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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.

 

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?

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?

Looking at Your Concerns about Virtual Office #2

In our previous blog post we looked some the concerns potential clients have raised such as ‘team spirit’ and controlling a remote workforce.  We have shown these fears to be unfounded. In this video we look at other issues, especially concerns about suburban or provincial phone numbers when running your business from home.   Once again, a virtual office is a perfect solution since at hold everything we answer your telephone calls in a professional  manner, carefully screening callers for you as you have instructed our team to do.

All in all, we have found that clients and business associates look very favourably on companies that use a modern set up with a virtual office.  They can see that you are a smart operator and not willing to throw working capital around on heavy office rents.  In fact they will view you as a sound and reliable business partner.  So, if you been worrying on how potential clients will view your office structure you can relax, an office on London’s Regent Street will make you look really businesslike.