Solopreneurs and small businesses are learning that permanent office space is no longer a requisite. They can use virtual address solutions to secure professional locations, for both their headquarters office as well as regional offices, that convey the right brand image.
When they need day offices, coworking spaces, and conference rooms, solopreneurs and small businesses can simply use temporary rented space. Though other use cases could be cited, the following are the more prevalent:
Working in an office setting affords solopreneurs and small business professionals with a chance to interact with other like-minded solopreneurs and small business professionals. This stimulates collaborative thinking and helps users to focus their attention on work-related tasks. Coworking spaces are great fits in these scenarios, though day offices can be the right choice in some cases. They also come with other services such as dog walking, on-site message therapists, upscale lounges, and other perks.
As we head into 2018, there is much cause for optimism. Stock markets are up, and economic indicators are all trending upwards. How you motivate and engage with your employees and customers plays a critical role in the success of a company.
Employee engagement remains a problem for most businesses. Gallup reports that only one-third of workers in the U.S. are engaged. The result is high turnover and diminished productivity. For businesses with engaged employees, they see better business outcomes—from better customer service, to happier customers, to better profit margins.
Much has been written on the subject of customer engagement in recent years. Unless customers are highly engaged and advocates of your company, products, or services, they could be here today and gone tomorrow. And you want to retain your customers; as reported in the Harvard Business Review, it is between 5x and 25x more difficult to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Read more...
These on-demand, third-party services give small companies the ability to lower costs, drive efficiencies, build customer engagement and revenue. They can look and act like much larger organizations. There are numerous use cases when it comes to virtual services. For small businesses seeking ways to leverage virtual services, the following are some of the most compelling ones:
1. Virtual Addresses
Before the rise of virtual addresses, professional addresses were out of sight in terms of cost and simply a long-term dream entrepreneurs put on their list of targets. The same can be said of professional office and meeting space. Small businesses were relegated to permanent office space in subpar locations that made them cringe when clients and partners came to visit.
Virtual office solutions like Davinci Virtual Offices allow small businesses to secure professional addresses in highly desirable locations. And it doesn’t stop with headquarter addresses. Small businesses can seamlessly expand into new locations by leveraging virtual addresses. Read more...
In the “2017 State of Workspace and Communications Services” report TIRO Communications jointly published with Davinci Virtual at the beginning of the year, we noted that technology has disrupted how customers want to communicate with businesses. It does not matter if the business is a global enterprise or a small business; Customers have the same expectations in terms of engagement—in terms of both sales and service. They want to anywhere, anytime, and on any device. They also want multiple engagement options. Offering them a phone number to call isn’t enough.
When it comes to customers on your website, simply offering them static content no longer is sufficient. They expect to have personalized experiences served up to them; product recommendations and content based on their identity and browsing behavior. They also expect to have multiple engagement options—live web chat, email, phone, text, online knowledgebase, and social media. Read more...
Well-planned and executed offsite meetings deliver tangible returns. The meetings foster ideation and collaboration, produce cohesion around short-and long-term strategies, solve big, complex problems, and align executives that simply don’t happen during day-to-day interactions between staff. But the flip side is also true. With over two-thirds of business meetings categorized as failures by executives, the amount of time and budget squandered on offsite meetings is huge.
So, what are some things that business leaders can do to ensure that their meetings are a success?
1. Consensus on Meeting Objectives
Preparation should begin 60 or 90 days beforehand. Much of what happens before an offsite meeting dictates its success—or lack thereof. Organizations that wait to the last minute almost guarantee that their offsite meetings fail to deliver the returns they desire. And we’re talking about more than setting an agenda, scheduling travel and hotels, and ordering catering. It starts by establishing meeting objectives and gaining consensus on them as well as the agenda. Read more...
Training sessions with your team play a pivotal role in keeping your business on track. Whether one-off sessions focused on specific topics or reoccurring sessions used to keep your team up to date, team training gives you a chance to assess past initiatives, address future goals, fill gaps in skill sets, ensure compliance with industry and labor regulations, and to adjust your business’ direction.
When it comes to the venue for these sessions, offsite training rooms are something many organizations should consider. The following are six reasons why offsite is better than hosting the meetings onsite.
Team Focus in a Training Room.
Training sessions require a lot of focus and quite often involve significant interactions and collaboration. Participants need to roll up their sleeves and drill down into the minute details of business objectives or topics. Hosting these sessions in your place of business can be distracting, with interruptions from other team members or partners or customers who come into the office getting the meeting off track very easily. Offsite meeting rooms give your team the chance to get away from the office and focus on training sessions. Read more...
The workforce is evolving quickly and becoming increasingly more mobile—for both big and small companies. Technological advances enable employees to access company information and to do their jobs from virtually anywhere. One outcome is that workplaces and work spaces are being remade, with some companies getting rid of permanent work space altogether and electing to use co working space, day offices, and rented conference rooms.
The forecast is that this work space evolution will continue. IDC predicts that the U.S. mobile workforce population will grow to over 105 million workers by 2020, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the total workforce. Mobile work takes different forms and occurs from different places.
Some mobile work is done from home offices, while other work is done from rented meeting space and day offices. In these cases, workers access the Internet through private Wi-Fi that is gated and reduces the possibilities of security hacking. But other mobile work is done from coffee shops, public transport, libraries, and other places where public Wi-Fi access is the norm. Growing numbers of cities even offer free Wi-Fi access in downtown areas and other locations. Read more...
Many small businesses, particularly sole proprietors with service businesses, do not have a professional business address but instead use their home address. However, there are some downsides and potential legal issues when doing so. Intuit spells out some of the more prevalent ones in a QuickBooks posting:
Lease and HOA Rules.
Apartment and condo complexes restrict the ability for residents to run a business out of their home (or in this case apartment or condo). Check your lease and home owners’ association (HOA) rules to confirm if there are any restrictions.
Local municipality codes (zoning regulations) in some cities may restrict or prohibit home owners from running a commercial operation out of their homes.
LLCs and corporations may negate the benefits they received by forming a limited liability company or corporation. Those protections only apply if business and personal activities are kept separate. If the courts deem the two are intertwined, then you could be personally liable for business debts and obligations.
Presentation options for businesses and solopreneurs are no longer restricted to Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Docs. And for Mac users wed to non-Microsoft tools, they also have expanded to choices beyond Apple Keynote. Alternatives like Prezi and Emaze provide users with new, innovative ways to tackle presentations.
PowerPoint—and the various alternatives—serve much broader functions than just sales and marketing presentations. As a result, there are myriad ways for which businesses can use presentation solutions. Possibilities include: Read more...
External Business Presentations. Common business scenarios such as sales, analyst briefings, webinars, seminars, briefings, and investor pitches.
Trade Show and Conference Presentations. Conference track and keynote presentations at events and conferences.
Internal Business Presentations. Training, reports on research, activity updates, and internal pitches.
Project management, status reporting, and spreadsheet reports.
Non-Presentations. There are many use cases here such as online photo and image albums, simple brochures or flyers, and even animations.
It’s easy for a small business to become overwhelmed with blocking-and-tackling tactics and unable to focus on strategic initiatives. The to-do list is almost endless and can become paralyzing. A recent survey finds the average worker spends less than half their time on their primary job function. The rest of the time is spent on meetings, administrative work, answering calls, and other tasks.
This creates immense pressure on small business leaders who are under pressure to perform, and time is one of the biggest challenges. A study conducted by Sage found that almost half work 40 to 60 hours per week, with 16 percent working more than 60.
The impact of having a “cluttered” professional life also impacts the personal lives of small business leaders. A recent survey by Simply Business reveals: Read more...