Tag Archives: Virtual Office

Social Media – We Help you Get Up to Speed

 

Don’t know your Twitter from your Twiglets? Your Facebook from your Fat Face? Decidedly social media unsavvy? Well, read on. This one’s for you.

So you’ve heard about this magical thing called social media, and how you need to get on it, but don’t know where to start? And, really, you’re busy enough, got plenty of clients, so why bother? It just seems a bit unnecessary, to be honest.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to drag yourself – kicking and screaming, if need be – into the 21st century. It is 2017, after all.

Social media’s been around for a while now, and it looks like it’s here to stay. It may have begun humbly enough with Friends Reunited and MySpace. But it’s all grown up now, and they’ve finally found a way to commercialise it. So now it’s time for you to tap in and mine those massive databases of personal data for yourself.

And, while you might be currently happy with your generic four-line Yellow Pages ad, there will most likely come a time when that business dries up.

Not just a pretty face

Let’s look at the world’s most popular social media platform, Facebook, which celebrated its 14th birthday earlier this year. What began as a platform for Harvard College students to rate each other’s hotness, Facebook is now one of the internet’s most frequently visited websites. As at April 2017, there were 1.97 billion active Facebook users.[1] That’s a lot of eyeballs.

On the face of it (see what I did there?), Facebook might seem like a harmless way to while away the hours. But look a little more closely, and you might catch a glimpse of just how devious this platform really is.

Unlike traditional ways of getting to know your customers – you know, like, by actually talking to them – Facebook has done all the hard work for you. No, scratch that, Facebook’s users have done all the hard work for you. Registering for an account is just the beginning. Every time a user interacts with the site – “likes” a post, shares a post, likes a page, posts a picture, tags a friend – they are adding to their growing user profile. Over time, Facebook has built a massive database of users’ likes and dislikes. The information Facebook knows about its user base is staggering – and not slightly frightening.

And you can use this to your advantage. But how?

Getting to know your clients

Ask yourself this: how much do you know about your current customers? Their name? Maybe their post code? You might be able to guess their age, but you wouldn’t want to take a punt. At a stretch, you might know what team they barrack for, or what they did on the weekend. But that’s about it. Now think about all the personal information that users willingly share on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s a wonder identity theft isn’t more prevalent.

Targeting your market

Perhaps you think your customers or target market aren’t using social media. If we take a closer look at Facebook’s demographics, however, we can see that a significant amount of people in each generation regularly use that social media platform.

social media

Figure 1 Source: Sprout Social

So you see, Facebook isn’t just for millennials, or boomers or grannies. Everyone’s on it.

So why aren’t you?

Fear of missing out

Remember those 1.97 billion pairs of eyeballs that aren’t seeing your business on Facebook? Well, guess what. They’re seeing your competitors instead. And they’re not just liking and following your competitors’ pages, they’re communicating with them as well.

And it’s not that one-way style of “communicating” synonymous with those old technologies of newspapers, radio and TV. Oh, no. It’s now two-way. A dialogue rather than a monologue.

But that’s not the only difference between social media and more traditional forms of communication and advertising. As you will see below, the advantages of social media can enable you to communicate with your clients and reach your target market in ways previously unheard of.

Advantages of using social media

Cost

Traditional forms of advertising, such as TV and radio, are often prohibitively expensive. Even mass marketing efforts like catalogues and letters incur some form of cost. By comparison, social media is inexpensive and often free. It has clearly levelled the playing field, removing many costly barriers to entry for smaller businesses, enabling them to compete with the big boys.

Time

In today’s digital age, who’s got the patience for long drawn-out production and printing times? It’s all about instant gratification. We live life on the fly, juggling multiple things at once, and we expect a response within seconds of asking the question. Social media enables users to connect with you instantly rather than having to wait on hold while listening to elevator muzak.

Reach

What a waste of time and energy it is targeting people who have no interest in your business. But this is exactly what more traditional forms of advertising do. This scattergun approach is expensive and ineffective. With social media, however, your efforts can be targeted with sniper-like precision.

Distribution

Think about the last time you received junk mail in the post. It’s called junk mail for a reason. Compare that to the way people share and disseminate promotions and offers on social media, often to the point where it goes viral.

Out with the old, in with the new(ish)

So faced with all the glaringly obvious advantages to being on social media, what’s stopping you? Sure, it can be scary to try something new for the first time. But the risks involved in launching your business on social media are relatively low, when compared to other more traditional forms of communication. It’s quite acceptable to dip your toe in and see if it gets bitten off. We dipped our toes a while ago and really enjoy it.  Follow us on twitter @holdeverything1

Let’s face it, if you’re not on social media, you may as well be invisible.

 

David Miller

 

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.

 

Plus Plus Plus +

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.

Our top 3 tips for managing a remote workforce

managing remote workforce in a virtual office

One of the key benefits of choosing a Virtual Office package is the sense of freedom and flexibility when it comes to building a team of employees within your business. A physical office can often limit your choice of staff as the most highly skilled and highly motivated candidates may not logistically be a good fit. You have to rely on individuals living in close proximity to your office location, with flexible circumstances allowing them to work in a physical office with fixed working hours.

Building a remote workforce has been growing in popularity in the last couple of years, with results showing staff working in these conditions are not only happier but more productive. The acceleration of Virtual Office, cloud computing and hosted desktops has expanded horizons for innovative, forward-thinking businesses wanting to make the most of modern technology. Virtual Office not only supports remote workforces but with the added bonuses of telephone answering and mail forwarding services it actively benefits those companies whose staff are based outside of a traditional office environment, making working from home or even in a different country easier than ever before.

Whilst all the tech is there to support a remote workforce it still needs efficiently managed to ensure your approach is effective and your team productive. So what can you do to successfully manage a remote workforce?

 

“Create a positive virtual workplace”

There is more to managing remote workers than giving them a laptop and flexible hours. A strong and efficient workforce need to feel appreciated and importantly not lose the feeling of being part of a team.

There are a number of ways to ensure you help create a successful environment for your virtual office employees, which will be beneficial to them and to your company. Here are our top 3 tips.


 

  1. Communication

It is essential to your relationship with a remote employee that you retain a good level of communication whether that is by phone, email or video conferencing. The way you choose to communicate should be appropriate to both your business and your individual employees. Just like in a physical office, what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Take time to get to know your employees and once you understand how they work, ensure you establish a general routine when it comes to the manner and frequency of your communication. A good manager makes a conscious and consistent effort to reach out to remote workers, building a professional atmosphere within your virtual office environment.


 

  1. Technology

Having the right technology and tools at your fingertips ensures a virtual workspace runs smoothly and efficiently. This allows remote team members to feel connected and involved at all times.

Video conferencing platforms such as Skype and Webex encourage face-to-face meetings to take place in a virtual environment and is a great way to bring people together and strengthen them as a team.

Project management programs are another great tool for remote workers. Using apps such as Trello or Basecamp are just a few of the options which allow multiple team members to view progress and to contribute to an ongoing project.

With cloud storage and social communication channels forever widening, there are no excuses to ensuring the right tools are established for your remote employees to succeed.


 

  1. Trust and Accountability

A virtual office is more than just a virtual address – it becomes the whole business environment in which your employees work. With staff working from various locations, including their homes and often in different time zones, trust is essential.

Managing a remote workforce can be a daunting experience if you are new to it, as you have to create relationships with your employees where you can feel confident that they are completing the work they need to without being able to monitor them in an office environment.

A top tip for building trust is to ensure your employees have key goals and responsibilities, meaning they still have to hit deadlines and take accountability for their workload despite being unsupervised.

Not only does this focus employees, but puts your mind at ease that they are not sitting at home with their feet up, with studies actually showing that remote workers are more productive.


 

With a remote workforce in place you can take advantage of the key benefits of an affordable Virtual Office package including mail forwarding, telephone answering, boardroom hire and a prestigious registered company address on Regent Street.

 

Using our flexible meeting room space to your advantage

Meeting room hire central london regent street

Whilst Virtual Office is the perfect solution for companies working remotely and using the latest advances in technology to hold meetings, communicate with staff and undertake their own work from anywhere in the world, many businesses still appreciate the flexibility and security of being able to use a premium meeting room space as and when they require.

 

Our comprehensive meeting room services compromise of a comfortable, professional and well equipped boardroom, suitable for businesses to use for a range of services. We have highlighted three of the most popular reasons our clients choose to utilise our boardroom facilities:

 

  1. Client meetings

However rare face-to-face meetings are becoming, you will undoubtedly need or want to meet up with a client every now and then. When these occasions arise, you will likely feel that the wobbly table in your favourite coffee shop, or the self-made study in your back room don’t create the right atmosphere to match the company image you are looking to portray.

Our boardroom is situated on Regent Street in Central London allowing you to invite your clients to a prestigious location in the capital for your meetings, however big or small. If you choose to take advantage of one of our many Virtual Office packages, you can choose from a range of packages, which offer varying amounts of access to our meeting space. As our packages allow you to use this esteemed W1 postcode as your registered office address, it creates a seamless offering from where your company is set up, to where you mail is delivered (with a mail forwarding service to fit) as well as being a physical location for your client meetings.

 

  1. Presentations

In addition to a regular client catch up, you may find yourself in a position where you need to give a formal presentation, or pitch an important proposal, and therefore require a suitable environment to do so.

Our meeting rooms are set up with all the features and facilities needed to give a professional and hassle-free presentation. With a capacity for up 8 people, it is the perfect space to comfortably suit small groups. We offer unlimited access to Wireless Broadband Internet, an Overhead Projector and an A1 White Board Flipchart for you to utilise for your chosen presentation format.

Crucially, your environment can shape the way your presentation is perceived. From a comfy chair to a well-lit room, your colleagues and clients are more likely to engage with your presentation if they are impressed by the professionalism of their surroundings.

 

  1. Hot-desking

Our boardroom is not restricted to use for meetings, the desk space is perfect for providing you with the privacy you need to carry out your work whilst in Central London. As well as taking advantage of one of our Virtual Office solutions, you can also choose to hire the boardroom for full day or half day use, or even by the hour, which is ideal for hot-desking between meetings.

Meeting room hire central london regent street

Meeting room hire central london regent street

How to get started…

Our meeting room space can be hired on a flexible basis as and when you need it, meaning you have the option to use the space without the need to be tied in to a contract.

However, the best way to make the most of the boardroom is through one of our monthly Virtual Office packages which can include a mail forwarding and telephone answering service, as well as allocated use of the boardroom at extremely competitive rates.

Our packages have a set number of meeting room slots available for you to take advantage of on a monthly basis, whilst still being able to add on additional meeting days, or pay by the hour at your convenience.

Whatever your requirements, Hold Everything can offer you a flexible package to suit. See more here http://www.hold-everything.com/hire-meeting-rooms-uk/

The importance of your business location

business location

In an age where modern technology, virtual office and cloud computing are taking over, many businesses are wondering if location still factors in to their company portfolio. Whilst some businesses certainly may rely less on being acknowledged for their location, we would argue that location, or at least perceived locality is still of prime importance to a dynamic business model.

Why is your business location important?

Having a business address in a premium location such Regent Street in London gives the perception of a successful, confident and professional company. Potential customers can feel safe in the knowledge that your business is both established and trustworthy based on a recognisable location.

As well as overall perception, choosing a location with a London address ensures you are seen to be at the centre of the UK and in a hub of technology, business and commerce. This means customers will be at ease in the knowledge that you are at the forefront of the modern world. Logistically it also means your address is easily accessible for vendors, ensuring your deliveries get received without complications.

Affording a physical office

So if location is important then why not just rent a premium office location? Well that’s simple – it’s a rent problem. The more premium the location; the greater the competition and therefore the higher the price. Whilst some larger companies can justify the spend, it is likely that the majority of small independents, entrepreneurs or start-up companies would not be able to meet the high rates demanded by central London office spaces.

So ultimately it’s a catch 22. A remote location may directly impact your bottom line by reflecting poorly on the perception of the company, and yet a premium location is unaffordable to most. So what are the alternatives?

Taking advance of virtual office

The modern day solution is choosing a virtual office. A virtual office allows you to use an external address as your own legitimate business address. This will be your registered address for your company and can be used on your business card and website, as well as for receiving your mail and linking to a London telephone number for your calls.

Virtual office allows you to gain all the benefits of a central London address without the expenses of renting an office space. Plus, rent is not the only cost that is eliminated. You will save on equipment such as desks and chairs, as well as skipping electricity and water bills for the building. The money saved can be utilised on staff training and resources to encourage successful remote working environments.

With a virtual office you also get the added benefits of meeting clients in a physical boardroom, which can be booked and used as your own. Our Regent Street offices have a professional environment with all the essentials you would expect to find in a fully furnished office.

Hold Everything offers you the use of a mail forwarding service so we can collect and forward on all essential mail as you wish, as well as a telephone answering service where your incoming business calls will be answered by one of our dedicated telephone receptionists, meaning you will never miss an important call again.

Make your location count

Location, location, location – despite a rise in virtual communications, perceived location is still important to customers and therefore an essential consideration for businesses. Choosing a virtual office solution allows you to have the dream location, without the associated price tag, as well as enjoying many other business benefits along the way!