Tag Archives: Professionalism

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 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 ?

When Is Your Next Meeting?

Need space for a meeting?

By having a virtual office, it is more than likely that your business is running from an out of London location.

Your location base appears as London, perhaps even your telephone lines appear as an inner London location this can often become a problem when client’s want to meet with you face to face.

Our solution…

The Regent Street office offers a prestigious boardroom within ‘your’ London office. This way you are sure never to miss an important meeting while holding up the foundation of your Central London presence.

Located less than a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus station which is accessable via three different underground lines, our office is easily accessible and has lift facilities for disabled access.

So what we offer…

  • A 10 capacity boardroom that is self-contained with blinds for extra confidentiality comes complete with WIFI/PROJECTOR/FLIPCHART (on site scanner & printer facilities are also available).
  • Tea, coffee, water & other selected refreshments are available
  • Our meeting room is available from 9am-5pm Monday – Friday (other times are available at special request)

Make the benefits of having your virtual office work for you, without the cost and time consumption of renting an actual office.

To discuss more details contact the Regent Street team on 020 7580 4242

Taking a break …… a message from Richard Cooper!

As the sunnier weather finally arrives, many of us start to look to our summer breaks and holidays.  One of the big reasons I became self employed was to  be able to take holiday and time off as and when I wanted without the restrictions of a boss or having to ask permission.

As many of you will undoubtedly know, in practice this isn’t necessarily as easy.  If you are the sole owner of the business its not always easy to take a break. When you live breathe and love your business its very difficult to leave it.  So how DO you take a break without breaking your business?

Here are my top tips:

1)      Plan a break – it sounds obvious but make sure you plan some of your holiday time at the beginning of your year.  New to business?  Plan some time now.  It will allow you to communicate to your clients if you will be away.

2)      Use a virtual assistant – even if you are on a beach, your client calls will be answered.  DIVERT your mobile to them – it will save you money when they call and reassure your clients that your business can be contacted when you are away.

3)      Be contactable by your VA (virtual assistant) / Friends and family on a LOCAL sim number.  By using such a service you can save money, be contactable and keep in touch without having to spend all of your break IN your business

4)      Screen your emails.  Some of the most efficient business owners I know screen their emails but don’t respond unless it’s a dire emergency.  Set your email out of office to reflect that you will be picking up emails but only periodically.

Our company provide overseas phone facilities and they are proving extremely popular to our clients.  One of the biggest benefits is the low cost way to keep in touch.

The biggest thing is not to feel bad taking a break.  This is part of the reason many of us started our own ventures, and its really important to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If your clients don’t like it?  Then maybe you need to review the type of client that you have. Remember that YOU run your business NOT  your clients.

So go on…. Book that break today or at the very minimum write time in the diary to be away fro your business. Some of my best ideas come when I take a break.  I still keep in touch, but not at the cost of my family/home time.

Until next time….

Richard Cooper – Virtual office visionary
Follow us @holdeverything1