Tag Archives: Regent Street

Digital Transformation and Why a Virtual Office is the ‘New Normal’.

digital transformation

digital transformation

I have noticed a clever meme floating around on social media this month – “who spearheaded your company’s digital transformation?” Answer “Covid-19”.   Yes, it’s undoubtedly true that when things have settled enough for us to look back on the disruption of 2020 we will see Covid-19 being the catalyst we had been waiting for to rationalise the way we work and let office practise catch up with digital reality.  Indeed, experts had warned against the false sense of security many companies had that the warmer weather and the general easing of restrib=ctions would return us to a landscape not wholly different from what we had known in the past.

Without a vaccine readily available, many organizations are continuing to encourage their workers to work remotely. In July, Google became the first major organization to formally extend its work-from-home policy until summer 2021. Other large organizations such as the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and Japanese technology company Fujitsu took a further step in their digital transformation by announcing “indefinite”  flexible and remote working policies for their employees.

Socially distanced work, a novelty only four months ago, has now become the “new normal.”  But are countries prepared to make near-term improvements and plan investments for the longer-term, beyond the immediate crisis?  And where do they start?  This is a macro policy consideration but it is important to think about.  In order to have a Work From Home (WFH) new normal we need certain structural elements in place.  Not all countries are equal in meeting the challenge.

A study by Harvard Business School shows that America (of course!!!) is well equipped for the challenge as is the UK.  But many other European countries do not have a reliable enough digital framework to support a distance-working economy. For business leaders, it raises new possibilities for recruiting and hiring new and diverse talent. Unbound by the constraints of physical headquarters or office locations, executives are free to hire talent in new locations, provided that adequate network infrastructure exists for remote working. This enables companies to recruit and manage staff well outside their normal base of operation.  There is a vast pool of talent sitting around on short term recruitment platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr and now, People Per Hour.   This influx of new overseas talent means that UK freelancers must work ever more efficiently to compete and thrive in our new world order of digital transformation.

digital transformation freelance

Having an efficient virtual office based in the centre of London helps make this possible and gives a big tactical advantage to small businesses and freelancers working from home.  Being able to get your phone calls answered professionally by British staff and mail forwarded through the fastest UK mail channels gives a huge advantage which will be more apparent as the working world changes.   This is a good moment to talk with the team at Hold Everything on London’s Regent Street.   We have been preparing for this enormous paradigm shift for the last 30 years.  We knew it had to happen eventually, commercial properties are expensive to rent and very wasteful on space and resources.  Employing full-time staff to answer 20 phone calls a day is an anachronism, it only makes sense to pay for what you actually need.   We can show you how you can boost your business or freelance profile and save money doing so.   Forwarding mail and answering your phone is just a small part of what is entailed in a virtual office.   We can help you, from company formation to your IPO, We want to help you make sense of Post Covid-19 business.

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.

Post Brexit London. Medical Tourism Generates Millions for the Economy.

medical tourism near the hold everything virtual office
medical tourism near the hold everything virtual office

Harley St is the epicentre of London Medical Tourism

Over the coming months and years London will need to be ‘fleet of foot’ to thrive independently from the EU.  The soundest way to do this will be to push our strengths and our unique skill sets that our European competitors cannot compete with.  Obviously we have our financial sector which is world-beating and  the premier destination for mainland Europe to raise finance and take advantage of our sophisticated financial instruments. But over the coming weeks we will look at other lesser known sectors that are unrivalled from Berlin to Rome.  One of these is situated right on our doorstep and its importance may yet surprise you.

Many people, when they think of Regent Street, think mainly of the prestige shops that line the streets from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus .  The huge flagship stores from Apple and Nike and the world famous toyshop Hamleys.  People seldom think that just the other side of Oxford Circus  is another vast tourist goldmine earning this country millions of pounds every year.  Just a few hundred yards north of Oxford Circus is Harley Street, the epicentre of the British private medical universe.  Nowhere else in the world is there such a concentration of medical skill and specialisation which act as a magnet to London’s high-level medical tourism market.  Different intermediaries, especially, medical concierge companies, help international patients to navigate the UK health system and ease the travel arrangements. Many of those offer services oriented to the wealthiest clientele.

The United Kingdom has been the destination of choice for medical tourists to whom quality of treatment comes first, and price second. Medical facilities in the UK offer many advanced treatments that are not available in other medical tourism destinations, despite the fact that the latter may be far more affordable. The UK has been seen as a premier choice for medical procedures like fertility treatment and cancer therapies and also for cosmetic surgery clinics, owing to its reliable quality of care that far exceeds its competitors elsewhere. Medical tourists typically visit cities like Manchester and London to take advantage of the first-grade healthcare facilities and their wealth of skilled practitioners.  Typically medical tourists are wealthy visitors from the oil-rich Arab countries and Russian oligarchs who also spend large sums on accommodation and entertainment whilst they are visiting their doctors.   Our medical tourist industry also helps finance our own NHS by using NHS facilities at market rates.  This, in turn is a social benefit for all of us in London.

So, if your business is in the medical tourism sector, perhaps as a medical facilitator, you would be very wise to base your business at our virtual office since it locates you right at the heart of medical London and gives extra credibility to your company.   Over the coming weeks we will be looking at various sectors that will help the uK thrive post-Brexit and make London and even more prosperous city.

 

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.

 

Client Appreciation

At Hold Everything, the virtual office company based on London’s prestigious Regent Street  we believe a ‘Thank you’ is always nice to say to those who are loyal and recommend our services.

These two words are always thrown around throughout the day, but this can be extremely influential on your clients especially in business. By showing client appreciation this helps to improve not just your working relationships but can increase client loyalty and client retention.

It is crucial to focus on your client retention as it is estimated that increasing retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%. A key ingredient to achieving client retention is by showing appreciation to your clients which effectively means letting them know how grateful you are for their devotion to your services.

Appreciation Strategy

To implement your customer appreciation strategy, you must have all client details in one place- a CRM system which is a basically your customer database is foundation for all your further actions.

See a previous blog here about CRM https://www.hold-everything.com/benefits-using-crm-system/. The CRM system can track and record all interactions you have with your clients and can help identify their needs and behavior towards your service. Below we have put together four easy ways to show your clients how much you appreciate them:

  1. Promote your client’s business

A lot of time goes into building your own business and promoting it, but by promoting your clients along with yours can help build loyalty and create a positive performance from your clients. For example, on your website you can have a page that illustrates some your client’s profiles and how you are both benefiting from your client relationship. If you have a newsletter/use social media, you can share customer success stories, not only will your clients appreciate this personal touch, but perspective clients will be able to see how much you are more then a supplier, you are a partner and you are thankful for your clients.

  1. Contact your clients on a regular basis

A common issue is that businesses tend to forget their client once the deal is made and the contract is signed, its all about the next sale? Wrong!

You want to achieve customer loyalty as this is what gets the client coming back and re-signing for another year/buying more products (whatever your business sells), if you want your client to return you need to give them a good reason to do so. Keeping up that business – client relationship takes work and dedication so by sending out regular newsletters, updating your social media, advertising offers and day to day communication e.g. follow up emails to phone calls, can really help enhance your clients experience with your company.

  1. That VIP treatment

We all love a bit of VIP treatment so when it comes to appealing to your clients needs make them feel valued and special. Reward your clients with exclusive offers by personal email invitation, this allows your client to feel appreciated as you are wanting to give them access to these great deals before others. By doing this you are brining an element of personal care which is clever and effective tactic to improve client’s lifetime with you.

  1. Loyalty / discount cards

Offering a loyalty or discount card will always be taken as fantastic customer loyalty.

Whether it’s a free coffee from the local coffee shop after buying 10 already or a voucher to spend after spending a certain amount or a student discount offered, everyone loves the fact they got something from their favourite place to spend money.

Its proved that if you have a choice of coffee shops, the one offering a possible free coffee eventually will always get the business over the coffee shop that doesn’t. By going regularly to the same branded supermarket you know one day a voucher will appear or your card in your purse/wallet will one day give you some money off.

Buying the same make up from a major chemist brand will earn you points on your card compared to buying it from a concession in a major departmental store.

In conclusion all in all you want to keep your clients happy, making them feel and know that you care and value them. By taking care of your customers in turn they will take care of your business.