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Work Smart

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In five strategic locations within the heart of the Minneapolis area is a vibrant hub of community, resources and collaboration for small businesses. Proudly serving the Metro area business community since 1981, VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters offers a full range of business solutions to entrepreneurs as well as regional, national and international companies.

Lori Spiess, Owner and President of VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters, has been dedicated to the office support service industry since 1981. She is a past, and the first female, president and recent board member of the Office Business Center Association International (OBCAI), the trade association for the office business center industry, representing thousands of business centers worldwide, now known as Global Workspace Association (GWA). She and her staff collectively represent years of knowledge and skills providing clients with the confidence they seek when selecting a home office for their business in Minneapolis and the surrounding metro area. VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters’ locations include St Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Minneapolis and Edina.

“VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters is a place where small businesses can do their best work,” declared Lori. “June 1, 2015 will mark my 34th year of working within the office support arena and during that time I’ve been very lucky to be able to have seen so many successful businesses come through our doors. I feel we offer something to our members that is beyond four walls. I am so very enthusiastic about my business as well and I believe that is what sets us apart from the competition. More than 95 percent of the businesses created today are small office/home-office based and I am very proud to provide the resources, community and support for these businesses to help keep them on the path to success and growth.”

VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters service packages include office space, business support services and conference facilities for use by the day, week, month or longer. Solopreneurs and business professionals also have the option of full-time serviced offices as well as virtual office packages, shared spaces, meeting rooms and training facilities that can be used in as little as 30 minute increments. Members also benefit from energy-filled networking groups, educational and business services and a listing in CONNECT, VirtualOffiCenters/OffiCenters’ B2B Directory. Another member benefit is the ability to use any of the company’s five locations for one price.

“Our newest services cater to the home-based business community,” Lori added. “We want to let home-based businesses know that they can work at home, but they don’t have to go it alone. We understand that finding a work/life balance is tougher when working from home. Many struggle to be productive and professional. We can add a different element to working from home by offering services such as professional phone answering, a business address and use of our meeting rooms with one of our virtual office plans. Our members never have to worry about staffing issues, thanks to our admin support services. We handle that and let them do what they do best. ”

“In the early days of our business, we were always looking for one butt for every seat or one worker for every office,” Lori revealed. “Now we celebrate home officing as a lifestyle choice. We’ve successfully made the transition from one person in one office to a collaborative work environment. All of our members not only strive to do business with each other, but we also host monthly networking functions and special events designed to encourage that collaboration and camaraderie even more. We now have 35- to 50-person co-working spaces working together in conjunction with our full-time office clients, all of which is supported by OffiCenters’ staff. We were one of the first hybrid business center co-working spaces in the U.S. and in 2013 we were named Most Innovative Workspace by the Global Workspace Association. People come from all over the country to see what we are doing in Minneapolis and I’ve also been lucky enough to travel and see business centers all over the globe. I bring what I learn back to my team and my members so we can all continue to do our best work.”

A recent cancer survivor, Lori shared that she has a new gratitude for her success and an optimistic vision for the years to come. “I am so grateful for having the great team of people around me that I do,” she affirmed. “I am living proof of how valuable it is to have support staff around you to keep your business humming even when you are not able to be there. It’s been an awesome and incredible year and I am so blessed. It also reaffirmed to me that we have a great recipe for success here at VirtualOffiCenters and OffiCenters. It’s going to be a bright 2015 and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Our attitude is: life is short; work someplace awesome!” HLM

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