Category Archives: Customer Care

Squatters

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street we covered the almost a year old GPDR rules and how as an industry we take our KYC checks extremely seriously by requesting and obtaining certain documents on our clients to ensure we help to prevent any fraudulent movements. ALL customers of a virtual office are subject to rigorous security checks when opening a service at a virtual office- these are similar to opening a bank account. This may sound quite dramatic but as discussed in last week’s blog it is to protect you as a client and you as a consumer.

‘‘The most important thing is to know who you’re working with and who’s using yours services’’- Simon Cowie, Chairman of Mail Boxes Etc

This week we are addressing another industry issue.

Squatting

Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential,[1] that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

In the virtual office industry the term squatting is used when either a person or companies or in fact any organisations displays or uses our address without having paid for the service, or sometimes after their services have expired.

So where is our address showing?

Our address is used on a number of different mediums, such as Google, Companies House, HMRC registers, and local directories as well as displayed on their correspondence materials such as websites, business cards, and letterheads etc.

How do we establish their squatting?

We only establish whether a company or person is squatting at our address after normally receipt of mail. We cross check the name using our CRM System to check they are an active account.

Occasionally we receive a visitor at the office enquiring about a company and after checking the relevant website can then investigate if we don’t know of their existence.

What do we do about it?

At Hold Everything one of London’s leading virtual office providers we are determined to prevent fraudsters and squatters who use our services for illegal purposes or without our consent. We take a number of procedures and steps to attain the companies who are ‘squatting’ at our address and have all details of theirs documented to ensure we follow and chase leads on their movements.

We regularly communicate with Companies House advising them of the situation and they in turn have systems in place to assist with the industry situation. Furthermore we search the internet for connections to any individuals whom we can connect to the company using search systems such as 192.com, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and any other social network.

Consequences of squatting

If a person or company is displaying our address to squatter at, obviously we will not to able to forward to them the relevant communication from any source including government letters from HMRC or Companies House. After a lengthy period of usage and due to nonattendance to those time sensitive letters from organisations such as Companies House systems are instigated by the Registrar of Companies for England & Wales which will eventually result in Companies House ordering a compulsory strike off.

The strike off request is then published in The Gazette; this is then recorded on the company register as a First Gazette notice. Once published anyone can object to the application or else the company will be eventually struck off the register, assuming no one objects the company will go into dissolution which takes at least three months to officially dissolve – depending on the size of the company.

So if you think you will use our or any other virtual office address to squat at – think again, the industry talks to one another and names are circulated around.

Will My Data Be Safe With a Virtual Office?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street we have a dedicated team attending to the compliance around a mailing address.  Before we go into Virtual Offices and all the data that is needed to set up a service at one, let’s take a step back to make sure you understand what a virtual office is.

Simply put, virtual office services are a more affordable solution for small businesses and self-employed individuals and a virtual office can provide a prominent business address, may have facilities available to you, such as meeting room space or office space when required, without having to pay costs of a lease, utility bills, equipment and staff wages associated with traditional serviced offices.

There are many of virtual office providers across the UK, and they offer a range of services to various business owners.

For example at Hold Everything, our Virtual Office solutions are specialised in giving your business the professional edge, allowing you to gain new business, beat competitors and give off a more prestigious image. Having a Virtual Office on London’s Regent Street exudes the height of professionalism and ensures your business looks established and trustworthy. Whether you are a small business looking to improve your image by having an impressive London address, a start up wanting to be taken seriously or an established company looking to reduce costs by cutting overheads on office rent, we have the friendly professional virtual office service to provide everything you need.

We cater to a variety of business sectors from all over the globe and are the longest established Virtual Office on Central London’s Regent Street, W1. Our clients choose us because a Virtual Office affords them a number of advantages over their competitors;

  • Impressive image through a London address
  • Low cost
  • Flexible Meeting Space
  • Complete Virtual office solution

Have a look at our packages www.hold-everything.com.

With the rapid advances in technology this has produced a huge range of opportunities for businesses all over the world. Companies are able to accumulate information to create data-driven strategies that can really help increase their chances of success. But with as with many advantages come’s disadvantages, as data becomes more crucial to company processes the chance of having a data breach has now transpired as one of the today’s top business risks.

This is presented in the UK Governments Cyber Security Breaches Survey of 2018. It shows 74% of the countries company owners now say that cyber security risk is a top priority. This isn’t surprising as 43% of UK businesses have experienced a data security breach or a cyber-attack in the last 12 months.

Despite having this heightened sense of awareness concerning the importance of data security in business, still there is a vast proportion of UK companies that are still unprepared. In 2017, the average cost of a data breach for a large UK business was £22,300. Meanwhile, medium-sized businesses lost an average of £16,100 per attack, while small businesses lost an average of £3,100.

Although this may not sound a lot to some business owners, but to a small company this could make or break their success rate. Luckily there are many of steps small businesses and big can take to prevent a data breach especially when working with a virtual office provider.

What information do I need to give to a Virtual Office provider?

People use virtual office services for many reasons, and as part of those services you will need to supply a certain amount of documents and data on yourself and your company to finalise any contract agreement. By providing the requested documents by your provider it ensures we are supporting HMRC’s anti money laundering laws, the London Local authority Act and acting in both our clients and their clients best interest.

Our clients at Hold Everything are also possible customers of other Hold Everything clients. To this effect we treat every client the same, requesting the same documents, so protecting our clients against another client selling goods or services that may result in a complaint to trading standard.

By ensuring we treat everyone the same, should Trading Standards or HMRC need to know about a client trading incorrectly, we can support the enquiry to the highest level.

So what data do we request?

This personal data we request are documents such as:

  • Coloured certified Proof of ID
  • Proof of home address
  • Proof of trading address
  • Copy of Certificate of Incorporation
  • National insurance number
  • Email address, contact number, DOB, payment details

Why do we need so many documents? Like many other business service providers, Hold everything is legally required by the HMRC Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements to obtain the above documents for all customers who use our services. We do not need to/will never use your data anything else.

Storing Your Data

So you want to know how your data is stored and used, and the main issue, is your data secure? In May 2018, the EU legislated a rule that changed the ways in which companies in the UK are allowed to collect, process and store data- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR places the duty on companies whom need to store or process data, on how to keep their customer data safe, if not done this is can result in fines for the company. So with that in mind your virtual office provider will have implemented measures to ensure their customer data is protected as under the GDPR rules and regulations all virtual office providers in the UK are required to undergo a risk analysis and policies, with measures to identify and avoid data security risks.

In most virtual office companies there should be a designated job role – Compliance Officer, they are responsible for overseeing GDPR compliance and making sure the data is up to date on the client and 100% secure at all times. This person will most likely be your first point of contact with the virtual office provider as they will need your KYC to set your service up.

It’s important to emphasise that no matter how many precautions your virtual officer provider takes it is impossible to guarantee total data security at all times. Cyber criminals/fraudsters are always developing new tactics to hack a secure firewall or data protection system, that’s why improvements must be constantly made to maximise your company’s data protection measures.  It is also essential to that these risks are present in companies and industries not just virtual office providers.

More important still, if you are a business owner you must also take the right precautions to warrant that your data and the data of your customers are kept as safe as possible. With all this in place you should be able to move forward with your business and put your focus on your potential business success and goals.

 

 

 

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.

Its got to be PERFECT ……. a message from Richard Cooper

How do you run your business.  Is it PERFECT?   Many of us start a business with a vision of giving the customer better service, better value for money and the perfect client experience.

One challenge I have always faced is that no one is quite as passionate about my business and service as I am.  I’m not saying that my team aren’t amazing and efficient, but what I mean is that, I am a perfectionist.  I want to get it right every time. After all I am the business owner and the buck stops with me.  It has to therefore be perfect?  Right?

Something I am learning more and more as time goes on is that perfection doesn’t really exist.  That may sound a bold statement however, how many of us have actually reached “perfection”?  What is perfection?  And more importantly how do will instill this into our staff/colleagues and teams?   The answer is – “realistically”

SO:   Face facts: Your team/staff/clients/suppliers/contractors will NEVER feel as passionate about your business and therefore their levels of service won’t be to the same level as yours.  This DOESN’T mean excusing poor performance, attitude or behaviour.   Take a look at your clients.  Are they happy with the level of service that your team provide overall.  Are they treated professionally and are they valued?   If the answer is yes then work on developing your team, but not necessarily at trying to make them replicas of you.

Put processes in place:  If you couldn’t be in your business for 6 weeks – are there enough processes in place to get by without you in an emergency?  If the answer is no, then it’s time to start.  You never know what is around the corner.  If something meant you couldn’t be there for your clients, will someone else be there?  Again it’s not about a replica of YOU, its about meeting and exceeding your clients expectations.

I always felt that if I wasn’t involved in my business then it would crumble without me and all of my clients would leave.  I am learning that my clients want me to have a successful business and provide an effective service.  Having my skills and expertise at the healm is just an added bonus.

You don’t have to be perfect to win in business, you just have to be professional, consistent and have a great team around you.  Listen to your customers, ask them how they see your business.  Even if you think something could be ten times better, it may be just “perfect” for them.  Spend your time concentrating on being the owner and steering your company forward.

 

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