presence in the city by the bay. In fact, anywhere. But in San Francisco, it is almost unheard of.

When you do decide to visit San Fran, take a sweater, because even in summer it can get a little nippy. Last time I was there, the heatwave waited until August to rear its head, so you gotta be ready for anything.

One visit, and you'll probably be hooked, so if you want to do a start-up or expand there, get yourself a virtual office and take your clients to the Ferry Building for happy hour so you'll really be ready to do business!

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Is the Office An Endangered Species?

Computers have made people more mobile than ever. They use them for work and play and everything in between. Once hosted office solutions came along, you could really hear those freedom bells!

Then came hosted solutions and the whole business game changed. You mean I can access all my business programs online? I don't have to update my software and pay a high priced techie to manage all of it? Or worry about someone making a mistake and wiping it all out? Wow! Sign me up!

There's one expense that many businesses have trouble paying all the time - especially new ones. And that is rent. You know, that glorified storage space where you sit all day and sometimes into the night to crank out your work?

Even with so many business solutions online, there still needs to be a space to do it from. While startups can work at their kitchen tables and garages (if they're lucky) - they still have to think about having a decent business space if they plan on expanding or having staff.

But it's tough starting out. Instead of paying a high rent that will keep you up at night and having to shell out cash to pay a receptionist and office staff - why not have a virtual office? What's that, you say.

It's a lot of things. Like a live person to deal with clients. Both on the phone and in person. That's right. A virtual office is not just in the cloud. A lot of its functions are, but you still get the benefit of having a nice office space and a business address. That's still very important in today's business environment.

Even the most antiquated office environments have had to get on the technology bandwagon, just to keep up. In fact, they risk being lost into obscurity if they don't at least get online in some fashion. Any startup serious about doing business or a company looking at expansion should sincerely consider having virtual offices. They are not only the wave of the future, but the wings of it, too!

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Viva Virtual Offices Las Vegas!

Make no mistake - there is even more business going on in Las Vegas than people visiting may believe. All of those hotels, shows, and casinos depend upon it. In fact, starting a new business in Vegas still requires an infrastructure that says you are serious and established to prospective clients. No matter what business you happen to be in.

But entrepreneurs, as well as businesses desiring to expand will find that like anywhere else worth being in the country, it costs a pretty penny to get set up. The cost of renting space is one of the biggest bugaboos to get past. Add to that the cost of an assistant, office supplies, and equipment, and that nice office address becomes so far from affordable it can make you want to pack up your toys and go home. And many people do - as in work from home.

But now, there is hope! Hard to believe, but you can get a virtual office right on the strip for around $40 a month! They give you a nice mailing address where you can get mail and packages, and you can meet there for as little as $15 an hour. A live person will answer and forward calls or take messages.

Some of the other benefits include the ability to get faxes that will convert to text and e-mail and message notification. You can always be available to your clients, without well, being too available!

Most would expect to pay a King's ransom to have even just a few of these benefits at their disposal. But with a company like Davinci, all a business person needs is offered and provided consistently and without interruption.

Taking your business virtual will reduce office overhead so you can spend more time doing what you want to do - like things people who go on vacation to Vegas do! In fact, with a virtual office on your team, your only issue in Vegas will probably be avoiding all of the temptations of sin city! Not that you have to, but just sayin'.

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Chicago - My Kind of Town

It may sound corny, but it's true - Chicago is my kind of town. It's also a lot of other people's kind of town. While it's far cheaper to live and work there than the west or east coast, that's not saying much.

Especially when it comes to business. The money grubbing Illinois government charges such a fortune in business taxes that many have gone screaming off to Wisconsin. Maybe that's why so many of their governors wind up in the slammer. Not that corruption doesn't exist everywhere, but Illinois enjoys the distinction of having the most of their fearless leaders in jail - to the tune of 4 of its last 7 governors!

But it's true what they say about the Midwest. When I was downtown once, I stood on a street struggling with a map. Someone walked up and instantly helped me. And no, it wasn't a vendor who wanted my money. Turns out, everyone was so helpful that I never did need to look at that map.

I could see that rents in commercial spaces anywhere in Chicago had skyrocketed. Despite the tax situation, many companies still need an office there because of its central location and business potential.

For new businesses, the best thing to do is get a virtual office. I got a nice space right on Wacker Drive overlooking the river for just $50 a month. So now I have a serious business address and when I need to take a meeting, I can get a private office for as little as $10 or a conference room for $15 in the same building!

Oh, and by the way. I tried the same experiment in L.A. and stood on a busy street with a map. Guess what happened? Not one single person stopped to help. I rest my case. So before you decide that the Windy City is too cold -- understand that it is also very cool. If you get a virtual office - you'll be able to afford a prestigious address in the hub of the Midwest - and that can't be bad!

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Joining the Cloud Business Evolution

I must admit I love evolution. Well, maybe not the Darwinian kind exactly, but usually evolution pertains more to forward thinking. Take, for instance - the cloud. For those who've been living under a rock (sad, but true), the cloud is where it’s at in terms of business. That’s slightly ironic since it’s in cyberspace, hence where is it really located? Oh, that's right. In the heavens. Good place for it in my book. Beats battling the traffic!

But, seriously, for any small business, success is going to depend heavily upon how well the company is managed. And that includes that magical term, efficient - challenging for any business, let alone ones with limited resources.

Most would agree that it takes a lot of moxy and a great deal of time and money to start and operate a business. What investors care about - and that includes the owners themselves (they are investors too - in fact, the biggest ones) - is that there is a high chance of turning a profit.

Turning a profit is a challenge in and of itself, no matter where the company is on its lifecycle. So what's any business to do these days? Startups need to save. Midsize firms need to save. So do large corporations.

One great way to save on costs for any business is by having a virtual office. In case you didn't know…they happen to be in the cloud. They save on costs in so many ways that it's hard to describe 'em all.

For instance, rent - the biggest expenditure. Wiped away. How? Because the virtual office provides a live person answering calls and taking messages and forwarding them, too. They'll accept your mail and packages at a prestigious address. And when you need to show your face, you can do it for as little as $20 an hour in a fancy schmancy conference room.

So get a virtual office and join the new evolution of smart business and poof! Many operating expenses will disappear into the cloud -- just like magic!

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