Tag Archives: London Virtual Office

Some Great Tips To Expand Your Small Business

We all look at our small businesses and think ‘how can we develop in a good, strategic way?’  A very interesting article in the entrepreneur site has some great suggestions for all of us.  Here, then are 5 top tips from a world acclaimed source.

1. Develop a company culture.

A strong company culture is what will keep your small-business team together during times of exponential growth. If you’re not sure where to start, ask yourself and your team questions such as:

Why does our company exist?

Why do we do what we do?

What does our company believe in?

What are our values?

Where do we want our company to go, i.e. what’s our company’s vision?

When employees feel connected to your company, they’ll be more likely to stick it out through uncertain times. Plus, a strong company culture can actually attract new customers to your business, so be consistent with it and splash it everywhere, including your website, social-media platforms, marketing materials, etc. When your target audience can see the values behind your company, they can connect with your business on a deeper level.

2. Hire the right people. 

The hiring stage is critical to growing your business successfully. It’s important to take your time and find the right people for the job. Do so and things will go swimmingly. Hire the wrong people, and all of your hard work will come crumbling down. To avoid the latter fate, consider recruiting people based on their technical skills and experience. You should also determine if they’ll be a good fit during this time of growth. For instance, you could ask a candidate how they interpret your company’s vision to see if they’ll mesh well with your team. Startup life isn’t for everyone, so find employees who will be eager to take on the challenge.

3. Focus on innovation … in the right places.

When expanding your small business, you might be tempted to spend a bunch of money on improving your product or creating/offering more products. Instead, focus on innovation in other areas. As one example, try innovating your onboarding experience or adopting new technology like live chat to scale your customer service, as with this savvy Petplan campaign. Innovating your current processes will take up less of your resources, and it’s critical when growing your customer base. Once you’ve achieved more stability, then you can think about introducing new products.

4. Build brand recognition. 

When a consumer sees your logo, advertising campaign, product packaging or slogan, you want them to be able to recognize it as your company. This all comes down to building brand recognition. Take Nike’s Iconic “Just Do It” slogan. When consumers hear that phrase, they instantly know whose behind it. Your small business might not be able to reach Nike-levels of immediacy, but you can still work to become a well-known brand among your target audience. An easy way to do this is to start networking more often on social media. The more times consumers see you online, the easier your company will be to remember.

5. Don’t forget about existing customers. 

Many small-business owners focus too much on getting new customers and not enough on keeping the ones they already have. In fact, according to statistics from Small Business Trends, just six percent of small businesses focus on customer retention. To make your existing customers feel valued, consider creating a satisfaction survey that allows you to gain insights on what your customers love about your business currently, what could be improved and what they’re looking forward to regarding your expansion. You can then use this feedback to improve your business and reduce customer churn. After all, customers who are happy with your business will be more likely to spend more money and recommend you to their family and friends.

 

Climate Change Affects London Business Too.

We have all been watching in amazement over the last few weeks as the young Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg lectured world leaders on the environmental disaster facing all of us.  So in our latest weekly news report we have looked at recycling and the problems we face in our capital.  Waste collection giants Biffa have been complaining in the media that labelling is inconsistent and incoherent and discourages us from recycling enthusiastically.  Our very own Mayor Sadiq Khan is pushing his heating cashback scheme to persuade London businesses to upgrade their boilers and cut back on the pollution they produce in our industrial zones.

At our virtual office centre here on Regent St we are aware of the pollution from an endless flow of buses and taxis along Regent Street.    We do, of course, keep many business workers from making a daily commute to Central London by letting them work from their home office and let us be their face in London’s West End.   Since we work for many overseas companies providing them a virtual office service we also help them save their carbon footprint in travelling to London unnecessarily.

Nobody knows just how serious the climate change situation is, there are far too many agendas being promoted in the media but it is certain that it is in all our interests that London remains a clean and unpolluted working place.

 

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.

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.