Tag Archives: Virtual Assistant

Challenging the fears of Virtual Office…

Virtual office fears

“Virtual Office is great.”

Easily said… but are there any disadvantages to choosing Virtual Office? We’ve addressed the 5 concerns we most frequently encounter from those unsure of whether to choose Virtual Office…

  1. Will my employees be slackers?

It’s a common worry that home based employees will sit around in their comfy pyjamas watching daytime television. In reality a well-organised remote workforce are motivated with set goals and deadlines. Whilst you can allow them a more flexible work time, allowing those with families or in different time zones to join the team, you will still be able to have a level of control over their workflow as well as their schedule ensuring you keep on top of their progress.

What’s more, studies have shown that employees with flexible schedules are not only happier and less likely to quit, but also more productive. So the facts over rule the fears and mean that your business could actually be performing at a higher level by choosing a flexible Virtual Office package.

 

  1. Will my staff feel like part of a team?

Another related issue is whether your employees will feel isolated and lack that ‘team spirit’ that you get from a traditional office-based environment. Whilst this is a genuine concern of the past, the growth of social platforms and other methods of communication such as Skype and conference calls means that a remote base of employees can have a ‘virtual meet-up’ several times a day if need be.

This is a healthy part of a working community allowing colleagues to bounce ideas off each other and be creative. Regular communication also makes sure your employees understand the levels of command in the business and in turn feel accountable for their goals and tasks within their job.

 

  1. ‘Virtual Office’ sounds high-tech – Surely I won’t be able to afford it?

On the contrary! Virtual Office is a comparatively cheap way to run your business. You can have a registered London address promoting your prestigious address on Regent Street at a considerably lower cost to renting office space. An office can have extremely expensive running costs and especially so in a respectable area, not to mention the money you would spend on furniture and commuting.

The money you save could help pay for equipment and bonuses for staff helping to keep the team motivated, as well as going back in to business development.

 

  1. Won’t I look unprofessional using by home or mobile phone number?

At Hold Everything we offer a range of bespoke telephone answering services allowing you to impress clients with a Central London phone number and build on your credibility as a company.

In addition, a professional virtual assistant will filter through your business calls based on your individual requirements. This service means your business will never miss an important call, whilst also avoiding constant interruption by unwanted sales calls. We provide telephone answering services for businesses ranging from large multiple location enterprises, to sales based organisations with staff on the move, as well as for small independent businesses and sole traders.

 

  1. What if my clients find out? Will they feel cheated?

This is one of the major worries from business owners. However when it comes down to it Virtual Office is such a well recognised and common business asset in the working world, and choosing this option can actually suggests many positive qualities about you business skills and your company itself.

Using Virtual Office means you are at the forefront of modern working practice, it also shows you are financially savvy, and you are positioning your own company in the best possible place for success. So in reality clients tend to perceive those using Virtual Office in a positive rather than a negative way.

 

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In addition to all this you will get the benefit of a mail forwarding service for letters and parcels of all sizes. This can be used for all business as well as personal mail which will be forwarded on a daily or weekly basis depend on your requirements.

The Regent Street office also offers a prestigious boardroom within ‘your’ London office. This way you are able to hold any necessary meetings while holding up the foundation of your Central London presence.

 

So to finish the way we started – Virtual Office is great – and a can be a perfect solution for start-up, home-based and entrepreneurial businesses.

How to successfully run a Virtual Office…

virtual office boardroom table on beach, working remotely from home or on holiday

Virtual Office is the future. Numerous studies and articles have reported a rise in productivity for your employees and positive results for businesses who choose to operate outside of a traditional work environment. In other words, if you’re running a Virtual Office then ‘you’ are the future.

To those used to a conventional business set up, Virtual Office can be daunting. So here are some helpful hints and tips on how to successfully run a Virtual Office and most importantly how to make the most of it.

One of the key benefits of a Virtual Office solution is the ability to employ a diverse and talented workforce. Without the constraints of specificlocation, you can hire your employees from anywhere in the country, allowing you to pick the most qualified and enthusiatic rather than the most convenient.

So you’ve got your extended team of skilled individuals spread across the country, now the first challenge:

How do you manage your team?

First and foremost Virtual Office is all about social collaboration. Communications channels such as Skype, FaceTime, Google hangouts and other online instant messaging platforms are a fantastic way to keep in touch with your team. Although Virtual Office allows a flexible working approach it is important that you are still seen as the boss. Confirm some ground rules for your staff with a regular scheduled catch up using a platform of your choice. This allows you to keep on track of their goals, progress and keep connected to your employees.

Another key tool for a successful Virtual Office business is using an appropriate file sharing service. The emergence of cloud hosting platforms has allowed businesses to share and update documents in real time without the need of single server. All you need is an internet connection and employees from around the country can be sharing and working on the same documents, therefore keeping up to date and on track with your schedule. This allows you as the business owner to track progress within a common area.

Keeping up appearances

Although Virtual Office is all the rage, the concept of running your business from home can be seen as unprofessional and associated to less established businesses. To make the most of your Virtual Office you can utilise the registered London address on Regent Street as your offical business contact. Not only can you use the address but you will also have a dedicated London telephone number for your company. This gives off a professional vibe to potential clients putting their mind at ease that the business is both recognised and trustworthy.

You then need to use the service to your advantage clearly setting out a guide for mail forwarding, so all your business mail can be sorted through and sent on to an address of your choice. Hold Everything also offers a telephone answering service, this means not only do you have a London number to use but your virtual assistant will answer the phone on behalf of your company, take messages and direct important calls on to the correct contact. This means you will never miss a call again and save critical time getting distracted by sales calls.

Many people think that running a business from home can only related to a one-man job however I hope to have shown how Virtual Office gives a solution for all companies, big or small, with benefits to cost, flexibility and efficiency when managed well to make the most of your Virtual Office package.

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