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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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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5 Public Speaking & Presentation Skills for Chief Executive Officers

presentations virtual officeAs Chief Executive Officer, you are expected to be able to deliver a good speech and to present well in a public setting. This is also true with virtual offices, where meetings and presentations will have to be delivered over the Internet. Fortunately, public speaking is something that can be practiced and improved upon, so you can be confident that you won’t mess things up for the whole organization. Even though a presentation or webinar via teleconference isn’t quite the same as doing one in person, many of the same skills and techniques apply. Here are five public speaking and presentation skills that CEOs should have:

Keeping Gestures Practical (and to a Minimum)

When giving a speech or presentation, it is natural to gesticulate or to use our hands to illustrate our concepts. That’s not a bad thing, but gestures need to be controlled and need to emphasize the point you are making. To do this, it’s best to practice the gestures as you practice your speech. Practicing your gestures means that you know when to gesture, and what gesture to make to emphasize your point, but also means that you know what to do with your hands when you aren’t gesturing. This also ensures the middle ground of gesturing at the right moments without them detracting from what you are saying. It should also be noted that the opposite shouldn’t be done either. Keeping your hands to your side the whole time, or putting them into your pockets (which is worse), only makes you look stiff and unprofessional as a speaker.

No Nervous Ticks!

Everyone gets nervous when they are speaking in public or giving a presentation, but it’s a skill to eliminate those ticks and to not let them get in the way of what you are presenting. Nervous ticks can mean a variety of things, from vocal pauses to tapping the podium, from clicking a pen to shuffling your body or touching your face/hair. It’s okay to be nervous, but you don’t want to be obvious about your nervousness with the audience. When practicing your speech, be mindful of these ticks and make an effort to stop doing them.

Thinking on Your Feet

As a CEO and a respected person in your field or industry, you’ll probably have to answer questions throughout or after your presentation. Although you can take some time to prepare for obvious questions, you do need to be able to think on your feet to answer the unusual or the tough questions. You don’t want to look unintelligent or unprepared when answering a question. Being able to think on your feet will also help you in the rare case that you forget a line or a point in your presentation. Instead of wasting time looking foolish and fishing for words, you can keep right on going without anyone in the audience noticing you made a mistake.

Own the Material

If you’re giving a long speech or presentation, then asking yourself to memorize the entire thing word-for-word is a lot to ask. However, you don’t want to spend the entire time reading off slides, note cards, or pieces of paper. Find the middle ground by owning the material. Know what you are doing to talk about during the speech i.e. the arguments you’re making, the examples, relevant statistics, points of emphasis etc. By owning the material, you’ll appear prepared and polished without losing the audience. By owning the material, you’ll also be able to look extemporaneous and be in the moment to deliver a great speech or presentation.

If you’re going to memorize anything word-for-word, it should be the introduction and the conclusion. Those two parts of the speech are crucial in building audience connection, so it’s the two times during the speech that you want to look audience members in the eye and deliver the message to them personally.

Be Yourself

You want to connect with your audience, and the best way to do that is to be yourself. This is even more critical in a virtual setting, where the audience may only be able to hear you and not see you. There’s no one way you have to appear or to communicate when you give a speech or presentation as a CEO. If you like to entertain people, then include a joke or two. If you’re not a showy person, then you don’t have crack jokes and be over-the-top during your speech. The point of the speech or a presentation is to communicate the ideas that need to be communicated in that event, whether it’s a toast or a sales pitch or a thank you speech. Think about that idea and think about communicating the idea the best you can, rather than who you think you need to be on stage or who you think your audience expects you to be.

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.

How to Remain Legitimate in a Scottsdale Virtual Office

Scottsdale virtual officesOne of the benefits of a virtual office is that is can provide you or your business with a professional address, something that looks more legitimate than a home address or a P.O box. However, this benefit is something that fraudsters have picked up on, who are now using virtual offices as a way to appear more legitimate and to scam people.

This hurts those of us who are using Scottsdale virtual offices as a way to build a legitimate business, putting us in a position where we could look less legitimate if we use a virtual office. How do you maintain a solid, professional image without having to change your address? Here a few good tips to consider:

Smaller Cities like Scottsdale are Less Susceptible

In a mail fraud and money laundering scheme caught several months ago, the scammers used virtual offices in Seattle, Houston, Las Vegas, and Chicago to run their operation. Notice they used big cities, not smaller cities like Scottsdale, Spokane, or Reno. Part of the reason scammers like the big cities is that the addresses are more recognizable, like Las Vegas Boulevard or Chicago’s Sears Tower. However, the smaller cities are just as recognizable without having those famous locations that attract those who want to feign legitimacy. To remain legitimate and to avoid complaints of being a part of these schemes, then consider virtual office options in cities like Scottsdale.

Use Your Space from Time to Time

The Better Business Bureau suggested the following to consumers who want to find out whether a business is located at their advertised address:

a quick online search of the address may provide evidence that the company is using a virtual office space
This advises assumes that everyone using a virtual offices only wants the address and the mail forwarding services, when a virtual office can provide much more than that. A virtual office can also have virtual receptionist services, conference room rentals, and even actual offices that you can use to work in for a few hours. Some virtual offices may even advertise their clients and members. To get past the online search portion, utilizing these services can help a great deal, as it shows that you have a second business vouching for your presence and your legitimacy. It also helps if you provide additional contact information, such as a phone number and an email, so it’s easier for a skeptic to contact you and to ask questions.

Be Open about Your Use of a Virtual Office

What makes the use of a virtual office for these fraud operations is that these people claim to be more that they are, or bigger that they are. For example, they only use the mail forwarding service of a virtual office, but will claim to have an entire floor or to operate more of that office than is possible, such as a call center. Even though a virtual office could be used against you, if you are open about the fact that you have a virtual office and will primarily work from home or are only there twice a week, it’s harder for someone to say that you’re lying or are trying to cover something up. Also, the additional services offered by virtual offices allow you to invite people to see your space, to rent a conference room or to use the printing, for example. Seeing is believing, especially with something virtual.
Don’t let these fraudsters and scammers scare you away from having a virtual office! Don’t let them ruin things for everyone else, who are using virtual offices legitimately. It’s a matter of representing yourself properly and getting the most out of the opportunity a virtual office presents for your business.

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Why Stamford Virtual Offices and Virtual Receptionists Go Together

Stamford virtual officeMany virtual offices also offer, or even include, virtual receptionist services along with the typical options of mail forwarding, a professional business address, and conference rooms. And, why not? Most other office or workspace arrangements often have a secretary or a receptionist of some sort. Although you might think you don’t need a virtual receptionist, if you are considering a Stamford virtual office, then a live receptionist is complimentary to such a work arrangement. Here’s why Stamford virtual offices and virtual assistants are a great combination:

No One Knows Either if Virtual

The word virtual in “virtual office” might imply that you’re not working when you’re supposed to, or that this office doesn’t even exists, or something that can’t be as good as a home office or a traditional office. This is where a live receptionist can make all the difference. No one would ever think that a live person answering the phone would be a virtual or outsourced solution, something that might not be in the same location as that virtual office. It looks like you’ve hired a new employee, or have someone helping you to get your work done and to run your business. A virtual office helps you, or your company, be more professional and legitimate, and a live receptionist can do the same thing.

Devote More Time to Your Work or Business

Stamford virtual officesA virtual receptionist will enable you to get more out of your virtual office by handling several crucial, but time-consuming, activities. These include scheduling appointments, answer frequently asked questions, and handling telemarketers and other unwanted calls. This leaves you more time to work with customers, to plan your marketing campaigns, to keep the books, and other activities vital to the business. Outsourcing those little things might not seem like a lot of time, and it might not seem like those things even get in the way. But more time toward your business, even if it’s just an extra 30 minutes to an hour a week, can make a huge difference. The great thing about a virtual receptionist is that s/he can be in the business of answering the phone, especially if that’s not the business you’re in.

You Don’t Ever Have to Miss a Call

With a live receptionist, you’ll always have someone there to answer the phone. No more will your cell go off during a meeting, or interrupt you in the middle of a task or big project. No more will calls have to go directly to voice mail, or will have to take a call after you’ve called it a day. A live receptionist can be a 24/7 service, if you want, and that means that there will always be an actual person answering the phone. This way, you don’t have those awkward moments of your cell phone going off, or having to take a call while driving or walking down a busy street. Have the receptionist say you’re not available, take a message, and have it ready for you when you are in a better place (and mindset) to talk.

Not everyone opts for a virtual office for the virtual receptionist services. In fact, you can opt for the virtual receptionist while have a traditional brick-and-mortar of your own. However, these two things can work well together to clean up your business operations and to make things smoother and more efficient. Consider a virtual receptionist with your virtual office. An extra person, in a sense here, can augment your company in so many ways.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Why Would I Need a Birmingham Virtual Office?

birmingham virtual officeThe great thing about virtual offices is that you can get one just about anywhere, not just in large urban areas. Even smaller cities and towns, such as Birmingham, Alabama, offer virtual office options that are just as robust as what you can get in any large city or famous downtown area. All Birmingham virtual offices include mail services, use of the address on your business cards and stationary, a listing in the lobby directory, and a bright friendly receptionist to answer your business telephone line. Not enough for you? Here’s why you need a Birmingham virtual office:

Give Your Business a Physical Location… Somewhere Different

Everyone wants their business to have locations in big cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Atlanta etc. That’s great, and there are benefits to that. But, why not do something different to stand out a little bit, or to add to the economy somewhere that needs it much more than these big places? A Birmingham virtual office can do just that, and there’s nothing wrong with the city. Instead of following what others have done, leave a trail by building something someplace where others might choose to pass.

There’s Great Talent in the Heart of Dixie

Let’s say that you’re hiring, and a very qualified candidate currently lives in Birmingham. However, can’t pay for relocation costs and you really need to hire someone good as soon as possible. Instead passing on the candidate and wasting more time and money finding someone, allow the person to telecommute and set them up with a Birmingham virtual office. You retain this very qualified candidate without having to worry about setting up a desk at the office or waiting three weeks as the person moves across the country. Also, you now have an excuse to go to Alabama and perhaps accrue new business in the Southeast.

Birmingham is a Great City for Expansion

If you are currently a business in Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Florida, then expanding your business to California or setting up your next location in New York or the Midwest may be too much. That’s too far for some businesses and target markets, while others may not want to expand so far away when managing remotely or expanding the company for the first time. If this sounds like your company, then considering taking a small step forward with a Birmingham virtual office. It’s the largest city in Alabama and even this small step can do a lot to help more clients and customers, or perhaps be a little more convenient for them. Also, a Birmingham virtual office is much cheaper than setting up farther away or in a larger city.

It’s Not as Small as You Think

Birmingham isn’t the biggest city in the United States, but that doesn’t mean nothings happening and that it’s not a worthwhile place for business. Dubbed the “Pittsburgh of the South”, Birmingham has a strong steel industry and is the home to two major banks and several large insurance companies. The city is also considered one of the best places to work and to earn a living, and the second best place in the nation for building your personal net worth. It sounds like a city that’s meant to build businesses and to have virtual offices.

If you’re not convinced to have a Birmingham virtual office, then we’re not sure if there’s more we can say or do. Perhaps you are set in having your virtual office in another city, or perhaps Alabama is too far away for your company that based in California or Massachusetts. However, if the time comes, don’t forget about Birmingham and the possibility of setting up a virtual office here!