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A virtual solution to the challenging reality of business

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Bill Grodnik, president and CEO of Davinci Virtual, discusses how virtual office solutions can be an answer for the survial of struggling SME businesses and entrepreneurs

The Challenge for small businesses

Small businesses are big business in the UK. Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) account for £1.4 million of turnover, or 51% of UK gross domestic product. However, the deterioration of the economy and the difficulty in obtaining credit from the banks have left SMEs particularly vulnerable in the current climate.

Small companies and entrepreneurs are faced with a dichotomy – how to cut costly overheads without compromising on business operations or customer service.

How SMEs & entrepreneurs can minimize overheads

The truth is that many small businesses and entrepreneurs needlessly pay inflated rent on an office in which they spend only a fraction of their time. They perhaps employ a full-time secretary, receptionist or assistant who is underused. Time and money are the two most precious commodities for any small business.

Minimizing overhead costs and making efficient use of time, eking out those extra elusive hours in the day, can give small businesses a competitive edge. Delivering consistent, pitch perfect customer service aligned to developing new business opportunities help deliver quick and sustainable growth. But how can companies succeed in this way within the parameters of a tightly controlled budget?

Virtual office as cost effective solution

For a growing number of entrepreneurs, small and niche firms, the virtual office is the smart, cost effective and business-enhancing solution. A virtual office concept delivers a full package of services and facilities you would expect from a real, conventional office, but without the business being tied down to rent the physical office space. It enables the company or individual to project a big business image, on a small business budget. So a one man band, operating from his bedroom or make-shift office in his garage at home, can reap all the Benefits of a dedicated receptionist and personal assistant, and prestigious business mailing address anywhere in the world.

Quite simply, a virtual office provides a remote reception and front of house shop window for the business, and a holistic package of support services for companies that do not need full time office staff.

Make savings for your business

The virtual office can help businesses make savings. Not just by trimming budgets or clawing back a few pennies, but significant, invaluable savings which can genuinely make the difference between success and failure in negotiating the current financial climate. Indeed a virtual office can offer small business operators the opportunity to reduce its workplace overheads from 40% to as little as 1%.

The Davinci global expansion

Our company helps thousands of companies in the United States to cut costs, conserve cash and deliver flexible workplace solutions, with full support services, to make their business work. We are expanding our operation worldwide and have recently announced the addition of 22 partner centre locations throughout Western Europe and the Middle East, bolstering our existing network across the US, Canada, Europe and Central America.

At the beginning of this year we launched to the UK market, establishing a base in London from which a highly trained team represent a whole range of diverse businesses in all shapes and sizes. Our customers include financial service professionals, marketing agencies, real estate companies, service industries, technical consultants and a host of entrepreneurs.  We are also finding that a significant number of the casualties of the financial crisis who lost their jobs with investment banks have have embarked on their own start-up ventures.

These businesses are increasingly looking to alternative workplace solutions to provide them with the support and flexibility they need to grow without the prohibitive costs that come with property leases.

Furthermore, while a virtual office can appeal to, for example, a transient individual who spends a lot of time travelling, it can also be of interest to larger companies who are looking to break into new markets or reduce overheads by outsourcing. 

Don't put your business at risk

Business people who are not in a position to answer phone calls throughout the day, but the lifeblood of the business is to be able to respond to inquiries; be it new business opportunities, complaints, taking orders or requesting meetings. Research shows that callers prefer to speak to a ‘real’ person, and do not like to leave message on a voicemail service. 

As a result, companies risk losing valuable new business or damaging relationships with existing customers. It allows companies to focus purely on its customers, and make the business a success.

The virtual package

Virtual offices can come in all shapes and sizes. Providing a professional business address in a prime, preferred location is just the tip of the iceberg. It can give round-the-clock, immediate access to high end, fully equipped meeting and conference rooms. A professional, extensively trained receptionist can handle and field all-incoming calls, and receive and forward all mail as appropriate. 

Full time PA support is able to organise meetings, collate reports, undertake fax and photocopying, process orders, coordinate travel arrangements and handle large mail outs.

A really good virtual office provider can even offer a proactive support services such as direct marketing and telesales calling. Specialist software has been developed which embraces the latest technology to transfer voicemail, e-mail and electronic fax on a global telephony and messaging platform.

Saving the corporate commodities

Time and money are the two most precious commodities in the corporate world, and a virtual office significantly saves both. There is a revolution going on in the way we work. The back bedroom, home study or local coffee shop is fast replacing the conventional office.

Advanced technology and flexible working is increasingly shaping the culture of the workplace, with smart business people recognising that the virtual office is a cost effective, time-efficient solution.

Should you go virtual?

I believe passionately that the virtual office can be the best friend of the small business. It can provide them with a level playing field with their competitors, enabling them to provide a big business image and make that all important first impression, really count. 

In our experience of working with the small business community, a virtual office can be the deciding factor in determining the success or failure of a small business.

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions

Davinci Virtual Office Solutions

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