Tag Archives: business address

8 Top Tips For Working With a Virtual Assistant

When you are used to running a busy virtual office in central London the concept of ‘being virtual’ is a very seductive one.  For many small businesses and start ups the natural progression from having virtual office is to have virtual assistants (VAs) scattered in low income countries.  Used correctly, this type of support staff can provide a big plus for your business and allow you to delegate many routine tasks such as research and data cleaning.

So how do you find a VA?   This is the easiest part as there are websites that let you find and employ a limitless number of experienced part time staff who will charge you an hourly rate way below their counterparts in the UK.  The easiest site to go looking on is Upwork which has a well organised sysstem for locating the part time staff of your dreams.   In a later blog post I will give tips on how to advertise for a vA and how to go through the virtual interview procedure with them.  In this short post I want to show you a video I made that sets out my top tips for working effectively with a VA based on the other side of the world.   In my experience the key to successfully dealing with virtual staff is to be friendly and considerate to them.   Just because they live far away and your contact is on skype or email you should be as polite as if they were in the next office.  The worst thing you can do is take a tone of ‘western superiority’ which will ensure you get the minimum return from your investment.   Treat them as you would any loyal office colleague and you will understand why virtual is best.

Client Appreciation

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street  we believe a ‘Thank you’ is always nice to say to those who are loyal and recommend our services.

These two words are always thrown around throughout the day, but this can be extremely influential on your clients especially in business. By showing client appreciation this helps to improve not just your working relationships but can increase client loyalty and client retention.

It is crucial to focus on your client retention as it is estimated that increasing retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%. A key ingredient to achieving client retention is by showing appreciation to your clients which effectively means letting them know how grateful you are for their devotion to your services.

Appreciation Strategy

To implement your customer appreciation strategy, you must have all client details in one place- a CRM system which is a basically your customer database is foundation for all your further actions.

See a previous blog here about CRM https://www.hold-everything.com/benefits-using-crm-system/. The CRM system can track and record all interactions you have with your clients and can help identify their needs and behavior towards your service. Below we have put together four easy ways to show your clients how much you appreciate them:

  1. Promote your client’s business

A lot of time goes into building your own business and promoting it, but by promoting your clients along with yours can help build loyalty and create a positive performance from your clients. For example, on your website you can have a page that illustrates some your client’s profiles and how you are both benefiting from your client relationship. If you have a newsletter/use social media, you can share customer success stories, not only will your clients appreciate this personal touch, but perspective clients will be able to see how much you are more then a supplier, you are a partner and you are thankful for your clients.

  1. Contact your clients on a regular basis

A common issue is that businesses tend to forget their client once the deal is made and the contract is signed, its all about the next sale? Wrong!

You want to achieve customer loyalty as this is what gets the client coming back and re-signing for another year/buying more products (whatever your business sells), if you want your client to return you need to give them a good reason to do so. Keeping up that business – client relationship takes work and dedication so by sending out regular newsletters, updating your social media, advertising offers and day to day communication e.g. follow up emails to phone calls, can really help enhance your clients experience with your company.

  1. That VIP treatment

We all love a bit of VIP treatment so when it comes to appealing to your clients needs make them feel valued and special. Reward your clients with exclusive offers by personal email invitation, this allows your client to feel appreciated as you are wanting to give them access to these great deals before others. By doing this you are brining an element of personal care which is clever and effective tactic to improve client’s lifetime with you.

  1. Loyalty / discount cards

Offering a loyalty or discount card will always be taken as fantastic customer loyalty.

Whether it’s a free coffee from the local coffee shop after buying 10 already or a voucher to spend after spending a certain amount or a student discount offered, everyone loves the fact they got something from their favourite place to spend money.

Its proved that if you have a choice of coffee shops, the one offering a possible free coffee eventually will always get the business over the coffee shop that doesn’t. By going regularly to the same branded supermarket you know one day a voucher will appear or your card in your purse/wallet will one day give you some money off.

Buying the same make up from a major chemist brand will earn you points on your card compared to buying it from a concession in a major departmental store.

In conclusion all in all you want to keep your clients happy, making them feel and know that you care and value them. By taking care of your customers in turn they will take care of your business.

Benefits Of Using A CRM System

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street  we have been using a CRM System to help run the business now for a period of time. Currently we are having our own bespoke system written to manage some areas of our business which the current system doesn’t offer.

What is a CRM system?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This is a computer system that facilitates the collecting, organising and management of customer information which essentially creates a database for you and your company. CRM systems are designed to streamline your processes within your organisation and can be an extremely important management tool.

How can a CRM System help your business.

  1. Help Improve Customer Satisfaction

All communication with the client/customer can be recorded onto the CRM system, this will help you provide a better service for your clients as you’ll be able to quickly retrieve all activity concerning that client. Also, by using this strategy, all productions such as servicing, marketing and selling your products or services to your clients can be conducted in an organised and systemic way.

  1. Improvement of Customer Retention and Revenue

This is a golden CRM benefit, by using the data collected on your system your team can proactively address any at-risk/soon expiring accounts as well as reaching out to satisfied customer/clients to help encourage repeat purchases and upselling of existing services. You’ll be improving your customer retention rates – which should translate into increased revenue for your business.

3. Maximise your Business Performance

By using a CRM system this can help maximise your business performance by increasing your up-sell (where you are offering customers an upgrade relating to their purchase) and cross- sell (offering complementary products/services that are in the same category of their purchase) opportunities. By using both sales strategies which can be easily conducted with a CRM system you will have a complete understanding of their wants and needs as all the client information will be easily accessible and viewable and you can be prompted on when to use your sale techniques.

  1. Improvement on Internal Communication

By having a CRM system in place this helps build up better communication within the organisation. Sharing the customer data between departments will encourage and enable you to work as team. Each employee will have access to answer the customer/client questions involving their services or products. A major benefit of this allows a healthy, functioning, well-informed team which overall will help increase the company’s efficiency and offer a better service to your customers.

  1. Optimise Your Marketing

Another brilliant CRM benefit is allowing you to optimise your market by using a more targeted and cost-efficient marketing programme. By understanding your customer/clients needs and behaviour you will be able to identify the correct time to promote new products/services and promotions. The CRM system will help you divide your customers and give you an insight into which are the profitable customer/client groups to market at. By using the data provided you will be able to set up relevant promotions for each client group and execute them at the correct time. By optimizing your marketing resources in this manner will give you the best possible chance of increasing your revenue.

  1. Valuable Insight to your Organisation

And lastly, want to know how well your organisation is doing? As a CRM system stores all information in on centralised place this makes it a lot easier to analyse your performance. By being able to pinpoint certain information e.g. revenue generated leads/new clients you will be able to generate reports which show this information in clear and precise way. By being able to report data this will help you make more effective business decisions and improve your revenue in the long run. Which surely is the aim of the game for most?!

As mentioned, you can clearly see there are range of CRM benefits that will improve your business whatever size it may be.

So where do I find a CRM System? 

A simple internet search via one of the major search engines will bring up a multitude of choices from companies such as:-

https://www.salesforce.com/uk/

https://www.act.com/en-uk/

https://www.hubspot.com/

https://www.zoho.com/

As with all internet usage there are comparison website that cover the top 10/15 CRM systems, below is one link but the internet searches brings up others options as well.

https://financesonline.com/top-15-crm-software-enterprises-analysis-leading-systems/

Alternatively, you can get a system written just for you.

Rafi Galibov of The Positronic Group says:

‘If you need a CRM, but none of the ‘off the shelf’ CRM’s do exactly what you need, you should contact a developer who can create a ‘bespoke’ CRM for you, one that does exactly what you need to start with and can grow with you and your company.’

The Positronic Group – Bespoke Database Developers using Servoy to create cross platform solutions.

So CRM or no CRM for you – off the shelf or bespoke.

9 Good Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs a Solicitor.

Yes we know they can charge seemingly outrageous fees for writing a letter or checking a contract but there are many good reasons to budget for legal advice for your SME.  Roz Gee writing in blackenterprise.com puts her finger on the 9 key issues.

1.Debt Collection: Many small businesses have trouble collecting money owed to them and can’t afford to give up a percentage of the debt to a collection agency.

2.Contract and Document Review: This is critical because of the need to be professionally advised and gain a thorough understanding before important papers or documents are signed.

3.Contractor or Supplier Disputes: It’s good when relationships are working well and functional, but when things go awry, it’s better to have the right representation if or when your company has contractor, vendor, or supplier conflicts that surface.

4. Internet Security Breaches: With the rising increase of sophisticated system hacking and data compromising, your company needs to be protected against internet predators and hijackers.

5.Product Liability Issues: The marketplace is no stranger to rapid product recalls and other issues that affect the functionality and operation of products. Having skilled attorneys could prevent unnecessary hassles and headaches as well as protect your brand.

6. Insurance Disputes: This is to safeguard your business against those insurance companies who deny or dispute claims of businesses or their properties.

7.Employee Theft: Unfortunately, no business owner wants to ever deal with major internal thievery whether intellectual property, monetary, or proprietary assets. But the reality is, employee theft happens even when the best processes are enforced.

8. Tax Audits: Although you may have a CPA, sometimes things still fall through the cracks, which may require an audit. You need to know that you have access to the right legal representation to help you navigate these potential pitfalls.

9. Threats of Customer Lawsuits: With the proliferation of lawsuits that continue to mount in this country alone, it’s assuring to have peace of mind of knowing you can defer to a legal professional who is actually on your team.

The Law Society can advise you of a suitable lawyer for your small business.

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.