Tuesday, 1 July 2014

It's the time of year when the majority like to switch off for a couple of weeks, leaving work stress behind them and enjoy the sunshine with their families. Not always the case for SME owners.

According to research carried out by Sage more than 30% of small business owners in the UK did not take a summer holiday last year.  The smaller the business the more likely this is to occur.  Ironic really, as most small business owners work far longer hours than the average, certainly not the nine to five grind.

Whilst many SME business owners believe that they can't leave their business for a break as it may be damaging, it is actually more dangerous and less productive.  Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School says that people who are constantly thinking and working on their business are causing more harm than good.  "Keep that up over a long period and it can be destructive. There's profound evidence that if you work extremely long hours over a sustained period you'll end up being less productive."

It is also proven that taking a break helps with productiveness, wellness, health and family relationships.  Many SME owners aren't able to spend as much time connecting with family as they would like, so taking a break allows them do just so.  It is a fact that most people return from holiday rejuvenated and refreshed, with a clear mind you can refocus and actually see things more clearly.

It is recommended to have a complete "digital detox" but this isn't highly likely.  With smart-phones creating instant access to everything back at home, it's hard to completely switch off.  You can't relax on holiday if your phone is constantly ringing, yet if your not answering calls then you could be losing potential sales.

This is where we come in; to help you get that much needed break.  Taking a temporary telephone service at The Virtual Office from as little as £6 per day allows your business to still run effectively, whilst you're enjoying yourself away from the stress of everyday life at home.  We can help you out of your 'catch 22'.  As the first Virtual Office, with over twenty years in the business, our reliable and experienced staff take pride in the telephone service which we provide.

Simply divert your telephone line through to our receptionists to answer and handle your calls.  With our unified voicemail messaging you can receive email alerts and return to callers as you need.  If you're expecting important calls you can just inform us and we can transfer them through to you.

No need to make the choice between family time and work.  You are free to enjoy your much needed break.
Author: Jess Hill
Virtual Office Team member
30 June 2014

Friday, 7 March 2014

10% Discount Code for moo.com


I realise that we have been a bit absent of late but lots of exciting new projects underway so watch this space.

In the meantime I wanted to share some feedback on moo.com 
Having used a number of business card designers and printers over the last 10 years I must say I found moo.com very easy to use, economical, good quality and still versatile enough to keep on brand.

If you're looking to get business cards, postcards or promotional stickers printed then they are definitely worth a visit.

And if you click on this link you will get 10% off your first order http://www.moo.com/share/2sjjjd

I'll be back soon with more about our exciting projects. 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Are phones the lifeblood of your company?

We are in a new world of business multitasking; taking conference calls whilst emailing suppliers and ordering your groceries online.

However have you ever tried to fit a light switch or replace the washer on a tap whilst answering a call from a potential client? That takes more than multitasking, it takes extra hands.

In a previous life I used to run a plumbing company and we learned quite quickly that you cannot be an effective plumber and answer the phone. 
This is particularly the case when you are half way through a job and the phone rings. Best case scenario you just lose your train of thought.

Obviously, one cheap solution is to let the phone ring out to voicemail and return the call later.  However if it is a new customer they are probably calling a list of 3 plumbers and the first to answer is likely to get the job.
If you can arrange for someone else to answer that call you have a chance to capture the business as well as projecting an image of an organised, established, reliable company. 
What's not to like?

The Virtual Office® was created especially to deal with these issues as we realised that phone calls during an important piece of work are impossible to deal with effectively.  Just getting connected to voicemail is not customer friendly, especially if the caller is unsure how to explain what is wrong or need to talk to someone urgently to sort out a problem or query.

A Virtual Office® service allows people to do their business without interference until they are ready to deal with their phone calls and mail.
And with our ISO 9001 certification you can be confident in our strong focus on total quality management. This means that we have procedures in place to make sure that we do everything we should be doing and do it excellently. 

Since pioneering The Virtual Office® in 1992 we have spent all our time improving and refining our systems and training to ensure we do not make mistakes that might jeopardise your business. 

You can be sure when you're fixing that tap your calls are being answered by a competent receptionist who will manage your callers, take messages and reassure them that they have called the right company for their needs. Your messages are delivered to you by email so you can hear the message and assess it's urgency.

My plumbing company loved knowing that every caller had a trained receptionist handling every call however busy or short staffed we were.

Author: Richard Nissen, Chairman
© The Virtual Office October 2013