Tag Archives: central London

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 Hidden Cost of Running a Small Business

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we are very much aware of hidden costs, not only attending to our own business running costs but being aware that our clients need to know upfront the costs of using our services.

Our Simply Mail forwarding account for UK based businesses is all-inclusive and we do not charge for mail forwarding of mail over 2 kilos, so no surprise invoices.

report by Forbes has concluded, 7 out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third last at least 10 years and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more. So what do you have to do to become a part of the quarter that survives 15 years or more?

Building a business isn’t easy and certainly it isn’t cheap. Before setting up a small business knowing your facts on all expenses, and not just evident costs such as salaries but the hidden ones like licensing fees, subscription and online software fees can be the difference between your businesses ability to survive or sink, after all you want to be sure your income continues to exceed your outgoings.

Let’s take a look at a few hidden costs of running a small business:

  1. Office Rent – Many companies feel they need a physical presence – some will ultimately need the space to operate from others just Go virtual. At Hold Everything we understand the need for a physical office. However, in today’s world more and more companies can operate on a ‘virtual’ basis – providing the phone is answered when it rings, does it really matter whether that person is sat in their plush office/work space, or at a desk in their home?
  2. Licensing Fees – It’s extremely important to understand what license you need for your business (if any). Just the physical location alone can affect how much the government charge for a business license.
  3. Credit Card Fees – Obviously your expecting your consumers to purchase your product/service, however, by allowing your customers to use a credit card to pay you will occur credit card fees. Don’t stress! Take a look at Business News Daily’s article on tricks to lower your credit card fees.
  4. Insurance – Your business needs to ensure it has the right protection in place to cover you for any accidents, loss or serious difficulties with a client. Types of insurances are essential are, Public Liability insurance- if you work at external locations or have clients or customers come to your work place, you will want to protect against any claims made in the event of damage or injury and Professional indemnity insurance – if your work could cause a financial loss for your clients. There’s a range of other covers, including business equipment insurance, tool cover and personal accident insurance so it’s best to get professional advice on what is needed for your business.
  5. Your Time – this is one of the biggest hidden expense that certainly cannot be ignored. Being the boss is an excuse for having to be involved in every aspect of the business and not delegating accordingly. But the most efficient way for you to grow your small business is not wasting your own time by doing work that others can do.

As a monthly practice, Richard Cooper looks at all costs less than £100.00 and asks if any can be avoided or if any supplier can be changed, small changes add up. He also looks at the large annual costs which arrive at set times, like accountancy fees, industry subscriptions and insurances to see if paying these on a monthly standing order basis can spread the cost rather than having an invoice for a larger fee so not affecting cash flows.

Nothing worse than that unplanned large payment.

So plan ahead when you start your new business.

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?

Why Outsource?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, we outsource some of the services we sell, so we can provide an all-round quality service to our clients and not have numerous distractions thus ensuring we give every client the best possible attention.

We also act for many industry colleagues as they outsource to us, as they don’t all have the opportunity to have an office in Regent Street but can at least extend the facility.

So why outsource ?

From a small company to a big company, from the financial industry to the creative, from a start up to a well-established business there is always more work to do, then time do it in. The answer more and more companies are turning to is outsourcing their work. But for more small businesses it is an essential part of their growth.

 

In a recent poll conducted by The Guardian’s Small Business Network, they were asked whether business readers outsourced work to freelancers. The conclusion; most answered ‘yes’ with 79% saying that “using freelancers is a big part of our business strategy.”

Three Reasons to outsource:

 Control Capital Costs

Cost-cutting is a major factor especially when it comes to paying rent along with all the overheads that come with renting an office. A popular way for small businesses and start-ups to avoid large expenditures but to gain an established persona is by using a Virtual Office, like Hold Everything that is based on London’s prestigious Regent Street.

Reduce Labour Costs

Hiring a full time person for their particular skills can be expensive when running a small company, so most businesses look at outsourcing work to freelancers for this. For example, SEO work is outsourced to a professional or for short-term projects such as admin audits they are given to freelancers. By outsourcing certain work it allows you to focus your human resources where you need them most.

Web platforms like People Per Hour are great to find that specialised individual and look at their work.

Level the playing field

 Most small businesses can’t afford to match the ‘in-house’ support services that bigger companies can afford. Outsourcing can help smaller businesses act “bigger” by giving them access to the same economies of scale, efficiency, and expertise that large companies enjoy.

Outsourcing to ‘Virtual’ Facilities

Virtual PA/Assistant

Companies that are growing will naturally need to employee additional people. But hiring staff adds overheads, not only that but sometimes you don’t really need someone for a ‘full time’ job. Therefore using a Virtual PA/Assistant has many beneficial factors.

  • Reduces costs- You can hire and pay them for the set hours you want the particular business task completed in, instead of paying someone a yearly salary. Along with this you won’t have to invest your money on training someone as the Virtual PA/Assistant you hire for the task in hand should already have the skills set that is required.
  • Saves time – When it is time to hire someone, it is not a quick or easy task. You need to advertise the role (which can cost money), wait for applications (takes time) then look at applied CV’s, shift through them and arrange interviews. Then there is the interviewing stage. This is a very lengthy process. The solution, all of this can be skipped over simply hiring a Virtual PA/Assistant.
  • You don’t have to share your space – Virtual PA/Assistants are freelancers. They will most likely work from home, plus you won’t have to buy additional computers or desks.

Details of Virtual PA’s can easily be found by a generic search through the internet, or head to The Society of Virtual Assistants for more information.

Call Centre

A popular choice for many companies is to outsource their telephone calls to a call centre. This can be for several reasons such as, customer service professionalism, and the growth of the company. Below are a few of the main aims businesses have for when choosing to outsource their calls.

  • Great customer service at all times – If you or employees in your company are not trained in the fine art of customer service you can turn to a call centre and rely on their professionalism.
  • A majority of businesses use call centres for their customer service help line, by using a call centre for this service ensures the phone is always answered; this can be the difference between keeping and losing a customer
  • Lower costs – Businesses outsource their calls to reduce administrative and operational costs. You are freeing up your time by not being interrupted by phone calls (especially if they are sales calls), you’ll be able to streamline the process and focus on the business task in hand, this makes for better overall efficiency letting you use your time and energy more wisely. You also save money on labour costs by not having to employ extra staff to just answer the phone especially if the company is growing.

So has this helped you decided whether to outsource ?

Networking – Love it? Hate it? Have to do it?

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street, networking through a number of different networking organisations was paramount to our business progression.

Having been a member of two of the UK’s most visited networking organisations, eventually  Hold Everything’s, Director Richard Cooper set up a Central London Group with one of the organisations having bi weekly meetings at All Bar One in Regent Street.

 

So Why Is Networking Such An Essential & How Can Networking Benefit You?

By attending Business networking meetings it allows professionals from diverse industries to come together to share their valuable knowledge and surround themselves with positive uplifting people that can help grow their business. It’s an opportunity to showcase their expertise within their industry, build new connections and raise their own profile among other professionals. It’s also a time to offer advice and relate with one another on the hardships experienced.

-‘One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.’ – As said by Lewis Howes taken from www.brainyquote.com/topics/networking

‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’- This statement can be taken as a negative and a positive.  But for certain it is true in business, as having a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when needed is a major advantage. By building your network it provides you with a little black book of connections that can help open the door to connect with others. This can result in many opportunities for you, for example it can lead to joint ventures and client leads along with many other opportunities that all point to increased business results, which really is the main aim of the game.

Our Tips At Networking

Everyone has a different style but here are a few tips we benefited from;

  • Perfect your pitch- Knowing what to say is imperative, getting your message over quickly and in a way that is remembered.
  • Using a visual aid-We used a coffee cup as a way of making other members consider how our costs compare – our services are less than a cup of coffee a day from the main coffee chains.
  • Always follow up on leads- At one group Richard Cooper attended he referred himself to the groups Private Dentist for future dental care. The dentist never called, he lost three patients and probably a lot of money.

Value Of Business Networking

So how can you value business networking?

This can be by a ROI, it can be by connections made, it can be by repeat business, for everyone the way of valuing whether the time spent getting up early and venturing to meetings is different.

Hold Everything have maintained many relationships, many years after memberships have expired and one of those whom the company has stayed in touch with is Neil Giller, Managing Area Director in Notts & Lincs for BNI.

Neil advised us on the following statistic relating to BNI as a whole.

‘BNI is the most successful business networking referral organisation in the world. We have over 12,500 members in the UK and Ireland alone, passing over 676,000 referrals worth over £520 million every year! It is quite literally the best way to build a better business.’

So after reading our outlook on business networking, do you think it is worth pursing?