Tag Archives: dedicated telephone receptionist

Unexpected ‘Zoom Effects’ and Changes to Our Business Life.

work with zoom

If 2020 will be remembered for anything it will be for ‘Zoom’ and the way it moved our office lives online in one fell swoop.  For those of us who had been teetering on the edge of distance working and moving into a digital landscape, Zoom was the killer app that made it happen.  Our business life was reduced to being a thumbnail on a colleague’s laptop.  Suddenly everybody started panicking over their Zoom image.   Staff members were subjected to close facial inspection in a way that never happened in regular face to face office life.  People were ‘Zoom-shamed’ and the meme that circulated online was ‘Zoom, it’s YOU but ugly’.

This has, of course, led to a boost in enquiries for cosmetic adjustments, known as ‘Tweakments‘  which can allow you to present a more acceptable face to colleagues and, indeed, for online job interviews.

Yes, there’s a growing awareness that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing – well, at least, too many video calls. As a result, the number and length of video-based meetings will likely decline somewhat over time, but they aren’t going to disappear. They are starting to evolve, however, thanks to the immense competition among the different platforms and the critical factor that programmers who are creating these tools have to use them extensively as well. (That isn’t always the case with other applications.)

In addition to lots of new views of participants and content, we’ve started to see extremely practical benefits such as real-time audio transcription of the meeting – making it significantly easier and faster to confirm your notes, double-check what was said, or catch up on a meeting you may have missed.  The Zoom autosave and transcribe feature is extremely well crafted and you can download the transcript of your meeting minutes after the session closes.

zoom

As staff begin to return to work in dribs and drabs there will be the ‘shock of the new’ where your old workspace has changed quite dramatically into something quite unlike its pre-COVID form.  You will see plastic barriers, higher cube walls, rearranged environments and more.  Many will not want to return to embrace this ‘new normal’. Even more people may start to consider longer-term workplace alternatives – either permanent work-from-home arrangements (potentially even in other cities – as some have started to do) or a more nomadic type of work lifestyle, where people start working from a range of different locations including their homes, offices, coffee shops, and other places, just to bring a bit of variety to their everyday experience.  This is the world of the ‘virtual office’  with everything except key tasks being relocated away from the business HQ.   Your business phone line is answered in an office, your physical mail is received at an office, your courier can still be collected and delivered at a recognisable office suite but other workday functions can happen elsewhere at less cost and in more agreeable surroundings.

Software is developing quickly to meet these new challenges. Companies like Citrix are at the vanguard of change.  Their vice president Tim Minahan puts it every well when he said  “Work is no longer a place. It’s happening in kitchens and basements, in parks and on sidewalks and scaled back, socially distanced offices,”   Software such as Citrix Workspace™. The secure, intelligent, and high-performing digital workspace organizes, guides and automates everyday tasks to boost productivity and create a sense of personal accomplishment that fuels engagement and innovation – all while ensuring privacy and security.  If you combine this platform with a virtual office such as Hold Everything in central London you have a framework which is employee-friendly and future-proof.

 

 

5 Helpful Rules for Budding Entrepreneurs

When you come into contact with aspiring entrepreneurs every day of your working life as we do running a virtual office in Central London we notice that certain qualities mark out business success.   My own thoughts and observations are well reflected in a recent article by Cheryl Snapp Conner who writes regularly on business development.  She identifies 6 important qualities to develop when you are building your business.

1. Add value first — and always.

Regardless of the obstacles in consulting and business, this rule is akin to the laws of gravity and physics. Be as interested and devoted to your client’s successes as you are to your own. When this is the case, there’s no need to talk about your hero stories or the ego numbers you’ve reached. Every contact should begin and ends with the thought, “What kind of massively important difference can I make for my clients today?” There’s no need to hard sell.

2. Put Your Brain in Gear Before You Speak.

And then think again. This is interesting in that some entrepreneurs, leaders and even elected officials (think Trump or Boris Johnson) suffer from the chronic impulse to fill the air with words before their brains have fully engaged.  whoSome are living by the motto that “if you’re brazen enough when you say it, it’s true.”

3. Creative Thinking is Essential.

In business and life, beware of the parties who declare “this is how it has to be done.” There are myriad paths to success. What can you add, subtract or tweak to get a situation to work? What would turn it into magic? If option A and option B are both untenable, don’t settle. Continue to think and strategize on ideas about what will work instead of bemoaning what can’t — or what didn’t.

4. Be Clear and to the Point.

Brevity is a virtue in our harried business and personal worlds. We all know the person we unconsciously flee or avoid calling because we know the conversation will never be short. In selling, planning, and every aspect of a business, distill your message to its essence. When you can tell it in a single breath or while standing on one foot, you are probably there. Make the details of your proposal easy to find and verify, but don’t feel the need to overwhelm your listeners. Think about whetting their appetites enough that they come to you, asking for more. This is where you succeed.

5. Gratitude is a Powerful Ingredient.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed about everything that goes wrong in the world of business. Taxes rise, systems fail and rush hour traffic is worse by the day. Health concerns and stress put us all to the test. But imagine the power of stopping at least twice a day to consider at least three things you are intensely grateful for. Family relationships. Seasonal colors or scents or the clothes you love wearing, Your company’s strategy and the customers and clients you serve. Imagine the power you’d instill if you showed gratitude to your employees every day.

We would also add some guiding principles of our own.  The fact that every budding entrepreneur needs expert support in their office to free their minds from the mundane so that they can pursue loftier business ideals.  Having someone answer your phone and pass on messages correctly can be crucially important.  Knowing that business mail is attended to in a timely and secure manner is vital even in our ‘paperless age’.  This is why so many of our clients at Hold Everything build and maintain successful businesses in a rapidly changing business landscape.

 

Can Mindfulness Be the Missing Ingredient in Your Business Plan?

We all feel stress at work and this can often be a good thing in pushing us forward, but constant stress can also drain your creative juices.  In this video we look at some tried and tested techniques for easing stress from your workplace and helping you boost your bottom line.   Practising meditation and mindfulness has never been easier with a large number of smartphone apps you can download and try out.  There are also many local groups of meditators that you could sign up with.

Enjoying time with family and friends is obviously a great way to shake off workplace anxieties and you should grab every opportunity to be with people who can nurture your life.  Nobody ends their life worrying about a sales target they didn’t reach or a product launch that was a few weeks late.  they are small problems in the greater picture.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your business stress is to ‘go virtual’ with a professionally run virtual office in one of London’s most prestigious areas – Regent Street, where all the big brands are like Apple corp who are our close neighbours.  We check and forward your business mail for you and answer and screen your business phone-calls so that wherever your business takes you you are always in touch with your clients.  So why not add our great business services into your stress reduction programme?

Our Virtual Office News Report Hits a Milestone ’50’

We are very excited that our weekly news report on our Youtube channel has reached #50.  If you have yet to check it out then you should visit our channel

and bookmark it.  This week, for example, we are looking at an amazing new payday app called ‘Wagestream‘  which is backed by Bill gates and Jeff Bezos.  You might not be familiar with this app which is now being used by more than 115000 employees to plan their monthly spend without needing to plug financial holes with expensive payday loans.

Another item in our weekly round up looks at the enthusiasm in the UK for starting your own business.  We highlight the recent research from the Free Agent organisation.  The results show how young Brits are more entrepreneurial than ever with Generation Z full of hopes for their business future.  This is music to our ears since we do love helping young companies get started by providing a wonderful range of business services at our virtual Office’ here on Regent Street.   Having a prestigious but inexpensive central London base is so vital for a business start up  and Hold Everything has an enviable record in helping a vast range of businesses over the last 30 years.

Have a great week.

 

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 ?