Tag Archives: Business Professional

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.

 

 

 

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.

The Power of Our Address

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we are advised frequently by our clients that the power of our address hold immense benefit to their products and services.

For many companies, small or large, having a Central London postal address holds great value. But you’ll pay a hefty price and expensive over heads to acquire one, hidden costs that are not considered like business rates can make or break the decision. That’s why using a Virtual Office that provides a Central London postcode like ours at Hold Everything can give you exactly what you require.

 

First and Lasting Impressions

The location of your business is extremely important when it comes to impressing clients and potential business leads. For international clients, London is a massive but to be based on one of the best known roads will carry the assurance to the customer that the company they are working with are reputable

London is a global city and as the UK’s capital city it is in the focus of world’s biggest economies along with being home to number of major Multi-national Corporations, worldwide brands and entrepreneurs. By acquiring an ‘office’ in Central London it can offer you many advantages such as:

  • Credibility – if you are looking at the address of a business and it provides a London address, immediately there are suggestions of wealth and business expertise.
  • Prestige and perception- the prestige of the address betrays the perception of the business so when someone sees a London postcode they happen to trust it more and it is looked upon more highly as London destinations are serious and significant.

 

Using a Virtual Office, offers more than just an address to use; it comes with many other perks that can help you build your business and achieve its full potential. London is a key place for start-ups and by starting with the use of a London address it is the right sort of climate to help create your success, and for growing businesses who want to base themselves in the capital but still working to establish their company. By choosing to use our W1 address we offer services that help support your ambitions and ideas such as;

  • Our meeting room hire, which will allow you the use of professional space to hold meetings with clients and give the illusion this, is your physical office.
  • A London telephone number- You can enjoy the ‘0207’ telephone code without having to pay for large physical overheads.
  • Telephone answering service will create a strong, professional business aura.

All in all businesses will not be made or broken by the address it chooses, but by choosing to use a London postcode it has seen great advantages and it can defiantly help to get people through the door and make an impact on your potential customers and clients.

Robert Hicks of SendIt Express who uses Hold Everything as his registered office and base for his International Courier business said, “Having the whole of London available to me through my Regent Street address is a vast help in getting through the door, being central helps with meetings and carries weight and assurance for us as a company”

Richard Cooper of Hold Everything is regularly advised by clients that they have secured contracts some worth thousands of pounds that maybe they wouldn’t have if their company stationary didn’t say Regent Street.

So we ask, does the Power of YOUR address give you that respectability, presence and secure the emotion of you have the best address?

Lunch at the Desk and Onboarding Strategy.

Over the past 2 weeks we have been looking at various aspects of office life in our weekly news report on our YouTube channel.  It led me to thinking about how the results of different surveys could in some way be connected in the way human resources function in small businesses today.   In a video report the other week we looked at poor practices in ‘Onboarding’ for new employees.   Onboarding is the process of getting new hires adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. It is the process through which new hires learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviours required to function effectively within an organisation.

Studies have indicated that many companies fail at the very first step in onboarding process by not following up after the job offer has been made and accepted.   The jobs market is quite competitive at the moment so if a company does manage to find the talent they need and spend time and money doing so they should make the new sign up feel a part of the company culture as quickly as possible.  Often this does not happen and HR departments sit hopefully waiting for the new employee to turn up on the day specified without any problems at all.  Then they are shocked to find that he/she has been pilfered away by a competitor before they even arrive for their first morning.    Even if the employee does turn up, many companies make a hash of the whole integration procedure leaving the employee feeling unwanted/neglected or just downright confused over their role in the organisation.  This can waste a lot of money and put the HR department back to square one.

This brings me to my second point which we outline in our latest news report.   Here we look at a survey where more than half UK employees remain stuck at their desks through the lunch hour.  Some of them, certainly, are enjoying social media or reading the news but the majority are simply working when they should be stretching their legs and getting nourishing food to activate their brains for the second half of the day.

You only have to contrast this with way companies such as Google or Facebook treat their employees.   You can see the sorts of companies that top the list in Glassdoors list of best companies to work for.  Google, Facebook, Anglian Water etc.. you can be certain that thesae companies are absolutely brilliant at onboarding new recruits and making them feel at home from the moment the job offer is accepted.  Google is famous for its great catering and recreation facilities – this is a business strategy designed to entice and retain worthwhile talent.  Whilst it is not always possible for a small company to provide ‘Google’ style facilities I am certain that a small move in this direction could pay enormous dividends in staff loyalty and efficiency.