Tag Archives: London Virtual Office

Why a Virtual Office Address is Such a Good Idea in 2021

virtual office address

virtual office address

If you are a regular visitor to our blog then the concept of a ‘virtual office address’ is nothing new to you.  Maybe you are already a client benefitting from our virtual office services. But, for those who are new to the concept let me explain what a virtual office is and why it could be a perfect solution for starting your own business, especially in uncertain times.

Virtual offices are a relatively new addition to the office services industry. They are conceptually similar to traditional business centres, but they are generally more flexible in terms of the services they offer and the amount of space they occupy. Briefly, a virtual office is a shared workspace that is usually run by a professional management service but is often staffed by a receptionist, who will answer the phone and provide other basic services. The client can get meeting room facilities, which they can book by the hour or day. Some virtual offices offer additional services, printing facilities, and secretarial support, while others provide only the basics.

For entrepreneurs who have been building their business from home, a virtual office can serve as that first step towards getting established in a physical space – but without the commitment of renting an actual desk or room in an office building.

So, if you’re looking to give your business a more professional image but aren’t ready to move into an office, a virtual office is a more flexible, much cheaper alternative to taking that leap.

Similarly, if you’re already working in an office but are finding it to be too much of a strain on your time and purse strings (we all know that start-ups have to use their resources carefully), a virtual office could be a better compromise for you.

Whilst in a big city like London there are many virtual office address providers, you need to look a bit beneath the surface to choose the optimum solution for your business venture.  The #1 criterion is the address. This is what labels your company to any supplier or potential customer. Having a prestigious business address is the most important thing for your brand especially if it is fresh out of the box. A suburban home address does not inspire confidence and it also risks exposing your personal details online to all and sundry.  Every successful entrepreneur knows how important it is to set clear boundaries between work and personal life.   This is where a virtual office address really comes in handy since any mail that is sent to the office address is conveniently forwarded to your private address. Indeed, mail forwarding is one of our many ‘superpowers’.  Your clients and suppliers see your office location and it reassures them as to your credibility and business standing.

When you choose a virtual office package from Hold Everything you are demonstrating that concept of traditional office space traditional is outmoded and an unnecessary business cost.  You do not actually need physical office space to proudly put Regent Street on your business card.  We can also provide you with a designated telephone number and make sure that your business calls are dealt with by our professional phone answering team.

If you need a meeting space, we can provide you with a fully furnished, equipped board room on an hourly or daily basis. So if this sounds like a great business plan for you, then do be in touch and join the many business owners who have used our services over the last 40 years.

Become an Entrepreneur – Your Resolution for 2021.

become an entrepreneur

New Year is fast approaching and the traditional new year resolutions are being considered.  Many people, after a chaotic 2020, are seriously considering going their own route as an entrepreneur, to become an entrepreneur.  Unfortunately, for many, the option has been forced upon them by the Covid-19 fallout and how it has put a wrecking ball through the retail and leisure industries.  Whilst many employees were ‘furloughed‘ this safety net is now being taken away.

become an entrepreneur

Become an entrepreneur in 2021

For others, setting up your business has been a perennial option to be considered as each year draws to a close.  Perhaps you have been putting off the decision until things change in your personal life.  Maybe the kids have left school or have finished their expensive university years.  Perhaps you have inherited some money which could help tide you over, during the necessary period of transition. But, for whatever reason, you have made ‘become an entrepreneur’ your resolution for 2021 we would like to show you a useful business model that will make the decision easier for you, at least when you startup.

For entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies, leasing a physical workplace isn’t always financially or logistically feasible; with working at home or at the local coffee shop or pub often seen as the less expensive and easier alternative.

But if you want to be taken seriously in your new, independent role there are aspects you have to bear in mind.  You need to set up your suppliers, market your services and goods, consider the competitors, work out logistics on how to deliver your products and services and crucially find a base for your workplace.  Not just to work from, but a work address that provides the right ‘look’ for your new enterprise.

With office rates still uncomfortably high in the UK, discovering a cost-effective service for your office requirements can represent a tough and challenging task.

For those among you who have made a start on the route to become an entrepreneur, a virtual office can act as that initial step towards getting developed in a physical location, however without the commitment of leasing a real desk or room in an office building. It is the seductive element of not having to make a long-term rental commitment that makes a virtual office such a great option for a startup.

The #1 essential benefit of the virtual office, and frequently what eventually drives business owners to adopt one, is that they cost much less than leasing a conventional workplace or coworking space.

 Virtual workplaces aren’t strictly the domain of only entrepreneurs and sole traders– it’s equally possible to handle a team of remote employees through your virtual office. 

Think carefully about your essential business requirements: A telephone or telephone system for handling and taking customer calls (your smartphone may well be all you require for this but there are many software options that can provide some very sophisticated telephony for the WFH entrepreneur. so what are the essentials that you will need to run your fledgeling business through a virtual office?

  • A powerful laptop
  • A cloud-based email service such as Outlook or Gmail, so you can check out and send out messages from any connected device
  • A cloud-based file sharing and storage system such as Google Drive or Dropbox, so you can access essential files anywhere Productivity software application (if you’re directing a group)
  • Video conferencing software (if not offered by your virtual workplace supplier)
  • For home-based business owners and start-ups aiming to gain a more expert image, renting a virtual workplace could be the perfect business solution.
entrepreneur multi tasking

Multi-tasking can be made easier with a virtual office

Now, let us add to this list the services that a virtual office such as Hold Everything can add to the mix:

  • A mail forwarding service.  Mail can be addressed to your central London registered office address and then be forwarded to your home or shepherd’s hut on a regular basis.  That way, your new business and your personal life can be elegantly separated.
  • A telephone answering service.  Having a professional voice answer your business calls on a dedicated London phone line goes a long way to establishing you as a serious company which is what you need when you become an entrepreneur.
  • A meeting room for client conferences.  why pay for fixed office premises when top virtual offices can provide you with a stylish boardroom to impress your visitors, all you need to add is the coffee and biscuits.
  • A legal registered business address.  Having your office address correctly registered will give you peace of mind and full business status.  It is a service we offer our clients so you look professional ‘right from the off.’

 

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.

 

 

Building a Virtual Team – How to Stop Being a One-Man-Band.

virtual team in action

a virtual team

The One-Man-Band.

Let’s discuss the one-man band syndrome. I don’t know if its a syndrome but here at Hold Everything  I see a lot of entrepreneurs struggling to grow beyond this point without adding a dozen of other stress and anxieties to their plate.

The majority of marketeers start out as a “freelance” type of marketer to customers, 1 on 1 before building an agency and then scaling to a full fledged business.

Why is that some marketers can’t seem expand beyond a one man band? In today’s post I want to shine the light on what I feel the main reasons are in hope that I can point you in the right direction for building your own virtual team.

Sometimes You Need to Go Back to Go Forward

This is a big growth curve which I really feel everybody needs to go through if they want to scale beyond themselves.

It’s based around the idea of: “You can not move beyond where you are by doing what you’ve always done”.

Common sense I know but most marketers are trying so hard to hold onto what they are doing whilst also trying to scale. Something must give.

In this case you need to go backwards initially before you can go ahead into a new pathway.

In this particular instance, you need to decrease and slow the speed of your business down which yes, may mean you might be earning less for a few weeks or even months before you accelerate by adding a virtual team to your business and getting them up to speed as a production line.

Finding The Right Talent For Your Team.

virtual team in action

There is also a lot of confusion about where to find talent for your virtual team. Should you employ A-Players? (the reply is no) Should you ask inside Facebook groups? How about Fivver or oDesk or People Per Hour or even Legiit?

The truth is that it matters not where you commence hiring and building a virtual team from, provided that you kick off building them.

Progress forward is better than no progress at all. However, personally, I have a lot of success using Odesk.  You need to write very specific job postings and a take time to filter through talent to find out the right people for the job.

But Can I Afford to Build a Virtual Team?

I could answer this with the most annoying response possible which would be, “You cant afford to NOT afford to build a virtual team”. As corny as that sounds, there is a lot of truth to this.

Building a virtual team and building your production line should be your number 1 priority alongside closing sales and serving clients.

It’s not the action of building a crew that is what you’re chasing but rather what comes at the tail end of having a virtual team. Speed of service, more predictable and steady results for customers and a general surge in your sales volume.

However there comes a moment when ever marketer must make the and leap and decide that this month, they’re really going to begin developing their own dream team.

Best of all, when you adhere to a “production line” mentally to building your team its generally easier and a lot more lucrative. It’s not unheard of to have a virtual team that costs $6 per hour generate the same quality as a $120 p/h contractor.

What If they walk off with my clients?

This is a big argument I hear from new marketers who are trying to get their heads around developing a team.

They are stressed that the contractors, freelancers and the virtual team they build are simply going to turn around and steal their clients.

This may be a feasible case when you only work with A-Players who are all round problem solvers and creative geniuses. However, when your business and the clients results are built on strategies and an assembly line process– No single specialist or team member can take your client.

Your client’s results are not dependable on an individual contractor instead they are dependable on the system you have developed, your production line, not your team.

The second reason why this is extremely unlikely is that if a contractor wanted to have their OWN clients, they wouldn’t be working for you. Simple as that. A contractor desires to do what they are efficient at without the drama of managing clients.

Sorry You Are Not the Only Genius.

you need a virtual team

I’m sorry to break it to you but you are not the only genius around.

You are not the only “best’ professional at your craft as a marketer, if that be e-Commerce, head-hunting or sales.  For some reason marketers tend to think that nobody else in the whole world could ever be comparable them OR will they ever find someone who is capable to produce the same top-notch results that they can for a their clients.

But when you begin to build a team around your system you will realise  hat your virtual team will be able to get the exact same result because you have made the effort to build a predicable production line that allows anybody from any country, to step in, press a few buttons and generate the same result as though you had done it personally.

There are many reasons why marketers get stuck being a one man band. It may be because of growing too quickly where they were suddenly booked out all at once with no time to think about building a team.

Or it may be because they have a hard time saying no.

The above reasons are a lot deeper than what simply scratches the surface.

The truth of the matter is that all marketer seriously need to think about building support mechanism around them in the context of a virtual team.

The quicker a team is put in place the quicker the business can begin to scale and the less the marketer becomes a one-man band. Remember that building a team is even easier if you are controlling it from a hub such as Hold Everything.

Virtual Office? Yes, Our Moment Has Come.

virtual offiice concept

We have all heard the expression that ‘destiny can tap you on the shoulder’.  Well, here at Hold Everything virtual office we are feeling that tap right now.  If anything changes from our Corona Virus lockdown it will be the concept of what an office is and whether it needs to be an actual space we travel to every day often for several hours at a time.   Rod Liddle, the leading Sunday Times columnist has a fine knack for sensing trends, listen to what he has to say.. ‘

What on earth is the point of the office any more?

They had a use once, these desolate areas of parched pot plants and plywood cubicles, patrolled by willy-waving middle managers forever calling fatuous meetings, often involving PowerPoint presentations, in order to ameliorate their own crushing insecurities — but, surely, no longer.

If, instead of the elderly, we could pin the notice “do not resuscitate” on the door of almost every office in the land, we would be an immediately better, happier and more profitable place for big business, employees and society in general. There is almost no downside. Abolish the office, everybody gains.

virtual office at home

Liddle continues to make several important points:

Home-working (or co-working) employees are considerably more productive than those who work in the office.

An American workplace survey showed that the more workers were out of the office, the more innovative and successful the company.

A Swedish study suggested that people who commute more than 45 minutes a day each way were 40% more likely to divorce.

Liddle makes many other points in his diatribe against the traditional office environment, but he also makes a quite brilliant suggestion that the discarded office premises could be converted into dwellings to solve our burgeoning housing shortage.  He sees apartments coming out from old office space as the riverside landscape was transformed by warehouses becoming loft apartments.

Philip Johnston writing in the Telegraph sees the trend but feels the transformation depends on a robust internet structure.

Will home working prove to be a temporary expedient or will it usher in an entirely new way of working for millions, fulfilling the early promise offered by the internet? The arrival of 5G with its greater opportunities for streaming, video conferencing and the rest should make remote working much more feasible.”

vitual office in action

I believe  that we are well on the way to creating a sustainable digital structure that will allow companies to gradually abandon an expensive and utilised office space in a central location and move elegantly to distant working whilst keeping a traditional central business address with the facilities of a virtual office such as Hold Everything.   Imagine, you have an address for receiving your business mail which can be speedily forwarded to you wherever you are in the world. This address will be on London’s most well known road, Regent Street for as little as £24.00 a month, no more than a 2 minute stroll to Oxford Circus and near Apple & Hamley’s, so that you have a legitimate,  prestigious address.   The mail can also be opened and ‘actioned’ on your instructions by a skilled, discreet secretarial team.  Should you wish to actually meet a client at the office a luxurious boardroom awaits you at an hourly or daily rate.

Your central London landline rings, it is answered by a skilled receptionist and the call is either passed to you at your current location or a message is taken and transmitted on to you.   For years many businesses have been wondering about the reality and practicality of working remotely and abandoning paradigms from the 1980’s.  Now, at a stroke, Coronavirus has reset the business world. We know there can be no turning back.  A central London virtual office is your solution and we are there to fulfil our destiny.