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Posted on
January 01, 2018
How does an all-new business discover a way to appear bigger and better than some of its large corporate competition, but without incurring high start-up costs that big business can often have? A virtual office can be the perfect solution. Read ahead to discover five ways in which virtual offices are becoming the best alternative to traditional brick and mortar businesses.

Five Reasons That Virtual Offices Are the Offices of the Future

Virtual Offices Give Small Businesses a Bigger Image

With a prestigious mailing address linked from a business' website, the appearance of success is inevitable. What better way is there to attract attention that to have a mailing address that is positioned within a high-status locale? Having a virtual office mailing address in a high-profile area of town is an affordable way for small businesses to be recognized as successful in its industry.

Finding Qualified Staff is a Thing of the Past

By having a virtual staff, finding and retaining qualified people is unnecessary. Any time a phone rings, a virtual receptionist can efficiently answer the calls. Recruiting, hiring, and training are all costs that a business can avoid, thereby leading to more money to put into other areas of the business. That can lead to a large savings over time.

Pricing Packages are Diverse for Different Business Needs

With low monthly plans, virtual offices give businesses of varying sizes affordable solutions for business services such as, telephone reception, mailing address services, and meeting room spaces. Virtual office package pricing can be chosen to fit a business' particular needs so that every size businesses can benefit from the array of package choices.

Only Pay for Space that's Being Used

The thing about traditional offices is that space is often being left unused; wasted space is a problem which can lead to money down the drain. Imagine an office space that holds 40 employees. Say, for example, that 5 people called into the office as "sick" for the day. Even though there are only 35 people remaining on staff for the day, a space fit for 40 people is being heated or cooled, furnished, and cleaned. This amounts to wasted space and money over time. A virtual office does not require any space, heating, furnishing, or cleaning. Big savings can be attained by "going virtual."

Forget about High-Cost Staffing

Large costs are associated with staffing, and staff members often expect raises that are sometimes beyond what a company is capable of paying out. High-cost staffing doesn't need to be a reality though. With virtual offices doing the work of recruiting, hiring, and training highly skilled employees, the pressure is no longer on the business. Everyone wins!

Nothing compares to having a business mailing address that's in a prestigious area of town, especially for a new business looking to create an impression. It's becoming unnecessary for small businesses to hire full-time when part-time work can be outsourced to virtual offices at a less expensive cost. Competitive pricing packages are a unique feature of virtual offices from which businesses can truly benefit. Virtual offices can be highly effective, cost-efficient, and are definitely the way of the future!

Posted on
January 03, 2018
At first glance, having a physical office space can seem like a pretty great thing: having employees in one shared space, chatting at the water cooler, and sharing ideas at a round-table discussion. Oftentimes, the costs related to hiring and retaining skilled workers can outweigh the benefits those workers are bringing to the company. Read ahead to find out how having a virtual office can actually reduce, or even eliminate, employee sick days.

Could Working From a Virtual Office Reduce the Number of Sick Days Your Employees Take?

One Virtual Employee Can Take the Place of Several Traditional Staff Members

It's commonplace to walk into an office setting and to see two receptionists at a front desk. Regardless of how full their workloads end up being, both people are being paid for their time at the office, both are enrolled in benefits packages, and both will inevitably require time off work for "sick days." A traditional employee can be a large expense to a company, whether the employee is productive while at work or is at home with the sniffles.

With a virtual staff member, the business only needs to pay on the occasions when the business actually needs particular services. For example, a virtual receptionist won't be paid for an entire 8-hour shift when they may only be needed for 10 phone calls throughout the day. With this concept becoming better understood by a larger number of business owners, virtual offices are being known more and more to be a financially efficient way to do business.

Virtual Office Staff Members are Less Costly than Traditional Employees

A small business (and even big companies) can save money by having virtual staff working for on their behalf. Salaries, hourly wages, sick payments, leaves of absence, and work parties are all examples of how having traditional employees can be a costly endeavor. This isn't even taking into consideration the expenses that a business incurs because of the need for maintaining healthy work environments, building fees, and office equipment for workers.

With a Virtual Office, There's Always Someone Working

Never be left understaffed again! Often it's difficult to determine the number of employees needed at any given time, especially when a business is brand new. With a virtual office, staffing is a no-brainer. Staff is on-hand when needed, and that's that. Can it be any simpler?

Additionally, if a receptionist at a virtual office is having a sick day, customers and clients won't know because there is always another virtual receptionist available to competently answer the call. Therefore, telephone calls don't go unanswered and businesses are able to maintain their professional appearances.

A virtual office can fulfill many gaps in an organization, staffing being one of them. Because one virtual employee can essentially take the place of multiple traditional staff members, the business can come out ahead financially. A virtual office can be way less costly compared to accommodating several full-time employees, and because there is always someone working at a virtual office, there is no need for a business to hire and retain highly paid employees who may end up taking a lot of sick time. With a virtual office, businesses can pay for services they actually require, and not pay into something that won't benefit them, such as employee sick time.

Posted on
January 04, 2018
If you are running your business from a virtual office and building a team of freelancers for your company, you may soon begin to wonder about the proper ways in which you can manage them. Having a virtual office for your business has many benefits that often come down to simple cost-effectiveness, but one of the possible dangers is the inability to have your team all in one place, at one time, working together. So how can you manage your team of remote professionals effectively? Here are a few considerations regarding team management that can help you get the most out of your freelancers.

It Starts With the Hiring Process

If it isn't obvious to you already, you should be wary when hiring freelancers to work for your business in a virtual office setting. Hiring the right candidates may mean putting greater emphasis on individuals with past experience working on a remote basis for another virtual office, as opposed to just looking at their general skill sets. Hiring freelancers who know how to manage their own time, meet deadlines, and produce work on a remote basis will surely help your virtual office company run smoothly. Most freelancers, however, would prefer to work on a remote basis, so you should have no difficulty finding qualified candidates.

Set Up Synchronized Project Management Tools

Once you have your team of freelancers set up, you can turn toward the internet and the various project management tools that are available on the web. Project Management tools such as LiquidPlanner, Projecturf, or Project Bubble help to keep all of your freelancers connected and on-task with particular projects. BaseCamp is another popular project management tool that offers schedules and in-sync calendars to ensure your team is always on the same page. These tools will assist you in tracking the progress of your freelancers, while also acting as a communications and scheduling tool.

There are also many mobile apps built for enterprise that you can implement into your business so that each member of your team has easy access to an organized, helpful platform, right at their fingertips.

Schedule Regular Meetings at Your Office Premises

Working with a virtual office is a splendid setup, and working remotely certainly has its benefits. Perhaps, however, it is beneficial to the overall success of your business if you set regular in-person, face-to-face meetings with your team. You can easily accomplish this by renting a conference or meeting room for an hour, a half-day, or full day at a very affordable rate. If you have some freelancers who live outside of reasonable commuting distance, you can dial them into the meeting through a Skype conversation and still carry out an effective meeting.

Communication is Key

When a team is separately working at their own pace, on their own time and turf, it becomes increasingly important that the lines of communication are always open. Simply putting into motion regular communication via email or phone will help the operations of your business run more smoothly. Keeping in touch with your remote freelancers and giving them feedback can also help your business to grow.

All in all, running a team of remote freelancers is a learning curve, but is one that is certainly worth learning. Allowing your business to gain the benefits of a remote team and a virtual office is also worth the inevitable growing and learning pains, because they lead to the ultimate goal of success!

Posted on
January 05, 2018
Unless it's a school that teaches people how to properly snorkel, a traditional business is not run from the beach. Headquarters are often located in busy cities, filled with busy people, and done on a busy schedule. What if someone wants to do their work while relaxing, lying on the beach, and sipping an iced drink? It can be done, that is, if someone is able to multi-task by relaxing and working at the same time.

Working From the Beach: Taking Your Virtual Office on the Road

Prestigious Business Address While on an Airplane

Running a business traditionally calls for a businessperson to be tied to an office chair, although this doesn't need to be the case now that virtual offices can be a part of the business equation. Virtual offices offer mail services that give any size business the opportunity to have a prestigious mailing address, no matter where the business actually is in the world.

Not only does having a nice mailing address offer a business professional the freedom to travel, the address also gives the impression that the business is bigger than it may actually be. This adds prestige to a company that may be looking to build business with bigger companies, or build relationships with business people all over the world.

Professional Business Services While Surfing

Virtual office services can include something called "telephone answering" or "reception services." A business needs to be able to uphold its professional appearance, and not have that be dependent on what the owner is actually up to. This offers freedom for someone who wants their business to succeed, but also needs a vacation. Highly trained receptionists answer phone calls and take messages while business people enjoy a vacation and maintain their professional appearance, all at a low cost. It ends up being a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Busy Working While At the Beach

Since a lot of work nowadays is done through computer and handheld devices, it's easy to understand how travel and work are two things that go hand-in-hand. Stress is something that too many business professionals feel too often. Why not take a little vacation while business is being taken care of in a truly professional way?

The relief of knowing that someone with skill is taking care of phone calls, and diligently maintaining particular business aspects, can be a game-changer for many people. The freedom this offers can be dramatic because it means there is no "employee" to worry about. There is no real need to be in one particular location for any prescribed period of time.

Whether it's working from a beach towel, working from under a tree in a rainforest, or working from the side of a pool on a cruise ship, work should be fun! Taking the leap from office-life can be a little scary, but when the sand is between the toes it becomes obvious as to why a businessperson would choose the beach blanket over the traditional corporate lifestyle. Virtual offices can help with that transition.

Posted on
January 06, 2018
Content marketing is becoming more and more popular as a tool for attracting customers. Here's a look at what content marketing is and what it can do for your small business.

Content Marketing Is Educational

Content marketing is a tool used by businesses. The basic idea behind content marketing is that valuable content is posted with the intention of attracting customers. This type of marketing concentrates on giving possible customers new information that they can use in their life. Hence, it teaches them something, and the most important part is that it is free.

Content Marketing Is Not the Same as Copywriting

The purpose of copywriting is to get the customer to do something. More often than not, copywriting tries to convince a potential customer to purchase a product. On the other hand, content marketing's aim is to give information that is valuable, but create that information in a manner in which it serves a marketing purpose. Underlining these distinct purposes, however, there is a common goal: to get possible customers acquainted with the product offered, and make them purchase it.

Customers Are the Focus of Content Marketing

Content marketing isn't all about you or your business (though it does help point the readers towards your business). Instead, it's all about your customers; it gives them valuable information that they can use in their lives. The reason it works so well is that people are generally not interested in hearing you talk for hours on end about how great you are. That bores them, which is one of the reasons copywriting can only do so much for your business. To go the extra mile, you have to keep in mind that people are much more likely to purchase from a business that has given them valuable and interesting information in the past. Additionally, content marketing tends to be ranked higher by Google, which means that it is easier for people to find you and your small business.

How Content Marketing Helps Your Business Grow

Content marketing creates awareness of your brand and can increase your business’s credibility and trustworthiness. The reason is that most often, people find themselves looking online for answers to their questions. Simply put, they search for information that is valuable. If they find it on your business's site, a connection will be created between your business and the potential customer. When a connection is established, trust is more likely to follow, particularly if the content they found was really useful. Another reason why content marketing is such a useful tool for growing a business is that it is more likely to be shared on social media sites. People rarely (if ever) share copywriting they found online. However, if they find good content that really teaches them something, they might want to spread the word.

Content marketing can be a powerful marketing tool when used wisely. Its secret lies in helping both the business that created it and the individual who is in need of information, allowing for trust to build and making it more likely for that individual to make use of the business's products if they need them. If you have a small business and are interested in ways to help your business grow, consider using a virtual office! Visit us at YourCityOffice.com to find out more about how you can use our services to benefit you.

Posted on
January 09, 2018
Tools like Skype can be great for meeting with other team members, presenting to clients, or networking with other businesses. The main advantage of Skype is that it allows users to make free video and audio calls anywhere in the world. Now, there is no need for a pricey long-distance phone plan. When using Skype as a business tool though, it is important to remember these four pieces of advice.

Skyping for Dollars: Four Pointers to Remember When Using Skype for Business

Look At The Camera, Not At The Face

In a face-to-face conversation, eye contact can be powerful. Making eye contact with another person conveys a sense of confidence and openness. In business-related conversations, eye contact can make or break a deal. It's easy enough to do in person, but with a computer screen in the way, the temptation is to look directly at the other person's face - at the screen. In order to keep eye contact while using Skype, though, users need to look at the camera. Train yourself to pay more attention to the camera and less attention to the screen. Try to relax, and make sure you blink on occasion. A relaxed, smiling face is more attractive than a pained, misdirected face.

Your Attire Should Suit The Occasion

Skype is a mobile tool that can be taken home. The home-based videoconference though, can be a terrible snare. When Working from home, the temptation is to be as comfortable as possible - wearing sweatpants, lying in bed, sipping a coffee. Nonetheless, business is business. The mere fact that you are at home doesn't change how professional you should act when you carry out business activities. A business partner or potential client doesn't want to see you dressed in a suit jacket and pajama pants. Should you have to get up, or should the computer get jostled about, your lack of professional dress will quickly become apparent. If you choose to use Skype from home, make sure that you dress appropriately for all work-related video calls.

Make Your Skype Environment As Similar As Possible To Your Work Environment

The place you choose to be while on Skype will impact how others perceive you. When having a Skype conversation with a colleague, superior, or client, avoid noisy coffee shops. If at home, make sure the other person can't see the Metallica poster on your wall or the pile of unwashed laundry in your bedroom. Do everything in your power to make your Skype space as quiet, professional, and clean as possible.

It is also important to consider lighting. It is usually best to conduct a video call in a well-lit space to ensure that the other person can clearly see you.

Make Sure Your Technology Can Handle The Workload

Skype is an amazing piece of technology, but like all computer programs, it requires system resources to run. If the user's computer lacks sufficient resources, or if the Internet connection is too weak, what would have been a productive conversation can turn into a chopped-up, confusing mess. The video can break up, the audio can turn to static, and important information can get lost. Make sure your video and sound cards fit Skype's minimum requirements. If necessary, upgrade your RAM and delete old files from your hard drive. Purchase an external microphone with a filter if your built-in microphone produces poor audio quality.

Skyping for business purposes can be a great experience that generates results. To get the most out of Skype's videoconference software, make sure your computer is in top shape. By modifying your home environment and dressing appropriately, you can present yourself as a professional. Make sure you look at the camera in order to maintain eye contact. By following these four tips, you'll be set to get the most out of Skype.

Posted on
January 10, 2018
When one starts to work out of a virtual office, there are many different headaches typical to small business situations that can usually be eliminated once and for all. The reason for this absolute advantage is that these non-traditional types of offices allow people to get work done more efficiently. This has to do with how their system of operation is set up. They take up less space, and it is even possible to work remotely from them. In other words, both bosses and employees are more liberated than ever. Here are the three small business headaches that can be eliminated by working from a virtual office.

Three Small Business Headaches That Can Be Eliminated by Working From a Virtual Office

Phones Calls Are No Longer Neglected

Small businesses may not have the money to have a full-time receptionist on staff. As such, it may take a good while for calls to be returned to prospective clients, which can result in a loss of business and revenue. A virtual office normally comes complete with services such as phone answering services, which take the pressure and weight of returning calls off the shoulders of small business owners and employees. Essentially, such a service will bridge the gap between a small business and its numerous clients in a very productive way.

Finding Business Meeting Space Is No Longer an Issue

Lots of small businesses are challenged when it comes to having the sufficient, physical space in which to entertain current and potential clients. As a result, small businesses are normally left to scramble to find an appropriate meeting space in which to hold conferences with clients and the like. A virtual office solution does away with this headache once and for all by providing small businesses with business meeting space. It can be rented on very short notice if need be. Small businesses have the option of on-demand usage of offices or even conference rooms for various meetings. This can be broken down into hourly, daily, or weekly uses.

The Work Environment Becomes Less Distracting

If you’re working in a traditional office environment, you may sometimes find it hard or downright impossible to really concentrate and get things done. This can be attributed to any number of things, from co-workers who are constantly talking to domineering bosses who are constantly nagging. A virtual office provides casual working areas that do away with these annoying distractions. One can simply "drop in" to the virtual office as many times as they want. This can be broken down into hourly, daily, or just monthly visits to the office.

These are the three most aggravating small business headaches that can be totally eliminated thanks to a virtual office solution. This handy and non-traditional way of approaching office work and office arrangements is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Whereas office work in a traditional office environment may have created problems in the past, a virtual office gets rid of these issues. If you want more information about a solution such as this, be sure to visit us at YourCityOffice.com for more details.

Posted on
January 11, 2018
With so much freedom and work flexibility to be had, it's important for entrepreneurs to understand the “ins and outs” of using a virtual office. Read on further to get a good understanding of some of the ways to get the most benefit from a virtual office experience.

Five Tips for Freelancers to Get the Most From Your Virtual Office

Use the Services Available

Virtual office providers can offer an assortment of services that can benefit a businessperson who is looking for more freedom, a bigger image, or a prestigious corporate-like appearance. For a business owner who is looking to get the most out of a virtual office, it's a smart idea for them to make use of all that's being offered to them.

Some of the things that a virtual office service provider can offer include: prestigious mailing addresses in one of several major cities; telephone answering services; and meeting rooms in various countries around the world. Investigating these options is worth the time it takes to do so.

Schedule Breaks and Working Hours

With a highly trained professional answering the telephones, it can be easy to take a day off work. Taking time away from work is definitely a benefit that a person with a virtual office can enjoy, but it's also important to not let the time slip away to the point of not being productive whatsoever. On the other hand, a businessperson with a "workaholic" mindset can make the opposite mistake; they can forget to take a break from working. Scheduling times for work and for rest is the best way for an entrepreneur to ensure consistency in work and play.

Choose the Best Mailing Address for the Situation

The cool thing about virtual offices is that they can be situated in a number of areas all over the world. Having a mailing address in one area of the world is a fantastic way to build business in that area. Clients will like to see that a business has an office close to where the client lives, and will most likely feel more comfortable dealing with the business because of that factor.

Know which Role the Virtual Office Plays

A virtual office is not an employee, but rather a service. It's a service that a business professional pays for, and receives benefit from, but the service does not take lunch breaks, sick leave, or paid time off. Really, a virtual office is way better than an employee.

Think Big about Location

Building a business in another part of the world can be much easier with the help of a virtual office. Connecting with people in Japan, for example, when an entrepreneur is in the USA, is a possibility. Think big when contemplating a virtual office scenario, because the sky is the limit.

Entrepreneurs using virtual offices can't really go wrong. However, it's important to use what is available and benefit in the biggest possible way. Business owners can have the most gain when they take appropriate rest breaks from work, and when they work enough to make working worthwhile. Check out the virtual office services available, and remember to think big!

Posted on
January 12, 2018
As a small business owner, the idea of having a virtual office can seem like more than enough of a boon to your business to make you glow, but there's more to Your City Office virtual offices than meets the eye. If you're wondering what these virtual offices provide, here are five amenities you can look forward to that will change the way you do business.

Five Amenities to Expect when You Rent a Virtual Office from Your City Office

A Registered Address and Mail Forwarding

Along with your virtual office, you will be given a registered business address in the virtual office building. This will be a professional address that will give your company a sense of stability and prestige. Any mail delivered to this address can then be forwarded to your home address, or any other address of your choosing.

A Professional Answering Service

One of the best services of a virtual office is the professional image that a manned reception desk provides. As trained receptionists will be able to address client concerns with courtesy and efficiency, you'll be able to provide the best service possible under your company's name. Since voice mail will be available after hours, there won't be a need to worry about any call going unnoticed.

Availability of Meeting and Conference Rooms

Expanding your client base is key to establishing a thriving business, and that entails having a dedicated and professional meeting space. Virtual office sites are equipped with meeting room facilities so you can work on professionally expanding your client base and putting your best foot forward. Most of the meeting rooms, which are available for scheduling upon request, offer wireless Internet, video conferencing and even coffee and tea service for the comfort of your guests. If you choose to use these meeting room services, you’ll find they can be very effective and convenient in entertaining some of your most important clients.

An Enviable Office Location

While we offer a great variety of virtual office locations all over the world, many of them are situated in business districts and popular areas of town that will make your business seem like it's at the heart of the action. With offices close to local transportation, restaurants and local entertainment, there's no shortage of access and places close-by where you can take your clients.

A Built-In Fax Machine

Along with the telephone service that will be provided with the rental of your virtual office, you'll also be able to receive faxes directly from your clients. When faxes are sent to your phone number, they will be converted into email format and forwarded to your email address without the issue of having to purchase a fax machine or worrying about important information getting lost!

While a virtual office can establish the prestige of your small business without having to expend the huge costs that are usually associated with growth, there are also many other amenities that come along with the service. For more information about the virtual office spaces available in your area, or to learn about how a virtual office can benefit your business, visit us at https://www.yourcityoffice.com.

Posted on
January 13, 2018
The human body is not designed to sit indoors in front of a computer screen for hours on end. A body is meant to enjoy the benefits of outdoor light from the sun. Proper lighting is essential to productivity in the workplace, although proper lighting doesn't just mean using brighter light bulbs or flicking on more light switches. Office lighting is prehistoric in a lot of ways, and this article discusses how the kind of office lighting can play an integral role in the productivity levels of people working in an office setting.

Office Lighting: Why Proper Lighting Is Key to Productivity

Clear Vision and the Successful Completion of Projects

According to naturaleyecare.com, "over 100 million people in the United States today use computers" with 50 percent of those people experiencing some eyestrain, headache or other eye condition. With that many people in the office having troubled vision, it would only make sense that there are more errors and omissions in the work that's being done.

Productivity is boosted by decreasing the amount of errors in work. In addition, by decreasing the likelihood that workers will end up with eyestrain, productivity will naturally flourish. In order to avoid eyestrain in the office, try taking breaks from the computer and finding other important tasks to do. Also, try exercising the eyes by looking back and forth, and by looking further than the computer screen. Another good idea is to trade traditional lighting with full-spectrum lighting, or use full-spectrum lamps by computers.

The Health Benefits of Full-Spectrum Lighting

Full-spectrum lighting offers some of the same benefits that the sunshine offers. A good full spectrum light is designed to replicate the same wavelengths of light that the sun emits, without containing the potentially harmful UVA and UVB of the actual sunshine. The initial expense from trading traditional office lighting for full spectrum lighting can be outweighed by the benefits of greater productivity over the long term.

Studies done by leading scientists in the full spectrum light industry have shown that people can actually experience health benefits beyond that of less eyestrain. Full spectrum light has been shown to reduce stress and fatigue, improve vision, counteract the health concerns of computer monitors, discourage SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and regulate sleep cycles.

Less Necessity for Break-Time

When people do not have eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue from sitting under poor lighting all day, people feel less of a need to take a break from work. If their health is improved, workers will require less time off work for sick-leave as well.

Poor office lighting leads to reduced productivity, and less productivity is something that every business owner understands well. If workers can be put into an environment that complements their bodies' natural rhythms, then workers are more likely to be healthy and happy in the workplace, and less likely to feel the need to take excessive breaks and sick-time away from the office. Investigating full spectrum lighting and how it can affect productivity at the office can be a worthwhile use of time for any business owner.

Posted on
January 14, 2018
If your small business is currently based in a virtual office in Chicago, you might be looking for some places to impress your up-and-coming clients. With many choices available in Chicago's metropolitan center, there are a variety of great places to host a client lunch. Here are just a few local restaurants your clients will love.

Enjoy a Dry Aged Steak at The Capital Grille

Enjoy a Dry Aged Steak at The Capital Grille

A restaurant voted among the Best American Cuisine Top 50 List in 2010 by Open Table, The Capital Grille is the kind of restaurant that is sure to impress anyone, particularly those who love a good steak. With executive chef Jim Nuetzi at the helm, this is a sophisticated chophouse that aims to serve only the finest ingredients, with each steak hand trimmed and aged to perfection so only the best product reaches the table. The perfect place to impress a new client, The Capital Grille features plush leather booths and polished wood for a classy appearance. Aside from its steak, the menu features items like Maine lobster salad, seared sea scallops with arugula and corn and parmesan truffle fries. With a variety of great vegetarian options on offer as well, this restaurant can cater to even the most critical of palates.

An Armenian Tradition at Sayat Nova

Located close to Michigan Avenue in the midst of Streeterville, Sayat Nova has been around since 1970, offering their take on Armenian cuisine to the people of Chicago. Opened by Levon and Arsen Demirdjian, Sayat Nova wanted to expand the palate of the local culture with traditional specialties like shish kebab and shawarma. Named after Sayat Nova ("King of Songs"), a man who became important to Armenian culture through his recitation of poems and songs, this cozy, white table clothed restaurant has served as a consistent dining destination since its inception. If you're looking for something more casual with a Middle Eastern twist, Sayat Nova may be the ideal way to escape from the always-bustling North Michigan Avenue.

Casual Italian at Its Best at Cafe Spiaggia

A more understated take on the high end Spiaggia, this restaurant serves up inspired Italian in a comfortable and homey setting that appeals to tourists and visitors alike. Featuring the best that Italy has to offer, Cafe Spiaggia uses high quality olive oil, cheese and salami and is one of Chicago's best casual cafes. For this cafe that has been around for 26 years, Chef Tony Mantuano has crafted a menu where you can enjoy specialties like meatballs with pecorino Romano, gnocchi with wild boar and a fine selection of cheeses and meats. The perfect place for a casual feast, this staple on Chicago's magnificent mile will make you want to save room for gelato!

With a virtual office location close to many of Chicago's favorite dining spots, there's no shortage of places to satisfy your client's palate for a business lunch. Whether you're looking for a traditional steakhouse, a Mediterranean staple or some stellar casual Italian, there's something for everyone. For more information about virtual offices in Chicago, or to learn more about what a virtual office can do for your business, visit us at https://www.yourcityoffice.com.

Posted on
January 15, 2018
If you work in the business world, you know that you spend a lot of time behind a desk, which is not the healthiest thing in the world. Too much sitting--a sedentary lifestyle, if you will-- has been associated with an increased risk of mortality. So what do you do if you have to sit behind a desk the whole day? You get yourself a brilliant standing desk for your virtual office! Here are the 4 reasons to consider a standing desk in your virtual office.

Standing Tall: Four Reasons to Consider a Standing Desk in Your Virtual Office

You Will Live Longer

This is probably the best reason to consider getting a standing desk. A study from the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at the lifestyles of some 17,000 people over a period of 13 years. The study concluded that those who sat for much of the day at work actually had a 54 percent greater chance of dying from a heart attack.

It Can Help with Back Problems

Getting a standing desk in your virtual office can be a godsend for your back problems. Lots of people simply buy a more expensive office chair or perhaps get themselves a pillow to put behind their backs. However, if you really want to make that back pain disappear, you should stop using your back so much. The more you stand every day behind your standing desk, the more your back problems can become a thing of the past.

It Improves Your General Health

Simply put, the human body is not built for sitting for long periods of time each day at work. Metabolic problems will pop up if you sit for extended periods of time each day, problems like poor circulation and an inability to produce the required chemicals to process fats and sugars in the body. Getting a standing desk will reverse these metabolic issues, thereby allowing your body to become healthier.

It Improves Your Muscle Health

The reactive frame of your body is composed of your muscles and bones. They have a desire to move and react to outside forces, which they clearly can't if you're just sitting down the whole day at work. When you stand more regularly, you are really permitting your body to adjust and move the way it was intended to. This also lets you flex your muscles constantly.

In the business world, standing desks are relatively rare, but studies like the one mentioned earlier are helping it make inroads. If you have been sitting down for many years at your job, you definitely should look into getting a standing desk. If you have a virtual office, a standing desk will come in handy, too, letting you prolong your life and make sure that your metabolism functions well. A standing desk can be expensive, but it is definitely a worthwhile investment that can improve your health.

Posted on
January 16, 2018
Skype is a great tool for connecting with business contacts over great distances. The online video-chat service now owned by Microsoft offers a more personal and relaxed—but equally professional—experience than traditional conference calls or emails. It may be especially valuable as an alternative to in-person meetings for those at the helm of a virtual office. Whether interviewing candidates for a new contract, pitching to clients or potential partners, or coordinating with telecommuting staff members, the ability to share visual cues, sketches, notes, and gestures can be invaluable. Eye contact and body language are also critical pillars in building rapport with future allies. There are many reasons to harness the power of Skype, but some important technical details should be considered to ensure you present a professional, organized, and confident image before you jump on that first call.

Harness the Power of Skype to Connect With Allies in Virtual Offices

How Slow is Too Slow? Consider Your Internet Speed

If you know for a fact that anyone on the call is on dial-up, you may want to stick to a traditional phone call or Skype text chat. Skype relies on a fast Internet connection, and stutters, breaks, and dropped calls can quickly generate frustration and diminish the sense of organizational competency and collective accomplishment in a long-distance meeting. If you're running other screen-sharing programs or playing other online videos as part of the call, this will also affect performance. If in doubt, perform a test call under similar circumstances. If information shared on the call is important, you should also consider the security of the network of all callers. For example, it's relatively easy for hackers to intercept data traded on unlocked wireless networks. You may want to stipulate that all participants of your meeting ensure they are on private devices and locked networks.

Be Prepared: Know What You Need

For the most part, Skype-to-Skype calls are completely free. However, group calls are limited to voice-only for free users. If you want to organize a video call with three or more people, or share your screen via Skype with two or more people, you'll need to upgrade to a premium account. Ensure you have the correct account before you start your call to avoid awkward IT problems.

Think About Your “Scene”

To convey a professional image, if you're planning on hosting or receiving a video call, you should treat your “meeting space” just like you would for a physical meeting. Preview the image from your web camera and note any messy or distracting elements in the background. No quality camera will compensate for an awkward angle or bad lighting. Make sure the camera is roughly at eye-level and pointed straight ahead. Use a front-overhead light—or a series of lights—to avoid harsh shadows. If the image looks “noisy” or “grainy,” it's probably due to the lighting conditions in your office. Of course, the most important thing at the end of the day is still the audio. Make sure you're close enough to your computer or microphone that you don't have to shout to be heard. You should be able to talk in a natural, comfortable speaking tone. It's perfectly fine to have a microphone in view of the camera; if you're using an external shotgun mic or similar, place it right in front of you on the desk or table.

Be Courteous: Video Call with Caution

Video calls are great for connecting with your contacts on a personal level. However, there's certain etiquette that should be considered for video calls. Never initiate a video call without any warning. If you don't have an outstanding meeting request, send a quick message via Skype chat to make sure they're okay with a video call. Even in cases where the call is pre-scheduled, you may want to start with a voice call and ask all participants, once online, if they're comfortable activating video for a true face-to-face discussion.

With these things kept in mind, Skype can be the perfect platform for a range of business communication needs. When coupled with the services of a virtual office like those offered through YourCityOffice.com, it brings professional, high-tech networking to entrepreneurs and established managers alike with affordable, accessible, Internet communication.

Posted on
January 17, 2018
Business people are wondering if it's even necessary to go to the office anymore. With technology as a person's main form of communication, it's making more and more sense for people to stay at home to get their work done. In addition to financial benefits, can Working from home actually reduce a person's carbon footprint? Read more to find out how the Earth could be benefiting from virtual offices!

Did You Know: Three Ways That Working From a Virtual Office Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Overhead: It's Not Necessarily worth the Environmental Cost

An office space requires a ton of money and energy to sustain itself. Heating, water, electricity, lighting, and air conditioning are only a few of the numerous ways that business owners bind themselves to paying a fortune on monthly overhead. It's important for a business to weigh the potential benefits of working within the home. It's not all beneficial financially, but environmentally as well.

The amount of energy it takes to maintain the energy in one room of a house is substantially less than the amount of energy it takes to run an entire building or large office space. It's worth thinking about.

Supplies and Furnishings: Only Use What's Needed

With a virtual office, a company can save substantially on office supplies and furniture. Think about the number of chairs, desks and computers that are purchased by big businesses on a daily basis. Then, think about the number of those things that are thrown into landfills. Carbon emissions are worth thinking about, and so is furniture waste.

When working from home, often a dining room table can be converted into an office desk for a few hours each day. A kitchen doesn't need to turn into anything - it's already a great place to prepare food for lunch hour. The bathroom doesn't require more soap, toilet paper, or towels. Waste can be dramatically reduced when a business decides to be run from home.

Commuting: Save the Earth and the Bank Account

Purchasing gas is toxic to the bank account, as most people are aware, but what about the emissions that can be saved by not commuting to and from work every day? Gigantic financial savings can be seen by someone who goes from working outside the home to working within the home environment. Even though a business person who works from home may not be able to see the Earth's delight in less gas being used, the environmental benefits will indeed add up to be substantial.

The Earth takes the brunt of what people choose to do, and business owners can make choices that actually help the planet, rather than hinder it. The financial and environmental overhead associated with keeping an office space in working order, the physical waste and carbon emissions, and the environmental damage due to commuting, are all reasons why working from home can be a better choice for many business people. Your bank account will see enormous savings, and the planet can be happier as well. The choice is in the hands of the business owner.

Posted on
January 18, 2018
As a freelancer, your time is important. Without a traditional office setting, you may find it difficult to keep your productivity at an acceptable level – and that means you might find yourself investing too much time into low-paying projects. The key to being a successful freelancer is knowing how much time it will take to complete a given task. If productivity is one of your major freelancing worries, then you should know about these time-tracking tools that can revolutionize the way you do your work.

Paymo for Time Tracking and Online Invoicing

Paymo is an online application that allows you to track your time when working, while giving you the option of adding as many clients as you wish. There are three options you can sign up for. The first one, which is free, allows for only one user and one invoice per month. The second option costs $9.95 per month, can be used by two users, and allows for 30 invoices per month. The last one, priced at $14.85 per month, starts off with three users, but gives you the option of adding more at $4.96 per user. With this last option you can send unlimited invoices. All of these options allow for unlimited clients and projects.

Toggl for Detailed Reports on How Time was Spent

Toggl is a secure and reliable cloud application that can be used both online and offline. It helps freelancers to understand how they spent each hour of work. The application provides users with a timeline that shows each day in 15-minute blocks. These blocks reveal which computer programs were active and for how long. However, the timeline is only visible to the freelancer, and is not made public to clients or firms. Toggl does allow employers to view detailed reports of how each of their freelance contractors spent their time, and the program also offers graphs that display the information in a visual format. This application is free, but many of the more advanced features are available only with Toggl’s paid plan. To unlock these features will cost five dollars per user per month.

Harvest for Simple and Accessible Time Tracking

Harvest is one of the most popular applications for time tracking, and it offers a simple interface and comprehensive features. It can be accessed from a variety of devices, including PCs and Mac computers. It can easily be used for teams, and employers can manage the time their staff spends working, and even approve timesheets. As for reporting, Harvest offers real-time snapshots of billable time, in addition to un-billable time, hours that were not invoiced, and income. Data can be displayed in a very detailed manner. Employers can group information by employees, by project, or by a number of other features. There are four available plans within this application. Harvest Free allows for one user, a maximum of four clients and two projects. Harvest Solo costs $12 per month can be used by 3 users. Harvest Basic costs $49 a month and can be used by nine people. Lastly, Harvest Business starts off with 10 users for $99 per month, with the option to add an unlimited number of users at the cost of $10 per user. The Solo, Basic and Business plans allow for unlimited clients, projects and invoicing.

Working from a virtual office can be very simple, if you are using the right tools and applications. Depending on the type of business, some time management tools work better than others, which is why it’s a good idea to try each one and find out which fits best with your working style. You may find the perfect one, or realize that you work best using a combination of these tools. To get the most out of your business by working from a virtual office, visit us at YourCityOffice.com and discover how a virtual office will boost your business’ productivity.

Posted on
January 19, 2018
Interns are an extremely valuable asset to a company and have never been more available than they currently are. With the economy still recovering, college students are becoming more and more eager to intern as a way to establish connections and expertise before they enter the workforce. Those who are not in college also turn to internships in order to build the resume and attract potential employers. Because of their willingness to work, your business can benefit from the skills of interns. If you are a business that is looking to recruit interns, there are five key practices you can begin to start attracting bright, young talent to your organization.

Five Tips for Recruiting Interns to Assist With Business Tasks

Offer Meaningful Training

Part of the law surrounding interns states that a business is not allowed to have an intern perform a task that an employee would otherwise be paid to do. An internship, by nature, is offered by a business with the intention of training the intern in the industry or role that they are learning. In order to offer a legal internship as well as to attract the brightest candidates, take the time to develop internship positions that teach candidates about a certain aspect of your business while at the same time as challenging them to perform.

Provide Valuable Mentorship

Many people mourn the loss of true mentors in the modern age. Interns nowadays are craving personal one on one mentors that can help them navigate the snares of being a professional, as well as direct them to the most appropriate path for them to take in their career. A business that integrates true mentorship into an internship program is always a great draw for prospective interns.

Connect With Post Secondary Institutions

Many schools require an internship as part of a student's degree or diploma program. By connecting with educators at these schools you can win the referral of people whom students trust. A recommendation about your internship program from a professor or career counselor can make a huge difference for a student looking for a meaningful way to complete their program requirements.

Advertise Your Internship Positions

Many schools have job boards available to students and alumni where you can advertise available internships. In addition to this, always make sure you are keeping active postings on any industry job boards. Professionals looking to switch industries, as well as people who are not in school, will check these regularly to see if any new opportunities have arisen.

Generate Positive Word of Mouth

The days of dismissing interns as nothing more than people who do menial tasks are over. Now there is a high importance placed on generating positive word of mouth about internship programs. Interns talk to each other, and the best way to attract new interns is through peer-to-peer recommendations. The most helpful way to generate positive word of mouth is through treating interns with plenty of respect and care.

Always remember that while you're doing interns a favor by giving them a job, they're doing you a favor by working for free. Acknowledging this and thanking them for their contributions goes a long way and will create a positive experience for interns.

Posted on
January 20, 2018
After a long day at work, you and your colleagues may need a little something to unwind and relax. Luckily, with our many convenient London virtual offices, you can walk from the office and enjoy a cocktail, beer, or glass of wine at many notable London establishments.

St Pauls: Searcy's Champagne Bar

Walk From St Pauls: Searcy's Champagne Bar

Within five minutes walking distance from our St Pauls virtual office is Searcy's One New Change Champagne Bar, which is an elegant spot in one of London's up-and-coming shopping destinations. Cheapside is a trendy new area with many stylish venues for drinks and food. Searcy's Champagne Bar is the perfect place to toast to a job well done or to congratulate a co-worker, and with its many offerings of champagne cocktails, wines, and premium beers, you and your team are sure to be satisfied.

Mayfair's The Luggage Room

If you're looking for a great place to unwind after a long day's work, The Luggage Room is a trendy 1920's inspired cocktail bar that is reminiscent of everything from the Roaring Twenties. Served in the bar's signature glass, the Bentley Cup, enjoy the unique Luggage Cocktail, a concoction of vodka, herbs, Campari, and elderflower. Unwind and enjoy this unique spot, located less than a five-minute walk from our Mayfair virtual offices.

Get in The Loop in Mayfair

Also within stumbling distance from our Mayfair offices is The Loop, which is the perfect venue at which to host an evening with a little more spice. This three-level establishment offers a full bar with private lounge areas, as well as a great area to let loose and dance. Enjoy a drink as well as a full food menu, and get in the loop with a few dance moves. This venue also offers Happy Hour between 5 and 9 p.m., which may easily make it your favourite after work drinks venue.

The Fumoir off Regent Street

The Fumoir off Regent Street

Visit this classy establishment near our Regent Street virtual offices, and immerse yourself in the sophistication of the Thirties. This stylish venue offers a full bar that is dawned with the history of the 1930s, and the atmosphere is suitable for after work relaxation as well as the continuation of business talk. Enjoy one of their signature cocktails—each of which is inspired by the intriguing era—served in a Lalique glass.

Nearby York Street: The Temperance

The Temperance, located within walking distance from our York Street virtual offices, is a popular pub amongst the nearby offices, offering a place for lunch as well as an after work opportunity to mingle with the locals. The simple decor and relaxed atmosphere brings the perfect environment for relaxation, and outdoor seating is also available on a sunny day.

Colourful Cocktails at Chiquito in Greenwich Peninsula

If you are posted up at one of our Greenwich virtual offices, you can visit Chiquito for after work dinner as well as one of their many colourful cocktails. This Mexican grill is within walking distance from our Greenwich offices, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a long list of beverages that include mojitos, margaritas, cocktails, wine, and beer. Whichever London virtual office you are situated at, you will surely have a long list of after work drink venues to choose from. Take the opportunity to relax, and visit one of these close-to-work establishments that will keep you coming back. If you’re looking for more information about virtual office services or the amenities available nearby, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Posted on
January 21, 2018
A blog can be an exceptional marketing tool, if used correctly. It can bring readers in from all over the globe, and in the business world a blog is often considered to be the most important part of an online marketing plan. If the blog is the hub of the wheel, for example, then the other web pages are the spokes. Doing things right can be a challenge for a lot of business people. To help out, below are four tips that will simplify the process of blogging for business.

Four Tips for Using a Blog to Bring in New Customers

Offer Something for Free

People love deals. They love being treated and they love when they have been given something for free. Many times, businesses can give things away for free which have a lot of value to a customer, but which cost the business only pennies to give away. In addition to the benefit of having a happy future customer, after someone receives something for free, they are much more likely to be a paying customer down the road.

Think of something that can be given away, and trade it online for the customer's email address. Collecting an email address from a potential customer is like receiving a golden ticket - a ticket to contact them in the future, to build a relationship, and to make a sale. Collect the email address quickly, but then be methodical about contacting prospects. No one likes to give their email address away and then be bombarded with daily emails and sales offers.

Share the Blog on Social Networks

Getting the word out is vital to a blog's success. The more people come to the blog, the better the blog will rank in search engines like Google and Yahoo. Every time a new blog post is written, someone should be updating Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The updates can say something like, "New blog post! Find out the best way to plant an indoor garden during the winter." Be sure to add the link to where the blog post can be found. The key is to make the blog simple for people to find on their own, with one tap of their finger.

Write Thoughtful and Original Blog Posts

There is a saying online that "content is king." Original writing can make or break a blog in terms of search engine ranking. A business should never copy and paste information from other websites into their own website or blog. Simply put, original writing will help build an audience that is more likely to return in the form of paying customers.

Talk about What's Important to Customers

Talk about the things that current customers are interest in. Oftentimes, business people answer the same questions over and over again from different customers. Think about these questions; when a business owner is thinking in terms of what the customer wants to understand, blogging becomes easy. Answer the questions that people are frequently asking. Do some Internet research, link out from the blog post to other relevant articles, and share the things about which the target market is curious.

There are numerous ways for a business to build their presence online, but blogging is vital. Having a blog is like rebuilding a website with every post, and it can play a massive role in product sales and marketing. Doing it right means writing original content, building a respectable brand, driving people from social networks to the blog, collecting email addresses, and interacting with prospects in a respectful manner.

Posted on
January 22, 2018
As a small business owner, you may have heard about the virtual offices becoming a viable way to expand your company without all of the usual costs. A virtual office isn’t just for expansion, though – it can also increase your sales. Virtual offices can help your organization to close the deal and drive sales – here’s how.

Can Using Virtual Offices Increase Your Sales? Yes – and Here’s How

It Make Your Business Look Professional

One of the best things about acquiring a virtual employee is the sense of a real office that comes along with them. While a virtual employee will more than likely be working out of their own home or personal office space, having someone around who can respond to emails, answer and return calls and deal with many of the straightforward concerns of a new business can go a long way in making your new business appear like it's taking a great leap forward. As this is a great first step in making your business look stable and successful, a virtual assistant is a great way to get to the next level of growing your small business.

You Can Focus Your Efforts as a Business Owner

One of the most difficult things about being the owner of a small business is trying to do the basic daily tasks while you attempt to expand your business. As a great way to better focus your workload, a virtual office can take a lot off of your plate so that you can spend your time networking, expanding your business and deciding what your plan for its future is. As a virtual office’s staff will be able to take on many of the easy daily tasks that you are used to doing, they'll be able to organize everything for you. That means a virtual office can free up a lot of your time so you can work on bringing in new clients and put yourself to work doing the tasks that only you can complete!

You Can Capitalize On a Second Opinion

As a virtual office will provide you with the benefit of having administrative staff who will be learning about your business, and it will also give you the perspective of another person, which can be beneficial. As an owner who is working through the wilderness of a small business all on their own, having another person around who will be organizing the every day details of your business and will hopefully have a key viewpoint into how you run things can mean a fresh perspective. While this does not automatically lead to more money or customers, it can mean a refined and better-organized way of doing things that can lead to maximizing your time and capital in a way that will garner even more success down the road.

As a great method for growing your business without the typical associated costs, having a virtual office can lend your business a professional appearance and valuable amenities. This can mean new clients and the increased sales to go along with them. If you're contemplating moving your business to a virtual office in order to drive higher sales, visit us today at
https://www.yourcityoffice.com and find your business’ new home!

Posted on
January 23, 2018
The concept of time management can be frightening for some people. This is possibly because time is somewhat of an elusive concept; somehow time moves more quickly when people are in a hurry, and time moves too slowly when there is nothing going on. Time management in 2018 can be straightforward, simply by ushering in the following five tips.

Five Time Management Tips to Usher in 2018

Do the First Things First

Learning to prioritize is something that every businessperson needs to do. It's a skill that pays off substantially for the people who take the time to understand it. Not everything needs to be done right now, in this very second. Prioritizing is a skill that takes practice, but it can be done. Every day, look at the things that seem like they need to be done today. Really look at each item, and then ask yourself the question, "Is this item top-priority, or could something more urgent come before this?" Before long, prioritization will be a simple process that will require very little contemplation.

Be the One in Control of the Phone

Handheld devices are often peoples' main focus. The phone can be integral to a business' success, but sometimes it just sucks away a person's time. Be mindful of who is actually in control of the phone, and take the time to notice whether it's being used in a way that is beneficial to time management goals. Sometimes, it's okay for phone calls to go to voice mail if it means that high-priority tasks will be completed more efficiently without that interruption.

Inject Personal Time All Over the Place

Time management isn't only about doing more work in less time, although more work in less time is definitely a goal that is worth striving for. It's good for a businessperson to ask themself what is important. The time is coming to an end where people simply work their lives away, just to find themselves old and regretting that they never spent time on the things they loved in their lives. Now is the time to create a balance of work and play. Now is the time when personal needs, as well as business needs, have to take priority. Inject personal time into a workday and notice how it can be completely revitalizing.

Use a Better Calendar

Every businessperson needs to be using an effective, well-organized, calendar device of some kind. There are numerous applications that can be used on handheld devices that have alerts and notices. These can be really handy, and they can help speed up the amount of time it takes to schedule appointments and make changes to the calendar.

Know that There is Only So Much Time in a Day

Being stressed about time is not fun for anyone. Running here and there without stopping to think about what's actually important is a trap that many business people fall into. Relax with the understanding that not everything can be done today, and it won't all get done today. Accomplishing tasks can be done more efficiently and it's a worthy goal to strive for, but it's equally true that every person can stop and take a deep breath and remember that there really is only so much time in one day.

In 2018, prioritization and balance are integral to time management success. Enjoying each moment while striving to be more efficient will create a more productive year ahead.

Posted on
January 24, 2018
Webinars are a great tool that businesses can use to build trust with potential clients or customers. Whether it is a business making use of a virtual office or not, this revenue-generating tool can be a valuable component to any business's marketing plan. The webinars can be hosted for free, and this will save a heap of money that business owners will be able to spend elsewhere.

Using Webinars to Grow Your Small or Online Business

Lead Generation Is an Important Attribute

Creating a webinar is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for a business. The webinars should be relevant to the target market. For example, a business that specializes in selling honey may choose to host a webinar about the ways that bees produce honey. This can help the business to become more credible as an established leader in its field. By educating the public about the various components of the business, they will begin to trust the company, and look to it for purchases.

Launching New Products Becomes Easy

When a business is ready to launch a new product, a webinar can be one of the most efficient ways to ensure that the product is being introduced to the public in the best possible way. This includes ensuring that the product is described in a positive light. When the public is educated about the product in a way that is a little more personal (such as a webinar), they will be far more likely to make a purchase. Furthermore, this marketing campaign is one of the most affordable ways to introduce the product to the public. This is a great option for a business offering products, but is also a good choice for a business launching a new service.

Demonstrating the Product Is Vital to Earning New Customers

A video is often the only way to ensure that a product is being introduced to the public in a very informative way. Often, a video is needed to introduce a product, because a less intimate marketing technique could leave the public uninformed about the product that is being launched. For example, a simple print ad of the new product does not do a lot to grab the attention of potential customers. However, a video displaying the various attributes of the new product can quickly convert potential customers into lifelong customers.

It’s Not Just About Selling

Training is another major feature of webinars that can improve the quality of a business. By showing training videos via webinars, new staff are better able to identify the goals of the company. This can result in a vast improvement to the overall business outcomes.

Whether your business is web-based or not, webinars can produce the type of results that many businesses aim for. By understanding the benefits, people are able to help the public understand the business, and this adds a friendly face to the company. The technique contains various attributes that will help put businesses into the driver's seat, while securing new customers or clients at an extremely low cost. Webinars are also a great option if you’re planning to use, or are already using, virtual office services. For more information about this non-traditional way of doing business, contact us at YourCityOffice.com.

Posted on
January 25, 2018
In business, being able to master the use of computers is the difference between success and failure, making money and losing money. Nothing beats a tablet if you need to do a lot of computing on the go. A tablet is a one-piece, mobile PC that is used mainly by touching the screen. Even if you have a virtual office, you'll find that having a tablet makes life easier for you. Here is how to use such a tablet productively.

Tablets and the Virtual Office – How To Use a Tablet Productively

More Convenient Than Booting Up Your PC

The whole point with tablets is that they are handheld versions of your big, heavy PC. Instead of booting up your PC in the morning when you start the day at work, just grab your tablet and use it to scan all the important headlines that interest you, the weather reports, and your e-mails. Using a tablet is more ideal than using your smartphone, especially first thing in the morning when your eyes are still glazed over from sleep.

Keep Up with the News

When you're working in your virtual office, you have to stay on top of the news. This is particularly true if your business lives and dies by it. If you have the proper app for your tablet, you can conveniently get your RSS feeder on your tablet. Through such a setup, you can easily scan any headlines and read stories side by side, something that can't be done on some web versions of news readers.

Use It as a Day Planner

Here's something that everyone in business needs: a day planner. In order to make sure your schedule lines up and you don't miss any important dates, a day planner is a must. With a tablet, you can efficiently enter multiple calendar entries like it's nobody's business. When you're trying to please your clients from your virtual office, there's nothing worse than missing an appointment because you don't have an organized way of seeing all your important, upcoming dates.

Use It for Social Media

These days, if you're running a business and not using social media, then you're likely losing clients! Social media is a great method of networking and getting in touch with new business prospects. A tablet can be an ultra-handy way of updating your various social media accounts, whether that's Twitter, Google Plus or plain old Facebook. With the right app, you'll be surprised at how easy it is to use social media on a tablet. Compared to a smartphone, a tablet allows you to look at all timeline-related info at once.

Virtual offices are gaining traction as a more cost-effective way of doing business. Owning a tablet and knowing how to use it productively can complement your virtual office experience all the more. Thanks to the portability and ease-of-use of this handheld device, you can free yourself up from having to spend so much time behind a desk to perform your business activities. While some people are still just warming up to tablets, they have already been shown to make life at the office more streamlined.

Posted on
January 26, 2018
Business apps are a great way to ensure that a virtual office company is doing everything it can to ensure prosperity. That is why it is important to keep up with the various developments in the world of business apps, to ensure that each company is utilizing all of its resources. While many businesses have New Year's resolutions to improve productivity or net revenue, for example, these resolutions can be forgotten through the course of the year. It can be exceedingly difficult to stay motivated. However, by taking a look at these five business apps for 2018, many business owners will find they are able to ensure many of the resolutions can be maintained.

goalGETTER Can Help Keep Goals in Focus

Each year, many business owners find that setting realistic goals is a great way to ensure they are able to generate the type of revenue that will set them up for a prosperous year. goalGETTER is a free app that allows users to input their savings amount before selecting various goals that they have. These goals could be to generate a specific amount of revenue each month, for example. After inputting the goals, the app is able to track the savings in order to monitor the distance for achieving the goal. This can help business owners to stay motivated to work hard.

The Mint App Can Help to Reduce Debt

Saving money and reducing debt are both extremely important to most business owners. In order to do this, they should know where their money is going. The Mint app categorizes transactions and allows business owners to keep better track of where they are putting their money.

LearnVest Gives Helpful Advice

The LearnVest app allows users to have a free 15-minute call with a person who is a planning expert and can give advice and support. The app connects to business owners' financial accounts and shows the real-time spending numbers. This helps these business owners set their financial goals.

Personal Capital App Allows Business Owners to Track Investments

Investments are an important component to many businesses. The app tracks the investments by the account, security, and asset class. The app lets users know how their investments are doing, and these can be compared to the indices.

SavedPlus Is Automatic Saving

With the SavedPlus app, business owners are able to select a percentage of their revenue that they want to save. Every time a purchase is made, some money will go into a savings account. For example, if the business owner spends $100, and wants to save 10%, $10 will be deposited into a savings account when the purchase is made. Using an app to guide the goals of a company can be extremely valuable, and apps like these are vital for many business owners. Often this technique is much more practical and simple than the traditional pen and paper method, or manual computer entries. By using these five great apps, businesses can save more time and money in 2018. Ultimately, that is the goal of most business owners. These apps can save you time and money, and are great for those using the services of a virtual office. Contact us today at YourCityOffice.com to find out more about our virtual office services.

Posted on
January 27, 2018
Virtual offices have become increasingly popular among small businesses for a number of reasons. They offer the convenience of a conventional office space without the staggering costs that are normally associated with renting office space. They also provide the convenience of being accessible throughout the world. Any businessperson should know that location is key to success, and virtual offices provide myriad opportunities for locations to establish your small business. The question is: how does one decide where to set up shop given all the choices? Here are four tips that will help you to reach a conclusion.

Four Tips on Choosing the Best Virtual Office Location for Your Small Business

Business Priorities

Since various virtual offices emphasize or offer certain features, you should select one that best suits your business priorities and what you ultimately want to get out of your virtual office. For example, some virtual offices will be positioned in a reputable area but may lack some reception, meeting room or mailroom functions that may be more available in other locations that aren't as prestigious. Therefore, you must weigh the pros and cons of each virtual office and select one that best suits your business's needs.

Image is Important

Although image isn't everything when it comes to a virtual office, it does matter. A virtual office location can be thought of as a representation of your business. A clean commercial area will speak volumes about your business. That said, more desirable locations will demand higher rates, but it may be well worth it to give your business the credentials it deserves. However, as previously mentioned, simply selecting a location based on its image won't necessarily springboard your business to success. It's advisable to weigh the various factors equally to reap the most benefits.

Consider Convenience

Virtual offices are, for all intents and purposes, designed for the sake of convenience. When choosing a virtual office to utilize, make sure that it actually does provide you and your business with convenience. Make sure that it is close to where you live. Avoiding long commutes in rush hour traffic may have been one of the main reasons to opt for a virtual office over a traditional one in the first place, so keep that in mind.

Compare Rates and Fees

Choose a virtual office with a reasonable rate. If you cannot afford the most prestigious locations right away, think of it as a future goal. Since the object of business is to make more money than what you started with, it's best not to spend most of it on office rates and other fees. It is also wise to pay attention to the costs of extra amenities such as meeting rooms, which may charge a premium rate by the hour.

Take It Around the World

Overall, finding a good virtual office to start your business shouldn't be a difficult task. There are offices all over the world, from North America to Europe to Asia and Australia, so there is no shortage of selection. Again, before making any hasty decisions, take all of the aforementioned tips into account and weigh them equally before selecting a virtual office. In the end, simply do what is right for you and your business and you can do no wrong. Good luck!

Posted on
January 29, 2018
Working from home can be a fantastic concept for a lot of people, but there are things that can make it even better. Non-stop work can be really hard on anyone, and especially on an entrepreneur who is trying to be successful. Read ahead to find out why taking a midday run could be one of the best things to do for a business' success.

Why Stepping Out of the Virtual Office for a Midday Run Is Worth It

Time to Meet New Prospects

People don't often consider this about home-based businesses, but having a business from home can be one of the best opportunities to network with other people. It seems contradictory that working from home could be a good way to build connections; although the truth is that an entrepreneur has the schedule of their choosing. This allows them to step outside of their regular work schedule and build a whole new schedule that includes social interaction with all sorts of new people.

Taking frequent breaks to get out of the house and socialize can be the best way for an entrepreneur to build their business clientele. Why not join a morning running group? Make some friends and talk about business. The bonus: exercise boosts productivity, so when the run is complete then better work can be done.

Space to Clear the Mind

Leaving the house is an integral part of running a home-based business. The home needs to remain a sanctuary of peace; the home needs to be a place of rest. The fact is that some people can begin to feel isolated and stressed-out by working from home. The key is to get out of the house often while maintaining the balance of work and play. Leaving the house for a run or walk can be the perfect way to clear a cluttered mind and get back on track for the rest of the day.

Energy to Reinvigorate the Body

A body that exercises will actually have more energy than a body that is spending too much time at rest. Even though working at the computer does not feel like rest, the body needs to be moving around often in order to feel its best. Having a healthy lifestyle will improve the chances of the business being successful, and it will also help the entrepreneur to feel more mindful and balanced.

More Fun to Be Had

Again, taking a break from work can be a hard thing when work and home are in the same place. However, a big reason people begin working from home is so that all their time doesn't need to be focused on work; they want more free time to spend on the things they enjoy doing. If you work from home, do those things!

Posted on
January 30, 2018
The term “solopreneur” is a new buzzword in business-speak, gaining usage to near Miriam-Webster recognition levels as the new year kicks off. But any business venture can be a time-consuming, and emotionally and physically draining challenge, and that difficulty is only amplified when flying solo. Having a solid, trustworthy business partner can mean more than duplicating your capacity for work, or doubling the speed of business development. Working with another entrepreneur can open up new doors by arming your outfit with a new portfolio, networking rolodex and expertise, a unique perspective, and a sober second thought on critical business decisions. The potential benefits of teaming up on a new business venture are invaluable, but only if you can find the right collaborator. A few simple tips will keep you on the right track as you hunt down the perfect business partner.

Don't Delay: Network Today!

The sooner you start networking, the more options you'll discover and the longer you'll have to get to know potential candidates. Don't introduce the fact up-front that you're looking to work with other entrepreneurs in equal partnership, but hint at your receptiveness to mutually beneficial collaborations. By using careful discretion and keeping your field of discussion to general shared interests, you'll avoid bad apples who prey on other business founders to turn a quick buck with little or no interest in long-term commitments.

Gauge Interest in Your Business Idea

While networking, find out what potential candidates have done in the past and what areas of business and industry they're naturally drawn towards. Business is as diverse and specialized as medicine; you wouldn't get a veterinarian to perform laser eye surgery for you, and neither should you get an aspiring photographer to help you start your pizza franchise…at least not in a management capacity. At the end of the day, though, remember that commitment, dedication, interest, and personality will always be more valuable than education or experience. Anyone can learn, but enthusiasm for a particular objective cannot be taught. By gauging the interest people express in your business ideas, you should be able to tell how genuinely passionate they are about the field, and how much they'd be willing to put into it as a business partner.

Be Honest About Your Ambitions

One of the most common reasons many business partnerships never succeed beyond a few months is simply that one or both parties don't want them to. Do you want your business to last a lifetime, or would you prefer to build it up and sell it for a quick profit? Would you want to sell your stake to your partner or buy their shares if it ever reached its full potential? Make sure your aims are the same as any potential partner by being upfront and honest about your long-term ambitions and encouraging them to be equally frank.

Think About Your Weaknesses, Not Your Strengths

You might get along great with someone with an identical skill-set to you, but your business will probably be better served by someone who can do things you can't. Make a list of all the things you think would be critical for the enterprise of your ambitions and consider which leadership tasks could be better served by someone else. Ask your friends and other entrepreneurs for honest feedback on your weaknesses and keep an eye out for potential partners whose strengths could fill those voids.

Make It Official: Hire Legal Council

No matter how well you think you get along with your new business partner to-be, don't skip the critical step of getting the full agreement in writing. Even if both parties are comfortable with an existing contract, make sure a lawyer is present to certify the agreement. More than a safety net for worst-case scenarios, this process will catch any miscommunications that might have occurred in verbal discussions, and build a mutual confidence in the professional nature of your new business.

Whether you're running an Internet startup from your parents’ basement, a service provider from a shiny new virtual office, or a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer, finding the right business partner will open up a whole new world of opportunities for your entrepreneurial career. If you’d like to learn more about virtual offices, contact us today at YourCityOffice.com.

Posted on
January 31, 2018
Having the right app for your tablet or smartphone can make all the difference in the world. It can help you become better organized and more efficient when tending to business-related material. Conversely, the most effective apps can also help you get more organized in your everyday, personal life. However, there are so many note-taking and organizing apps from which to choose. How do you know which ones are right for you? These are the best note-taking and organizing apps.

Leveling Up: The Best Note-Taking and Organizing Apps

EverNote Is the Best

EverNote is the best note-taking and organizing app out there. It is set apart from other, similar apps by its ability to affix items to notes, which can be everything from PDF files to audio to video. This app even allows you to fashion entirely new notes by using any of these three methods. At the same time, this app may be a little complicated because you really need to read over its instruction page. The various icons on its main screen and different notes are not intuitively grasped.

ColorNote Places a Close Second

This note-taking and organizing app takes you back to the basics of doing things. Featuring color-coded practicality and simple, straightforward design, it is the opposite of complex and almost too easy. Its interface is easy to move through, and its search ability is located in the upper right corner of the app. The menu options also make finding notes a breeze, which you can then sort by specially designated colors.

Middle of the Pack: MobisleNotes

This is a note taking and organizing app that is defined by just three main screens as you work with this app. These three screens are the note itself, the notes screen and the note folders screen. Master the use of these three screens, and you will be able to use MobisleNotes with ease. This is a minimalist design to be sure, which should appeal to beginners who are not yet that familiar with note taking and organizing apps. Even moving from checklist to plain text and back is easy.

In Fourth Place: Catch Notes

Interestingly, Catch Notes bears the most resemblance to EverNote. So if you want EverNote-lite, then get Catch Notes. The beauty of this app is that it permits you to establish reminders, store sound bytes and pictures, and record basic text notes. In Catch Notes' lingo, there are "spaces" in which you can save all your various notes. Said "spaces" can then store notes on various topics, personal items and even miscellaneous things.

Bringing Up The Rear is GNotes

GNotes brings up the rear, and it provides you with a seemingly intuitive design, at least at first glance. While it can seem straightforward at first, the more you use GNotes, the more you will see that it's actually a bit more complex and offers many different features. This applies to everything including taking photos, attaching items to a note, and using voice recording.

These are the five best note-taking and organizing apps. They will help to make your business life and even your private life easier. With just some tinkering and experimenting, you should efficiently be able to find your way through these apps.

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