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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.
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.
Plants in an office or on a desk can brighten up a room, make the air fresher and provide a needed dose of nature in an otherwise
sterile environment. But so often, those big plans for a healthy and verdant fern shrivel and die along with the fronds leaving you with an eyesore that makes you feel guilty for your lack of a green thumb.
Part of what leads to plant neglect comes from the plants you choose to bring into the office in the first place. Plants that will thrive indoors, in the middle of cubicle mazes, have specific qualities.
Before choosing a plant, first evaluate the conditions of your office.
- Lighting: If your office has a window or is near one, your plant options increase and you can choose a plant that does well in full or partial sun. If not, choose a shade tolerant plant. It will get enough light from the overhead lights.
- Temperature:Some plants don’t do well indoors because it’s too warm or they can’t withstand the temperature fluctuations between day and nights or weekends. Look for hardy plants if the temperature varies a lot in your office.
- Humidity: This can affect the soil, either keeping it too moist and promoting mold or drying out the soil too quickly, leading to overwatering.
When it comes time to make the choice for your office, a few plants will do better than others.
- Jade (crassulaovata): The bright, waxy leaves and interesting shapes add a eometric quality to your office. Technically asucculent, jades are vibrant green, thrive in shade and have a hardy constitution. Keep them well watered.
- Philodendron: These traditional indoor plants do quite well in a variety of office environments. As an added bonus, they will climb up walls — or drape down if in a basket. Plus, they can take a little neglect and still remain healthy.
- Peace lily (spathiphyllum): If you’re looking for a showstopper (and a plant known for cleaning the air), hoose a peace lily. These plants have large, broad, deep green leaves and will grow stunning flowers as well. They also tolerate low light. However, if you have a coworker with pollen allergies, you should clip the flower before it blooms.
You can pick up these common houseplants at most home improvement stores and garden centers to transform your office today.
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.
Time is money no matter what your profession, but lawyers deal with many duties at one time. Successful multitasking is not necessarily part of the curriculum for law school. Organization is the key to improving productivity in a legal office. Time management for attorneys is paramount because the details are critical. Lawyers can use tips and tricks to improve their skills and adapt a time-efficient lifestyle.
Good Morning Sunshine
The early bird gets the legal worm, as they say. Start the day earlier to get some personal chores out of the way. Even just one hour will give you time to exercise and avoid spending part of your workday at the gym. As you sit and eat breakfast, go through the to-do list for that day and plan. Create a travel route that makes the most efficient use of your time. For example, whether you have to pick up court documents or your dry cleaning, schedule the trip at a time you will be in the area.
Organize by Assignment
Time management for attorneys means good organization skills. Create a template to help structure time for new cases. When you get a client, break the workload down by task and objective. Create lists of questions that need answers for during investigations. Develop a workflow chart that every person working on the case can refer to while doing his or her part. Add deadlines for tasks as much as possible. Even better, delegate and have a secretary or paralegal do this for you.
Don’t overbook your time. Instead, outsource work when you can. This could be case related items or just general office management. A live virtual receptionist is a cost-effective approach to managing the phones, for example. Save your valuable time for supervision and fire prevention.
Create Virtual Offices for Lead Generation
A lawyer spends years in school learning how to interpret the law, but that doesn’t bring clients to the door. Most attorneys need to spend some time looking for business, especially in the beginning. Technology offers a solution to this problem through telecommuting.
Virtual offices are the new-age way to handle time management for attorneys. A virtual office allows you to hire someone to do the legwork and marketing without spending the time or money on a physical location. Setting up virtual offices will allow you to micromanage the situation via the Internet or phone. That frees up time to deal with the actual legal requirements of the job.
Between court visits and digging up new clients, an attorney can easily end up spinning his wheels when trying to build a practice. Time management for attorneys is a necessity in the legal business world. Utilizing the modern tools available today will help lawyers stretch their time. With proper time management, attorneys increase productivity and decrease stress to balance out their lives.
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.
Virtual offices allow numerous professionals to perform a variety of tasks while keeping administrative costs down. If you are a legal assistant who wants to take advantage of having a virtual office, here is how you can use them to your benefit:
A great thing about having such an office is that you can get a prodigious physical address at a very decent cost compared to having your own premises. You can choose an address at a prestigious business district in cities located throughout the US to impress both current and potential clients and expand your operations.
Meetings with Clients
You can suggest your clients to meet them at their offices. Although this implies transportation costs, these costs are much lower than those associated with renting out an office space. However, if you want to host them at your office, you can rent a fully furnished and state-of-the-art office at the same address as your virtual office.
Perform Various Tasks
Virtual offices pretty much require one thing: an Internet connection. With the help of the worldwide web, you can perform any task, such as conducting legal research and accessing different systems to drafting documents pertaining to prenuptial agreements, divorces, adoptions, and so on.
General Office Duties
As a legal assistant, you have to complete general office duties, including preparing records for trials, filing documents, and many others. A virtual office gives you the chance to do all these at home or in any other location without being disturbed by unscheduled interruptions.
Telephone and Live Virtual Assistants
Most virtual offices include telephone and live virtual assistants, which are useful not only because they can be answered in the name of your office when clients cannot reach you, but also because they make your office appear larger than it actually is.
Besides the aforementioned facilities, numerous service providers offer mail forwarding services that can help you receive and send messages at any time, regardless of whether you are at home, in your car, or at the airport.