Category Archives: Business Value

Royal Mail Postal Increase March 2017

Royal Mails increase the price of postal charges from Monday 27th March.

Does this increase affect  clients at our Virtual office in Regent Street, London – Fortunately NO .

Will it affect future clients – also NO

This is because our SIMPLY MAIL FORWARDING & OVERSEAS MAIL FORWARDING accounts will protect you from these price increases as our packages include mail forwarding within the set monthly charges.

So how much has the charges increased ?

A first-class stamp will cost 65p a second-class stamp will cost 56p (both increasing by one pence),

a large first-class letter will be 98p (an increase of 2p) and a large second-class letter will be 76p (an increase of 1p). Cost of sending packages will increase as well.  Royal Mail has since said that the reason for this is “to help ensure the sustainability of the universal postal service”.  See price list:-

http://www.royalmail.com/sites/default/files/Royal-Mail-Our-Prices-March-2017.pdf

 

stamps

It is no surprise that the traditional form of letter sending through the highly recognisable red post boxes that we see round every corner has been in decline since the rise of; computers, the internet, email and faxing, as well as the UK’s recent decision to remove itself from the EU. Thus the traditional forms of communication are being penalised because of it, whilst the modern entities begin to take over.

UK, London, Dean's Yard, Post Box

However, is this 1 or 2p increase really a big deal?

One could argue no, not for those who occasionally and individually send mail, for example the occasional birthday card. But for companies and corporations that send mail regularly, such as mail order companies whom may include free delivery in their offer to attract more customers, this does add up and can equate to quite a percentage of their outgoing funds. This money could effectively be spent elsewhere to create a higher profit.

We spoke to Neil Giller of http://www.centraldirectmail.com/  he said “this increase affects our clients on price wise, as a result of this we use alternative mailing distribution companies which will keep the relative costs down for our clients” he continued saying “this means that Royal Mail are less competitive and thus leaving themselves more exposed to potentially losing more business.”

In support of his clients he said “It also means that we have to monitor our margins for our clients as they look to reduce the size of their mailings and from the first class to second class options again to keep their costs down, again this increase from Royal Mail may have an impact on the volumes Royal Mail may carry as a result of constant increases”.

In summary he advised – “Small margins add up, where we were sending 10,000 items for a client a few years ago, now the same 10,000 derives a much small margin for us, thus we need to look at alternative methods of distribution”.

Improving our structure, to improve your services

What are the three key factors when choosing a successful business solution? I believe they are:

·  Value for money

·  Ease of use

·  Business specific options

Bearing this in mind and with the aim of providing customised solutions for individual companies, we have looked at restructuring the key services we offer and we are excited to be able to introduce a number of clear business packages.

With a wide range of services available we can provide you with a prestigious London address from which to conduct your business, mail receiving and forwarding services, virtual office space, meeting room hire and a national and international low cost courier service along with other services designed to meet your specific business needs.

The introduction of our new packages will allow for you, the customer, to easily navigate through our choice of selected services which will be organised to help you find the optimal solution for your company. 
This new hassle free system will be ideal for young start-up companies. By selecting the most suitable package, it will allow you to immediately benefit from our low effort, high return services.

I know that image and reputation are key when you are starting a business, and can be essential to your long-term success. Our straightforward package options will enable you to instantaneously create a premium status for your business. This will give you theopportunity to build a credible reputation for the company and in turn, gain a competitive advantage over industry rivals.

In addition to restructuring our existing services, Hold Everything has recently teamed up with a number of leading service providers. These new partnerships have opened doors to allow us to offer even more services which will feature in our tailored business packages.

new website mac

Getting our on-line, in line

 

To complement our updated offerings I have decided to use this opportunity to make both aesthetic and functional improvements to the current website. 
As well as improving the overall look of the website, the new design will aim to maximise:

·  User Experience

·  Accessibility

·  Engagement

I feel that it is essential for the website to accurately represent the modern and progressive business services Hold Everything offers.

Whilst our vision and brand values have never changed, we are constantly working to improve the services we can offer your business. The website revamp will reflect this, with a clear, contemporary layout and a focus on optimising the user experience to allow you to easily navigate through and explore our new and existing services.

Taking a break …… a message from Richard Cooper!

As the sunnier weather finally arrives, many of us start to look to our summer breaks and holidays.  One of the big reasons I became self employed was to  be able to take holiday and time off as and when I wanted without the restrictions of a boss or having to ask permission.

As many of you will undoubtedly know, in practice this isn’t necessarily as easy.  If you are the sole owner of the business its not always easy to take a break. When you live breathe and love your business its very difficult to leave it.  So how DO you take a break without breaking your business?

Here are my top tips:

1)      Plan a break – it sounds obvious but make sure you plan some of your holiday time at the beginning of your year.  New to business?  Plan some time now.  It will allow you to communicate to your clients if you will be away.

2)      Use a virtual assistant – even if you are on a beach, your client calls will be answered.  DIVERT your mobile to them – it will save you money when they call and reassure your clients that your business can be contacted when you are away.

3)      Be contactable by your VA (virtual assistant) / Friends and family on a LOCAL sim number.  By using such a service you can save money, be contactable and keep in touch without having to spend all of your break IN your business

4)      Screen your emails.  Some of the most efficient business owners I know screen their emails but don’t respond unless it’s a dire emergency.  Set your email out of office to reflect that you will be picking up emails but only periodically.

Our company provide overseas phone facilities and they are proving extremely popular to our clients.  One of the biggest benefits is the low cost way to keep in touch.

The biggest thing is not to feel bad taking a break.  This is part of the reason many of us started our own ventures, and its really important to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If your clients don’t like it?  Then maybe you need to review the type of client that you have. Remember that YOU run your business NOT  your clients.

So go on…. Book that break today or at the very minimum write time in the diary to be away fro your business. Some of my best ideas come when I take a break.  I still keep in touch, but not at the cost of my family/home time.

Until next time….

Richard Cooper – Virtual office visionary
Follow us @holdeverything1

I’m too busy – a message from Richard Cooper

virtual office visionary

If you are too busy to read this then please scroll to the last paragraph of this blog:

Have you ever been on the end of a conversation where the other person is just constantly “too busy”?  Are you constantly chasing a client who is too busy to email, speak or contact you?

In business we are taught specifically not to say “business is quiet”.  It is perceived we are not successful as a business and have too much time on our hands.   So surely then we have to be perceived as being “busy busy busy” all of the time?    A busy company is a successful company isn’t it?

Well not always it seems.  Being busy to the extent that your company looks effective and maybe has to call a client back or book a few days in advance is great, however here are three warning signs that your company MAY be portraying a “too busy” image that could be doing more harm than good.

 

1)      Refusing meetings with a client because they are not worth the time:  On the face of it you may be shocked that a company would do this?   However many companies use email/phone or another medium to avoid having to see a client because they are just TOO busy or at least want to give that perception.

How does the client see it? Many clients will feel that they are not valuable and that if you are too busy for their business then maybe you don’t need it. There’s a difference between a small client who genuinely needs help and “energy vampires” who would have you in their office on tap if they could.  I’m not saying spend all of your time going out and meeting every client but do be careful how it looks.

What to do?   Can someone from your office meet the client on your behalf – especially if it’s a smaller client who needs reassurance? It doesn’t always have to be YOU.   Can they come to your office?  Can you Skype?  There is always an answer and you never know when that small client will suddenly hit the big time!

 

2)      I’m too busy to go networking:  Many businesses say this all of the time.   “I have enough business” is another line which I hear often.  The thing is that we all use word of mouth as a way to gain new business.  Not being part of your community will isolate you in the long term.  There are groups for every budget but you must be involved.

How does the client see it?   Whilst they may feel that you are concentrating on them, how about your OTHER clients – your suppliers, connections and contractors – remember these people are ALL customers to you.   They may see it that you are happy to take business but not make the effort to go out and build relationships on your doorstep.

What to do? Can you send someone from your business?  Can you go to one close to your business which isn’t commitment based.   Look at your calendar and MAKE an hour a month at least to meet others local to you.  Don’t judge a group by what others say, go and make your own decisions.

 

3)      I’m JUST TOO Busy!  Full stop:  Really??  You seriously are too busy to be in business?  Where are you spending most of your time?  Is it with the people who pay you the most?  Or is it on the small day to day stuff.

How does the client see it?  That you are too busy for them, that you are ineffective and have poor time management skills.  They may also see that you will place quantity over quality.  That’s not a bad thing necessarily, but DO be sure that this is your business goal and that you have a very clear strategy on it if this is your vision.

What to do?  STOP…… NOW….. Look around at where you should be growing your business.  Hint:  It’s not from doing everything yourself.  You don’t need a big budget to outsource calls to a virtual answer service or to hire someone part time / commission based or even an apprentice.  If you are too busy full stop then you must take action.  Source someone to take the pressure off and seek a life coach ……..  but if you feel like you cannot continue then it will eventually destroy you and your business.

 

Think about it.  If you have taken the time to read this blog, you have already committed to changing your business.  Even if you have scrolled down from the top, it has been enough to interest you.    SO what action can you take NOW….. so that you DO have more time to grow your business successfully?

 

Until next time
Richard Cooper – Virtual office visionary
Follow me @holdeverything1

How do you manage? A message from Richard Cooper

 

How do you manage your teams as a business owner or leader?

I will guess that you are in your current position because you are efficient, good at what you do and have a degree of success in your industry?

Do you manage people the same way?  Is that the right way?  Where am I going with this?  Well, I have had an increasing number of conversations from people starting up in business who have left “jobs” because of overbearing and “stuff based” management.

What I mean by “stuff based” is that we seem to be going back to the era of the Yuppies in the 80’ ( who remembers that term? ) – sharp, money motivated managers who have a background in how to manage property, buildings and items, but don’t really have the people skills to manage a diverse range of people.

How do you identify someone like this?   In my experience, they usually manage buildings, telecommunications, ordering and facilities, with the graze and ease of a true professional.  Their conversations with people will start with  “I know” , and they may be dismissive of staff feelings, interrupt with their “position”.   In short great managers of “stuff” but dismissive of people.

Considering the alternative may be scary to some bosses and companies however. Someone who doesn’t have great technical skill in running their business but who works on an intuitive level?  Gets involved with staff issues, and is much more of a people person.  Surely this would be a nightmare, as nothing would get done effectively and there would be so much to train and teach?

I personally believe that if you need someone in your business with people skills, you can have the best “stuff manager” in the world but you will struggle to develop their tact and diplomacy skills.  They won’t see emotion how their staff do and most likely wont care either!   However if you have someone with the right “people skills” you can show them how “stuff” works.  There are manuals for that.

In my businesses there I times when I have to “tell” my team “stuff”.  It isn’t negotiable and has to be done – such as legal compliance.  However where I can I am learning that the people are the most important asset to my business.  Fobbing them off, being fake and trying to be their best friend will never work if it’s not genuine and meant.  It’s the most dangerous form of management and one thing is for sure, it WILL end in a mess.

So my message this week is:   If you have the right people person, they will pick up the facts as they learn.  Remember people are not facilities, they have feelings which whilst you don’t HAVE to account for, a good manager will always consider.   And finally, never ever try to take someone’s dignity, it means nothing to you but will mean everything to them.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1