Category Archives: Social Media

First Impressions Count

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we are very much aware of what first impressions can do for your business from various marketing mediums such as websites, magazine advertising, social media sites and you as person.

We live in a world where people use search engines to lookup  any relevant information they need, because of this, you want your first impression to be the best it can be, starting with your website –  Your ‘shop window’.

It is quoted that you only have 7 seconds to make an impression and some online accounts even less than a second. 

In the pre Internet days, yes there was days before the Internet your physical shop window was one of the keys to a successful business, you would ensure your shop front had an impressive display to attract your consumers and with this you were a step closer to converting lookers into customers. This rule is exactly the same for your ‘virtual’ shop window- your website.

Today many businesses work predominantly and even entirely online – hence the need for a Virtual Office because regardless a website should display an address where the company is located. But the concept of the ‘shop front’ is still extremely important. Whatever industry category your business comes under, your website needs to attract enough traffic on the relevant search engines, otherwise you will be missing out on perspective customers/clients as your competitors also appear, so the ‘shop window’ has to be well presented.

To ensure you start off on a good foot attracting customers the website needs to be ‘on brand’ and conveys the right image for what your company stands for and represents, one way this this can be done is through the use of colour. There is a very small time window to capture your visitors attention so you need to make sure your website knows what it needs to say and delivers that message clearly showcasing the information about what you do and why you can attend to your customers’ needs and solve their problems the better than any other company.

Whether it is yourself who comes up with the design or you hire a website designer, your site needs innovation and imagination; after all you, want your website to stand out from the crowd.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization. The importance of this vital ingredient for your business to do well is the success of the website. Behind this word lays the tools and strategies that you need to help boost your ratings in the search engine results. Once the visitor is on your website a ‘call to action’ response which is simply converting your visitor into a customer by the visitor clicking a trigger or button that allows them to purchase your service or product or a click through to another page.

Either way it is highly essential that you make this move as simple and obvious for them as possible, Do not forget, when it comes to your website, first impressions count.

Staff Perks – Is Your Company Providing?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, staff perks are considered part of what keeps a team together.

Having previously worked for many companies where little was offered, Richard Cooper feels his team are an integral part of the actual company and thus ensuing his staff are well looked after as extremely important.

Apart from your salary (as an obvious answer), what motivates you in your job role? 79% of employers believe that offering benefits to employees is an important factor when wanting to attract the right talent, and create the culture of a great workplace, which leads to a massive 78% of workers who are then likely remain with their employer because of the benefits they have to offer.

As an employer a main focus lies within your staff retention and their loyalty towards you and the company. You want to create a work environment in which your employees want to work for you and you must understand what motivates them. To do this employee perks are offered.

Offices such as Google offer sleep pods, company showers, meal and laundry facilities, but of course you need to stick within your own budget for your staff perks. There are plenty of options for you to choose from. Have a look at our list below of our favorite for staff perks:

  • Coffee run – We are not saying every day but a few times a week a staff coffee run is a nice way to break up the morning and bring your team together. Plus as previously blogged (https://www.hold-everything.com/reasons-coffee-can-improve-work-day/) Coffee improves your day so the boss buying ultimately gets more out of the staff.
  • Flexible working hours- Employees like to be trusted to move their working hours around in a way that suits their lifestyles. E.g. parents can be home in time for the school runs. Flexible working hours do not encore any extra cost.
  • Bring your dog to work day- At Hold Everything we have two furry companions. They come into the office and love a stroll down Regent Street lapping up all the attention. Not only has it been scientifically proven that dogs can help improve our health and well being but they can even IMPROVE our productivity at work! If you are serious about having an office pet you should go to the The National Pet Show, it is being exhibited at NEC, Birmingham 3-4th November www.thenationalpetshow.com
  • Staff lunches – Monthly team lunches are a great way to gather your peers and sit down together, because who can say no to a free lunch? Plus it’s great for team building.
  • Free drinks & snacks – Is it extremely important your employees stay hydrated during the day – Not only does this improve productivity but it is essential that tea/coffee/drinks/snacks are on offer, making it a more of a comfortable work environment for everybody and creates a more relaxed ‘at home’ atmosphere.
  • Birthday off work – This is a great perk to have. Bit annoying if your birthday falls on the weekend though. It lets your employees know that you value them and yes, they are off for the day, but it is their birthday let them celebrate without a hundred LinkedIn Happy Birthday messages disturbing their inbox. Plus, there will be birthday cake in the office the day after.
  • Cash plans – If your staff need Physiotherapy or dental work, a simple cash plan would be an added bonus for them to recover costs for them. David Levy of Private Medical Health says “For as little as £10.00 a month you can support your staff with this type of plan”

There are many company perks and companies such as Perkbox which gives staff access to an unbeatable range of benefits – as they say on their website “It’s all about the workplace experience”.

Your staff are essentially what hold the company together, you have taken the time to invest in them, training them, included them in decision making and if they are happy and motivated at work the outcome in their productivity is proven in the results.

Social Media – We Help you Get Up to Speed

 

Don’t know your Twitter from your Twiglets? Your Facebook from your Fat Face? Decidedly social media unsavvy? Well, read on. This one’s for you.

So you’ve heard about this magical thing called social media, and how you need to get on it, but don’t know where to start? And, really, you’re busy enough, got plenty of clients, so why bother? It just seems a bit unnecessary, to be honest.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to drag yourself – kicking and screaming, if need be – into the 21st century. It is 2017, after all.

Social media’s been around for a while now, and it looks like it’s here to stay. It may have begun humbly enough with Friends Reunited and MySpace. But it’s all grown up now, and they’ve finally found a way to commercialise it. So now it’s time for you to tap in and mine those massive databases of personal data for yourself.

And, while you might be currently happy with your generic four-line Yellow Pages ad, there will most likely come a time when that business dries up.

Not just a pretty face

Let’s look at the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, which celebrated its 14th birthday earlier this year. What began as a platform for Harvard College students to rate each other’s hotness, Facebook is now one of the internet’s most frequently visited websites. As at April 2017, there were 1.97 billion active Facebook users.[1] That’s a lot of eyeballs.

On the face of it (see what I did there?), Facebook might seem like a harmless way to while away the hours. But look a little more closely, and you might catch a glimpse of just how devious this platform really is.

Unlike traditional ways of getting to know your customers – you know, like, by actually talking to them – Facebook has done all the hard work for you. No, scratch that, Facebook’s users have done all the hard work for you. Registering for an account is just the beginning. Every time a user interacts with the site – “likes” a post, shares a post, likes a page, posts a picture, tags a friend – they are adding to their growing user profile. Over time, Facebook has built a massive database of users’ likes and dislikes. The information Facebook knows about its user base is staggering – and not slightly frightening.

And you can use this to your advantage. But how?

Getting to know your clients

Ask yourself this: how much do you know about your current customers? Their name? Maybe their post code? You might be able to guess their age, but you wouldn’t want to take a punt. At a stretch, you might know what team they barrack for, or what they did on the weekend. But that’s about it. Now think about all the personal information that users willingly share on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s a wonder identity theft isn’t more prevalent.

Targeting your market

Perhaps you think your customers or target market aren’t using social media. If we take a closer look at Facebook’s demographics, however, we can see that a significant amount of people in each generation regularly use that social media platform.

social media

Figure 1 Source: Sprout Social

So you see, Facebook isn’t just for millennials, or boomers or grannies. Everyone’s on it.

So why aren’t you?

Fear of missing out

Remember those 1.97 billion pairs of eyeballs that aren’t seeing your business on Facebook? Well, guess what. They’re seeing your competitors instead. And they’re not just liking and following your competitors’ pages, they’re communicating with them as well.

And it’s not that one-way style of “communicating” synonymous with those old technologies of newspapers, radio and TV. Oh, no. It’s now two-way. A dialogue rather than a monologue.

But that’s not the only difference between social media and more traditional forms of communication and advertising. As you will see below, the advantages of social media can enable you to communicate with your clients and reach your target market in ways previously unheard of.

Advantages of using social media

Cost

Traditional forms of advertising, such as TV and radio, are often prohibitively expensive. Even mass marketing efforts like catalogues and letters incur some form of cost. By comparison, social media is inexpensive and often free. It has clearly levelled the playing field, removing many costly barriers to entry for smaller businesses, enabling them to compete with the big boys.

Time

In today’s digital age, who’s got the patience for long drawn-out production and printing times? It’s all about instant gratification. We live life on the fly, juggling multiple things at once, and we expect a response within seconds of asking the question. Social media enables users to connect with you instantly rather than having to wait on hold while listening to elevator muzak.

Reach

What a waste of time and energy it is targeting people who have no interest in your business. But this is exactly what more traditional forms of advertising do. This scattergun approach is expensive and ineffective. With social media, however, your efforts can be targeted with sniper-like precision.

Distribution

Think about the last time you received junk mail in the post. It’s called junk mail for a reason. Compare that to the way people share and disseminate promotions and offers on social media, often to the point where it goes viral.

Out with the old, in with the new(ish)

So faced with all the glaringly obvious advantages to being on social media, what’s stopping you? Sure, it can be scary to try something new for the first time. But the risks involved in launching your business on social media are relatively low, when compared to other more traditional forms of communication. It’s quite acceptable to dip your toe in and see if it gets bitten off. We dipped our toes a while ago and really enjoy it.  Follow us on twitter @holdeverything1

Let’s face it, if you’re not on social media, you may as well be invisible.

 

David Miller

 

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.

Does business networking work? – A Message from Richard Cooper

 

It’s currently an amazing time here at Hold everything.   I have had some amazing encounters from suppliers and customers, and also learnt a couple of good lessons along the way, especially recently.  

If I asked a room full business people whether they used word of mouth to grow their business, most of them would say yes.  

We all use this phrase “word of mouth” but how do we make it profitable?   Business Networking is an excellent way to do this.  If you Google the term “Business Networking” followed by your locality however, you will often find that there are hundreds of different groups to choose from and beware, not ALL networks are the same!

So how do you choose a networking group and how can you tell if it’s any good?   Here are my top five tips!

1)      Have you visited ? The number of people I speak to who won’t visit  “XYZA” networking  because they were told it was no good/too regimented/ not serious enough or any other reason,  is ridiculous!   Make your OWN choices and decide for yourself. Good groups will have many members often nationwide and worldwide and will know through experience about what makes networking work!  The newer groups are not to be sniffed at either?  If there is a buzz on the grapevine that they are good – GET THERE and give it a go!

2)      Is there a structure?  In my experience the strong, ethical, networking groups have some form of structure or agenda which they STICK to.  I love meeting new people but for networking to work for me, it’s got to be about business and not just a cuppa and a gossip. My time is valuable

3)      Can you MEASURE it?   No matter how complicated or frightening it may be, if you are serious about making your business successful then you need to measure it.  Measuring just the money is a good start, but remember the contacts and the support too.  Have you met with a professional in the group who gave you advice?  Would you have ordinarily paid for it?   Then measure the savings and support too. 

4)     Will they support you when things go wrong? Will they miss you?  Many new networkers assume that companies and networking groups will be sympathetic if something happens that is exceptional or unexpected.  I have seen just how AMAZING companies can be.  I have also seen how unhelpful and hard some can be too.    It isn’t unreasonable for any networking group to ask you to commit for 3 months, a year or maybe two, however CHECK carefully and ASK what would happen if you couldn’t meet your commitments in an emergency either short OR long term.   A good networking group will do everything in their power to help regardless of the circumstances.   Most groups are set up to support small businesses, sadly they don’t always act in this manner so DO ask the question and satisfy yourself that the owners and leaders of the group reflect YOUR’s and YOUR COMPANY’s culture.

5)      Are YOU ready to make an effort to make it happen?  Networking and just “turning up” won’t make it happen for you.  You have GOT to be prepared to do some work too.    Great groups have a structure again to show you how from additional workshops, to 121 support.  When you join your group, don’t gripe about it, GRAB IT and take the opportunities available. 

Go with what works for you and where you feel right.  Measure it and LEARN from some of the best in the business… but DO please watch out for the snakes …….

Until next week

Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary
follow me @holdeverything1