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Cutting Costs?? A message from Richard Cooper

virtual office business advice

Need to reduce overheads??

In the current climate businesses and start-ups are looking for ways to reduce business overhead costs while still being efficient.  I have seen a lot of businesses do this very efficiently but have also seen what can happen if this goes wrong.  Ifs well known that if you want to increase your profit, one of the fastest ways to do this is reduce overheads.

My business is one of the most popular ways that companies stay professional whilst keeping their overheads low, so I have a vast experience in this.  It is one of many ways.

So how else can you do this effectively without cutting corners and affecting your service.  Here are my three top tips to help cut over

1.    Track where the money goes – While this is not always possible, especially when your business grows, it is important to understand how and where money is being spent. Knowing you figures will allow you to really get to grip with where you can save.    It may take some time to understand by persevere.  It’s the biggest way you will know how your business is growing, or not.

2.    Outsourcing – This can work very well in  reducing overhead costs  but ensure that its quality and professional outsourcing you use.  Outsourcing can provide great savings on necessary services such as your office,  IT and accountant, and it’s always very beneficial to surround yourself with professionals.  Always satisfy yourself however that you are receiving value for money.

3.    Hire employees consideratly–  If you have employees, this will be a large part of your outgoings.  It’s really important to ensure that you take on the right employees with a clear description of their roles, and also to review these roles regularly to ensure that your business needs are being met.   Multi training your employees may increase flexibility too.

Make sure you schedule regular overhead reviews that examine all your businesses expenses. You may be surprised to find a considerable amount of savings each time you do

Until next time..

 

Richard cooper – Virtual office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

Who you gonna call? A message from Richard Cooper

Who you gonna call?

No not Ghostbusters, but seriously, who do you, call when you need support?

In business there is a perception that you need to be tough, and persevere alone in order to be successful.  Just reading autobiographies from successful business owners who have made it big, (think Richard Branson, Duncan Bannatyne etc.) there are times when they went out on a limb and took a risk to make it big.

To an extent, owning and operating any business takes risk, determination and many leaps of faith. However you don’t have to do this alone.  In the course of my businesses I meet many start-up businesses who believe that if they aren’t alone and “doing it for themselves”, that they won’t be successful.

Over time this belief starts to evolve and some business owners will take on the services of a business coach, or attend networking events, or business “clubs”.   Many of my clients have told me very excitedly about what they are doing.

My answer to this question is simple.  You know WHAT you are doing, but who are you doing it with?  What I mean by this is, that it’s all fine and well to be attending certain events and business activities, but it means nothing if you don’t have quality people around you.

I strongly believe that every business owner should have at least two business mentors.  Who do you aspire to be like?  Who do you currently go to when you need advice on finance, business dilemmas, people issues and so on?

Put the right people around you.  One of my clients has a “life board”.  She hasn’t had an official conversation with these people – but has identified seven or eight business people who she knows and trusts.  Each person has invaluable support and information that she can draw upon.  Whatever the issue, be it people, finance – she goes to the person who she knows has the most experience in this area.

So my question to you this week is, who do you go to when you need advice?  Who CAN you go to and how can they help you to accelerate your business growth?

You don’t have to be alone in business and you most certainly don’t have to know it all.  You just need the right people around you.  Network and build your activity around this goal.    And in the words of Will Smith, people can’t expect to be part of your success if they can’t be there during your struggles.

Until next week

Richard Cooper – virtual office visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

A message from richard Cooper – Treat me how I want to be treated, right?

Virtual Office - Customer Service Image

Treat your  customers how you would like to be treated.  That’s right isn’t it?  After all we all want to be treated well when we buy products and services from others.

I have always lived by this philosophy and found that I have been extremely successful in business as a result.   In my last blog I spoke about my Honeymoon in Thailand and the difference in the culture and approach that I experienced.

I began to think about their concept of customer service.  It was somehow different.  They treated my new wife and I exceptionally well but I wondered if they were treating us how THEY would like to be treated themselves.   From my observations, their culture and lifestyle wasn’t based on the same materialism that we take so seriously here.  So what was it that made their service different?

Then it dawned on me.  Some of the best companies I know all over the world DON’T treat their customers how they would like to be treated themselves.  They treat their clients how the CLIENT would like to be treated.   I felt special because I was treated in accordance with MY expectations not the perceptions of the person I was buying from.

I remember a long time ago – at least five years – at a conference hearing a speaker talk of this and to be honest, it went in one ear and out of the other.   After all I was providing great service and it was working.

What I now realise is that whilst my service was and is still one of the best in the virtual office industry, there are no limits to the way in which we can take our business to the next level by adopting the principle of treating the customer how THEY would like to be treated.

In your business, it’s likely that you will want to grow and build a company.  This will mean adding to your team of employees or, indeed, taking on your first member of staff.  How much simpler will it be to coach them to listen, empathise and treat the client how the client wants to be treated.

We are all different and the way that my team want to be treated as customers will often be very different to mine as will the expectations of our clients.  Therefore one of our company goals this year is to treat our clients just how THEY would like to be treated.

If you “get “this, then I know it’s something that you will see as amazing value to your business.  If you don’t it’s OK.  Sometimes these concepts take time.  Come back to this particular blog in around three months, it may be the right time for you then.   Remember I first heard this concept over five years ago.  That’s how long it’s taken me to understand the true value in this concept, and it was at a time when I least expected it.

As always if I can ever be of any help in relation to anything you read on my blogs then just contact me through this site.  I am happy to help you achieve your goals.

Have a great week.

Richard Cooper -Virtual Office Visionary

Follow me @holdeverything1

A message from Richard Cooper – Virtual Office Visionary

 

On Yer bike Pt2….

Welcome to part two of this blog.  Last week (see my last blog entry) I shared with you my biggest challenge yet.  A super –  cycle ride from the Hertfordshire to Paris and back again.

Many of us will take on a challenge, achieve it and say “OK I’ve done that now, back to business”.   It would have been very easy to do this myself.  After all I have completed the cycle ride two years in a row having never ridden a cycle before.  I have stretched my mental and physical stamina to the max.

I know that no one would blame me if I hung up my trainers and decided to call it a day.  The odd charity bike ride locally?  Maybe something in a few years?  After all I am getting married soon and am extremely busy.

However next year I will be doing it again with an additional twist.   To make it even more challenging I am going to cycle from Radelett  (near St Albans, Hertfordshire) to Dover. Take the ferry to Calais then cycle to Paris.

I will be updating you regularly on my training progress and when my sponsorship page goes live.   The reason I haven’t stopped in 2012 is because when I achieve one challenge, I move onto the next.  The same approach goes for my business too.   Having a new challenge keeps my mind focused both in my life and business.

Do you do the same?  If you don’t and I can help, just send me a message through the website anytime and I will be happy to share some tips that have supported my success.  As always keep an eye on my blog too for great hints and tips on how to make small steps to success in your business.

Until next time

Richard Cooper @ Hold everything

Follow us @holdeverything1

More Perspective?

Many of our clients are small businesses and something that I feel particularly passionate about is perspective.

Whilst we have an established team here are Hold Everything HQ, many business owners work alone and the thing about this is that often, there is a different level of perspective.

I remember when I was starting out alone in business. It was me against the world.  My business was my life (and in many ways still is!).  The trouble was that because I worked only with one part time member of staff,  sometimes the pressure of everything all at once felt a little bit too much.   I would feel alone and that there wasn’t anyone I could turn to.  

As the business has grown, this has become less of an issue, however when I speak to a client who is wound up about something that really isn’t as bad as they think it is, I remember being there.

My top tips for you if you ever find that things are getting a little too much are:

1) Take a five minute break.  Sounds obvious?  Sometimes just moving about and taking a deep breath can make that difference. Ask yourself “in the great scheme of things is this really as bad as it seems.

2) If you have received a “bad” email, message or voicemail – wait 24 hours before responding. Your replies are permanent. Don’t do damage by biting back, no matter HOW tempting.

3) Find other businesses in your position.  I met numerous great businesses through business networking.   If you’re just starting out there are many that are free to go along to.   Having others to talk to really helped me to realise that things aren’t as bad as I sometimes thought.

If you are a bigger business dealing with smaller companies:

1) Remember that just because something that isn’t important to you, it doesn’t mean that it’s not essential to someone else.

2) Can YOU take five minutes to listen to a small business? What are your business doing to support start up mentoring?

3) Stay professional at all times regardless of how someone else is behaving to you and if you have been in that position, remember how it felt.

There are so many terrible events going on in the world and sometimes we need to step out and see the bigger picture.  Theres always an answer.

This week our thoughts go out to those affected by the awful events in the USA.

Until next time

Richard Cooper – Hold Everything
Follow us @holdeverything1