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How to Balance a Physical and Virtual Office

virtual office spaceMany entrepreneurs, sole proprietors and telecommuters are going to have both a physical and a virtual office solution. The physical office may be the home office or the employer, while the virtual office is used for client meetings, mail forwarding, or when a change of scenery is needed for the work done. Balancing both offices so that both workspaces are productive and are worth the expense is sometimes a challenge. It’s easy to get stuck using one over the other, or to lose touch in how to use each space most effectively. Here’s how to balance having both a physical and a virtual office space:

Dedicate Each Space to Different Tasks

Don’t use both spaces for client meetings, or both spaces of places to focus and get work done. By dedicating one for work, one for meetings, one for mail etc. it’s easier to apply structure and routine to your work. It also ensures that you have less to juggle and to manage then you already have, as you don’t have to coordinate so much in each office space or between the offices. Yes, some people don’t do well with structure and routine in their lives, but the point is that your workspaces shouldn’t be left to the whim of your desires. Waiting until the day of to decide where you want to work, or having tow or more offices doing the same thins is redundant and opens up opportunities for time to be wasted.

Choose One Address

Most likely you’re going to choose your virtual office space as the address you use to identify your business, to give to clients and vendors, and to put on business cards and other marketing materials. A popular reason why people get virtual offices is because they don’t want to give away their home address or use it as a business address. A virtual office address also looks more professional than a home address or a PO box. Anyway, choose one address (preferably the virtual office address) to use. Using both can be confusing to potential customers, and will hurt your branding because it could negatively impact the trust customers and potential clients have with your business.

Don’t Worry About Splitting Your Time Equally

The word “balance” means a state of equilibrium or an equal distribution, However, equal and equilibrium can mean whatever they need to mean to you. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 distribution, especially since a 50/50 distribution is always equal in every sense of the word. If you’re only using your virtual office solution for mail forwarding or for monthly client meetings, then that’s okay. Part of what makes virtual office services so convenient is that they can be customized to your specific needs. You don’t have to pay for services you don’t need, or utilize your virtual office in a certain way so that you feel you get your money’s worth. If you only need the professional address, for example, then many virtual office providers are willing to do that and won’t charge you the same as someone who also wants mail forwarding or a virtual receptionist.

Choosing a virtual office for your business does not mean you have to give up another physical location, such as your home office or your favorite coffee shop. Many freelancers and sole proprietors don’t want to give up those spaces. With a virtual office, you don’t have to, as a virtual office can compliment your current physical office spaces in ways that make both an asset to your business and you more productive in the work that you do.

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3 Awesome Tips for Privacy in Your New Orleans Virtual Office

virtual office privacyWith more and more companies moving toward open floor plans and removing dedicated work spaces for their employees, one of the biggest complaints with that change is the lack of private spaces. With an open floor plan, it’s hard to have a private conversation or to conduct a meeting somewhere without interruptions or distractions. Privacy is necessary for productive work, as those interruptions and distractions ruin our train of thought and make it difficult to spend dedicated time getting something done. Fortunately, virtual offices like a New Orleans virtual office can give you the privacy you need to do tough analytical work or to use your creative processes fully. Here are three awesome tips for privacy when using a virtual office:

Keep Your Personal Details Private

Of course, privacy is much more than having the room to yourself or keeping a conversation between two or three people. It’s also about protecting your personal information so that it doesn’t end up in the hands of fraudsters and identity thieves. One of the benefits of a virtual office is that you don’t have to give away your home phone number, your cell phone number, or your home address to any clients or potential clients. Giving that information away may not be a problem with clients you trust, but it’s certainly not information you want to provide freely to someone you’ve never met yet, or to someone who has yet to do business with you.

This would also include what you post on social media on your personal profiles. Business associates may choose to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter, so you don’t necessarily want to broadcast when you’re going on vacation. If those people know where you live, and know that you aren’t home, then that could spell trouble for your most valuable possessions.

A Remove Receptionist Can Stop Unnecessary Phone Calls

Unnecessary phone calls are the worst. Phone calls are always urgent because its ringing, but not necessarily always something that’s, well, urgent in its messaging. Studies have found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption, meaning that even a phone call that’s kept brief can really hurt the privacy you need to stay productive. On top of that, in those 25 minutes of returning to the original task, the quality of work has been found to decrease during those minutes.

To stop unnecessary phone calls without shutting off your phone, silencing it, or simply ignoring it, a remote receptionist can help. Many virtual office companies offer a remote receptionist service for tenants, and this is a service you should take advantage of if you need uninterrupted time. The remote receptionist can answer any and all incoming calls for you, let the caller know that you are unavailable, and take any messages. This ensures that you only have to deal with the calls that are important, and not have to worry about giving people the cold shoulder because you don’t want to be interrupted.

Don’t Forget about Securing Your Technology

There’s enough on this topic to merit a completely separate post (which we’ll probably do), but essentially, secure your devices. Securing your devices means much more than knowing where your smartphone is at all time and physically locking your laptop. It also means having a strong password on your smartphone in case it gets stolen. It’s very likely that your smartphone and/or tablet has confidential company and client information on it, information that you don’t want a thief to access. With a strong password, and a lockdown feature after a few failed attempts, then it’s less likely a thief will be able to commit identity theft with your information or gather this information to give to a competitor.

Securing your technology also means watching your online behavior, especially if you’re using an unsecured network. If you’re working from a coffee shop, then that’s not the best time to be doing your online banking. Those unsecured networks mean that someone can hack into the network, watch you as your check your account balance, and then get your account number without you knowing it. It also means logging out of your various profiles and activities, not just closing the browser, as you’re only leaving the window open for someone to come in on your account to learn the password and to steal any personal information.

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Tips to Maintaining Your Billings Virtual Office Lifestyle

life in a virtual officeWorking from a virtual office is a lifestyle all by itself because you are working in an environment that isn’t constrained by coworkers, or the commute, or even the physical location in which you are working. A Billings virtual office is very dependent on you: how you want it to work, how you want it to be productive, what you need it to be so you can be successful. It’s your lifestyle, but there are elements that only come from the virtual office. Here are a few tips to maintaining the virtual office lifestyle without losing control of your work or your life:

“Pretend” like You’re Going to the Office

The commute to the office may waste time and gas, but that doesn’t mean everything you do prior to getting into the car needs to be thrown out as well. Even though you can work in your pajamas or throw on a pair of jeans to work in a virtual office, putting on the work clothes can affect how you feel about the workday, and make you more productive by putting you in the right mindset.

The point is to reinforce psychologically going to work, so a virtual office shouldn’t be viewed as a way to kick back. Essentially, you ought to have a non-negotiable morning routine that prepares you for work. This could mean getting your breakfast in, checking your email before doing anything else, and/or having your cup of coffee to wake up. The commute may be much shorter, with no one setting any rules, but having no rules means you’re only going to be less productive.

Find a Way to Stay Organized that Works for You

There are thousands of ways to stay organized, and we’re not going to list them all here, but you do need to find one or more ways that work for you. With a virtual office solution, there isn’t necessarily going to be a boss or manager that’s going to help you by reminding you of a deadline or asking you to clean up your desk. These things may have always been your responsibility, but more so with a virtual office because you don’t have the help of others around you to drop you reminders.

However, of all the things that you do need to organize, the most critical one is your time. The virtual office lifestyle isn’t going to work if you can’t ensure that you don’t waste all your time on social media or procrastinating with “paper-pushing” tasks such as catching up on emails or on the latest in your industry. Yes, those things still need to get done, but make sure that you’re setting aside time to do that, instead of just going those things because you need to be “productive” or you need to feel like you’re working.

If You Don’t Have the Energy, Respond Appropriately

When our energy levels start to flag, many bad habits can kick in, such as reaching for a soda/energy drink. Not only are those solutions temporary, but they aren’t good for your health of for your overall productivity. It may seem like the most productive thing to do is to push through your low-energy levels to keep working and to get things done, but it’s not. You waste time doing because it will take you longer to do those same tasks, and you may make more mistakes.

Instead, do what you really need to to bring those energy levels up. If you need to take a quick break, then do so by going for a walk or playing a quick game on your phone. If you need a nap, then take a nap. If you need to eat some food, then have a meal or a snack. It’s okay to do these things, and one of the best aspects of the virtual office lifestyle is having the freedom to spend the time how you’d like to. Spend time getting your energy level back up, instead of draining yourself even more. You’ll feel better afterward and still manage to get more done.

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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 Sioux Falls Virtual Offices Help You to Find Better Candidates

Sioux Falls virtual officesYour company is only as good as the people you hire. What’s hiring got to do with virtual offices? Well, 60% of job candidates rank flexible work arrangements (which can be facilitated by virtual offices) as the top way to impact workplace engagement in a positive manner. In other words, job candidates, and probably your employees, like virtual office options and offering a flexible work option could be enough to get a job candidate to choose your open position over your competitor’s. Here’s how a Sioux Falls virtual office, or any virtual office, can help your company find better candidates for its open positions.

Virtual Offices are Great for Specialized Skillsets

Although many jobs can function with telecommuting, certain types of jobs and skillsets are better suited than others, and are the fastest growing when it comes to virtual office options. A 2011 survey from FlexJobs founds that the following three positions were the fastest-growing telecommuting positions:

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Engineering
  3. Research

Not everyone can work in graphic design or engineering as those fields take a lot of specialized education and training. Because of this, they can be very difficult positions to fill and it may take your company a while to find the right the right graphic designer or engineer. However, if you consider virtual offices and a telecommuting option, then you can not only find better candidates by offering the option but increase your chances of having a great candidate take your job offer. With specialized positions like these, great candidates are likely to receive multiple offers, and your offer gives this person the chance to work from home that might be enough incentive for them to take your offer.

Virtual Offices also Work in Traditional Industries and Categories

It’s a misconception that telecommuting and Sioux Falls virtual offices only work in the technology, social media, and ecommerce industries. According to that same 2011 survey from Flexjobs, the top with the most flexible jobs were:

  1. Medical & Health
  2. Education
  3. Sales
  4. Computer & IT
  5. Administrative

Even though computer & IT is a very tech-savvy industry, almost any company has sales and administrative positions while the medical and education industries are well-established and not going away anytime soon. The point is that virtual offices aren’t reserved for certain industries and they don’t only work for certain types of positions. If you or your organization has been avoiding virtual offices because you believed that they wouldn’t work for your industry, then you may have been losing candidates because they’ve been opting to apply and to work for those in your industry that do offer flexible work options.

Understand How a Virtual Employee is Different from One in the Office

Flexible work options are a great benefit to offer, but if you fail to find the right people to work in this environment, or if you don’t manage the work and the employee in the right way, then simply offering the benefit isn’t going to solve your problem of finding and keeping great candidates. They’ll leave within months of being hired, and you’ll be stuck with the same problems you might have had before offering telecommuting. With virtual offices, one thing that you need to evaluate in candidates (so that you hire the best one) is the ability to handle remote work. This means you need someone who is independent, self-motivated, conscientious, and comfortable working in social isolation; not just someone who has the right work experience or the appropriate degree. Successful hiring and recruiting takes time, and part of that times needs to be spent figuring out what it takes to last in a virtual position.

Overall, virtual offices aren’t a silver bullet to hiring and recruiting problems. But, if they fit with your company culture, with the positions you need to fill, and with the direction you want to take your organization, then considering virtual offices as part of your company and what you offer your employees may not be a bad idea.

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How Real Estate Agents Can Benefit from Fairfax Virtual Offices

Fairfax virtual officeVirtual offices are an obvious office space solution for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. But, they are also a viable office space for more established businesses, such as a real estate agency. Customers (and your employees) are more mobile and require more flexibility, and virtual offices can provide that without having to make a ton of changes. Here’s how Fairfax virtual offices, and other virtual offices around the country, can benefit real estate agents:

Increase Your Reach Throughout the City

Most real estate agents don’t work with properties in just one part of town. Properties are spread throughout the city, and having just one office can make it difficult (and costly) to meet clients and to travel across town to check on these properties. With a Fairfax virtual office (or several virtual offices, or a virtual office in the city in which your located), your agency can have one primary address while having other locations that are suitable for meeting clients and are closer to your properties than the main office. Those who can’t meet you at the main office have another option, while you and the agency can save time and money by reducing travel time.

Expand Without Having to Rent a Large Office Space

If your real estate agency is considering opening a second office, or even expanding into another city, then a virtual office is a great way to do that expansion for less. If the second office or the new market doesn’t work out, then you can get out much more easily because you would have invested less into the expansion. With a virtual office expansion, you also don’t have to pay for the rent and utilities of the new location (or you can opt for something smaller), reducing the cost of the expansion while also allowing employees to telecommute.

The Overhead is Ridiculous in the Traditional Solution

If you don’t have a Fairfax virtual office, then your realty is probably spending a bundle on rent and utilities. On top of that, you need to make sure that there’s enough for all your employees and that there’s a meeting space (or several) to meet with clients and to hold company-wide meetings. This means you have to spend money on chairs, cubicle dividers, computers, phones, and other office amenities, as well as replace all those office amenities over time. That’s a lot of work and money that a virtual office will take care if you choose to make the switch. When you do make the switch, that money could go towards training employees, upgrading technology, hiring more employees (and allowing them to work from home), or even marketing the business and its properties. After all, you are in the business of buying and selling properties, not the business of maintaining office spaces.

Keep Employees Happy (and Attract Better Employees)

The agents that work best in a virtual office or telecommuting setting are those that are self-motivated. Self-motivated employees are a great thing to have in your realty, and if virtual offices will attract those kinds of people while keeping your best employees around, then why not make the investment? Your realty is only as good as the agents you have, and it’s critical to invest in them with mobility, trust, and career development. Offering this type of flexibility means that you don’t have to lose productivity because life events get in the way, or because someone is sick. A virtual office allows these people to work when they have the time, or to work from home because they are sick.

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Why You Need a Top CEO Coach or Peer Group

CEO coachAs Chief Executive Officer, you are expected to know everything, to handle all situations with aplomb and assurance, to lead your company with the confidence that you can do it all, and probably run someone else’s company with the same success. This would include virtual offices, as Marissa Mayer had to handle in the early days of her leadership of Yahoo. To others, it seems like you have the superhuman power to do it all on your own, and you might think that you have to somehow do it all by yourself. However, even CEOs can use a little support and guidance, and that’s where a top CEO coach or a peer group can come in.

You don’t have to do it all on your own, and as a CEO you shouldn’t. If you did, then you’re running something more similar to a regime than a company. A CEO coach or peer group helps you to become your best self, and when you’re the best possible self, you can have the best possible company. Here are four reasons why you need a Top CEO coach and peer group to provide the support and guidance necessary to take you and your business to the next level.

A Good Coach/Peer Group Emphasizes You

As a CEO, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running the business, of making the important decisions and working to solve every crisis that comes up. This makes it difficult to worry about other aspects that affect your job performance, such as your health, your relationships, and your mentality. Sure, you can be professional at work and not let that fight with your spouse get to you, or excuse your poor diet and sleep schedule on the fact that you need to get work done and that you employees need you. That doesn’t mean a sour marriage won’t leak into the business, or that all that fast food won’t affect how your endurance and how your mind works. A good coach or a caring peer group can emphasize those aspects and their importance in running a company well.

Your Coach/Peer Group Doesn’t Work For You

Great! One less person you have to manage and to boss around, but that’s not the best thing about enlisting the help of someone outside your company. The best part about having the outside help of a CEO coach or peer group is that they can offer a fresh perspective on business decisions. Need advice on handling a troublesome employee? You can trust what your coach or peer group has to say, since they don’t know the person and don’t have a conflict of interest. Unsure about a current marketing campaign or on your overall business strategy? Your coach or peer group would not only have the expertise to answer your questions, but they also don’t have to worry about how the decision would impact them. For example,  a marketing manager may want more time on an unsuccessful campaign to prove that it worked because it was his/her idea, when your coach or peer group would not have such a vested interest in the campaign or the decision.

Your Coach/Peer Group Could Help Tackle New Challenges

The point of having a coach or a peer group is because you don’t know all the answers, so it’s helpful to have someone, or a group of people, to help you find those answers. Virtual offices and workers can fall into this category, as it is a phenomenon that’s only become popular in recent years. It’s not a problem that all 20-year veterans in leading companies can answer and handle correctly. However, any other CEO or executive can bring to the table that fresh perspective, knowledge and experiences that you don’t have. That knowledge, expertise, and confidence is vital when you need help taking on new challenges, in finding new solutions to old problems, or even in getting feedback in what you’re doing right and wrong. This feedback can not only help you and your company reach its goals, but can also make clear what you are/aren’t doing, or what you need/don’t need to be doing in order to run your company well and to be the best CEO possible.

Networking Opportunities

This applies more to the peer group than the coach, but both can offer additional networking opportunities. Peer groups often host events of their own, swap events that they’ve heard of, and share events that individual members are hosting themselves. Don’t forget that networking is much more than amassing contacts and hopefully getting a lead or two. It’s also about facilitating relationships that could even up vouching for you and your service down the road.

Overall, CEOs aren’t infallible. They are still regular human beings like their customer and employees, good people who from time to time need a little extra support and guidance. A CEO coach or peer group can do just that, and can probably provide much more than a friend or family member who doesn’t know what it’s like to run a company, or to work in your industry.

How to Build an Awesome Company Culture as CEO

virtual offices
Fill the rooms with an amazing company culture and work environment!

Whether your company has one virtual office, or is comprised of many virtual offices, When you’re the CEO, you are also a role model as well as a boss. How you spend your time at work, how you make decisions, how you treat your employees, and how you think about your business and business in general, affects company culture because your employees will notice and will emulate or react to your behavior.  If you’re known to be set in your ways and resistant to change, then your company culture could be one of doing things the way they have always been done. If you’re known to take your time with decisions and to consider all possibilities, then employees might take the time to present their perspective well and to consider all the possibilities too. You, as the CEO, means a lot, so here’s how you can build an awesome company culture at your firm:

Set Goals, Priorities, and Values

Without these three things, it’s hard to instill a vision with everyone in the company, to ensure that everyone there is working toward something and adds value by being there. Employees actually care about more than a paycheck and benefits. They want to know what their employer stands for, what their employer is trying to accomplish and they want to know that they are spending their time on something that is worthwhile. Imagine the kind of company culture you would have if everyone shared your vision for the company, and believed in not only what the company was trying to accomplish, but that the company could actually accomplish it and do something great.

Have Rituals to Support Those Goals, Priorities, and Values

When you ask someone from another country about their culture, you’ll hear about that person’s and country’s rituals i.e. how to behave in social situations, how to celebrate holidays, cuisine, language, beliefs etc. Your company culture should be the same way in that it should have rituals that reinforce the goals, priorities and values of the organization. If it’s a company value to be learning and improving all the time, then it should be a ritual to train employees regularly or trade shows and conferences should be evaluated for learning opportunities etc. It’s great to have those three things and to believe in them, but it’s also important to practice what you preach.

Work Environment Makes a Difference

Work environment can mean a lot of things, from the décor to the office space arrangement, from lunch hour to employee relationships. You want your employees to like who they work for, but you also want them to like where they work and who they work with. Anything and everything that can strengthen the latter two will positively enhance company culture.

The point is, make it possible for people to have fun at work, however that needs to be done. No, your employees don’t need to ride around on Razor scooters or need a tree house in the office. But, a fun non-work related event each week or a monthly activity where everyone has to participate can go a long way in building awesome and cohesive company culture.

Think about Who You Hire

People leave a position, or decline a job offer, for a variety of reasons. But, you don’t want to lose a perfectly good hire two weeks in because they simply don’t fit in with the rest of the company. Yet, many organizations fail to consider company culture when hiring and recruiting. For example, if its part of company culture to hang out after work regularly, will someone who can’t do that or doesn’t want to do that feel left out? When hiring, think about how they’ll fit in and what the person could bring to company culture. This is not only good for the company by reducing turnover and keeping talented people on staff, but it’s also good for the employee as he or she feels part of the team and willing to come to work. Also, bad hires hurt company culture by having a more difficult time getting along with everyone else.

Remember that Culture is Created by Default

Whether or not you made a specific effort to build an awesome company culture, remember that there is already company culture there to begin with. You won’t be starting with a blank slate. Therefore, when building an awesome company culture, it’s not necessarily about starting from scratch, but about setting a tone, being dedicated to living out a great company culture, and relaying that message. If you, as CEO, aren’t aware of what kind of culture your company has or aren’t aware on how you affect company culture, then it’s likely you’re just not part of it.

Why New Non-Profits Need a Washington DC Virtual Office

Washington DC virtual officesStarting a new non-profit isn’t any easier than starting a brand new business. Sure, the needs and the reasons for existence are different, but both still need to worry about keeping costs down while bringing in as much money as possible. Both need to position themselves as legitimate with something important to contribute to society. And just like a new business, a new non-profit can also benefit from a virtual office, especially one in Washington DC. After all, many non-profits and organizations are based in our nation’s capital just to be in close proximity to our elected officials. Here’s why new, or even established non-profits, need a virtual office in Washington DC (besides being close to Congress, of course).

Be More Legitimate on a Budget

When starting a new non-profit, one of your main obstacles is building awareness for your organization, your cause, and your solution to improving your cause. A major step toward overcoming that obstacle is a virtual office, where you can have a professional business address and a comfortable place to meet and do work. A professional business address looks better on promotional materials than a home address or a P.O Box, while providing the option to work somewhere that isn’t a coffee shop, or a home office, or a library. Also, if you need to meet with someone i.e. a possible donor or member of the board, then meeting with them in a virtual office instead of a coffee shop can make a difference in the first impression.

On top of that, a virtual offices costs significantly less than a traditional office, while providing all the tools you need to get your campaigns and efforts going. This is huge since budgets are small in the beginning, and you need to be spending every dollar toward your cause.

Have Two (Or More) Offices at Once

Washington DC virtual officeMost non-profits have something to do with legislation, whether it’s supporting current legislation, or helping to draft legislation, or lobbying representatives about legislation. This means that many non-profits need the presence in Washington DC, but may also have an office or headquarters elsewhere. A virtual office in Washington DC supports the legislative aspects of the non-profit without taking away from the other offices. Plus, a virtual office can also serve as a short-term home, in the case that your non-profit needs to be in the city for a particular session or to focus on a specific bill. It certainly beats the hotel business center, or having to scramble for space in and around the Capitol Building.

You Have the Option of a Virtual Receptionist

Another major obstacle for new non-profits is manpower. When you start, you might just be a few people with lots and lots to do. Any and all help you can get is great. This is another benefit of virtual offices: many providers have a receptionist or a virtual assistant on staff. This person can help with answering the phone, handling the mail, taking messages, receiving visitors, among other things. Although these tasks may seem small and may seem like something you could handle, consider that they could take away from bigger tasks, like planning an event or getting your website together. Since the virtual receptionist comes with the virtual office, sometimes this services comes with no (or a small) additional charge.

Are you a brand new non-profit, or an established one looking to reduce your overhead and spend more on your cause? If so, then we’d love to hear from you and whether or not a virtual office is great for you. Tell us about your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

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Cupertino Virtual Offices for the Night Owl

Cupertino virtual officeIt’s tough to be a night owl in today’s society. Society rewards the early bird, and nearly every business and government service is set up to benefit morning people with their hours of operation. Most people also think that night owls are immature, irresponsible, and just want to sleep and not do any work. Not only are those stereotypes not true, but new research from the University of Madrid found that those who burn the midnight oil possess a certain kind of intelligence that’s linked to higher incomes and more prestigious jobs.

Think what you want about night owls. The point is that being a night owl is difficult because you have fewer options for work and work spaces because most places aren’t that flexible. Yet, one option that is very flexible is the virtual office. Here’s how a Cupertino virtual office, or any virtual office, is perfect for the night owl:

Virtual Receptionist Services

It’s not that night owls are lazy or unprofessional. It’s just that they aren’t working and productive at 8 a.m., when everyone else is working and being productive (at least trying to be, anyway). This doesn’t mean that night owls have to miss out completely on the first few hours of a business day. With a virtual office, night owls can have a virtual receptionist or secretary to handle any calls or mail that comes through in the morning. When the night owl is awake and ready to go, the correspondence is there and no one would ever suspect that you were sleeping the whole time.

24/7 Access

Cupertino virtual officesThe stereotype about night owls is that they don’t do much at all, since they are sleeping when everyone else is working. This is true in the morning, but since night owls typically stay up until 3 or 4 a.m., they are working at night when everyone else is sleeping. So, in reality, night owls are getting as much done as the rest of us, and maybe even more so because they get the peace and quiet of the night. Most virtual offices have 24/7 access, so night owls aren’t stuck working at home or don’t have to feel obligated to work at a certain time because that’s when the building is open. A night owl can get to the office when everyone else is leaving, and be able to work in the office without distractions because most people have left.

It’s Cost-Effective

If you’re a night owl currently working an early bird job, then the hard part for you would be rearranging your schedule and getting the flexibility you really need. With the virtual office, you can argue for this flexibility by showing how cost-effective a virtual office option can be for your organization. With virtual offices and telecommuting, the company can save money on office space and on utilities. Productivity isn’t wasted with night owls dragging in the morning, parents leaving early to tend to their kids, or absenteeism in general. Virtual offices can allow for life to take place without interfering with the work that needs to get done. It allows night owls to work when they are most productive, parents to work when their kids are sleeping or at school, and the rest to work from home or to take care of life’s little surprises when they come up.

The best thing about Cupertino virtual offices, and all other virtual offices, is that they are a workspace option for a variety of lifestyles. The hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. aren’t as convenient or as necessary as they used to be. Virtual offices can fit any lifestyle while fitting the traditional business schedule too.

Related Links:

How a Virtual Office Improves Your Health

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How a Virtual Office Could Improve Your Parenting

How to Market Your Business in a San Diego Virtual Office

San Diego virtual officeA virtual office is a great option for those starting a business, expanding their business, or looking for a way to reduce costs for their business. However, even with all that change, you still need to market your business, you do need to market your business a little bit differently once it’s made the transition to the virtual office. Are you in that position? Are you perhaps thinking about a San Diego virtual office? If so, then here’s how to market your business in a San Diego virtual office:

Be Clear about the Virtual Office Part

As we explained to lawyers interested in a virtual office, it’s critical that when you’re marketing your business, you say that it’s located in a virtual office or a coworking space, or at least use a professional business address. This is simply for transparency purposes, where customers want to be sure that you are a legitimate business and that you aren’t trying to represent yourself as something you’re not. Lately, there have been cases of scammers and illegitimate businesses using virtual offices to make a few quick dollars. Even though that’s not you, you do want to take the time to make potential customer feel comfortable and to let them know that you are different. If a customer doesn’t like that your company is based in a virtual office or something similar, then you probably wouldn’t have wanted them as a customer in the first place.

Use Inbound Marketing Strategies

San Diego virtual officesIt’s actually not all that awesome if you’re in your San Diego virtual office, and you’re using 20th century marketing techniques like print advertising, direct mail, the Yellow Pages, and other outbound marketing tactics to promote your business. Not only are those tactics expensive and not very virtual, but they don’t work as well as they used to. Instead, your virtual office or virtual company should be using inbound marketing techniques, such as business blogging, search engine optimization, long-form content (white papers, case studies, eBooks), social media, and email marketing to promote your business and to attract customers. In later posts, we’ll specifically cover how to use these techniques to market your virtual company. In the meantime, make the switch from outbound to inbound, and a great way to do that is to add some fresh content to your website with business blogging.

Focus on Local

You picked a San Diego virtual office for a reason. Perhaps you wanted a location in San Diego or in California. Maybe you’re thinking about expanding to the west coast and San Diego may be a good choice for this expansion. Or, you could already have a lot of clients in the area, so having a virtual office here is a good fit. Whatever the case, you do want to market your business to the local market. This includes attending networking events and building a physical presence in the area by being in the same place as potential customers. This also includes looking into local publications, websites, and businesses and working with them for cross-promotion or supporting each other in some way. When you have a San Diego virtual office, it doesn’t just have to be an address and a phone number. Become part of the community by letting the local area know who you are and who your company is.

Of course, this isn’t the complete how-to of marketing your San Diego virtual office or your San Diego virtual company. We do hope that these tips help and that you get more out of your transition and your choice.

Related Links:

How Virtual Offices Impact the Business World

Why Entrepreneurs Need Virtual Offices in San Antonio

How Expensive are San Jose Virtual Offices?

How Virtual Offices Impact the Business World

virtual officesVirtual office solutions are a growing trend, and a growing need, in the business world. Companies are looking to cut costs where they can while maintaining a professional image. Entrepreneurs, startups, and incubators need office space and infrastructure on an as-needed basis. With the increase in technology, virtual office solutions are changing the business world. Here’s how virtual offices are making an impact on the business, and could make an impact on your business:

Benefits for the Environment

Virtual offices don’t have the same environmental footprint as traditional offices spaces, even though ‘going green’ isn’t typically a reason why someone wants a virtual office solution in the first place. Yet, virtual office users can reduce their use of gas, electricity, water etc., helping the environment and their pocketbooks at the same time. Virtual offices also help by reducing waste, since things are provided on an as-needed basis (i.e lights aren’t left on overnight, computers aren’t left running, you aren’t wasting so many paper cups etc.) By reducing costs through a virtual office, you can put pressure on your competitors to do the same by highlighting your green efforts and also by lowering your prices.

Ease in Expansion

There are virtual offices located all over the country and all over the world, making it easier and cheaper than ever to expand into a new country or market. Since virtual offices are served on an as-needed basis, it’s now possible for companies to test various markets before fully investing in the expansion. Also, virtual offices allow you to expand to cities and states that could have a lot of potential for your business, but may not necessarily be seen as a huge business community or a prime location for expansion. You aren’t restricted to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles because those are considered the places to have a headquarters and to do business.

In-House Secretaries Aren’t Needed

With a virtual office, you have no place to put a secretary. On top of that, many virtual office solutions have their own virtual receptionists as part of the service, so you don’t need to hire one or or to keep one on your own if you do choose a virtual office solution. Although this sounds horrible for many secretaries, the need for them isn’t disappearing. Virtual offices are simply changing where these secretaries are located and how they deliver their skills and services to their customers.

Ease in Starting/Building a Business

Not everyone can run their business from their home, or can afford a traditional office, even one for one or two people. However, not everyone wants to run their business from the library or coffee shop either. Virtual offices fill this need and make it easier than ever for businesses to start and to grow. It also offers businesses a choice in flexibility i.e. allowing telecommuting options or hiring someone that isn’t located in the same city, state, or country, which is much harder to do without a virtual office.

Virtual offices have made a huge impact on the business world, and they could make just as big of an impact on your business. Like it or not, virtual offices are here to stay because they work well with the technology that we have and with what people want out of their workplaces. Not everyone is using them yet, but virtual offices will become, if they haven’t already, a crucial part of doing business and in work in general.

Related Links:

3 Virtual Office Solution Benefits You Never Thought Of

Why Would I Need a Birmingham Virtual Office?

5 Virtual Office Myths We are Busting Right Now