now browsing by category
Running a business is quite a challenge, especially when one has to deal with various elements of the business such as finding office space and recruiting the right employees. However, things are likely to change for many entrepreneurs thanks to virtual offices, which is a recent innovation that is already revolutionizing the way people do business. However, virtual office space providers are not the same. As such, you should lease virtual space that befits your brand image. Read on to learn more about this topic.
- Ramp up Your Business’ Reputation
- Show Clients Your Creative Side
Your business’s location can make the difference between success and failure. Entrepreneurs who run businesses using home addresses are likely to give clients the impression, that they are not reliable or trustworthy. According to a survey carried out by Entrepreneur magazine, 36 percent of business owners cited opening offices in other countries as a big challenge. One way of overcoming this hurdle is to lease virtual office space in a prestigious address that will most likely make it easier for you to attract clients.
Besides location, clients pay a lot of attention to the way an office looks. Pictures of a well-organized office on your website will show clients that you are dependable. A study published by Carson Research Consulting Inc. shows that between 26 and 54 percent of satisfied clients are likely to recommend a business to other people.
Virtual offices do not have to be dull and unassuming spaces. You should look for virtual office service providers who have set up unique workstations. Most people associate creativity with unusual working spaces. For example, the office layout for search giant Google includes open floor plans, workspaces designed to look like pods, and spaces flooded with natural light. Such an approach gives clients the impression that you run a forward thinking and innovative business.
Whether you run a startup or an established business, virtual offices San Francisco can help you expand your market footprint. They also improve a business’ brand image.
The virtual office has gained a lot of attention over the years as it becomes increasingly easier to work remotely, but for some businesses it brings a unique benefit. It has become possible to host start-up businesses within your office space. While this may at first seem a little odd, there are some extremely unique benefits that you can gain by opening your spaces to a start-up and to helping them establish a virtual office. Naturally, this is a very symbiotic relationship because the start-up gains as much from the experience as you.
How Start-Ups Benefit
The benefits to start-ups are relatively easy to guess. By being able to share space with an established business, start-ups are able to find better spaces for employees. Most office complexes are made for larger businesses, making it more difficult for start-ups to get the right kind of space for their needs. If you have extra space, you can give them an opportunity that they are not likely to find anywhere else.
The employees stand to benefit a consider amount from the virtual office. They will be able to interact with your employees, providing an amount of stability generally lacking in start-ups. They can gain encouragement and mentoring that they are not likely to find within their own organization, if for no other reason than because they are far fewer in number.
How You Benefit
The energy and ideas of start-ups are contagious. They have a new way of looking at things and in expressing ideas, which will help rejuvenate your workers and your own approach to the work. Start-ups also move far more rapidly than older, larger companies because their primary goal is getting established. This sense of purpose and urgency are great for your employees to witness as well as it will inspire them to take a similar approach.
The close interaction with a start-up will generate a better understanding of other businesses. It is one thing to see how your customers and other businesses work from the outside, but working in close proximity to a start-up creates a whole new appreciation for how others operate. It is too easy to get stuck in a rut or to fall into routines that work in some cases. Having a start-up working in your office space will generate goodwill, and you will be able to help each other in different areas, like new hire references and positive opinions being expressed to others based on the relationship.
Things to Consider
If you are seriously considering creating a virtual office with a start-up, you do need to take a few things into account. For example, you should both sign a nondisclosure agreement to make sure trade secrets are respected and upheld should they be discussed between your company and the start-up. You should also agree to not solicit each other as they generally creates more tension, as well as establishing base rules for working in the same space.
As we enter the age of virtual offices, more and more entrepreneurs are developing freelance businesses. The corporate world was the model for the twentieth century, but following the market crash of 2008 there has been massive downsizing with both corporate and government jobs. Since then the economic recovery has been driven by small to medium business. Many people are avoiding their bosses and following their dreams of running their own companies. Within the self-employment realm is a growing number of freelancers who work from home.
Last century the idea of working from home used to have a stigma that often was perceived as “out of work” or “in between jobs,” but that misconception has been diminishing. In 2006, the last time the federal government researched the work at home population, thirty percent of the workforce operated home businesses. That was 42.6 million people. By the year 2020, the percentage of freelancers in the workforce is expected to climb to 40 percent, according to a study by Intuit. Another recent sign that people are moving away from traditional jobs has been a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that temporary work increased by 29 percent between 2009 and 2012. Even the 200 largest companies are reporting that 22 percent of their labor is temporary employees.
The most obvious growth in freelancing has been in the tech industry, since programming and web design can be done on a computer from any location. But the shift toward temporary work and home businesses connected with the knowledge economy has grown beyond tech companies. Some of the expanding areas for freelance opportunities through the collaborative company NextSpace include marketing, media, art, construction, law, healthcare and accounting. Not only does freelancing beat crosstown commutes and high gas prices, it saves time and allows you control over your schedule and livelihood.
Virtual offices further cut down on small business expenses. Aside from providing affordability they offer convenience and trust. Instead of a P.O. Box, which anyone can set up regardless of credibility, a virtual office offers you a physical address, which gives the impression of a more permanent business. This revolutionary concept is ideal for businesses that operate mainly on a laptop but need additional services for communicating with clients in a professional environment. It’s also a powerful solution for any business that needs to cut expenses on rent and overhead.
United Virtual Office is a company on the cutting edge of the new economy. They provide low cost virtual office space, virtual receptionists, meeting rooms, mail forwarding and courier services. Each of these elements becomes extensions of the home office to give a small operation more credibility and flexibility to conduct business with clients professionally. This business solution includes a physical address in prestigious locations and a business phone number that includes unlimited minutes, unlimited e-fax and a professional voicemail tree. United Virtual Office has physical office space with conference facilities in several states across America, allowing you to manage your business from anywhere.
You know that old adage about the three most important things when it comes to real estate, don’t you? Those three key factors are: “Location, location, and location!”
Well, the same holds true for business! Where your business is located matters to your potential clients and customers. Whether or not it is fair, the fact is that if you run an entertainment company, people want to see a Los Angeles address; if you run a government contracting firm, people expect to see a Washington, DC area address. And if you run a business in a whole host of fields, from finance to import/export to theater and more, your clients are simply going to take you a lot more seriously (and perhaps even give you more business!) if your offices have an address in New York City.
But guess what? You no longer have to have offices located in New York City to have that coveted NYC business address! Thanks to a virtual office in New York, The City can be your company’s mailing address, your phone’s area code, and where your clients send faxes, while you can remain located wherever you want! With today’s technology, you can have an office wherever you want, from sunny Florida to the West Coast to even clear across the globe! You can work from home or on the road, and you certainly don’t have to be stuck in NYC traffic or subway lines all the time just to maintain that respected zip code.
Thanks to your virtual office in New York, NYC will remain your “headquarters” as far as anyone knows. They will dial a New York City number and can either have their calls automatically answered and forwarded, or can have a real live attendant answer the phone 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, who will then take messages or forward the call on to you or your associates. Faxes can be sent to a New York City number by your clients and then automatically forwarded to your location, no matter where you are! The same goes for regular old USPS “snail mail” and FedEx or UPS packages — they can be sent to your specified virtual office in New York and then will be automatically sent on to a location of your choosing, and your client never has to know!
And perhaps the best option that comes with your virtual office in New York City is an actual office in New York City whenever you need it! Your virtual office managers can provide you office and even conference room space for when you need to meet with your clients face to face. And office space can be yours at fees so low they’ll even make New Yorkers smile! Why pay the exorbitant rates it costs to rent offices in NYC, and why make the grueling commute into and around the busy metropolis when you can have all the benefits that come with the prestige of a New York city business with none of the headaches!
Few of us would have predicted, just a few years ago, that telecommuting would become such an integral part of America’s business culture. Worksimple found that, as of 2010, more than 26 million American workers were categorized as teleworkers; this represented fully one-fifth of the total adult working population. In the same year, almost two-thirds of companies reported that at least parts of their staffs were working remotely either full-time or part-time.
The virtual office has clearly arrived. It would not have been so widely adopted if it did not have obvious benefits. Virtual offices remove many of the fixed costs that plague businesses but they also seem to foster greater productivity. A recent study, found that 63 percent of New Zealand companies are reporting higher levels of productivity because they instituted flexible working practices, including telecommuting and virtual office spaces.
The mechanisms that make the virtual office into a buzzing hive of productivity haven’t been precisely worked out. But there is one thing most every worker, regardless of his/her position (or location) can agree on: coffee can further augment your natural productivity. A recent survey found that more than 40 percent of coffee drinkers say they are less productive than they are without it. Many of us, it would seem, can’t function as well as we would like if we are deprived of our morning (or afternoon) brew.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that coffee does exactly what we caffeine-fiends have long claimed: it makes us better workers. A recent study by the Leeds University Business School, in Leeds, England, argued that there are considerable benefits to offering employees coffee. Employees, the study found, tend to work harder, solve more problems together and share resources in a way conducive to getting things done. Coffee, these researchers contended, was an essential ingredient to a business’s success.
That’s something any caffeine addict could have told them.
So, if you are looking to turn your business into a hyper-efficient profit engine, abandon the brick-and-mortar and let your employees go virtual. They will reward you with enhanced productivity and will be happier and more invested in your enterprise, as a result. But if you really want to see all the benefits associated with a virtual office – don’t skimp on the caffeine. Your employees will thank you.
Accents are disappearing among American English speakers. And, it’s sort of sad. Y’all hearin’ me?
As accents disappear, so goes a little of our individuality and character. We are morphing into a nameless, faceless, voiceless mass. After all, what is Paula Deene without her accent? Very, very rich!
There is a slightly discernible feature in the voice and timbre of just about everyone. But, television has homogenized the ear until persons of color, immigrants, and everyone else from every part of the country pretty much the sounds the same. It’s even harder to differentiate the voices on national radio venues.
There was a time when people from one part of the town needed subtitles to understand neighbors from another part of town. Social classes and ethnic origins were betrayed, and education only moved you from one parochial voice pattern to another.
Now, people just like us really are not people just like us. And, with the proliferation of outsourced customer service, we get down right annoyed and impatient with operators who don’t sound like Tom Brokaw or Katie Couric.
Businesses big and small should listen to their operators and receptionists. You need a personable receptionist, hand-trained in your business and products. You need the voice of credibility, not smothered with a heavy regional or in-articulate accent.
Your office can be anywhere your public voice is. A turnkey virtual office can connect nasal Philadelphians with throaty Georgians, Boston broad vowels with soft Texan twangs, backwater Virginians and Arizona Navajos.
- Let your virtual office:
- Forward calls to your phone.
- Give notice of voice-mail and fax receipts.
- Process customer phone orders.
- Schedule appointments.
- And, provide 24/7 customer service.
- And, much, much more depending on the package you like.
Now, don’t be getting your voice in a tizzy! There are plenty of wonderful receptionists out there with great phone voices – even some with accents. Some of the best even play their accents up, and many a customer loves the sweet tones they know are toying with them. But, as often as not, the caller needs clarity and understanding. They may not be confident in either with the accent of someone they don’t know.
Being a realtor is an exciting career. You are always on the go, showcasing houses and meeting new clients. The only problem is your desk with all of the tools you need to do your job is in an office miles from wherever you may be. Virtual phone services sets up your office right where you need it. Using the same technology as your cell phone, you will have everything you need at your finger tips. Screen and route calls, customize greetings with a professional flair, record phone calls and meetings and work with buyers and sellers at a moment’s notice with little or no down time.
The benefits of having a full feature phone service at your disposal are numerous. Virtual phone services can make conducting business so easy, you can do it from almost anywhere there is a phone signal.
- Convenience – A virtual phone system allows you to conduct business anywhere you need to be. If you have meetings across town, connect with the virtual service and do what you need to keep your business on track. Make appointments and check the status of a pending contract with the touch of a button.
- Real time communication – Communicate with clients and co-workers on a real time basis. There’s no need to wait to get to the office to review a case and call the client. Connect to the system and do both. Whether you or at the office or on the road to your next showing, everything is within reach.
- Live Virtual Receptionist– Virtual phone services sometimes offer a “virtual receptionist” to assist you in handling your affairs if you are in an important meeting and can’t take a call. They are also available to perform other duties, such as transfer files and make sure you receive important messages.
- Immediate scheduling – Using virtual services allows you to receive a phone call, schedule a meeting and connect with clients all within a few minutes. The versatility of the service allows for fast and efficient communication between all parties.
Using a virtual phone service allows you to take your business with you precious time isn’t loss running and back and forth to the office. With the advanced technology we have at our disposal, we no longer have to remain tethered to an office to conduct business.
Technology developments in the 21st Century have opened up avenues for businesses that weren’t possible earlier. The concept of virtual offices, with their convenience and flexibility, has helped small businesses and startups shift from the traditional office setting and still operate successfully. Depending on the requirements of the business, you can choose from the hundreds of mobile apps available for efficient on-the-go- business.
Here’s a list of some of the best mobile apps for virtual office users and business people alike:
Evernote: Evernote holds copies of all your important documents and images and is essentially a huge file cabinet.. It comes with a convenient search feature for all saved files, and even the text inside the stored images.
Awesome Note: One of the highest rated notes apps and currently available for the iPhone, Awesome Note combine notes and to do’s, sets up your calendar, creates folders and backs up your data to the web.
Springpad: Springpad is another great app for quickly and easily saving anything you want to remember.
Dropbox: Probably the easiest service to use when it comes to cloud storage, Dropbox allows you to open, download and share files from your mobile device.
Google Docs: Google Docs has emerged as one of the most popular apps to store and share documents with friends and colleagues. It gives you the option to choose who to share data with and can be accessed from anywhere.
Documents to Go: It lets you view all of your Word, Excel and Power Point files right on your smartphone. Files are displayed flawlessly and make for great viewing considering the screen size.
Sign Now: Sign Now lets you open a document, add your signature or other needed information, and send it back from your phone. There is also an option to use a stock signature for low importance documents or upload your original and use that for your documents.
Camscanner: Available for the Android and iPhone, Camscanner is a very useful mobile scanner that lets you create PDF documents with your mobile camera. It integrates easily with your mobile email app or cloud service like Dropbox or Evernote.
My Eyes Only: My Eyes Only is a password manager for the iPhone that never sends encrypted information over the network. You can store credit cards, logins, financial accounts and more.
TripIt: Probably the best known travel app, TripIt lets you store itineraries, get maps, link to hotels, find restaurants and will even send you flight alerts and alternate flight options.
Skype: The popularity of Skype as a means of communication is no secret. It allows you to stay connected on-the-go and even has the facility of video chat.
Google Plus: Although a social app, Google Plus is popular for its Hangout feature, which is great for conferencing and allows up to 10 people on a video call for free.
Time Tracking: A great time tracking app, it makes sure you don’t lose track of time, whether you are a consultant tracking your hours or an entrepreneur just trying to figure out how long things are taking.
With these virtual office apps, isn’t it great to have a mini mobile office in your pocket?
Successful startups and New York City are a match made in heaven. Over 40 startups have been acquired this year to date, and the city’s reputation as a hub for talented entrepreneurs shows no signs of slowing. The big apple has been a global center for finance and fashion, and it’s more recently become a center for technology and innovation.
In a city where rent is notoriously among the world’s highest, what’s an entrepreneur working out of their Brooklyn apartment or the Madison Square Garden Starbucks to do?
Many local innovators are discovering that using a virtual office in New York fits their need for a professional image on a limited budget. You need space that’s as nimble, flexible and innovative as your business plans, and a conventional office arrangement isn’t likely the best choice. Here are some of the most popular benefits:
Mail Forwarding Service: You need a real address for correspondence with clients, potential investors and contacts. While a P.O. box might be more within you price range, can you really afford to reveal you’re not in a permanent brick-and-mortar structure? A virtual office gives you a real address in a prestigious business area (i.e. on Madison Avenue) without the need to sign a lease.
Reception Services: Never let your calls go to voice mail again when you’re in a meeting or sleeping off an all-night coding session. Your calls can be answered by a trained receptionist at your New York virtual office.
Meeting Space: While you might be able to work from home, being able to schedule meetings with associates in a furnished, non-residential space matters. Take advantage of furnished offices and conference rooms in the same office as your virtual address.
Temp Employees: If you need help on a short-term project but can’t commit to full-time employees, use talented staffing available through your virtual office in New York to get what you need to done.
About the Author
Jim Jacques is the President of United Virtual Office, a leading nationwide provider of virtual offices for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. A virtual office includes an address at a prestigious business location in the US, live virtual receptionist, courier services and more.
Experiencing Chicago is more than just the great deep dish pizza, catching a baseball game, going up the Sears tower, and checking out the bustling shopping in the heart of the city-it is also be one of the best cities in the U.S. for a budding entrepreneur or small business to thrive. Why is that? Because of the endless potential of a Chicago virtual office, and how much the city has to offer for a business. (Some would even argue that Chicago is better than virtual offices in New York.)
Having a virtual office in Chicago means having the benefits of establishing your name in a major city without the huge costs it entails. Instead of having meetings at coffee shops and missing calls because you don’t have a receptionist, use a virtual office in a major city to show clout and have a professional image that can be respected.
So, what are the exact benefits of a Chicago virtual office?
- A live virtual receptionist will be able to take your calls and relay any messages you might have so you don’t miss out on anything.
- Be able to have a fully furnished conference room in the heart of Chicago (One location being near the famous Michigan Avenue).
- Mail forwarding, fax services and even courier services can all be included in your virtual office package.
- Auto-attendant services for your virtual office can also be included.
While at it, let’s just include all of the great scenery and nearby locations in the mix, too. Being able to place a business address on stationary and business cards in such a famous city means better business and more confidence to do better business. And when you compare rates to actually buying office space in such high-profile locations, you’ll start seeing major results immediately.