We are delighted to show our new video which shows how Hold Everything can help a wide range of businesses enjoy the prestige the of central London business location. Whether you are a freelancer working from home or a busy mum running her business around her childcare or a foreign company wanting a presence in the UK market, we have the solution.
The freelance community is huge and expanding rapidly as we move further into a connected world. There are independent financial advisers and web designers and PR consultants all working out of their homes or even a coffee shop – a ‘coffice’ – and they all need a prestigious address to put on their business cards and their letterheads. Clients can also register their company address at 207 regent Street and use it to receive all their business correspondence. We offer the possibility to rent a boardroom/meeting room at very reasonable prices.
Mother working in her home office
We also realise that women who need to combine a business life with childcare find that a virtual office is a great facility. Here at Hold Everything we answer your phone calls and act as a professional face to your business persona. Many of our female clients are successfully juggling the demands of motherhood with successful home-based work schedules whether as a creative or a business consultant and value the personalised support we can offer.
Last but by no means least, we are here to help overseas business owners and ex-patriots maintain a foot in the London business community with our virtual office packages which makes a top London contact address a realistic and inexpensive proposition. The range of personalised business services we can offer you is limited only by your imagination. We can handle routine business tasks and sort and forward mail according to your instructions.
We hope that this video created by the team at Zibadoo, will tell you more about Hold Everything in a friendly visual manner and that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you as a valued client.
Social Media – We Help you Get Up to Speed
Thursday, 06 July 2017 14:37
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. 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking a break …… a message from Richard Cooper!
Monday, 10 June 2013 18:26
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
Its got to be PERFECT ……. a message from Richard Cooper
Saturday, 18 May 2013 15:36
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
I’m too busy – a message from Richard Cooper
Friday, 26 April 2013 16:44
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