Virtual Office: Office Image and Solution

Tipuk Satiotomo has a major headache. After devoting herself to being a housewife for several years, Tipuk, a public relations officer, yearns to be active again. She would like to start up her own business, especially since a large company has entrusted her with its public relations affairs.

It would be impractical for her to set up an office in her home in Bekasi, West Java. Tipuk, a mother of three, would like to have a decent office in Jakarta. She imagines the ideal office to be several rooms in a building that is furnished with standard office furniture, such as desks, chairs and communications equipment. It also would have a secretary or a telephone operator. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, she does not think she can have the office that she envisions.

Tipuk is not the only one to get a headache thinking about an office. Many people would like to start their own business but, for financial reasons, cannot afford to rent a house, a shop-house, let alone office space in a high-rise building, to use as their place of work. If only they were familiar with the instant office concept, or the virtual office, then their problem would be solved.

Indeed, providers of instant office services can be found in major cities like Jakarta, where rent for office space is high. CEO Suite was the first to provide this particular type of service. Today, however, more and more companies offer business services and facilities at relatively low rates. Such services are often advertised, offering virtual offices located in prestigious places such as in Jakarta’s Golden Triangle.

Virtual office services are offered at rates ranging between Rp 500,000 and Rp 1 million monthly. Meanwhile, if you want to rent office space, the rates range between Rp 7.5 million and Rp 15.5 million a month. As the rates are in rupiah, they will not be burdensome to lessees in Indonesia.

Although the rates are relatively low, it should not be assumed that only minimum facilities are provided. Besides basic facilities — such as a fully furnished office, electricity, air-conditioning, a telephone line, a fax machine and a photocopier — receptionists and a 24-hour security system are also provided.

There is also a lobby where you can receive guests and a meeting room, which you can rent on an hourly basis and use for internal meetings or for meetings with clients. To make all this operational, a virtual office comes with a secretary, who will take phone calls and receive your clients. For extra, telemarketing can even be conducted.

One instant office provider is Asia Suite. As advertised, Asia Suite facilitates businesspeople in organizing business activities, such as correspondence, communications and meeting venues.

The following may serve to illustrate the services that Asia Suite provides. Jeff, for example, has a software business with a workshop in his house. To facilitate his business, he uses the Virtual/Instant Office service from Asia Suite. One of the benefits of using this service is that Jeff no longer needs to take his business partners to his house, which is far from the city center, for business or coordination or for a product demo. His business partners simply go to the Virtual/Instant Office of Asia Suite, which is located downtown.

Jeff may use the address of Asia Suite on his business cards and on his letter head, therefore augmenting the value of his business prestige. If a letter addressed to Jeff arrives or if someone phones to speak to him, he is immediately notified by SMS so that he can pick up the letter or phone back the caller.

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