Category Archives: Alternative Workplace Strategies

4 Ways To Reduce Unnecessary Small Business Costs | Davinci Virtual

4 Ways To Reduce Unnecessary Small Business Costs

Reducing unnecessary small business costs doesn’t have to be complicated. Often, cutting out unnecessary expenses can go a long way toward improving your bottom line. A variety of considerations, such as going paperless and utilizing virtual office spaces, to marketing online, can add up and make a huge difference. If you’re looking for ways to maximize profitability and efficiency by while reducing costs and overhead expenses, keep the following steps in mind.

1. Go Paperless

The cost of paper might seem minimal when compared to other expenses, but it can add up to a large sum over time. Going paperless is not as drastic of a change as it might seem to some business owners. In fact, you can perform your daily functions in virtually the same way—without the extra cost. Technology has come a long way over the last few decades, and competitive businesses are taking advantage of new tools and services to run more efficiently and effectively.

2. Explore Virtual Receptionist Services

Being a business owner is demanding, especially if you’re just starting out. Although you might be doing a great job at balancing everything on your own, it doesn’t always come across in the most professional manner to prospects and clients. By doing everything yourself, from answering phones to closing deals, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to missing out on the small details of business management. This is where virtual receptionist services can come in handy. Live receptionist services provide highly qualified receptionists that are capable of doing much more than simply answering the phone. These receptionists give specific and detailed information that clients or prospects need in order to have a positive experience with your company. Having someone that’s able to take care of calls professionally lets you focus on other important matters.

3. Utilize Virtual Office Space

Leasing a space can be a big expense. If you’re only holding meetings and conferences with clients and prospects once in a while, leasing a building with extra square footage is unnecessary. However, having a professional atmosphere is an absolute must to the profitability of your company. In situations like this, utilizing virtual office spaces is a great solution. You get all the benefits and perks of the space, without the overhead cost and maintenance. Reduce the unnecessary costs in your business and reserve your virtual office space today.

4. Start Marketing Your Business Online

Technology is taking over every aspect of our lives—and it’s no different when it comes to business. More and more businesses are opting to market online rather than outbound and direct marketing methods. In large part, online marketing is much cheaper. Print ads and direct mail pieces are expensive and don’t allow you to measure the clear results of your campaign. With online marketing, you’re able to track data directly to a prospect or client and can personalize your campaigns more effectively, all while saving money and improving your overall ROI.

Small businesses are becoming more and more common across the country. From one-person shops to a handful of employees, these businesses are able to compete with, and outperform, some of the most well known competitors in their industry. In order for smaller businesses to thrive, they need to be mindful of the bottom line as well as make smart decisions when it comes to spending. These four tips are essential to reducing unnecessary business costs and remaining profitable for years to come.

The Modern Entrepreneur: An Owner Who’s Mobile, Cost Effective & Visible | Davinci Virtual

The Modern Entrepreneur: An Owner Who’s Mobile, Cost Effective And Visible

Today’s entrepreneur has a much wider reach thanks to mobile solutions that give them the ability to do more with less. The bottom line?  These up-and-comers are competing with the big dogs like never before—and sometimes they even become big dogs, too.

But it all starts with using new and emerging technology to save money and increase market presence.

The Mobility MovementThe Modern Entrepreneur: An Owner Who’s Mobile, Cost Effective & Visible | Davinci Virtual

Armed with the ability to accomplish nearly every single business-related task by using a smartphone or tablet, today’s entrepreneur is nothing if not mobile. Technology is fueling this movement, thanks to cloud-sharing software, apps that enable real-time collaboration and GPS systems that allow you to virtually travel more efficiently with coworkers by signing into Facebook. And when small-business owners and entrepreneurs need work spaces, they can rent them for small one-time fees through virtual office services like Davinci Virtual.

Davinci Meeting and Conference Roomsgives mobile or home-operated businesses the option of renting meeting spaces with all the perks. You can reserve day offices, conference rooms or board rooms as you need them. Workspaces and meeting facilities are fully equipped with the latest technologies including video conferencing and Wi-Fi.

Doing More, Costing Less

For every entrepreneur, reducing overhead is central to the success of their business. Some work from home to save on large-scale rental costs while using mobile technology to work with employees and partners remotely.

But this can be time consuming. Getting everything done without things falling through the cracks is an around-the-clock job. Rather than hiring a full time assistant, consider contracting a virtual receptionist for a low monthly cost.

Live virtual receptionists can take care of administrative tasks, like answering phone calls, so entrepreneurs can concentrate on growing their client base. Davinci Virtual Receptionists are U.S.-based and industry trained to manage incoming calls, provide outbound services (lead generation, appointment scheduling, follow-up calls, surveys and market research, third-party verification services), scheduling, and conference-call assistance.  This way small businesses can save time and money without the need for a heavy-duty telephone infrastructure.

Setting Yourself Apart

To stay competitive, modern entrepreneurs understand that they need an effective marketing campaign that includes a killer website. They know how to access free advertising by promoting their services on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, among others. That way they have a rock-solid online presence that generates new business.

And they take advantage of tech-startup services that can help set them apart, like Shakr. Based in Seoul and San Francisco, Skakr helps modern entrepreneurs and small businesses create professional video advertisements. It’s easy and takes little time. By using video templates created by graphic designers who have worked on ad campaigns for major brands, Shakr produces first-rate results.

For a strong offline presence, consider a virtual office package. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions provide you with a business address, mail forwarding services, optional lobby directory listings, access to fully loaded meeting spaces and a wide variety of cutting-edge business services. You can use your address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and Internet directories.

Smart Choices

Even though there are more resources available to entrepreneurs than there were ten years ago, it’s still a challenging endeavor to own your own business. But by wisely using the resources afforded by technology, you can increase your reach, lower your overhead, and stand out from the crowd.

Let Davinci Virtual help give you the strongest presence possible. Learn more by speaking with a member of our expert team today.

Three Ways Technology Levels The Playing Field For Small Businesses

With over 23 million of them in the U.S. alone, small businesses have become big business. And technology is making them competitive with larger, more established companies.

Think about how different people work today as opposed to ten years ago. IT costs to set up a domain and server? Gone. Now you can use your smartphone to access your email, share documents, videoconference, access your calendar and much more. And with mobile and virtual solutions, small businesses can operate from anywhere in the world, professionally and efficiently.

Three Ways Technology Levels The Playing Field For Small Businesses | Davinci VirtualMobility Is A Game Changer

Next time you’re in public, look around you. Notice how many people are either using their handheld device or a tablet. Sure they could be texting a friend or playing Candy Crush, but many of them are working. Those handheld computers are allowing small business owners to not only work on the go, but do more and spend less—especially if they take advantage of the plethora of available business apps.

Take Quip. This collaboration tool enables users to draft and edit documents and share changes with employees, partners and clients. There is a chat option to notify work groups on mobile devices as projects change and evolve. The app also works with attachments, and allows you to create and work on documents–even when you’re offline.

Then there’s Yammer, a new social network for businesses that combines collaboration software with business applications. That way employees can collaborate across departments, locations and teams to share information and organize projects.

And while there are many GPS apps, a few of them stand out. It’s hard to beat Google Maps’ routing reliability, but Waze is fast becoming a close second. In addition to voice-activated navigation, the app allows other drivers to share real-time traffic and road information. And by logging into Facebook, people can coordinate their arrival times even as they are en route.

Virtual Solutions Redefine “Small”

Your headquarters may just be an office in your house, but your small business can now become a global operation—without adding much to your overhead—with virtual solutions. It’s pay-as-you-go technology on demand, without the long-term infrastructure investments that larger companies have to deal with.

A live virtual receptionist can take care of administrative tasks, like answering your phone calls, so you can concentrate on growing your client base.  Virtual Receptionists can be U.S.-based and industry trained to manage incoming calls, provide outbound services (lead generation, appointment scheduling, follow-up calls, surveys and market research, third-party verification services), scheduling, and conference-call assistance. This way small businesses can save time and money without the need for a heavy-duty telephone infrastructure.

Renting virtual offices, whether it’s a local space or an office in Asia, is a low-cost way of going global.  With over 950 business locations around the world, virtual office locations can provide business addresses, mail-forwarding services, lobby directory listings, access to fully loaded meeting spaces and a wide variety of cutting-edge business services (including Microsoft exchange products, corporate email and URL hosting). The business address can be used for business licensing or registration and for marketing on search engines and Internet directories.

Meeting and Conference Rooms gives mobile or home-operated businesses the option of a meeting room rental with all the perks. You can reserve day offices, conference rooms or board rooms as you need them. Most workspaces and meeting facilities are fully equipped with the latest technologies and business services, including video conferencing and Wi-Fi.

The Cloud Is Heaven For Small Business Owners

With no upfront costs, cloud computing allows companies to streamline their operations by storing data on remote Internet servers they can access from anywhere. By giving colleagues, clients and suppliers access to your cloud workspaces, you can collaborate in real time anywhere in the world. Work on presentations, proposals and other documents efficiently and effectively — no matter where each party is located.  And because you don’t own the software, there are no installation, maintenance or security costs.

Just Imagine…

If all this can be accomplished in less than a decade, what technological changes are next? Will today’s college freshmen scratch their heads 10 years from now when an older co-worker refers to a digital scanner? How many future college graduates will opt to start their own company because technology will make it that much easier? One thing is certain: Small businesses today are way more competitive with the big dogs than they used to be.

How has technology assisted you in leveling the playing field?

Alternative Workplace Strategies Gaining Ground

ATLANTA-Commercial real estate strategies are shifting. Alternative workplace strategies are the buzzwords moving forward. Telecommuting, virtual offices, workshifting, the mobile workforce. All of these elements are colliding in a perfect storm—and it’s changing the ways corporations use commercial real estate.

“Companies are focusing on two things: employee satisfaction, and productivity and teaming. They are increasingly looking at their office space to help them attract and retain the best talent,” Co-Star reports James B. King, principal of AREA Advisor, as saying.

King also pointed to salesforce.com as a futuristic company, calling it one of the most successful cloud-based computing firms today. He also used Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the world, and Google, one of the most innovative companies in the world, as examples.

“It’s all about empowering sales people to connect with customers digitally, but it wants its employees in the office at least two days a week, because it’s a new company and it’s still building its culture,” King says.

“Microsoft’s policy to get the best talent wherever they may be around the world. They have no problem with people working remotely, even teleworking from different countries. Google has a very different philosophy. It believes you never can tell when that next spark of genius will occur, that’s why they want you there with your colleagues in the Googleplex, even riding on their buses there and back.”

What is your company’s philosophy? Do you believe in flex time? Telecommuting from virtual offices? Working remotely from coworking facilities? Alternative workplace strategies come in all shapes and sizes. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions can help you tailor virtual office solutions for the specific needs of your entrepreneurial organization.

Top 10 Considerations for Alternative Workplace Strategies

CHICAGO-Alternative workplace strategies and virtual offices are gaining momentum in the down economy. But it’s not just the down economy driving AWS forward—it’s the changing face of the workforce. The world is global, mobile, virtual, and moves at lightning speed.

“The basic premise of AWS is using less real estate to support more performance,” writes Tom Mulhern, a strategic planner in Gensler’s Chicago office. “The people are happier because they spend more time being productive in places outside the office—client sites, home, coffee shops nearer to their homes—and less time commuting and polluting. When people do come into the office, they use their time to collaborate and build connections to each other and to the organization’s culture and brand.”

In Mulhern’s article, he outlines 10 important lessons his firm has learned from its experiences with alternative workplace strategies I’ve outlined them here. You can read a fuller account by visiting the original article. But here are his thoughts in summary:

  1. Decide which organization is going to lead the AWS charge, human resources, IT or real estate.
  2. Set concrete, clear ROI targets.
  3. Focus on gain rather than loss.
  4. Design for presence, not absence.
  5. Mobility is an acquired taste.
  6. Be flexible about flexibility.
  7. Get on the same page.
  8. Beware stereotypes.
  9. Link time and space.
  10. Count what really counts.

One element of an alternative workplace strategy is a virtual office. Davinci has plenty of virtual offices in Chicago (Gensler’s neighborhood) to choose from.

Celebrating Alternative Workplace Strategies on Labor Day

At Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, we like to honor companies that are offering alternative workplace strategies for employees. So what better to write about on Labor Day than a company that is offering flexible workplaces?

The Novo Group won the 2011 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for its use of flexibility as an effective workplace strategy to increase business and employee success. The award recognizes companies in the Chicago area.

“We value our employees and work hard to maintain a company culture of open communication, truth, respect and fairness,” Cindy Lu, president and CEO of recruitment firm The Novo Group. Novo offers alternative workplace strategies like work-from-home schedules, a condensed workweek, or creative approaches for childcare.

According to the Families and Work Institute (FWI), workplace flexibility—such as flextime, part-time work and compressed workweeks—has been demonstrated to help businesses remain competitive while benefiting employees as well. Virtual office space plays right into those strategies.

“Our research consistently finds that employees in effective and flexible workplaces have greater engagement on the job and greater desire to stay with their organization,” says Ellen Galinksy, president of FWI. “In addition, they report lower stress levels and better overall health.”

Lower stress levels, better overall health and greater engagement from tools like virtual offices? The research proves it. Of course, we’re not surprised. We are seeing these sorts of results every day from clients who rent our virtual office space in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and beyond. Now, the world is just taking more notice of the value-added benefits of virtual office space.

Flex Hour Telecommuting Jobs Meet the Virtual Office

I just read about a new initiative from FlexHourJobs.com—and I discovered some truly great news for telecommuters and part-time job seekers who want to work from a virtual office rather than battle the traffic everyday.

Check this out: This fall FlexHourJobs.com is focusing on helping seniors and parents find flexible job opportunities. FlexHourJobs.com launched about a year ago and is making a name for itself in the telecommuting, work-from-home market. The service is free for job seekers—and it’s idea for virtual office users who workshift.

Why is FlexHourJobs.com focusing on seniors and parents. Consider the statistics:  41 percent of Americans are living in poverty and 5.3 million kids are affected by foreclosure. What’s more, almost 25 percent of the total U.S. unemployed are over 50 years old, which is the highest number since the depression. And about 17 million middle class families are on Medicaid.

Here’s another troubling stat: Over 60 percent of college graduates are now women—and  most of them drop out of the workforce within five years of graduation in order to build a family. Add in the mix the recession and the demands of caregivers now to aging parents, and we have a society in desperate need of transformation toward a telecommuting workforce.

Flex jobs, telecommuting and virtual office space work together. So whether you are working from a virtual office and needed additional flex work to fill up your schedule, or you are telecommuting and need a virtual office to help you work more productively with a more professional image, you can see the connection.

Virtual offices are an affordable solution that can make the difference in you landing a flex job or telecommuting position or the job going to the next candidate. That’s because a virtual office gives you a prestigious business address that will smell of success to the HR director. A virtual office also gives you the option to get an 800 number and a virtual receptionist. The point is, it doesn’t cost much to make a good impression—and to keep making a good impression as you work more efficiently with virtual office communications.

Strategies Webinar Looks at Office Space Demand Shift

The big shift in office space demand has begun. That’s the premise behind a webinar from Deloitte & Touche that explores alternative workplace strategies.

Bob O’Brien, a partner at Deloitte & Touche, hosted the webinar, which offers new insights into what could be a permanent change in the real estate market for office space.

Deloitte points out that employers have been exploring alternative workplace strategies, which can have a dramatic impact on the demand for office space, for more than 20 years. The virtual office is part and parcel of this shift. Virtual offices allow mobile workers to stay tapped into the parent office no matter where they go without missing a beat.

Virtual offices have been a popular alternative to traditional office space for many years, but virtual office space gained major momentum during the Great Recession. Deloitte asked an important question: As the economy improves, will alternative workplace strategies continue to reshape real estate markets?

The webinar discusses:

•    Changing office space demands and the business factors behind the surge in alternative workplace strategies, including people strategies, changing space standards, economics, technology, and sustainability.

•    Types of properties that align with the new demands of alternative workplace strategies.

•    Possible implications for lessors and lessees, both near-term and in the future.

You can view the webinar archive here.

If you are considering an alternative workplace strategy, consult with Davinci Virtual Office Solutions to discuss the best approach for your business. We have a suite of virtual communication technologies and 850 virtual office locations and meeting rooms around the word.