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Finding the right virtual office receptionist is important in moving your business forward. Since the receptionist plays the role of a telephone contact person with the public,it’s important that this person represents your business properly. Choosing a voice for your company should come down to four crucial factors: experience, professionalism, tech savviness and time management.
The Right Voice
Your live virtual receptionist should be friendly and someone with strong communication skills. The job requires knowledge about the history of your business and its image. The candidate needs to be able to learn company information quickly and demonstrate an understanding and loyalty to the company. The right voice is someone who can answer all the simple common questions about a company, as well as project an engaging personality that helps expand relationships. It’s a community position that could have a huge effect on how the business is perceived.
The virtual assistant must treat clients in a way that they feel they are served in a timely manner. The position involves respecting clients and resolving conflicts. It requires a mature thinker who can clarify confusing situations. It’s all about keeping heated situations under control. It requires an understanding how to treat people fairly and give them a sense of comfort. The receptionist must be easy to train about company policies. To find out how well your clients are being treated, call them up sometime and ask.
It’s essential for your live virtual receptionist to keep up with technology, at least for work that pertains to office management. The individual should at least know about Microsoft Office and QuickBooks. Being familiar with Word documents and Excel spreadsheets helps the business save time and money. Find out the extent of a virtual assistant’s knowledge, whether it includes graphic arts, web design or programming. You can save a lot of money on overhead the more you can consolidate several jobs into one position. Since the tech world is always evolving, it’s important to find a receptionist who enjoys learning about new software.
The key to the success of a live virtual receptionist is how well they can efficiently manage time. They need to make significant accomplishments that can be measured several times per day. You will need to communicate to the receptionist prioritized tasks, so that the most important jobs get done first. The best candidate is the one that effectively saves you the most time to concentrate on organizing and growing your business. An ideal virtual receptionist can handle a variety of assignments within a reasonable time frame.
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.
Entrepreneurship starts with drive and a strong work ethic. As a parent, you will want to foster within your child that spirit of independence and desire for success that motivates successful entrepreneurs. Of course, it is not always easy to pass on life lessons and this one may call for some amount of creativity on your part. Here are some tips for helping your children to become entrepreneurs:
- Put Them to Work
- Encourage Decision-Making
- Find Business Opportunities
- No Free Money
- The Value of Teamwork
- Marketing Skills
Teach them to write out their goals. This is one way to help them think in detail about what they want to accomplish and take serious steps to towards fulfilling their dreams. They should not only think about their goals, but also about the various steps they will have to take to get to them. They should start taking those steps as soon as possible.
Hire them at your business. If you are an entrepreneur yourself, this gives your children the opportunity to learn from one of the most important people in their lives. The fact that they are learning from you may help them to better grasp the principles on which business operates. Working for you will provide them with real-life examples of how entrepreneurship works.
Provide kids with the opportunity to make decisions. Being decisive and knowing the principles of good decision-making are essential for successful entrepreneurship. You can start out by allowing them a small amount of independence in managing their spending-money or ordering for themselves in restaurants. The goal is to help them to consider all the ramifications of a particular choice.
teach them to take advantage of business opportunities. Selling is the core of business and an entrepreneur will need to be comfortable with concept of commerce. The earlier you start teaching your children about selling, the better; they should be encouraged in small enterprises such as their own lemonade stand or a table at a yard sale. These things will help them to discover the basic principles on which all businesses operate.
Allow your kids to earn from chores. They should not be provided with an allowance for doing nothing; instead, pay them for being productive around the home or in your business. Not only will it encourage a strong work ethic, they will also be more careful spending money that they had to earn themselves.
Teach them the value of being a team player. Most of business involves working well with others; success often requires that an entrepreneur be willing to cooperate and delegate, and requires strong people-skills and leadership abilities. Skills at networking and developing contacts are needed to build a strong customer-base.
Teach them to market. Get them to pay attention to professional advertising efforts such as those used on television and the Internet; help them to see and learn from the various marketing principles used in those advertisements.
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!
Presentation skills are an essential facet to business operations, no matter how trivial. This is as much a universal truth as is the sun rising in the east, but while countless people accept its ideology in the corporate world, few truly understand it.
Presentations have a tendency to hide behind convenient labels, like “promotion.” In truth, if you have a desire to be the brightest star among your co-workers, you must present yourself in a way that ‘promotes’ your highest abilities. At its core, setting out to win your boss’ approval is nothing more than a presentation of your strengths.
Should you find yourself in a position where profit rides on the communication of important ideas, it is important to bear in mind that presentations can make or break a multi-million dollar sale. Corporate sponsors place a high responsibility on presenters, for their financial success is dependent upon the organization and subsequent communication of key points.
One of the leading causes of stress in the workplace is misinformation. Sharpening up your presentation skills will ultimately play to your advantage, as in order to lead a team, one must possess extraordinary communication skills.
While many presenters fail to communicate key points before losing the interest of their target audience, still others have managed to reduce 30 minutes of information to as little 90 seconds. Learning to identify key points saves time not only in presentation but in preparation, leading to further stress reduction and better communication.
In order to lead a team in the achievement of a common goal, one must be able to effectively communicate a singleness of purpose in a way that informs, motivates and calls to action. Here, communication of key issues becomes tantamount to professional success.
While in terms of advertising, presenters are the men and women behind the curtain, scrutiny from the media determines the validity of key points. It is an unfortunate reality that your reputation is dependent upon what you do and don’t do in front of the camera, but it is a reality that you must bear in mind.
While becoming a better presenter may not find you in the corporate job that you’ve always dreamed of, it may or may not give you a leg up over the man or woman standing next to you. What do you have to lose?
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.
Virtual phones offer the benefits of a local phone number as well as the convenience of a virtual office. If you own a business and are constantly on the go, a virtual office may work well for you. No matter what business you’re in, if you work with the public you know the importance of being able to communicate. By using a virtual phone system you bring your office to your customers.
One of the benefits of having this type of service is being able to have a local phone number for your customers. For example, as an independent contractor, plumber, insurance salesman, etc., your office may be in one town, but the majority of your clients are in three towns in the next county. Having a local number for each of the towns your customers reside in, eliminates the need for them to make a long distance call when trying to reach you. Having a local phone number is beneficial to your business in numerous ways. Virtual phones enhance the benefits even more.
*Local number = easy access- When customers see a local number, they associate that with your business being close to home and readily available whenever you need them. It gives them a sense of confidence in your company knowing they are just around the corner.
*No long distance numbers for customers- Customers are more likely to choose a company with a phone number that is local to their area. By using virtual phones and the services they offer, you can increase the efficiency of your business by making your business more appealing to clients.
*Convenience- Clients want convenience. With virtual phone services and phone numbers in your client’s areas, the local leads you receive from promotions, advertisements and the yellow pages can increase dramatically in just a few short weeks.
Virtual phones and offices work together you to provide you with all of the tools you need to make your business a complete success. From making appointments to following up after the close of a big deal, these services add convenience as well as professionalism to any business.