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I like that Intelligent Office’s advertising is very low key and nobody can distinguish that it is an Executive suite so people can really think that it is my office. I also like that your plans are very flexible. They are simple add-ons as oppose to having to get a full package of services. You just add what you need.”
Your staff is extremely professional and learned very quickly to answer FAQ. The appointment booking service has been extremely reliable and has allowed me to free up some time to do other things. I also like the fact that the Intelligent Receptionists can cater to my different requirements.
Your offices have a modern look and I can benefit from the 24/7 access which is very important for my business.
I love the location that was offered to me when I was looking to move my office closer to home. This building is prestigious, accessible from many major highways and the 24/7 access was crucial to my business. I am able to conduct all of my operations from this one central location, and have peace of mind knowing that the Intelligent Office staff can handle any call that comes in for my business. I am able to take callers anywhere and have confidence that all my customers will be taken care of. With all the available business amenities and services, I have saved thousands and maintained the professional image necessary to keep growing my business. I would definitely recommend Intelligent Office to anyone who is looking to grow and keep their expenses to a minimum.
My company receives many callers from many different sources. Whether its new business or existing clients, referrals or repeat business, I have full confidence that the Intelligent Office staff can handle any incoming call the way I want, every time. I have a full-time receptionist who screens and connects all my calls to me, anywhere. If I need to step out of the office to meet a client, go to a job site or just grab a bite to eat, I know I will not have any missed calls and no one will get a busy signal. They are very kind and courteous to me and my customers. These days, customer service is more important than ever and I have the peace of mind knowing that new business calls never go unanswered. Since using Intelligent Office services, I have maintained the level of service that has made me successful so far and kept my budget in-line with my expenses. The location is also very prestigious and the building is state-of-the art, which definitely helps maintain a professional image for my company.
Thank you to Intelligent Office Mississauga and the office staff. You are all wonderful, the service is great and I have had many compliments on the offices professionalism
TECHNOLOGY: Virtual offices
By Denise Deveau, CBC News
Virtual offices are ideal for new companies operating on a shoestring or for established groups looking to cut costs. (iStock)
When Ernie Gershon decides to expand his medical insurance operation, he estimates that his up-front monthly cost to set up a regional office will be a mere $400 — give or take $100.
The president and chief operating officer of Toronto-based CAPCO Health Group Inc. says he discovered the advantages of the "virtual office" around 1999. Rather than having to pay overhead on a full-time space, Gershon uses Regus — a virtual office specialist — to handle switchboard services, mail and the occasional backroom chores.
Regus also gives him access to premium downtown office space when he needs to hold meetings and conferences with customers or staff.
Although Gershon started out with his own full-time office space in 1997, he says, "the combination of costs — and the fact that staff had to travel into the city from miles away — made me realize it didn't make sense."
A new virtual reality
The basic virtual office concept is nothing new. People have been outsourcing phone answering and administrative services and booking meeting space at hotels for years.
With technology transforming the whole notion of the mobile workforce, however, the new virtual-office model has turned into a first-class, full-menu proposition. You might think of it as an upscale office time-share for business owners.
Depending on the model, membership with some virtual office organizations gets you a designated number of hours in office space at any location on demand; mail handling (including a downtown business address); call answering and forwarding and other reception services; as well as access to administrative services on a pay-as-you-go basis.
'It gives me the opportunity to expand to other cities and countries as a start-up operation — and if it doesn't turn out to be successful, it's cost me nothing to speak of.'—Ernie Gershon, CAPCO Health Group Inc.
According to Wes Lenci, vice-president for Regus's Canadian operations based in Calgary, it's feasible to set up basic services for a single virtual office for as little as $99 a month and "grow it" into a national or even international network over time.
"A client could set up an office location in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York and still have their costs come in at less than $1,000 a month," he says.
"If businesses need solutions to save costs, or a start-up needs to test the waters, a virtual office can help them do that, because it's based on a short-term rental contract — not a long-term lease," adds Lenci.
As the master franchisor of Intelligent Office in Canada, Brian Monteith is in the process of opening virtual office centres for members in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Hamilton and Waterloo, with plans to expand to Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. Since the recession hit, he says, demand for these types of offerings is higher than ever.
"Customers are getting out of leasing brick-and-mortar office space because it directly affects their bottom line," Monteith reports. "With a virtual office, they can meet clients at an address that they only pay for when they need it. They simply choose the list of services they need that meets their budget."
To each his own
Whether it's to keep a business afloat or expand operations on a shoestring, everyone has their own reasons for going virtual.
For Kevin McLaughlin, president of AutoShare, a self-serve, hourly car rental business in Toronto, holding meetings at the Toronto Board of Trade's newly refurbished Telus Business Centre in First Canadian Place instead of at his own understated downtown office is helping him avoid the expense of moving to accommodate a growing staff.
Now he can convert the rarely used boardroom in his office into an area for more workstations — and use the centre, just up the road from his office, for entertaining out-of-towners and as a place to hold larger meetings in a very well-appointed setting.
"We have been growing at a rate of 25 to 40 per cent each year, but our office is relatively small," McLaughlin says. "It's a lot cheaper to use the business centre for a couple of hours rather than wasting extra space in the office. And the services at the centre allow me to punch above my weight class."
Scott Martin, president of Recce Inc., an IT consulting firm in Toronto, is augmenting his shared office digs with live-attendant and boardroom-booking services from Intelligent Office to maintain his professional image.
"Having an attendant screen calls instantaneously gives us a bigger company persona," he says. "It's a good way to start a business, because you can have a professional presence and not be locked into massive leases. And when you add employees, it's a nominal charge."
Gershon says that virtual office services fit the bill when he wanted to expand his sales reach and test the international waters. He has set up another "regional office" in Calgary and is looking to establish more in Mexico City and Panama.
"It gives me the opportunity to expand to other cities and countries as a start-up operation — and if it doesn't turn out to be successful, it's cost me nothing to speak of," he says.
"Everyone is looking for efficiencies and flexibility regarding their cost structure and managing their cash," says Carol Wilding, the Toronto Board of Trade's CEO and president. "The virtual office is becoming increasingly relevant these days because it takes the costs out of running your business." She reports that the board of trade business centre used to have "a couple of people come in and out in the course of the day in the early part of 2008.
"Now, I'm seeing 10 to 40 people at a time on a constant basis."
Dan Golberg, vice-president of small business for Telus notes that with cost control becoming the No. 1 business issue, "businesses are getting very, very careful about cash flow and looking at environments where they can access industrial-strength technology like videoconferencing and only pay for it by the hour.
"These are more like touchdown stations than offices where people can replicate an office environment when they need it."
Monteith estimates that over the past six months, inquiries have tripled as a result of the credit crunch. "Virtual offices are becoming more and more the norm — and not just for small businesses. There are also Fortune 500 companies doing it as a way to reduce physical space or support teleworkers."
Empty spaces for a few dollars more
Even businesses that have never considered themselves landlords are getting into the act of offering up their spare space.
Mark Skapinker, co-CEO of Toronto-based software venture-fund company Brightspark, recognized the business opportunities that virtual offices represented when his firm was planning the launch of a web-based room-sharing service called iStopOver.com. The idea was to help homeowners with space to spare to connect with travelers looking for cheaper digs than a high-priced hotel. When the markets took a tumble and businesses started downsizing, interest from the business sector grew, said Skapinker.
"A lot [of businesses] had all sorts of excess capacity in the way of offices, meeting rooms or boardrooms. They loved the idea of being able to defray the costs of that," he said.
Skapinker reports that those looking for space have been equally positive about the idea, from global recruiting companies to small professional firms looking to set up branch offices on a shoestring budget to interview customers, hold meetings while in a specific location or get back on their feet financially. Even when the economic cycles improve, Gershon predicts, there will be no turning back.
"We started as a simple domestic operation but have been able to expand anywhere through this virtual office system. I couldn't have started the business without it," he says. "Now I've done it, I don't intend to change it. For me now, this is a management style I like."
Welcome to Intelligent Office Mississauga @ Toronto's International Airport Corporate Center and our newly opened Square One location at City Center Drive. We are strategically located in the center of the Greater Toronto Area (“GTA”), right between the cities of Toronto (Etobicoke), Mississauga and Brampton, just south of Toronto's Int'l Airport (Canada's most important gateway) and southeast of highways 401 and 427's intersection which provide convenient access to anywhere in the GTA.
As an Intelligent Office’s location, we are designed with the latest technology and office space concept upgrades, combining modern and bright executive suites and boardrooms, 11’ high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows with futuristic hardware and communications.
We offer professional, temporary and virtual office space with all the amenities of a real office. Intelligent Office Mississauga provides: fully serviced Executives Suites, Remote Live Receptionists, Corporate Identity, Meeting Space and Video Conferencing. All services are customizable to fit your business needs, offering a smart, affordable and easy way to work from home or on the road.
Please ask for me and I will be happy to assist you in putting together a service plan that meets your business needs!
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Both Toronto and Mississauga public buses serve our location and Toronto’s TTC Subway is 10 minutes away. We are based in the newly built, state of the art Mercedes Benz Building, an A Class office complex. We are on the ground floor for easy and fast access with ample free parking.
Many local restaurants offer many options for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (Please refer to our useful links page.)