Virtual Office Services: The Savvy Entrepreneurs’ Super Strategy for Saving on Business Cost!

Are you thinking of starting your own business but you don’t want to commit to some expensive office space right now?

Does the idea of running your business virtually, operating from wherever you wish, something that is interesting to you?

Then investing in virtual office services is what you should consider.

What Is A Virtual Office?

According to Wikipedia,

“A virtual office provides address (and sometimes communication) services for a fee, without providing dedicated office space. It differs from “office business centers” or “executive suites”, which do provide physical office space and/or meeting rooms.”

The idea of virtual office services developed from executive suites, which offer a full range of office services plus office space. It’s simply a modern invention which combines technology and smart use of resources. However, it must be noted that virtual office companies don’t offer their clients more office space.

Benefits of Virtual Offices

How Does A Virtual Office Work?

When you get a virtual office you’re getting a real business address with a lot of other real office facilities attached. You can put the business address on your business cards, letterheads and other company correspondence.

When prospective clients or customers desire information about your business and they call the dedicated line assigned to you, it will be answered and the message relayed to you.

Benefits of Virtual Office Companies

There are lots of benefits that virtual offices offer to business owners in our today’s world. But for this post we will only look at a few of them.

1. Easily Adapt To Your Company’s Busy Seasons

One of the best benefits of contracting with a virtual office company is the ability to easily adapt to your company’s busy seasons. A virtual office company, such as Solid Cactus, can easily adapt to finishing orders after business hours and on weekends. Solid Cactus, in ensuring that you do not miss any orders, can easily increase the number of hours and personnel assigned to your company.

They can also use ecommerce platforms to fill or fix orders. Using your company’s selected systems, Solid Cactus can easily complete all the paperwork required each day. They are able to provide you with reports on the orders they process for you.

If your business involves making appointments, Solid Cactus can handle this, too. They will schedule any home visits, deliveries or even luncheon appointments with your clients. They answer all telephone calls with a minimum of waiting and greet all customers in a professional manner.

Recommended: How Small Businesses Can Collaborate for Better Results

2. Work From Anywhere

Virtual offices give you the freedom of working from anywhere you choose.

This is great if you have always desired your own lifestyle business  – a business that allows you to travel the world, living the lifestyle of your dream, while you build your business.

This is the dream of many today as they now take advantage of the available technology and run their businesses on the go – without any physical office. So, if you’re a lifestyle business entrepreneur virtual office services are just great!

Work From Anywhere

3. Expand Your Business With Minimal Overheads

Every wise entrepreneur would readily jump at any growth opportunity. This is why many are also taking advantage of globalization, and the available technology, to spread their business tentacles to locations that were before now outside their reach.

Unfortunately, expanding to new locations comes with some extra cost. For example, you need things like office space and new equipment in the new location. But with the availability of virtual office services you don’t have to invest in a physical office space and whatever other material that is needed to run the office.

In fact, a virtual office company, like Solid Cactus as we have seen above, will help you run your business operations in the new location at a minimal cost to you.

4. Grow Your Business With Ease

A virtual office company is also a great way to grow your business. When you move into a new area or launch a new product, you can try it out without making permanent commitments to space and staffing. Using the services of a virtual office company you can pitch your products at your customers to find out if your customers like your product or not, whether they want it in a different color or in a different form.

So, don’t forget to investigate using a virtual office company like Solid Cactus to build your brand. Doing so is missing out on a great helpmate.

Recommended: Want to Motivate Your Employees? Try These 3 Simple Tricks

Some Specialized Services from Virtual Office Companies

Virtual Office Services

While virtual offices were initially about providing a real business office address and some services like receiving business calls and such like, these days many virtual office companies like Solid Cactus now offer business marketing services that will increase your sales. Some of these services include upselling, performing customer calls, and handling credit problems.

Because many business sales these days are concluded by email this has become one of the specialized services that virtual office companies like Solid Cactus also handles. Whatever your business’s email need, they will handle it all. As the owner, you can determine which items to return to you for further action. This way, you are kept abreast of any problems with your business.

Another specialized virtual office service that Solid Cactus offers is echat. This allows direct communication over the internet with your customers and the employees of Solid Cactus. Your customers don’t have to wait to have their questions answered anymore. And this is great for your business as excellent customer service is a known driver of sales to any company.

Recommended: How NOT to Make Life Difficult For Your Customers

Conclusion:

Virtual offices, and the services they provide, are growing in popularity by the day. This is because of the many benefits they offer businesses. This is in addition to the many changes happening in the economy. For example, the rise of internet businesses and the desire of many to work virtually. Used in conjunction with the available technology today they do not only save you money on rent but allow you to access valuable business services at a minimal cost.

So, whether you’re just getting started with your business and you want to save cost or you’re thinking of expanding to new locations, investing in some form of virtual office service is something you should consider.

How to Invest In and Profit from the Web In 2015 and Beyond!

If you have been online for some time now you definitely would have become familiar with pop-ups, junk e-mails, and fake web page comments laundering various programs business opportunities that promises you can make a fortune from the web! The question many want answered in the midst of all these is, can you really make money from the web?

Well, the fact is, it depends on who you ask.

While private sellers will readily tell you the internet has opened up a world market to them in a way they never dreamed of a few years ago, media and news website owners on the other hand, are still in a panic about how to make the money they used to guarantee with full page ads!

But the web is not even just what is on our laptop screen anymore. It is not even just on our phones or tablets. As smart technology advances, apps and programs connecting these portals to simple home devices are being released into the market nearly every day. This is where the smart investor needs to put on his thinking cap to stay ahead of the curb.

What you should be asking yourself, instead of focusing on those junk-emails or dubious pop-ups and dismissing the possibility of making money from the web, should be how do you invest your resources in the web and profit from it?

So, if you are interested in profiting from the web now and beyond, here’s what you should be doing:

investing and profiting from the web

1. Invest in a Website

Investing in a web site which is already making money is something to think about. Remember however, if you are going to ensure that that growth continues, you will have to keep an eye on the site. As an investor, you may want to hire someone to deal with it, updating and delivering goods etc.

Alternatively, you can get the help of web services like incomestore.com who will be entirely committed to taking that responsibility of you. All they demand in return is a partner’s share of the profits!

Note however, that as with any investment you should be careful how you spend your cash, and look for third person testimonies before putting in your money. And of course verify them. Never you think you can just create a constant stream of profit with little need for oversight. That is surely a pipe dream. But if you are ready to invest the time and resources to make things work, you’ll soon be laughing when you start recuperating your investment.

2. Invest in the Internet of Things

A lot has been written about the phenomenon emerging in the “internet of things” (IoT). For an investor, this basically means keeping up with the way that smart technology can change the value of a simple device into megabucks. This kind of investment is for Dragon’s Den buffs, and requires a lot of research and contact with would-be inventors. But a quick search of startup sites reveals thousands of creative engineers and technicians out there who just need a little cash to tide along. At least before the world recognizes their genius.

Back in 2014 Gartner reported that IoT-connected physical objects will grow to 26 billion units by 2020 (excluding smartphones, tablets and laptops), and IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue of more than $300 billion in 2020.

Back in 2014 Gartner, Inc. declared that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015 and this would reach 25 billion by 2020. The research Giant further opined that IoT-connected physical objects would grow to 26 billion units by 2020 (excluding smartphones, tablets and laptops), and IoT product and service suppliers would generate incremental revenue of more than $300 billion in 2020 rounding of these words:

“The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a powerful force for business transformation, and its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society.”

That is really powerful and something that mustn’t be ignored by any wise investor. And you can take advantage of this right now by going to web summits and organized technology fairs which will help you identify current trends and also make important connections.

3. Invest in Your Own Site

This might seem too obvious. But for those who have thought about it for more than a minute, it is actually terrifically difficult to get a money-making site doing its job. It all depends on how much money you want to make, and what kind of site you want to have.

For example, if you have a blog-style website, the usual route is gaining followers until you have enough to attract advertisers. Alternatively, your site may sell information, like on an academic or news-oriented site. Sites such as the New York Times use a paywall for user access. One thing is for sure, it is not as easy as it looks, unless perhaps you are selling a product, and even then there are difficulties.

Conclusion

If you are truly looking to make money from the web you should be looking beyond internet on your laptop screen. The money making possibilities of the web is expanding by the day. Technology is opening up the horizon and you should take advantage of the innovations. As an investor you can invest in websites that are already making money, you can invest in the emerging internet of things (IoT) or simply build your own website and sell information or any product or service of your choice.

3 Interesting Ways You Can Market Your Business More Effectively!

We all know how important marketing is to every business. Without it, your business would struggle to survive. Put in place the right marketing strategy and you will see “miracles” in your business!

While there are many ways you can deploy for your business marketing most are strenuous and cost a whole of lot of money. In this post you will learn 3 interesting ways you can market your business starting now. By simply using these methods you will see significant improvement and you’ll also enjoy using them!

Interested? Then let’s get started.

Effective business marketing tips

1. Build A Website

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we’re now living in a digital age. Technology is dominating everything, including business! So, you have to make use of technology and get your business up to speed.

One thing you can do is build a website to help market your business online. Think of a website as a digital place for people to find your business. There are so many people using the internet, and if you have a website, they’re more likely to find you.

Once you’ve built a website, you have to know how to market it properly. This means making sure it appears high up in the search engine rankings. You can use things like SEO and PPC to get your website up those rankings. The higher up you are, the more likely it is people will find your website when they search for things related to your business.

Websites are such an important marketing tool and an important thing for businesses to have in general.

2. Attend A Convention

Business conventions are a great opportunity for you to market your business to people in the flesh. It’s a wonderful way for you to directly promote yourself to others. You can talk to people face-to-face and show what you’re about. At the convention, you’ll be given the chance to set up your own marquee.

The key to a successful business convention is making sure you get your marquee spot on. It needs to be eye-catching and lure people in. It’s a good idea to hire some people to stand around your marquee and grab people’s attention, luring them in. Marquee Image Staffing offers a range of people that can fill this position for you. Getting some extra staff in can seriously benefit you.

In general, attending conventions should be on everyone’s list of things to do if you want to market a business successfully.

3. Create A Billboard Campaign

Billboard campaigns are an old school marketing method that still holds a lot of power in today’s world. It’s a simple concept; you just have a large advert displayed on various billboards in an area of your choosing. If you’re a local business, it makes sense to have them on billboards in the surrounding area.

What’s great about billboard campaigns is that billboards are typically found in good places. They will be by traffic lights, or opposite a bus stop. Places where people are likely to be waiting around and stare at them.

If you want to create a successful billboard campaign, you have to get the actual advert right. Make sure the design is on point and that it’s an attention grabber. You want people to look at it and then keep looking at it. Rather than give it a glance, then look away. Also, make sure your advert clearly shows what your business does.

Take Away

The business arena is getting more competitive by the day. If you want to see success you need to market your business and do so not just by doing what others are doing. Try out the above business marketing methods and you’ll not set yourself apart but also see good returns.

So, what are your interesting ways of marketing a business? Or, have your used any of these methods in your business marketing? Share your experience with us below in the comments section.

How to Effectively Manage Your Team Using These Industry Proven Tips

effectively manage your team

In running a business, the time comes when you will need some extra hands. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are engaged in. when the time comes you will need to hire employees that will help you with the business. Hiring employees is therefore a significant step for any business.

However, your work doesn’t at hiring the employees. Once the hiring process is over, it’s time to learn how to manage your team. Managing your staff well is crucial to ensuring that business remain successful.

Quality management will make everyone more productive and give you happier employees. And happier and more productive employees will get their work done faster and better!

However, it’s not easy to manage your workforce effectively without putting in some effort. There are lots of ways you can communicate better with your team. Start making it easier for them to get their work done.

Here are some suggestions on how you can effectively manage your team for more success.

1. Use the Right Software

Digitizing your business will help you a lot if you haven’t done it already. There’s no need to do everything on paper anymore. Using the right software to keep your business on track is a more efficient method. When it comes to your staff, you can use workforce management software. It helps you schedule work for your employees and contractors. A diary will help them see their timetables and even compare it with others. You can move jobs around to fit in with their schedule. HR software can make it easier to keep track of time off, including vacations and sick days.

2. Make Their Work Mobile

If you have workers out in the field, they need to take their work with them. You can make their job more mobile by using cloud technology. You could even provide them with mobile devices. They should be able to see their workload and things they’re working on. Each of them should have a smartphone or tablet. You can use an app for tracking their expenses when they’re on the road. Or you could make sure they’re using collaborative tools. These will help them to continue their work outside of the office.

3. Invest in Your Staff

Setting aside the time and money to develop your team is essential. You might have hired the best staff possible. But they still need training and development. Having a plan to dedicate time to your employees will help both communication and performance. And your development plan doesn’t always have to involve training courses and team workshops. It could just be a weekly meeting where you can debrief and discuss everyone’s progress. It can give everyone a forum to express their concerns or suggestions.

4. Improve Poor Performance

Sometimes you can realize that a member of your staff is underperforming. It’s not necessarily through any fault of their own. So it’s important to assess the problem. You should have a plan in place for addressing poor performance. It might involve providing extra support for people who need it. Or you could put on extra training sessions. It’s much more expensive to hire a new member of staff than to help your existing staff improve themselves. You might discover that you haven’t provided adequate instruction. Or it could turn out that your employee has problems at home.

Being an effective team manager can be tough. You will make mistakes, but you can try your best to get it right. So, work at it and use the above tips to make things easier for you.

Will Mobile Blogging Be The Trend In 2015?

Mobile Blogging - The Future of blogging!

As the year 2014 is gradually drawing to a close there is no better time to make preparations for the coming year. One sure way to do this is to understand the top trends in 2014 and then use that to forecast the direction things will be moving in 2015.

In this post I want to take a look at the future of blogging and categorically say that one trend that will take the blogosphere by storm in 2015 is mobile blogging!

Okay, this might just be my predictions for 2015! However, the fact is it is plainly evident around us already.  In the recent few years mobile blogging had gradually garnered some interest amongst bloggers and I believe it is now ready sweep the blogosphere!

But What is Mobile Blogging?

According to the free encyclopedia, mobile blogging is:

“A method of publishing to a website or blog from a mobile phone or other handheld device. A moblog helps habitual bloggers to post write-ups directly from their phones even when on the move.[1] Mobile blogging has been made possible by technological convergence, as bloggers have been able to write, record and upload different media all from a single, mobile device.”

Why Mobile Blogging?

One of the reasons why a lot of bloggers are attracted to blogging is the fact that you can easily make frequent updates and keep all of your site visitors up to speed with current situations.  There’s indeed REAL power in this!

Now, the good thing about mobile blogs, or “moblogs” (as they are today being referred to) is the fact that they allow their users to post things literally as they happen. This new wave of blogging allow bloggers to keep web surfers up to date with both good and bad events as they occur all over the world. This has made international communication faster and more accurate.

Before now many bloggers were limited by location and geography. If you are running a news blog for example, to keep your blog current and on the spot you will need to run home and boot up in order to update it. However, mobile blogging marks the beginning of a thrilling new era when web-based communication can happen spontaneously from any location.

Moblogging devices mean that there is almost nowhere on the planet that remains off-limits for bloggers!

Will Mobile Blogs Really Dominant The Blogosphere In 2015?

Of course, we cannot answer this with a categorical yes or no. However, with what is happening today this is may just be the case. At present mobile blogging is still in its infancy because the technology that makes it possible has only recently hit the global market.

The first moblog technology became available over a decade ago, but it is only in the past few years that mobile web devices have become user-friendly enough to appeal to most consumers. As camera phones and other mobile technology become more popular, more and more bloggers are getting away from their desks and are hitting the streets. The result is that moblogging is becoming much more widespread than it was even a few months ago. And mobloggers are quickly attracting a lot of attention with the blogging community.

If you are therefore a blogger who focuses on current affairs and you want to keep your readers up to date on the latest breaking news, you should be looking into moblogging. Even if you are an entrepreneur blogger and you are using your blog to market your business online, you can also gain a lot from mobile blogging. This is because the current trend seems to imply that moblogs are here to stay.

Mobile Blogging Is a Big Plus for Content Marketers

As businesses are becoming more aware of the power of content marketing they can now also incorporate the power of mobile blogging into their content production. Your business blog readers will definitely appreciate it if you can keep them on top of events as they unfold.  With mobile blogging you have this power at your finger tips.

Mobile devices make it possible to blog from the sites where current events are unfolding. This is actually the main reason why mobile blogging has so much thrilling potential to revolutionize the blogosphere. With a camera phone you can post blog entries from, say, the foot of the podium at a presidential speech, or from the stands during the final moments of the World Series.

You can also do this from some business event. For example, if you are organizing a seminar or webinar, you can easily update your readers with the goings-on! This will enable you and your blog readers’ experience the same real time thrills that live television coverage provides.

The combination of mobility and individual control that moblogging provides certainly places mobloggers on the cutting edge of today’s communications technology, and it is hard to imagine that the number and prestige of moblogs will not continue to grow in the coming years.

The time to start is now

Are you already mobile blogging? Do you have plans to incorporate this into your blog marketing in the nearest future? Getting involved with mobile blogging does not have to take much from you in terms of investment and time. You might already be doing without really considering it. But making it a part of your blog marketing strategy should be your focus in the coming year and beyond.

How to Drive More Traffic to Your Site with Agile Web Design!

[Agile website design. Ever heard about that? Well, personally I never heard of it. And so, when I saw this guest post by Sarah Lamb, I thought it is something you would want to learn about. Will you love it? You decide that! So, here goes Sarah Lamb’s post on agile web design. Enjoy!]

Website traffic! This is definitely a big pain in the neck for many online business persons. And like most business folks, I’m sure you are prepared to give anything for more traffic to your site, right?

But have you ever thought about how the design of your website may be hampering all your efforts to drive more traffic to your site?

Truth is, what may have worked a few years ago is today already obsolete.  Technology may have made your site redundant. What you need therefore is a fresh dose of design vitamins to revitalize your site and make it buzz like never before. For this you need agile web design.

Agile Website Design for more site traffic

What is Agile Web Design?

Agile or nimble – fleet footed, changing with the times. Changing with user cues. Dynamic. Your web design must be all this and more. The good old days were indeed, good – you created a website and forgot about it. It remained that way for years and years.

There was a reason why you could get away with such sheer laziness. There was less competition. Google was not there in the picture. You were happy with whatever traffic you received – but not now. Things have changed. And your web design concepts have to change if you want to drive  more traffic to your website.

Agile web design means getting your web site to respond to user cues. It means adapting to technology. It means finding new ways to get traffic.

User Cues and Website Design

Users or visitors to your site expect much more from you than ever before. Unfortunately, they may not tell you this except you have a way of asking. So, you simply need to be sensitive to their cues.

Have you ever noticed how your visitors entered and exited your site? Do you have a tool to watch your visitor’s path around your site? If you don’t, you must first get Google Analytics. It’s free and fun.

The second step in agile web design is to respond quickly to cues and hints. If you find that visitors exit after spending lots of time on your site, but don’t buy or do what you want them to, then you must change your website design.

You must get them to fulfillment. This means changing and changing again and again. It’s also called iteration. You change your web page a bit and watch. Then you change a bit more until you get what you want.

This is how you will get more traffic and also reach fulfillment.

Clean Web Design

We have many more platforms to deal with now – mobiles, hand-held tablets and smartphones. Your web design has to cater to all these devices. This means your presentation has to be clean, without clutter. Keep your message in front or better still, keep only your message.

Forget about big images which look beautiful but don’t get you fulfillment. These images don’t load or take an awful lot of time to load in mobiles. You are likely to lose these customers. Maybe you are already bleeding!

Conclusion

Agile web design means attracting more traffic through iteration. You must keep refining your design and learn while you change. Only by doing this will you attain traffic nirvana.

Sarah writes on web design and similar subjects. Here is an example of some wonderful  printing   technology. Check them out here.