Category Archives: Workplace

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.

What is a Virtual Office?

Davinci Virtual is proud to present an infographic guide to virtual office space for your business. Utilize this graphic to learn about virtual office solutions and the benefits that a virtual office space can offer you. Contact Davinci Virtual to get your virtual office today.


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What is a Virtual Office

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.

Small Business: The Pros And Cons Of A Physical Office

Small Business: The Pros & Cons Of A Physical Office | Davinci Virtual

Ten years ago, owning a small business meant having a physical office. But today that’s just not the case. Mobile devices, broadband connectivity, cloud computing and other technologies are allowing employees to work from home or on the go.  Now you have the option to do the same and ditch huge leasing and equipment fees while increasing the flexibility of your business. But should you?  While it has many benefits, operating from home isn’t right for every small business owner. Here are some big factors to consider.

The Pros

  • Client meetings and employee interaction

A physical office allows you to host client meetings and showcase your business. It also gives you the ability to collaborate with your clients in person—making it easier to know if you’re meeting their needs After all, you can’t read body language behind a computer screen. And employee camaraderie is a large part of most people’s lives. More importantly, in-person collaboration can be central to a project’s success.

  • Local physical presence

Whether your small business is in retail or is service-oriented, having a local presence can be key to your success. A storefront can showcase your products creatively to build your brand while catching the curiosity of people passing by. And if they like what they see, you get free advertising through word of mouth as your business becomes part of the community.

  • Sometimes location is everything

Establishing a store or office gives you the power to choose a location that makes it easier to grow your business. With careful research, you can determine where your customers are, spot your competitors, understand the history of the community and the demographics of the neighborhood. That way you can determine which areas are most receptive to your business—especially in underserved locations where your services fill a need.

The Cons

  • Higher costs

The overhead for a physical space can include maintenance, insurance, furniture, utilities, storage space and equipment costs so it’s easy to see why small businesses are choosing to work from home to save money. But what about all the business needs a physical location covers? Virtual office solutions can help.

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions provides you with office space, which includes 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 this space only when needed and pay a low monthly fee. You can also use your new office address for business licensing or registration and market your new company address on search engines and Internet directories.

  • Less flexibility

Requiring employees to travel to a physical location each day gives them less flexibility and may impede their productivity. Working from home or on the go allows your employees to work longer hours while they have the flexibility to take care of their personal obligations. With a more flexible schedule and less time spent commuting, production and results, not punching the clock, become more motivating factors.

And when projects come up requiring client and employee meetings, Davinci Meeting and Conference Rooms gives mobile or home-operated businesses the option of renting meeting space with all the perks of a physical office in full-service professional business centers conveniently located around the globe. You can reserve day offices, conference rooms or boardrooms, as you need them.

  • Higher Payroll

A physical location requires hiring an employee to work the front desk during all hours of operation. Along with eliminating rental costs, you can remove the front desk salary from your payroll by working from home. Of course, phone calls will still need to be answered, but you can reduce the stress of having to answer them all yourself by using Davinci.

Davinci Virtual Receptionists are live, offsite specialized receptionists who can answer your calls (and screen and forward them) make appointments, place orders, process payments, provide customer care and make outbound calls for a small monthly payment.

  • Limited talent

When you have a physical office, the hiring process is usually the same: you find someone locally either through a recommendation or by placing an ad. You and your nearby competitors are all fishing in the same employee pool. With the ability to work with anyone, regardless of his or her location, you can cast a wider net to find talent that puts you ahead of your competition.

  • Marketing is more challenging

Marketing locally has higher costs that include billboards and signage directed at a smaller customer base. By eliminating those costs and hiring a service that can help design a professional website with the right SEO, you can reach a much larger customer base.

Consider all aspects of your business

If you have a small number of employees a home office may make the most sense for you—especially for reducing overhead costs. But if you’re introducing a new line of jewelry, having a physical location to showcase it may be essential. Whichever option you choose, there are many new and emerging resources that can help you grow a physical or remote business.

Reduce the cons of a physical location. Live chat with a Davinci expert receptionist to learn more.

Is the Office An Endangered Species?

Virtual_week 3_2Computers have made people more mobile than ever. They use them for work and play and everything in between. Once hosted office solutions came along, you could really hear those freedom bells!

Then came hosted solutions and the whole business game changed. You mean I can access all my business programs online? I don’t have to update my software and pay a high priced techie to manage all of it? Or worry about someone making a mistake and wiping it all out? Wow! Sign me up!

There’s one expense that many businesses have trouble paying all the time – especially new ones. And that is rent. You know, that glorified storage space where you sit all day and sometimes into the night to crank out your work?

Even with so many business solutions online, there still needs to be a space to do it from. While startups can work at their kitchen tables and garages (if they’re lucky) – they still have to think about having a decent business space if they plan on expanding or having staff.

But it’s tough starting out. Instead of paying a high rent that will keep you up at night and having to shell out cash to pay a receptionist and office staff – why not have a virtual office? What’s that, you say.

It’s a lot of things. Like a live person to deal with clients. Both on the phone and in person. That’s right. A virtual office is not just in the cloud. A lot of its functions are, but you still get the benefit of having a nice office space and a business address. That’s still very important in today’s business environment.

Even the most antiquated office environments have had to get on the technology bandwagon, just to keep up. In fact, they risk being lost into obscurity if they don’t at least get online in some fashion. Any startup serious about doing business or a company looking at expansion should sincerely consider having virtual offices. They are not only the wave of the future, but the wings of it, too!

Joining the Cloud Business Evolution

Virtual_week 2_2I must admit I love evolution. Well, maybe not the Darwinian kind exactly, but usually evolution pertains more to forward thinking. Take, for instance – the cloud. For those who’ve been living under a rock (sad, but true), the cloud is where it’s at in terms of business. That’s slightly ironic since it’s in cyberspace, hence where is it really located? Oh, that’s right. In the heavens. Good place for it in my book. Beats battling the traffic!

But, seriously, for any small business, success is going to depend heavily upon how well the company is managed. And that includes that magical term, efficient – challenging for any business, let alone ones with limited resources.

Most would agree that it takes a lot of moxy and a great deal of time and money to start and operate a business. What investors care about – and that includes the owners themselves (they are investors too – in fact, the biggest ones) – is that there is a high chance of turning a profit.

Turning a profit is a challenge in and of itself, no matter where the company is on its lifecycle. So what’s any business to do these days? Startups need to save. Midsize firms need to save. So do large corporations.

One great way to save on costs for any business is by having a virtual office. In case you didn’t know…they happen to be in the cloud. They save on costs in so many ways that it’s hard to describe ‘em all.

For instance, rent – the biggest expenditure. Wiped away. How? Because the virtual office provides a live person answering calls and taking messages and forwarding them, too. They’ll accept your mail and packages at a prestigious address. And when you need to show your face, you can do it for as little as $20 an hour in a fancy schmancy conference room.

So get a virtual office and join the new evolution of smart business and poof! Many operating expenses will disappear into the cloud — just like magic!

Miami – Not Only For the Young and Beautiful

There are many reasons people flock to Miami. The weather is to die for, the culture is diverse and it is just — well, cool. Some of the biggest celebs have been drawn to the region, from the rich to the notorious: Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Hulk Hogan, Lenny Kravitz, Matt Damon, Sylvester Stallone, Robin Gibb, Shaquille O’Neal, and fashion icon Gianni Versace.

Before O.J. Simpson became a full-time resident of Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada, he ran off to Miami when he was no longer welcome in the tony Brentwood neighborhood on the west side of L.A.

The only other place that seems to have as many celebs is L.A. But Miami is said to be more accessible than Los Angeles. In fact, Barry Gibb of music group Bee Gees fame also lives in Miami and is said to be quite welcoming. Although… that could be because he comes from the U.K.

For us regular folk, Miami can be quite the pricey excursion. And the same holds true for businesses. That’s why so many firms choose to have virtual offices. No longer are they just cloud services. Today, you can get much more since they include physical locations like in prime downtown Miami where offices start at only $55! If you have any idea what real estate costs down there — and renting commercial or residential space – you know that’s a bargain!

And look what you get for that – a hotsy totsy address with a receptionist – not just a mail box where stuff is dropped off. And you can use private day offices from as little as $10 to $35 an hour. Conference rooms start at only $25. And you can come for a tour in person before you sign on the virtual dotted line.

Makes it real easy to play big shot, doesn’t it? Like the rich and famous say: “Fake it till you make it!” So what are you waiting for? Come play in Miami – it’s a great tax write-off!

Would Your Company Win a Virtual Office Award?

SAN FRANCISCO—Would your workplace stack up to the criteria to win the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility? If you offer telecommuting, virtual offices and flexible work schedules, the answer could be yes.

The latest to win the coveted award is Riverbed Technology. Riverbed won the award for its use of workplace flexibility as an effective strategy to increase employee satisfaction and productivity. Riverbed offers several programs, including virtual office policies, flexible work schedules and leave time options. It seems to be paying off for Riverbed in more ways than one.

“This recognition demonstrates our commitment to keeping employees happy and engaged in the workplace, which also helps to improve productivity,” says Mike Guerchon, senior vice president of employee services and human resources at Riverbed. “We continue to retain and attract top talent because of our career advancement opportunities, benefits such as flexible workplace options, and of course our team of employees that continue to develop innovative technology that meets the needs of global organizations.”

So what does Riverbed do, exactly? Here are a couple of key things that fall in line with our belief that virtual offices drive productivity and enhance work-life balance.

First, Riverbed recognizes that balancing work and personal time can be challenging and offers flexible work schedules to help accommodate hard working employees. Riverbed also allows virtual office work from home.

Indeed, Riverbed has invested millions of dollars in computer systems, hardware and software to accommodate remote access, employee self-service. Virtual office employees and mobile workers can access online portals for benefits, IT support and human resource support enhancing their ability to access key company resources.

“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. In addition, they report lower stress levels and better overall health,” says Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute.

“As a recipient of the 2012 Sloan Award, Riverbed ranks in the top 20 percent of employers nationally in terms of its programs, policies and culture for creating an effective and flexible workplace. What makes this honor so special is that their employees have corroborated this, affirming that it is indeed an effective and flexible workplace.”