Monday, 10 August 2009

Is work/life balance a myth?

Is work/life balance a myth? Or is it still achievable in a struggling economy?
What are your experiences?

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Access to New Markets

There are a multitude of support services available at the moment to support small businesses,
from Business Link to The Virtual Office.

Now Google has joined forces with HSBC, alibaba.com and others to create a support package for businesses looking to export their products and services.

More information can be found at http://www.exportbox.co.uk/

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Go Ahead - You Deserve a Break!

Its that time of year again... and for the first time in a long time, it seems like summer has FINALLY arrived in the UK, which means thoughts will be drifting to holidays...

Whether you fancy a trendy recession-inspired 'stay-cation'; have children who will be unleashed by their schools and therefore require some extra attention; or would love to indulge in a proper long-haul holiday, if you run your own business taking time for any or all of these reasons can be daunting. But, it is so important to remember that everyone needs a break sometimes in order to maintain their sanity!

So many people who run their own businesses struggle with taking time off. There is concerns about losing money or customers if they take a break, plus stress about who, if anybody, can be entrusted to take on tasks in their absence. Still another hurdle is the guilt that business owners feel when they take time off which is often overcompensated for by spending the duration of any time they do take off working and forgetting to actually relax!

Believe it or not, there is a solution to this problem... The Virtual Office Group. Part of our range of virtual office solutions specialises in holiday cover. Just arrange to forward your calls to the Virtual Office, where our friendly and professional live receptionists will personally answer your calls for you and manage them according to your specifications. We can arrange to have certain calls (or all of your calls) transferred to you wherever you are so that you can choose which ones you want to deal with. Alternatively, we can have the callers greeted and given an explanation of your choice for why you are unavailable, and put through to your voicemail which can be checked at your convenience via SMS, email, or on the phone. This means that you don't have to answer and deal with every call yourself, which gives you the freedom to actually relax and enjoy your time off. We can provide this service for a period of a few days, a fortnight, a month, or whatever you require! If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Kat on 0207 917 9918.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Redundancies Keep on Rolling!

Today, we heard the announcement that redundancies in the UK have reached a 12 year high at a staggering 7.2% of the population or 2.26 million people finding themselves out of work. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much sign of this trend stopping anytime soon, with Management Today stating an assumption that another three quarters of a million people will lose their jobs in the coming year.


With thousands of jobseekers vying for a single role in some cases, many who have already been made redundant have opted to try their hand at starting up their own businesses. A Virtual Office can really come in handy for those taking the plunge into the world of the self-employed. A Virtual Office can give you the impression of being more established than you might actually be and provides the perfect platform from which to grow your business by supplying assistance in support areas including post handling, telephone answering, voicemail, hotdesking space and much more. With a prestigious address and a central London telephone number, you can work from anywhere whilst maintaining the impression of a London Presence.


Please contact us whether you are a new start-up looking for a foothold or an established company looking for a way to help reduce your financial burdens; The Virtual Office has options to support all types of business requirements.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Original and the Best!

If you met Richard Nissen, you would probably not instantly guess that he was the mastermind behind developing the Virtual Office Concept in the UK; especially if you tried to ring him on his mobile phone. This is particularly surprising since Richard is responsible for developing the first telephone call handling platform that could fully support flexible working practices by placing calls through to individuals wherever they were.

Richard is the founder and Chairman of The Virtual Office Group and was inspired by American Business Centres he encountered while working in the United States of America in the 1970’s. He brought the idea back to the United Kingdom and started the concept here. Although several other companies have grown and expanded on the original idea, The Virtual Office Group still prides itself in offering the best product available even after all of these years.

Richard Nissen and his relationship to the virtual office concept has been featured in a recent edition of Property Week. Follow this link to view the whole article.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Unexpected Side Effects of Swine Flu - On Businesses

If Swine Flu turns out to be the pandemic predicted by officials and journalists alike, then be prepared to see incredible alterations to life as we know it.

It is suspected that as many as half of London’s seven million inhabitants could catch swine flu and that 94,000 could die in a worst case scenario. If the virus proves itself as communicable and if it evolves to be less reactive to the anti-viral treatments being used to keep it at bay presently, then many lives will be at risk, not just in the capital, but around the world.

Employers do have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are kept as safe as possible from any threat to their health or well-being. There is lots of buzz at the moment about the adoption of teleworking on a much grander scale across the business world in order to minimize the amount of time people will have to spend in close proximity and hopefully aid in slowing or eliminating the spread of the virus. Also, with nearly half of employees expected to take at least two weeks off of work over the coming months due to personal illness or to care for a friend or family member, working from home may become a necessary part of everyday operations for most companies. It is suspected that if the flu spreads as is predicted, then workplaces and schools alike can be expected to be shut for long periods of time. Many businesses will need business support networks to cope with this reality as they become more and more dependant on teleworking.

With so many employees set to be displaced from main office headquarters, a Virtual Office can help you to maintain a unified front and provide personalised telephone answering and call forwarding to employees no matter where they happen to be working from. A single telephone number for your company and the ability to reach any of the employees helps keep communication simple for you and your clients if much of your operations are switched to a virtual office concept.

Though the prognosis may be upsetting, it is still best to be prepared to continue business as closely to normal as possible throughout the next few months because much as there is no guarantee that we will make it out of this episode unscathed, there is also no guarantee that doomsday is upon us just yet.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Image Is Everything

Last week we talked about how using a Virtual Office can save you money and help when you launch your company as well as during the course of its life. This week, we explore how a Virtual office can give you the impression of a larger and more established company and how that impacts your clients' and potential clients' perception of your business.

Many people are now starting businesses from home to avoid lots of the start up costs, but it can be difficult to maintain a professional image. There are ways to mitigate risk while making every pound count! By using a Virtual Office, you can have the impression of occupying a prestigious prime location office at 10-20% of the cost because you are sharing the overhead with other businesses. With Virtual Offices, you can sign up for an address, a telephone number, and have a receptionist personally answer and transfer your calls to you so you can prioritise your work and be prepared for each call. All of your faxes and your mail can be forwarded to you and you can have access to meeting rooms and hotdesk space if you don’t need a whole permanent office for your company. Virtual Offices also have options for growth – eventually your company will prosper and when it does, you can have the opportunity to take up permanent serviced office space on the premises or to add employees to your package.

Having your client facing operations in impeccable order is important because clients may feel more comfortable working with someone who looks quite established and accomplished. A great central London address and telephone number is also very powerful to anchor your webpage, whether it be as a main address or as an international branch for companies trying to startup on a worldwide scale.

Really, people starting businesses should seriously consider the options and flexibility associated with a virtual office. It is a complete toolkit to help you get on your feet quickly and gives you what you need to forge ahead of your competitors.

Cheryl

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Virtual Offices - Cost Cutting for Entrepreneurs

Hi Everybody!

So nice to have my own picture up... its really starting to feel like my blog now!

Today I want to mention how a Virtual Office really is part of an essential start-up and small business tool kit. This is Part One - about the cost savings associated with a Virtual Office.

Entrepreneurs are a different breed. They have a dream or an idea and they have the personal confidence and enough know-how to run with it! People are losing their jobs and opting to start their own companies to support themselves. This is as risky a time as ever to begin a new company, especially on your own! You know you need money to make money and at a time like this, finances need to be stretched as far as possible.

When you are starting out with the intention to impress your clients, you need an office, which in the city of London will cost you approximately £15,000 per workstation per year to maintain when you factor in rent, overhead, technology, and telephony costs. Plus, if you want to employ a receptionist to be the face of your business, you will be looking at paying a salary in the ballpark of £18,000 or more per year. Of course, there will be the unexpected expenses for things like fixing and maintaining your office. All of this could be enough to cripple a new business even under the best of conditions!

There are so many benefits to using a Virtual Office. Our prices are competitve and as the original providers in London, The Virtual Office has the best packages to give all you entrepreneurs out there what you need at a price that you can afford. Keep watching this space for next week's advice on how image plays a big part in how you are percieved by your clients and potential clients.

Cheryl

Monday, 6 April 2009

Some People Seem to Have it All!

If you are like me, undoubtedly, you know someone who runs their own home business with the greatest of ease; painting an illusion of the blissful freedom they experience whilst pursuing their life’s passion from their kitchen table.

If this same person’s entire existence seems perfectly orchestrated in every aspect from their impeccable home and family life to their impressive business success, chances are, they have a little secret. They may be using a Virtual Office

Small business owners know that when running a company from home, priorities can be difficult to keep straight. Juggling family, life, and work can create problems that may compromise relationships with clients. By employing the Virtual Office as an aspect of your business strategy, you can maintain your professional image while making time to deal with the most pressing issues of the moment; whether they are business or home related matters.

Nothing can throw a spanner in the works like a phone call you are unprepared for or are unable to deal with at the time. With the Virtual Office, you can have a professional receptionist answer your calls and introduce them to you. If you do not wish to take the call, the client has the chance to leave a message on your personal voicemail after being assured by a real person that the message will be passed on. Your phone will never ring engaged and clients will feel that you are always accessible to them.

You can also advise the office of your daily diary so that you won’t be interrupted with a phone call when you don’t want to be, which gives you the freedom to manage your life and the peace of mind that you will not miss an important call. If you do receive messages when you are unavailable, you will be notified instantly that the message is waiting for you.

Telephone answering and call forwarding are just a few examples of what the Virtual Office provides, as there are also solutions to deal with office space, meeting rooms, prestigious business addresses, hot desking and much more.

So now you know how the other half do it all! In the dog-eat-dog world of business where only the strong survive, why not take every opportunity to make your business the best it can be?

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

If people could have one wish granted, I think many would wish for more time in the day! As the director of the Virtual Office and a mum with hectic business and home schedules, I too am constantly on the go! Really, I have the same obligations and committments as many other professionals, though the company I help run is dedicated to making the lives of busy business men and women simpler. Over the years, I have learned a great deal about businesses and the people who make them work and I have decided to start this blog to pass on some of the knowledge I have acquired.

The reality is that Virtual Offices do buy people more time! Every administrative duty you pass to a Virtual Office to take care of is one thing you can scratch off of your to do list. Because someone else is taking care of it, you can have peace of mind and use your time to be more productive. This is a simple idea that really really makes a huge difference in your professional (and personal) life. Believe me! Read on to discover how using a Virtual Office can really make life .... well virtually stress-free!