MSPs: Before You Sign That Office Lease...

During my flight to the Ingram Micro Cloud Summit in Dallas, I struck up a conversation with the passenger seated next to me. At first, he wanted to know all about my iPad. But 10 minutes into the conversation, I wanted to know all about his business -- which offers virtual office space to small businesses. The more I heard, the more I wondered why really small MSPs would ever sign a full-blown office lease. Here's a recap.

Matthew J. Maroney owns an Intelligent Office franchise on Long Island. The franchise (www.iomelville.com) offers virtual offices, receptionist services, a professional mailing address, executive suites, conference rooms, virtual assistants and more to its clientele. It's basically an office time sharing service for business professionals. Plus, it doesn't require long-term financial commitments.

I realize shared office space and virtual office space isn't new. But I wonder: Are more MSPs -- especially small MSPs -- starting to take advantage of shared/virtual offices?

Here's why I ask: I've spent many years covering small businesses and entrepreneurs who rent run-down office space. And I know plenty of SOHO business owners who work out of their homes but need the occasional executive suite for strategic business meetings. That's where franchises like Intelligent Office enter the picture.

By day, Maroney and his wife are attorneys. But by night, they've invested in the Long Island Intelligent Office franchise. It sounds like local small businesses are signing up. But that's not all. International businesses that want a New York address are also signing up, Maroney says.

I wonder: Are small MSPs signing up for this type of shared, pay-as-you-go office space as well.

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TAGS: Financing
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