Virtual office Space
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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.
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.
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.
With the advent of smart technology, it’s never been easier to take your work with you wherever you go. For some small business owners and entrepreneurs, having a portable office as well as a bricks and mortar building has always been if not a necessity, then at the very least desirable. Nowadays, virtual offices rather than a fixed location are becoming a conscious choice for many.
Most small businesses going down the virtual office route do so for cost reasons. If paperwork needs are small, it is more efficient to hire experienced secretarial help by the hour from a pool of dedicated workers. The obvious dilemma in the past for small businesses has been the lack of a fixed address. A virtual office could take you from appearing to be an unreliable, fly-by-night operation to having one of the best commercial addresses in town. Providing a mailing address, virtual phone services with a live receptionist to answer your calls, and even meeting and conference room facilities if required, it’s a huge step forward in working smart.
A major consideration for any small business owner or entrepreneur who uses virtual office services is that the privacy of their residential address is immediately protected from their clients. One particular profession that would find this obviously advantageous is anyone working within the private investigation and detective fields.
Since a detective (themselves) is their own biggest business asset and needs to be readily contactable, having a virtual assistant to pick up calls at the end of a phone line is preferable to the frustration your clients might experience at having to leave you a message and wait for a callback. Having calls and messages immediately forwarded to you is very convenient because you can take the calls you want and don’t have to jeopardize the case you’re currently working.
In addition, the occasionally sensitive nature of the work can make virtual offices the ideal solution — customers are reassured by a physical address, and home and work are kept separate.
A 2011 study from the Center for Marketing Research was conducted with the Inc. Magazines top 500 fastest growing companies to determine how the Internet and social media are affecting businesses.
The results of the research find a significant increase in the use of social media, including sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and others. These fast growing businesses are also incorporating mobile applications for smart phones, iPads and tablets, as well as continuing to leverage email, text messaging and blogging.
The study shows that 74% of the Inc. 500 companies are using Facebook as part of their marketing strategy, and 73% are using LinkedIn. 88% find social media important to generate a business website traffic, and 81% find it important for lead generation.
What does this mean for entrepreneurs and small business owners?
As part of your business planning process, you should have an online business presence and include social media as part of your marketing strategy. Because so many businesses are going where their customers are which is online it is critical that your business has a presence as well.
The next concern is cost and resources to manage all the aspects of an online business. A virtual office is a new trend that has helped many small companies with their online business management. Virtual office services can include:
- A business street address to use instead of a residential address
- Conference call and conference room services
- Wireless internet connectivity for webinars and working online
- Phone and fax services with call forwarding to your cell if needed
- Professional answering services and voicemail
- Meeting facilities and office space to present a professional image
Instead of using your home office and phone, a virtual office can give you a true professional image without the expense of leasing separate office space.
The toughest part of starting a business is actually starting it. It takes hard work and smart planning to get a startup off the ground and moving towards success. Technology makes this much easier, however. It allows us to be in more than one place at one time, virtually.
A virtual office is a great investment for startups. This is a fairly unknown resource as people who haven’t used it don’t know about its many benefits and advantages. For the uninitiated, a virtual office is a virtual office space that provides you with all the facilities that a real office does, without the heavy investment that real estate requires.
A virtual office space allows you to give all your clients one mailing address in a prestigious business location from where all your mail is forwarded to you. This is much classier than using a PO Box. They also provide you with virtual phone services and a live virtual receptionist who takes your calls and messages and organizes your communication. These simple things make running a business much easier and more efficient.
Virtual phone services especially are very useful. Handling your own calls is tiresome and chaotic. Take time to invest in this.
Once you have this very useful infrastructure system set up for yourself, its time to make use of it. Marketing involves getting the word out that your business exists and highlighting what you’re good at. Its vital for people to know about your company if you want new business to come your way. Providing a good product/service makes for great word of mouth marketing. In addition, if you have the funds, advertising is not a bad idea. For those with smaller budgets, social media is the way to go, but note the time commitment that must be made before diving in head first.
Several new businesses are now switching to a virtual office space as they realize the benefits that it offers. There are those who are witness to these advantages, but are unsure of what exactly virtual office services are and hence hesitate to switch to it.
A virtual office is a service that is provided to businesses and is very useful for startups. It gives you a prestigious business address where all your mail can be sent, which is then forwarded to you. The advantage of this is that you don’t need a physical office; you can always be on the move. At the same time, you don’t need to give people different addresses or residential addresses in order to reach you. You simply give them the address of your virtual office space (in a prestigious business area) and rest assured that all your mail will reach you.
Virtual phone services area also part of the deal. This means that you have a defined office number and a live virtual receptionist to handle all your calls. All messages are forwarded to you in a timely manner so that you never miss out on anything.
There are also meeting facilities and conference facilities so that you can have all the benefits of a real office without wasting your money on it. And yes, these meeting/conference facilities are state-of-the-art, furnished and are at the same address as your virtual office address. Courier services and fax services can also be added to your package, depending on your requirements.
With this clear picture of a virtual office space, it should become much easier to decide to use one. A good virtual office services provider will always give you the details in an honest and straightforward manner, either on their website or via phone. Make sure you ask all the questions you need to while you make your choice.
Some people have false conceptions of people who work from home, thinking that they are not professionals and, because they work home, are not able to stay focused on work. And while the latter is true in that there are more distractions at home, the former is just not true: work at home jobs are in high demand in the technologically driven business world we live in today, and they will only grow in importance in the coming years.
Work at home professionals are able to set their own work schedule and work when they feel like, which requires time management and discipline. They work in a freer environment and thus can design their home office to their exact specifications and liking. They are also able to maintain prior responsibilities, such as watching after their kids, which can save both money and stress.
These positive attributes, however, are also difficulties. Time management, dedicated focus and maintaining an ideal work-personal life balance are all crucial to ensuring optimal productivity while working from home. Many opt for a virtual office to help with their business management and organization, as a virtual office space helps in managing day-to-day business tasks while also providing a professional image for any business. With a prestigious business address, ability to use conference rooms at that address when hosting clients and virtual phone services, where a live virtual receptionist answers and forwards all phone calls and faxes to you no matter where you are in the world, a virtual offices help work at home professionals advance their business interests and ultimately grow their ventures.
When working from home, its essential to design a very comfortable office to really get you motivated. It doesn’t mean that if you are working from your home that you have to compromise with the conditions of the house and with old traditional furniture. You need to spend some money on your home office furniture as you will spend most of your time in that room. From an organized and spacious desk to a very comfortable chair and even customized lighting to fit your eyes and preferences, creating the perfect home office isn’t as hard as you might think. And for the minimal investment both time and money you put into it, your rewards will be even greater.
Choose any furniture that is simple and fits into your budget. You can buy it new or used, or even go on sites like Craigslist to see what people are selling or even giving away. If the furniture you choose looks professional and makes you feel more professional, then you will want to spend more time in working at home without in that room, without any exterior distractions. Make sure its comfortable, looks great and really turns your room into a home office.
You can even opt for custom-made furniture that is ideal for work in terms of style and health. And if you have the option of getting a laptop or a PC, choose the former, as it will enable you to take your business everywhere and not have to continually transfer documents and email between different computers. This is also why a virtual office is great it enables you to manage your business from wherever you are and seamlessly integrate your online business world into your home office business world.
No matter what happens, make sure your home office is designed how you want it to be to ensure your happiness and ultimate productivity.
You have branched out, made a plan, created a product and figured out how you can work for yourself. Taking this leap might just be the most terrifying thrill of your lifetime, and it’s worth it! But it’s not without it’s worries.
The difference between the most successful businesses and the business ventures that fail is often the very real and practical matter of planning and managing your expenses. That’s okay since you were careful about how you paid for your stock or prototypes, how you selected your accounting software, how you have a years worth of your expenses including marketing dollars saved and you have even completed your PCI Compliance. These put you way ahead of the curve.
Those are ways you have to spend your money, but have you thought of ways to stop spending your money? The trick to building wealth isn’t just about generating income, but also about saving money and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Look up any article on your biggest and most unpredictable expenses and there are five things that will jump to the top: Real Estate, Utilities, Staff, Shipping and Telephones.
It may surprise you to know that there are services out there that can save you on all of those with a simple phone call, a web sign-up and even a flat monthly fee. Virtual phone services can provide you with a receptionist and dedicated phone lines. Virtual office services can provide you with a mailing address and courier services. This virtual office space comes with prestigious business addresses that allow you to do business in luxury conference rooms without having to invest in square footage that you don’t need every day. Any opportunity you have to save yourself money while you are building your business, do it. And office space? That’s the big-ticket item.
This 4th of July we at United Virtual Office have decided that we all need to take a step back and really honor what drives are economy: small businesses. Without them, our nation would be nowhere near where we are today and the economic downturn would have held much more grave consequences. Yet, because small businesses drive innovation and spur job creation, we are on the road to recovery and, as a nation, know that we will bounce back.
So what exactly is a ‘small business’ ? They are those businesses that employ less than 100 people. In the US alone, the small business sector employs over 50% of the total country’s workforce. This makes small businesses very importantplayers in the USeconomy. Small businesses are the backbone of creativity and production. With more than 60% of all jobs coming from small businesses, there is no doubt that this sector plays a crucial role in stabilizing and stimulationUS economic growth.
According to the Small Business Association, small businesses hold 10 times more US patents than large businesses. In addition, they claim over a 50% of success rate at the four-year mark, and more than half all small businesses are home-based.
So, if more than half of small businesses are home-based, how do they have such a high success rate? Well, small businesses owe their success to the way they start-up; most do not rely on traditional methods of starting their operations such as setting up offices in exorbitant premium locations. In contrast, many small businesses rely on different means to save capital and be able to invest in other parts of their business, with many now turning to virtual offices for help.
Apart from low cost and flexibility, virtual offices provide numerous benefits that are perfectly catered to entrepreneurs and startups.
- Save on Rent:Virtual offices enable small businesses to establish presence anywhere without having to pay for offices that cost thousands of dollars to set up.
- Reduced Overhead Costs: Small businesses that utilize a virtual office space do not pay for numerous bills associated with physical offices, such as electricity, equipment, cleaning, parking and an Internet connection.
- Live Virtual Assistant and Virtual Phone Service: Administrative support with virtual offices eliminates the need for full time employees becausea live virtual assistant and virtual phone services can handle all of your calls at a fraction of the price.
- More Flexibility Means More Productivity: Virtual offices allow for flexibility and comfort, thereby stimulating productivity and increasing your bottomline.