When my father and I started offering Virtual Offices 25 years ago they were not called “Virtual Offices”. In fact, to my knowledge, the term “Virtual Office” was not used in its present context until about 1994.
We were simply meeting the demand of individuals calling and saying, “we don’t really need a full time office, do you have something we could use part-time that costs less?”, with our supply of empty offices. Thus, our “Part-Time Office Plan” was formed. These were home based entrepreneurs and start ups that needed an inexpensive alternative to leased office space, as well as professional phone answering and an appropriate business address.
We were providing these small business owners with the same “identity” as a larger corporation, but at a much lower cost!
In an attempt to incorporate the service components into the product name, we briefly called it our “Corporate ID Plan”, but were quickly warned by a larger firm that we were infringing on their rights to this term. We finally settled on the name “Business Identity Plan” which more appropriately described the product’s use by all businesses big and small, and not just Corporations.
Still, a large and very important component of this offering was the use of a physical office. It filled an important need, and our sales reflected this with over 20% growth for 10 straight years!
When the term Virtual Office began to rise in popularity, I shunned its use in favor of “Business Identity Plan” because I had a fundamental problem with the fact that the office is NOT Virtual. Come on over to any one of our locations and I’ll show you the office – it does exist! You don’t even need to put on the virtual reality goggles…
Needless to say, the name “Virtual Office” is all the rage and is definitely here to stay. And so, as with my peg-leg 501 jeans, mini van, and Netscape stock, all good things must come to an end!
While many who contact us about our Virtual Office Plan question the existence of a real office, I am here to testify that it’s not a myth, it really does exist. Come on down, I’ll show it to you!
Managing Partner, Silicon Valley & Marketing
Keith has over 15 years experience as President and co-owner of American Executive Center prior to joining PBC (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces), and is a highly regarded figure in the OBC industry. He holds a B.S. in Finance from Santa Clara University.