Consider a Virtual Office for the 2014 Midterm Elections

virtual office solutionsThe unfortunate thing about elections is that there is always only one winner, no matter how hard you work. Those who don’t win the election often have to clean up the headquarters in shame, taking down months of dedication with little to show for it. However, finding a campaign office for your candidate or a local office for your PAC doesn’t have to mean leaving a mess and an eyesore like the St. Louis Tea Party did after the 20120 midterm elections. With a virtual office solution, you can a great campaign headquarters without the big windows for outsiders to notice the shame in losing. Of course, we want you to win in 2014, and encourage you to think about winning instead, but here are more reasons you should consider a virtual office for the 2014 midterm elections:

Get Much More in Your Month-to-Month Lease

If you’re planning on getting involved in the upcoming election, then the earliest you’re probably starting is now, meaning that you don’t need a year-long lease. The next best thing is a month-to-month lease, and some traditional office solutions don’t offer such a lease. If they do, it’s not that secure and it’s probably much more expensive than a month-to-month virtual office option. Money is a huge factor during the election, as you still need to have some operating budget left to pay for the space and for certain staff members. Not only do many virtual offices offer a month-to-month lease without needing any special exceptions or requests, but they often come with much more than your typical office space. Many virtual providers offer printing, faxing & copying services, meeting spaces, remote receptionist services, and day offices. You don’t have to worry about getting the right size for the right price or having to pay extra for other services. All that is included with the virtual office.

Many Virtual Offices Also Come Furnished

Speaking of paying extra, one office necessity that you don’t have to worry about is the furniture. Many virtual office providers outfit their offices with a desk, a chair, and a telephone (many do offer services for a receptionist or a local number, if needed). Although you do still have to bring your own computers, and perhaps dividers and other equipment to do phone banking, a virtual office means less that you have to provide on your own. It also means less to clean up afterward once the election is over. The only downside to this is that some provider may have restrictions on the number of people who can work in one office, but this is an issue that you would have to discuss with each provider. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to reserve a few conference rooms for that amount of time, or convert a conference room for the use of a phone bank since other tenants may need to use it. The provider may be willing to accommodate your needs if they have a suitable space, or may make an exception since you are considering a short-term lease. Government may be one of the last industries to go virtual or high-tech, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start today. A virtual office can be that jump for your candidate or fundraising group to get out of the traditional space and to be more flexible in what you can achieve in the 2014 midterm elections.

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How to Run a Meeting

how to run a meetingNearly four hours per work week are spent in meetings and nearly half of U.S workers say that meetings are the top time-waster in the office. Of course, you may not be able to stop having meetings completely in your organization, but if your colleagues view those four hours as time that’s better spent elsewhere, then there’s room for improvement. If you need to have a meeting, then here are a few tips to running an efficient and productive meeting, whether it’s in person or virtual.

Have a Goal (or Several Goals)

For any meeting, have at least one goal that needs to be accomplished before the meeting ends. You, and everyone else attending, needs to know why this meeting is happening and what you hope to get done. This way, those attending can figure out what needs to be done make this goal a reality. If you’re having a short-term planning meeting, as an example, then the goal would be to come up with those plans and a few action steps for those plans. Anything that doesn’t have to do with these plans and action steps doesn’t need to be discussed. Having a goal also helps attendees do any necessary prep work prior to the meeting. This way, time isn’t wasted in the meeting for people to come up with ideas, to scramble for paperwork and information, or for people to catch up with what they need to know in order to contribute to the conversation.

Prepare Beforehand to Address the Little Things

This one goes for in-person meetings as well as virtual and phone meetings, as these little things can suck up a lot of time. For example, if you’re renting a meeting space, it’s best to check the room prior to the meeting to ensure that the room temperature will be pleasant for everyone. It seems small, but the room temperature becomes a huge time suck if people are uncomfortable, and then someone needs to take the time to figure out how to change it and what temperature would be best for everyone. For virtual and phone meetings, these little things would include making sure the technology works, eliminating distractions, and gathering your refreshments before the meeting starts. A meeting isn’t going to be productive or efficient if people are uncomfortable or if there are interruptions that ruin the flow of getting work done.

Include Everyone to Get Things Back on Track

Remember that goal? It’s natural for conversation to go on a tangent, or for someone to take over the meeting with an issue that’s not on the agenda. Those things happen. To get things back on track, keep the goal in mind and include everyone at the meeting. Instead of stopping the tangent or the rant directly:

“This isn’t on the agenda. We need to get back on track.”

Use an approach that’s more inclusive, such as:

“I see that this issue is very important to you. If everyone here agrees, perhaps we can save it for the end of the meeting or make it our top priority at our next meeting.”

The second approach sends the message that you’ve heard the other person, or that you’ve acknowledge that those issues that aren’t on the agenda are important. With this approach, you won’t waste time on topics besides the goal, but time can be dedicated to those other issues if everyone agrees.

Running a meeting is a necessary skill for any leader in any business. From time to time, meetings need to happen. Ensuring that the time is spent wisely and isn’t viewed as a waste by those who are attending is where the skill and tact come in.

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Avoid Losing All Your Money with a Las Vegas Virtual Office

Las Vegas virtual officeLas Vegas is the premier location for many conferences, trade shows, and other annual events. Even though you’re in the city for business, and you’re only going to be there a short time, you still need a productive place to get some work done and to prepare for these big events. The hotel room or business center isn’t always adequate, and could be too close to many of the distractions that Las Vegas offers. You can lose your money at the blackjack table, but you shouldn’t have to lose money because you didn’t get the work done. Work hard, and play hard, with a Las Vegas virtual office.

Get Out of the Hotel and Convention Center

Especially this time of year, when the weather is consistently in the 70s, it’s worth it to leave the hotel and convention center and to venture into the city. Besides, the Las Vegas strip can be expensive, so working in a virtual office that’s away from everyone one will offer all the resources you need for less. You don’t have to pay extra printing fees, or pay for Internet access, or have to go without certain technologies. All you have to do is pay for the space and the transportation to and from the virtual office. If you’re worried about being too far away from all the fun, then remember that there are great casinos away from the Strip and Downtown, such as South Point, Red Rock, and M Resort.

Rent a Virtual Office for Short Period of Time

The business center or the hotel room may seem like a better option because you have those for a short period of time. After all, you’re only spending a week in Sin City and not a whole year. However, you can rent a virtual office or a meeting space for a week as well. You don’t have to pay the monthly rate, and you don’t have to pay for a space that’s too small or that doesn’t provide everything you need. With a virtual office, you don’t have to “make do” or to settle on a temporary space that isn’t all that great in the first place. You don’t have the throw money away because with a Las Vegas virtual office, you’ll have everything you’ll need to run the meeting, or to get some work done before tomorrow’s full day of seminars.

Have a Workspace Every Time You Visit

Las Vegas is constantly changing, even if your industry’s annual trade show is always in the same location. The hotel you stayed in last year may be full, or even non-existent. The business center could be closed for remodeling. Instead of scrambling every time to find someplace to work, have a guaranteed workspace with a virtual office. These buildings aren’t going to disappear, and even if the office or conference room you used last year is booked, there is always another one down the hall or two floors up. With this consistency, you’ll also know that you’ll have everything you need to get your work done. You don’t have to wonder if this other meeting space will have free Internet access, or if you’ll have to share the room with another group of professionals, or if the teleconferencing technology works. Everything is there, ready to go, in a Las Vegas virtual office.

Overall, we can’t do anything about your luck at the table. But, staying productive and finding a place to work in Las Vegas shouldn’t be about luck. You can reduce the variance with a virtual office in Las Vegas.

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Consider a Spokane Virtual Office for Short Term Use

Spokane virtual officeMost of the time when you are looking for office space, you are typically looking for a long-term location. A permanent headquarters for your company or professional address for your business isn’t hard to come by. However, sometimes you need a place for just a few weeks or months, and those are often harder to find. Most places don’t offer short-term options, or may ask that you still sign the long-term lease even though you don’t need the space for a year or several years. Fortunately, virtual offices are a short-term option that are just getting easier and easier to find. Here’s why Spokane virtual offices, or any virtual office, is a good fit for short term use.

You Can Pay for the Time that You Need

Even though you can set up a long term agreement with a virtual office provider, you can also set up a short term option as well. Many providers allow you to make monthly payments, or even to pay for just a few days or weeks. This flexibility means that you don’t have to pay for time you aren’t going to use and that you don’t have to choose from fixed contracts or time frames. It’s a great benefit to those who need a temporary office space, for those that are in town on business for a short period of time, or even for those who want to test a certain location or the virtual office option.

You Don’t Have to Pay for Space Your Don’t Need

Another problem with traditional office spaces is that it’s very hard to find something small, something that’s big enough for your or your team. If you need a short-term space, then you definitely don’t need a whole floor or several offices. Sometimes, a single office or a table and chairs with fine. With a virtual office, you can pay for the exact time you need and the exact space you need. You don’t have to pay for an entire office. You can just pay to use the conference room or to work in a public area.

All the Amenities are There

Spokane virtual officesVirtual offices aren’t the only short-term option out there, but they are one of the few that has all of the amenities. With a virtual office, you can also get a conference room, a virtual receptionist, mail handling, and printing, faxing, and copying services at no extra cost. You don’t have to pay extra for these amenities and you don’t have to go without in your short-term space. You also still get access to these amenities if you just need an office for a day or if you opt to work in the public area. It beats other short-term options, such as just renting a conference room, or using the business center at hotel, or using a coffee shop.

Overall, short-term options work for many people and situations. It’s great for a legal team who needs to be in town for a case, where it’s unknown how long the case will really last. It’s great for a small company or business that’s transitioning to another location, but has to wait for renovations to finish or for all the furniture to arrive. It’s great if you want to test the idea of telecommuting, or if you want to test a second office or a new location. Although they aren’t as common as the long-term options, there are plenty of short-term options available with a virtual office.

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Why Meeting in a Coffee Shop is a Bad Idea

meeting in a coffee shopIt’s great to have a client meeting, or a free consultation, or even a simple professional meeting with a business coach or a potential marketing partner. It means things are going well. But, do you really want to do that meeting in a coffee shop, where you could be overheard or you might even have trouble finding a table? Not to mention that there’s not guarantee on an outlet or that it’ll even be quiet enough for you to easily hear each other. Although coffee shops aren’t necessarily bad places to meet, it can still be a bad idea since there are way better options out there.

Coffee Shops Have Their Place

Coffee shops can work for more casual meetings, like if you have a laid-back relationship with a client or your business coach is also a close friend as well as a professional colleague. Some even have meeting spaces that you can rent for a small fee, and of course you can’t forget the awesome food and drink. But this isn’t always the case. If you’re potential client would be a really big account and you want to make the best impression possible, or perhaps doesn’t fancy meeting in coffee shops, then you need to perhaps rent a conference room in an office building or a coworking space. If the impression is important, then you want to have your meeting in an environment where you can control as much of the atmosphere as possible.

What if There’s No Space?

Even though some coffee shops have a conference area or a meeting room to rent, most don’t. So, if the place happens to be crowded and there isn’t an open table or its too noisy, then you could be out of luck. That’s not only embarrassing, but finding a new location could waste time if the person you’re meeting is on a strict schedule. By choosing a board room or a day office that would always be available to you when you needed it, and would come with open outlets and other technology that you might need, you don’t have to worry about finding something in a pinch or needing to reschedule when you otherwise could have had the meeting.

It’s Cheaper

It would be cheaper in the long run if you’re meeting at coffee shops a lot. Sure, you don’t have to sit at a coffee shop, but many coffee shops won’t allow you to take a table without making a purchase, and sometimes you could do without purchasing the small coffee or the pastry. Instead, with a professional meeting space that doesn’t serve any food or drink, you only have to pay to use the space and not for any unwanted snacks. Also, with a professional meeting space arrangement, you could use that space to work as well as have meetings, even if that’s just to ensure that you get your money’s worth. Besides, we all know that eating out is more expensive than eating in, so why eat out when you don’t have to?

Coffee shops aren’t bad, especially if they make an impressive dark roast or their brownies are to die for. But, there are quieter, more professional options when it comes to meeting spaces, so it’s important to know about those and to use them when the circumstances require it. We’re not asking you to avoid the neighborhood business forever, just when renting a conference room or a professional meeting space could make the difference in landing a deal or in making that important first impression.

Need to Have a Virtual Meeting? Then You Need a Virtual Office!

virtual meeting
Videoconferencing in a virtual office a cost-friendly way to hold a virtual meeting.

With the Internet, is much more possible than ever before to have an international business. This could mean having customers all over the world, or having employees and/or contractors based in several countries. With the stretch of time zones and distances, it’s important to keep in contact and to find a way to communicate. Sometimes, email isn’t always best, as its still subject to those time zones (if you send an email while your colleague is sleeping, they certainly won’t read it until the next morning). However, with the Internet, it’s possible to bridge those gaps with a virtual meeting.

A virtual meeting is essentially a conference call, something that could be done with Skype, Google Hangouts, or a similar service. Sure, email or even a phone call or an online chat could get the job done, but if more people need to be involved in the conversation, those options can make the process tricky. This is where a virtual meeting, and a virtual office, can come in.

Why Virtual Meetings?

Meetings aren’t the funnest part of the job or the workplace, but sometimes they are more efficient in getting a few things done, compared with communicating with everyone individually when they have the time to do so. There’s too much room for information changing from conversation to conversation, or for a misunderstanding to happen. At least with a meeting, questions can be answered at once, and if information changes, everyone would know about it at the same time.

Besides making it easier to communicate with multiple people at once, virtual meetings also save on time and on travel costs. All you would have to pay for is virtual office time, versus coordinating transportation so everyone can meet in one place, or just getting everyone into closer time zones so no one has to meet at 3 a.m. A virtual meeting also allows for the meeting to happen when everyone is available, and not necessarily when everyone is in the right time zone or finally arrives at the meeting location. If someone wanted/needed, they could join the meeting from the airport or from a vehicle, although it may not be ideal. However, the meeting wouldn’t be held up for wait for that person to arrive or to get to an ideal location.

How Virtual Meetings and Virtual Offices Go Together

Let’s face it, videoconferencing technology can be expensive, and not every business has the room or the money to have their own videoconferencing room or equipment. This is where a virtual office could come in. Instead of dealing with the cheaper, although less convenient, ways of handling a virtual meeting or in communicating with multiple people at once, a virtual meeting in a virtual office can make everything easier. Everything is there, and it can only be used and paid for when you actually need it. The virtual office location can also ensure that the meeting is as productive and professional as possible, which is crucial if your business has employees working from home, and/or working from home all over the world.

With the Internet and all kinds of other new technology, virtual meetings are becoming more commonplace and more necessary than ever to conduct businesses. Services such as meeting spaces and virtual offices are arriving to make conducting business over the Internet and across international borders easier. As virtual meetings become an everyday part of business, so will virtual offices. If you are already conducting virtual meetings, or think that a virtual meeting will make it easier to run your business, then consider a virtual office services to facilitate those meetings and those needs.

Looking for Office Space? 4 Things to Consider

looking for office spaceIf you’re looking for office space, there are tons of things to think about when finding an executive suite or a meeting space that’s right for you. Whether you are an entrepreneur just getting started, or a startup that’s expanding, or an established business looking to save some money, there is plenty to consider when looking for an office space and finding one that will fit your needs. Here are five things to consider when looking for office space:

  1. Location – Location can mean either within the city your in, or picking a city within the country. Many office space companies have lots of locations throughout the country, and may have several in the city you are in. Within the city, would your office space be located downtown, or in a major business district? Is the location employee friendly, with places to park and to go for lunch? Is the location easy to get to, such as near a major highway or a major exit? These are factors that can make a difference of whether or not an office space is right for you and your business.
  2. Technology – Some office spaces, especially virtual offices, will come with technological amenities. These can include printing and faxing services, high speed Internet, teleconferencing, a dedicated phone line, and virtual assistant services. Depending on the size of your business and your particular needs, you might want all the technology possible so you don’t have to worry about those costs. Maybe you’d like the other end, where technology is under your control because you have specific business needs and are very comfortable with these decisions. When looking for office space, consider the technological amenities.
  3. Flexibility – Would you like 24/7 access, or are typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m hours suitable for you? Do you need mail forwarding services? Or access to other locations around the country when you travel? What’s their policy on children, or on dropping in for just a few hours a week to do work? Are services and spaces scalable, in case you have more growth in the future? The flexibility of an office space is important, because you want to find an office space company who’s willing to work with you and meet your needs, instead of trying to squeeze your needs into their services. The answers to these questions will indicate how flexible an office space is to meeting the needs of their tenants and potential tenants.
  4. Client Impression – If you are looking for office space that is suitable to bring clients looking for office spaceto, then you need to consider the kind of an impression the space will make on a client regarding you and your business. Does your office space come with security, so your client feels safe, but also welcome? Does your office space look clean, maintained, and up-to-date, so your client thinks that you are and your business are the same way? A client may not care about how flexible the office space is to your needs, or if it provides your Internet access, but you need to consider an office space that reflects well upon you and your company.

Looking for office space and finding one that’s right for you and your business is no easy task. There’s plenty to choose from, and plenty to consider when finally settling on a solution. Hopefully, there four considerations will make it easier in making your selection.

What Is a Virtual Office Space?

virtual office space
Your virtual office space could be here, even when you're working from home!

Technology changes all the time, and new technology is introduced and upgraded at increasing faster rates. How does a business keep up? How does a business take advantage of this technology, learn what it all is, how to use it, and keep track of normal business duties at the same time?

Office services are one of those business operations that’s changing with technology and because of technology, and one of those ways is in the introduction and incorporation of a virtual office space. But, just what is a virtual office space? How virtual is it?

A virtual office is a combination of off-site live communication and address services that allow users to reduce traditional office costs while maintaining business professionalism. A virtual office space can be used full-time, which is common for executive office spaces, or it can be used part-time, such as when your meeting clients or need a productive place to work. A virtual office space can also provide a business a professional address and mail forwarding, or a chance to create multiple locations in cities around the country?

But, how could a virtual office space benefit a small business? How could a “virtual office space” offer anything special, since an employee or owner needs to be in the office to work, right? Well, virtual office solutions are specific services designed to provide you with a tangible business identity when you do not maintain a permanent, physical office in a particular location. As mentioned, virtual office solutions can have business mailing address with mail and package forwarding services, but also phone answering and call management, access to meeting facilities, and on-site amenities such as broadband Internet, fax-copier-printer, video conferencing, kitchenette and a business-worthy lobby/waiting area.

In short, a virtual office space provide everything you need to run your business, without the actual office. It’s great if you travel often, and don’t want to work out of hotels and coffees hops. It’s great if you’re trying to cut costs, or you want to give your employees the opportunity to be more flexible and to maintain a work/life balance better. If interested in a virtual office space, then check out our virtual office spaces. We have virtual office spaces all across the country, each of which can provide the virtual office solutions that you specifically need.

What Makes a Las Vegas Meeting Space Great?

Las Vegas Meeting SpaceA Las Vegas meeting space may be easy to come by. The metropolitan area has almost two million people, meaning there are tons of office parks, virtual offices, coworking spaces, and other community areas that are great places to have a business meeting. But, with so many choices, what makes a meeting space great? How do you determine which of these many meeting spaces are best for you?

Determining the best Las Vegas meeting space would depend on your specific needs. If you only need space for five people, then you aren’t going to need a large conference room. If you need technology, such as a projector or conference calling, then maybe a virtual office or a meeting room in an office park will suffice. If you need your meeting space in the evening, then maybe a coworking space or a community area might be best. Some meeting rooms have a rental fee, while some don’t. The best Las Vegas meeting space for you will be one that meets all of your needs as a business or association.

Even in Las Vegas, there will still be a lot of meeting spaces that will meet your needs. They will be available at  the right price, and have all the amenities needed to run the meeting smoothly, and will fit everyone in the group. How do you continue to narrow down your choices of meeting rooms to find one that is great, but that also meets your needs?

A great Las Vegas meeting space ought to be up to date. Even if you may not need technology, you ought to find a meeting room that is well kept and maintained. This is not just so you meeting space looks good, but its also indicative of how the property owner cares for the meeting room, the rest of the property, and the patrons who use these facilities.

A great Las Vegas meeting space also ought to be secure. This is critical if you need your meeting space in the evening when there might not be others in the building, or if you rent a meeting room just a few times a week or month. Security could be in the form of a security guard, or a key to the building, or an alarm system. A great meeting space is a secure meeting space.

A great Las Vegas meeting space also needs to be comfortable and accommodating. This could come in a variety of forms: comfy chairs, ample space for everyone, temperature control, pleasing decor etc. What would be considered comfortable and accommodating to you would depend on the purpose of your meetings, and the tastes and preferences of you and the rest of your group.

What do you think makes a great Las Vegas meeting space? Let us know in the comments below!