The business or sales person who needs to be away from the US for an extended period faces several challenges that a well-managed Virtual Office company can handle at a surprisingly low cost. For instance, under the assumption that one is going to be in either the Republic of Ireland or the UK's Northern Ireland for six months managing various sales contacts and suppliers, presumably one will have taken a lease on a furnished apartment or flat. No one wants to liveout of a suitcase in a hotel room for that long, plus that cost could become exorbitant. All well and good.
However, what about the mailing address as order sheets are sent in, perhaps samples shipped or any other function usually handled by either post or parcel service? Is it really the best option to provide them with one's home address, even if it is temporary? No matter how much clients and business associates are valued, having one of them ringing the door bell after business hours can be an annoyance much more than a blessing. The virtual office and/or maildrop avoids that issue.
Secondly, at the home office back in the US, presumably the sales person has a secretary and/or an assistant to receive parcels and to sign for special deliveries. With mobile phone technology being what it is today, having someone answering calls is not the necessity it was even five years ago, but what of those other staff functions? The great benefit of a virtual office arrangement is that the company provides the staffing so that the sales person is then free to make the face-to-face contact with suppliers that can make or break a deal.
Similarly, if the sales person is traveling around Eire, even though the island is small, one may not be able to get back to the base of operations each evening to open the mail. The virtual office will hold onto it all for days or even weeks if necessary.
One such company is VirtualOfficeNI.co.uk which is in the central location of Armagh, convenient to both the major motorways and the rail systems. Their fee is a quite low £20 a month based on a 12 month contract, which is also cancelable at any time. £20=US$33 at the time of writing. The only additional cost involved is that should one need post or parcel forwarded (say if one has to be in Cork or Manchester for a week), there will be a 20% tariff over and above the actual cos of shipping. All in all, quite a good deal.
It may be that the sales person requires a physical office. After all, sometimes clients come to you and here agin do you really want them at your apartment or flat? Rather than digging through the classified ads or emailing a multitude of estate agents (realtors) it is much more efficient to contact a company like Official Space (officialspace.co.uk). With furnished offices for rent across the UK, including Belfast, a suitable and modern business space in a favourable neighbourhood can be rented on a short term basis starting at £250 a month, or roughly $415.