virtual3.jpgWhen I started my online business, Globalized E-commerce Online Solutions (GEOS) I didn’t think a business address was necessary. My focus was on building a reputation on being a reliable service provider in the Philippines which can only be tested through time and referrals. Now that I have established some reputation , the thought of a business address was still not a priority. First, a physical office was not necessary when everything is done remotely. Hosting activation, domain registration and other services are done using the web browser. My sys admin is located in Los Angeles together with the support staff. Secondly, my market niche are the small and medium enterprises. Just like them, some of our businesses are based in the place of residence. Third, renting an office raises overhead cost. Usually, when a customer calls me up and inquires about the offices of Pinoy Webhosting, I usually say that it is located in my home. Doesn’t sound professional right? Maybe I should consider a virtual office such as this:

A Regus Virtual Office provides your business with all the benefits of a prime office, without the need to be there! Simply use a business address in one or more of our 750 locations worldwide, ensuring the best impression for your business.

You choose the location and length of term and your new virtual office can be open tomorrow with:

-Phone answering in your company name
-Mail forwarding
-Taking and delivering your messages
-Access to offices, meeting rooms and videoconferencing on a pay-as-you-use basis

From just PHP 2,850 per month.

macbookYesterday at the Rockwell Center , I met up with a potential customer, a Hongkong Trader who didn’t seem put off that I didn’t have an office address. My office is contained in here, as I removed the immaculate white Apple Macbook from my handbag. Haha. Why do I have to pretend it’s something more sophisticated when online transactions are just a a few keystrokes and clicks? My customer revealed that he had a virtual office in Hongkong and in the Philippines but he didn’t have a website. He felt it was time to have a website because the young professionals often ask him for it. A @yahoo or @gmail email address is not impressive.

We were both amused. He had a virtual office without a website and I had no virtual office but had dozen of websites. It was fun exchanging online business tips. Perhaps a virtual office with a conference room is wonderful interaction with customers since it gives a more personal touch. So yes, a virtual office is my next plan.

The 2850 pesos a month seems reasonable. I wonder if there is a catch. The virtual office is a great idea for the Small Office Home Office (SOHO) or Home Office Business Office (HOBO) type of business. There are a lot of stay-at-home working moms that have micro-enterprises in their place of residence. I guess it’s a stereotype to associate professionalism with an office address.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1231 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • http://webpinoy.org monyo

    home offices are now widely accepted in our business culture, one must not conceal that fact when presenting your company’s credential to customers. I for one will not think twice about employing the services of a SOHO since I know that less overhead means savings for me.

    cheers and good luck

  • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

    @monyo- I never hide the fact that I work at home. true it’s acceptable however others still look for the office address. That’s true, less overhead is good for price considerations

  • http://niceheart.wordpress.com niceheart

    I know what you mean when you said it doesn’t sound professional when you say that your business is located in your home. When I need to make a business call from home, I always tell my kids to keep quiet because it won’t sound professional when the other person on the line hear kids shouting in the background.

  • lemon

    how true. i used to entertain clients in our home too. it did nothing to impress them, so that when the time came for me to bill them for legal services, i couldn’t bill them appropriately, thinking that the amount would be excessive since i had no overhead expenses such as rent, etc.

  • http://senorenrique.blogspot.com/ eric

    That’s a great idea! Are you with Pinoy Webhosting?

    I’m developing an idea which I’d probably need something like this, a SOHO. When that happens, may I ask for some advice?

    Thanks!

  • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

    @niceheart and lemon: It’s been a stereotype to associate business with a formal office. I am honest with my “office” but still feel I need a more formal setup.

    @Eric- yes I own pinoywebhosting.net . You can always start a SOHO anytime but sure ask for my advice anytime. You can reach me at my contact form.

  • http://www.westdecrepito.com Mela

    Ok. this is my 3rd try, I really would like to leave this message in your guestbook unfortunately it’s not letting me. So I am writing it here since I am very interested in what you do the homebusiness thingy.

    First of all, I found you from Pinoy Blogs and I realized that most of the posts that caught my interest comes from you so I better go ahead and let you know..hehe

    I lost my mom at 22, I am 36 now. It took me over 10 years to move on, The first 5 years was horrible. Although I don’t cry hard anymore when I remembered her but I still get teary eyed when I talk about her and especially miss her everytime I gave birth. I’d like to leave you a little bit of encouragement, I know it is hard.. but do find comfort in the knowledge that you will see your little boy again. He is at Jesus feet now. Whenever you miss him crawl to your father in heaven and let Him hold you in his arms. I always find peace there.

    I am blessed with a wonderful christian husband and God has gave us 2 beautiful fil-am boys so far. I am stay at homeschooling mom and love it since I am a bit paranoid if my boys are not within my eyesight. I am so interested in what you do and your homebusiness. I’d like to do something like that at home because I love computers,technology and internet. I need to find out where and how to start.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Blessings!

  • http://www.westdecrepito.com Melanie West

    That’s me above. I don’t know why my name was cut short. Just thought I need it corrected. Have a great week!

  • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

    @Melanie: I started a business when I was 45 years old. I wanted to get back and be employed but no one hires 40 year olds. So I thought of starting a business . A hobby was a natural choice. Try to find something that interest you and see if there is a market for it. Start something small and manageable

  • http://senorenrique.blogspot eric

    That’s wonderful.

    What I’ll do is create a draft of exactly what I plan to do and what I intend to achieve, and then write down the questions I might have.

    Thanks, Noemi!

  • myrna co

    Hi Noemi. We had a long stretch of a holiday. Just after Christmas, was about to play online scrabble (to which I am somewhat addicted) when I thought of you. You had really inspired me with your blogsite and wondered if I could do it even if I am next to computer illiterate. I created something very temporary … am still groping … would you like to read it? It’s about retirement and growing old. If you have time, will you visit: http://ode2old.blogspot.com. I got questions: how do i add sections (e.g. post retirement options which of course should include entrepreneurship, pscyhological preparation, quotations on growing old. )? how do I get people to go to my site, apart from begging my friends and relatives. Haha. How could the site get “hits” via browsing? Do I have to register? Is it better to go to paysites? Does your company host blogspots too? What’s the deal? Oh, I have many questions for you. Will you call me one of these days at the office? My number is 928-7076 to 79. Thanks a mil. Much obliged.

  • myrna co

    Noemi, thanks for being so kind and encouraging. Will hold my breath until I see the “promised entry.” Haha Well, I really have to plan for graceful retirement … and blogging seems to be an attractive option. You haven’t answered my questions, though. Does your company host blogs or mini websites. I couldnt seem to expand my present blogsite. Couldn’t add page elements (sections and links) though I tried. Will you give me your contact numbers? Maybe we could talk business. Or are you going to answer all these questions in that “dedicated” entry? All best. I hope the year is young enough for me to wish you a Happy New Year.

  • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

    @Myrna- you can’t create categories in blogspot. You can do that at wordpress.com. It’s a free site too. And they use the same script as I do.

  • http://ode2old.blogspot.com myrna co

    Thanks Noemi. I will check out wordpress. Btw your blog promo tips are great. Although right now, my bigger concern is location — one that will allow me to add page elements that will spruce up the site. I see your page, that of Jim Paredes, and of others and I really eat humble pie. But as you say .. who knows?

    Your flash-back to your UP ISSI days made me smile. And your tribute to “writers,” with an allusion I am one of them. But let me tell you this: you are now one yourself. Ang galing.

  • Leilani Del Rosario

    Teach me naman where to get the virtual office and sino yung contact dun, i need to have a virtual office din. Thanks

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