I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur but for the longest time, it didn’t want to be me. A few years ago, however, I got the opportunity to be one. I partnered with my cousin, who’s a great cook, and we set up small “isawan” or barbeque place in front of their house. Being the capitalist partner, I put up the capital needed to kick-start the business and she, being the industrialist one, supplied the expertise and labor.
Sales were so-so at first but within a week or two, it picked up. In a few months, I recouped my capital, as sales just kept on getting stronger. Unfortunately, my appetite was overwhelmingly stronger than sales. I practically ate the business to death.
Kidding aside, it was through that business that I learned first hand about the high value of location. Being located near a large public high school, our small isawan had a large market and hence, brisk sales. Had it been located in my cousin’s backyard, the demise would’ve come much earlier.
Years later and with some great ideas for business in mind, the lesson on location continues to ring loud and clear in my mind. As my wife and I have plans of having a baby soon and setting up a business, the issue of where to hold office becomes more and more relevant.
The business we have in mind is one that can be run at home. There are two compelling reasons why we want it that way: cost efficiency and more time with the (planned) baby. You might say, “Dude, so what’s the issue with office space? Isn’t that a given already? Duh?” But just as that dude with the funny accent on a home shopping network would always say, “But wait…there’s more!”
There are certain disadvantages to having a home-based business. First, it’s not… well… professional. Imagine if you would, two businesses competing for your account. One has the words “…37th Floor, LKG Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City” on its business card and another having the words “…29 Tiburcio St., Kangkongan Village, Baranggay Sapa, Metro City”. Right? Right!
Another disadvantage is that my home is first and foremost…a home! If my prospects want to hold a meeting at the office, God forbid, we’ll be holding it in the living room. If we are to win them over, it’s best that we make the pitch to them in a meeting room that evokes professionalism, prestige and success.
Lastly, our planned business may require us to conduct the occasional conference call or video conference, especially for out-of-town clients. Our home’s current utilities infrastructure, however, is not even enough to support quality audio and video calls on Skype or Yahoo Messenger. Upgrading it for occasional needs will be very impractical for us. Plus, making the pitch in a business suit with teddy bears and guitars in the background would probably make us lose their accounts. That is, unless I’m in the teddy bear and guitar selling businesses.
Enter CEO SUITE. CEO SUITE is a provider of ready-to-occupy serviced offices in 14 locations across 8 key Asian cities, including Makati City.
I recently got the opportunity to meet with CEO SUITE’s Sales Manager for its Makati office. During the meeting, she gave me a tour of their facilities at the 37th Floor of the LKG Tower on Ayala Avenue.
During our meeting, she briefed me on the various services the company offers and one that caught my interest was the Virtual Office.
The Virtual Office is a service that provides clients a prestigious virtual business address, multi-lingual professional telephone answering services in 5 different languages, professional secretaries who’ll work as if your own hire and exceptional rates for the use of its 5-star business meeting facilities.
My concern about having a credible sounding business address for a home-based business is covered by being able to use CEO SUITE’s Makati business address as my own. My secretarial needs, particularly business calls handling, is covered by professional secretarial and phone answering services included in the package.
As for having a place to meet with clients as well as infrastructure to hold real-time conference calls and video conferences, CEO SUITE’s excellent facilities and technology infrastructure can be made available to me at reasonable rates. What’s more, getting the Virtual Office only costs as much as hiring a minimum wage worker in Metro Manila.
This is just one of the ways CEO SUITE helps businesses focus on what’s really important. By taking the burden of setting up and maintaining a physical office off businessmen’s shoulders, CEO SUITE helps them become more productive…and profitable.
Joseph Gerard “Seph” Romana works as a Bank Examiner at the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). He is former Market and Liquidity Risk Officer with Metrobank, former treasury trader at United Coconut Planters Bank, and former stockbroker at All Asia Securities and Apex Philippines Equities Corporation. Seph is also a resource speaker for his church’s Biblical Personal Finance seminars. On his artistic side, Seph also sings for the band Army of One. He advocates financial literacy among artists and young professionals. He is one of the proponents of Angat Pilipinas Coalition for Financial Literacy.
*This is a sponsored guest post.