Category Archives: Virtual Assistants

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.

Working From Home? Seven Reasons You Need A Professional Business Address

Working From Home? Seven Reasons You Need A Professional Business Address

The variety of today’s small businesses runs the gamut—from tech start-ups, to gardening services to law practices. And while each type of small business has different needs, they share some of the same concerns. Dealing with distractions—the dog barking next door, the doorbell ringing and family demands (they do know you’re working, right?)—can be challenging. Certainly every small business needs to be taken as a serious competitor in their respective markets to succeed.

Have you considered what a virtual, professional business address could do for you? Imagine an office that allows you to work from home but gives you more options for client meetings other than gathering around your kitchen table. There are countless additional perks that a virtual office brings, and we’ve compiled seven ways you could benefit from a professional business address from Davinci Virtual Office Solutions.

1. Receive Deliveries And Messages

A professional business address gives you the option to have your clients and partners deliver items to a professional office rather than your home. You can then pick them up personally or have them forwarded on a scheduled basis wherever you want. Clients also have the option to leave messages for you which will instantly be forwarded to you.

2. Market Your Business

Do you need another cost-effective way to get your business name out there? You can use your virtual professional address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and Internet directories.

3. Gain A Physical Presence

A Davinci Virtual office gives you the credibility and image of a well-known business location.  At many of our virtual office locations your company name will be added to the lobby directory. And, over time, with a virtual, professional address your business will develop a presence in the community.

 4. Expand Options For Where You Work

Working from home, in the same space, can get monotonous. Mix it up by renting a fully equipped office at your business address. Use the Davinci online reservation platform to browse rates and features. Whenever needed, you can reserve your workspace by the hour, day or week – instantly – online.

5. Provide A Personal And Professional Touch

Your clients will be treated as though you worked at your professional business address every day. When they arrive for meetings or just to drop off a package for you, Davinci Virtual Office locations offer a lobby greeter who will welcome your clients to the office and provide them with assistance.

6. Get Meeting Spaces With Cutting-Edge business Services

Do you have a big meeting coming up? Rent a state-of-the art conference room at your professional business address. Meeting rooms are fully loaded with LCD projectors, network connections, computer access, TV/DVD players, video conferencing and catering.

If you have need to conduct meetings in multiple locations, Davinci gives you access to over 3,000 meeting rooms around the world. This allows you to collaborate with prospects and clients in an environment that is designed to project professionalism. You can reserve a meeting space by the hour or by the day in every major city throughout the world.

7. Give Them An Expert Communication Experience

A Davinci Virtual Receptionist can answer your phone calls, take messages, make outbound calls—even engage in lead generation. Combined with a lobby greeter at your physical address, your business will offer a very high level of communication to your clients. 

It’s More Than An Address

When you partner with Davinci Virtual Office Solutions to gain a virtual, professional business address you’ll be gaining more than digits and a name. At a very cost-effective rate, you’ll have the tools to project the right image, close deals and expand your business.

Get more small business tips by following Davinci Virtual Offices on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

 

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?

Seven Challenges Of Owning A Small Firm Or Solo Practice

 

Seven Challenges Of Owning A Small Firm Or Solo Practice | Davinci VirtualRunning your own small firm or solo law practice isn’t easy. You must constantly increase your client base, work to stay current with practices in your area and learn marketing skills — all in addition to running a business. It’s time-consuming and uncertain. But there are plenty of positives, too—like being your own boss. Fortunately, resources are available to help you meet these top seven challenges.

1. Modest Salaries

Especially in the beginning, small firms offer smaller salaries than larger firms. But the almighty dollar isn’t the driving force for many attorneys. Just like in other professions, some people put themselves through school, incur large student loans and work long hours because they love what they do and enjoy helping people. Keep this in mind when you’re working long hours to build your business.

2. No Experience Running A Business

Running a small business in and of itself is a challenge. Understanding everything it will entail before you take the plunge will be immensely helpful. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers resources to help you create a business plan and apply for loans. 

3. Limited Resources

With little or no support staff, lawyers may need to file court papers or perform other non-billable tasks themselves.And with fewer available resources, small firms often assume roles outside their traditional job description. But there are outsourcing options available to help you mitigate costs and save time while growing your client base.

Davinci Virtual Receptionists allow you to deliver high-quality service at a small cost so you can better connect with clients and meet their needs. Each of Davinci’s office receptionists is well educated, U.S.-based and specifically trained on your business and all of your specific needs. Here are just some of the benefits they can offer:

  • manage incoming calls
  • provide outbound services (lead generation, appointment scheduling, follow-up calls, surveys and market research, third-party verification services)
  • scheduling
  • conference-call assistance.

4. Modest Office Space

Small firms may contain fewer amenities than those of large corporations and law firms. In addition, the office may be located outside high-rent areas, further from the city and the courthouse and, often, operated from home. Virtual office solutions give you low-cost resources to help.

Davinci is the number-one provider of virtual office solutions with over 950 business locations around the world. Davinci virtual office locations provide you with a killer business address, mail-forwarding services, optional lobby directory listings, access to fully loaded meeting spaces and a wide variety of cutting-edge business services. Use your address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and Internet directories.

5. Exposure To Market Fluctuations

Small law firm stability and revenue may rest on a few clients; the loss of a major one could affect the future of your business. That’s why expanding your client base is so crucial and networking and advertising are musts. Contact other attorneys you know and ask them to refer you and add you to their LinkedIn account—and any other professional social-media outlet. Create a professional website (there are low-cost options available like Web.com and GoDaddy) and take out ads in local publications.  Your legal association can connect you with listservs as well.

6. Less Prestige

Small law firms typically lack the name recognition of the mega-firms. Set yourself apart from the small firms by touting your wins. Ask clients to spread the good word either verbally or ask them to post a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile and include your wins in advertisements.

7.  Local Perspective

Small law firms generally have a local client base and lack the multi-jurisdictional presence of larger firms, thus limiting the types of legal work they can do and the types of clients they serve. Take the opportunity to research how you can expand your jurisdiction in other states and internationally. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions offers services to help gain a larger client base in far-flung regions.

Michael Labertew, owner of Labertew & Associates, LLC, has used Davinci Meeting and Conference Rooms to expand his small business. “As an attorney with a focus in international business, the majority of my clients are out of state and out of the country. Davinci’s virtual office allows me to service these clients from anywhere in the world, while maintaining a presence in Utah. Their staff’s professionalism, as well as their A+ prime office facilities and locations allow me the flexibility I need without sacrificing quality,” he says.

Stand The Test Of Time

By using all the resources available, your small or solo practice can enjoy a long and lucrative life. And when a judge rules in your favor, a client thanks you for finding a contract clause that results in a win, or when the legal advice you offered to a client months ago helped them in very significant ways, you’ll enjoy knowing you did it all on your own…

Learn more about how Davinci virtual office spaces and virtual receptionists can help your law firm succeed by speaking with a member of our expert team today.

Virtual Offices Make Doing Business in Austin Affordable!

DVO_week13_1I had an acquaintance who moved to Austin thinking he would spend less on living and business costs than he was in L.A. He’d crunched all the numbers and everything seemed cool. But after a few years, Austin started to become a boom town and guess what? The prices boomed too!

That was good for possibly turning over his home – except that the market kind of tanked. His lease ended and he couldn’t find anywhere to cost effectively run his business.

 

But he still had clients there and really needed to make it work. Just about the time he was considering pulling out entirely – he found out about virtual offices. For around $75 a month, he got an even better address than the one he had.  His clients still have access to him whenever they need to. For those times, he rents a space for around $35 an hour.

He’s also saving a ton on other expenses. Like utilities that used to cost a fortune. They still do, but he doesn’t have to pay them! They’re included in the rent for his virtual office.

The services are better than what he had before, too. He has access to a live receptionist who will take his messages and forward his calls. Before, he paid a secretary who worked a strict 9-5 and took an hour for lunch. Now, those times and more are always covered by a live person.

Since his clients get better service, it has only served to strengthen his relationships with all his customers. So he gets more business! And the referrals have gone through the roof, too. Turns out, the virtual office where he takes meetings has been a great place to meet other business people. So his networking connections have done a lot to boost his business.

The other surprising thing for him has been how his street address has helped with online marketing efforts. Local marketing is all the rage these days, so the fact that his virtual office comes up in search engine results makes it even better!

Former CEO Tells Virtual Assistant Success Story

LOS ANGELES-Have you ever used a virtual assistant? Have you ever spoken with anyone who has? Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, shared his experience using a virtual assistant and offers some interesting insights into the issue.

“I left my role as CEO of Thomas Nelson in April 2011. I thought I could get by without an assistant,” Hyatt says. “Boy, was I wrong. As a result of greater focus on writing, my blog traffic spiked and my comment load doubled. I started getting more email. I had to book my own travel. I soon felt overwhelmed.”

As his story goes, Hyatt looked to hire a part-time assistant. But then he ran into common challenges that go with working from a virtual office: Where would you put the part-timer? Would you have to supply her with a computer and other office equipment? Would you have to keep up with payroll taxes and various other government-required paperwork?

That’s when Hyatt got a bright idea: hire a virtual assistant. His virtual assistant screens his e-mail, books his travel, makes calls on his behalf, managers his calendar, and handles other projects that come up. She can essentially do anything that doesn’t require her physical presence in his virtual office to accomplish.

“I started using her for five hours a week and quickly went to fifteen. I found that I was so much more productive that it was well-worth the additional investment,” Hyatt says. “Tricia has now become such a partner in my business that I no longer even think of her as virtual. She’s just one of my teammates—and a very valuable one at that.”

What about you? Have you ever used a virtual assistant? Have you even explored the idea? Virtual assistants can save you time and money. You don’t have to set aside office space for virtual assistants. You don’t have to buy office equipment for virtual assistants. And you don’t have to fill out payroll taxes for virtual assistants.

So what are you waiting for? Looking into a Davinci Virtual Office Solutions virtual assistant today. You’ll have more time to work on the revenue-generating aspects of your business without the overwhelm.

Realtors: Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant?

LOS ANGELES—Keller Williams is one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the United States. So when I saw a blog post on the KW Blog entitled, “Should you hire a virtual assistant?” I was intrigued about the possibilities of virtual assistants for real estate agents.

Keller Williams asked Mike Incorvaia, Jr. about his experience with a virtual assistant. His team discovered virtual assistants two years ago and Incorvaia said it was an “aha moment” for his team.

As his story goes, his office started out working with a virtual assistant for 10 to 15 hours, then transitioned to 25 hours with their virtual assistant. Now, the team is moving up to 30 to 40 hours a week with the virtual assistant.

“Our virtual assistant services run the gamut. She writes SEO-optimized blog posts on real estate which includes local events that have given us first-page positioning on Google. She created an amazing listing presentation for our iPads, posts on Craigslist through eEdge with Market Leader Professional Edition, has made fantastic updates on our WordPress site and generates most of our fliers, as well as promotional and marketing materials,” Incorvaia says. “We were excited when we found out that she could create custom designed backdrops for our Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages. She also handles database entry and management.”

Incorvaia says his team communicates with the virtual assistant via Skype and uses a Dropbox account to share files. In terms of accountability, the team has a weekly meeting with the virtual assistant—who has never missed a deadline or failed to complete a project to their satisfaction.

Incorvaia’s advice to realtors: Get a virtual assistant you have the means to!

“Have a plan laid out that incorporates your vision, your long-term strategy, and the results you seek to gain with her help,” he says. “If you merely tell them what to do day-by-day, they will run out of tasks.”

Could You Use a Virtual Assistant?

LOS ANGELES—Could you use a virtual assistant? That’s the question in a headline from the Wall Street Journal way back in 2010. You see, although virtual assistants have become quite the buzz in the past year, virtual assistants are nothing new to the entrepreneurial—or corporate—scenes.

“Between work, chores, an almost-two-year old and another baby on the way, my to-do list seems to be growing rapidly,” writes columnist Michelle Gerdes. “Some of my most-pressing to-do items: packing up baby clothes for the attic, painting the spare room for nursery No. 2, getting a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through our benefits website at work.”

Virtual assistants may not be able to help you pack up your baby clothes or paint a spare room in your nursery, but virtual assistants can help you get a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through your benefits website at work.

In other words, if it’s computer- or telephone-based, a virtual assistant can help you out. Virtual assistants can handle everything from answering your phone to scheduling your appointments to ordering flowers for that special occasion to planning your much-needed vacation. Beyond secretarial service, virtual assistants can also handle online marketing tasks, online research or anything else you need done online.

Of course, not all virtual assistants are created equal. Some are fresh out of college—or in college—and may not be skilled or dependable for your specific needs. Others are industry veterans that have handled just about any virtual task under the sun. So be sure to outline your needs and expectations clearly when choosing a virtual assistant.

By setting the bar at the beginning and taking the time to train up your virtual assistant, you can save enough time getting a billing situation straightened out with a doctor’s office and applying for tax-free commuting dollars through your benefits website at work in the long run. And that gives you time to pack up your baby clothes or paint a spare room in your nursery—and grow your business.

How About a Virtual Assistant Researcher With Your Coworking Space?

LOS ANGELES—I read an interesting article in Business2Community this morning. It’s called “Employing Virtual Research Assistants in Co-Working Spaces.” That gave me an idea: why not employ virtual assistants in your coworking—or your virtual office space or executive office suites—to handle your market research tasks?

“If you are running an online business or relying on your website to get more clients, working with a market researcher is a good way to go. The online market is a vast area where businesses grow, thus competition is tough,” Jobette Escobanas wrote in the article.

“As a busy entrepreneur, who has time to research about the newest marketing trends? The answer is hiring a virtual assistant researcher who can lay down all accurate facts about your target market or the latest update on marketing itself.”

Escobanas reports that virtual assistant researcher is someone who can take care of all the business information you need to know—from strategies to specific suggestions on how to increase your market productivity. She’s right when she says that efficient VA can be of great help for your growing company.

Of course, that help goes beyond research. Virtual assistants can help you with all sorts of tasks that you don’t have the bandwidth to handle. Rather than working 12 hours a day, for example, you can outsource administrative tasks, such as billing, customer service, or research—to a virtual assistant.

Indeed, virtual assistants even specialize in areas like web site development and social media. You can get a virtual assistant to handle just about any web-based task these days. So whether you work in a coworking facility, a virtual office, an executive office suite or some other alternative workspace (or even a traditional office!) why not check out how a virtual assistant can help you do more with less in 2013.