Entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners often don’t have the working capital to afford a dedicated office. In fact, many businesses may only need an actual office space for occasional meetings or presentations. Still to maintain a professional appearance, many of these same businesses still rent office space, despite the costs of the lease and staff overhead.
An alternative to the traditional office space that is rapidly gaining popularity is a virtual office. A relatively new concept, the virtual office space has all the amenities of a regular office – WiFi, landlines, conference rooms and even staff. The difference, however, is that you are renting the whole kit and caboodle for a set price from a virtual office space provider. For a low cost, you can use the space for an hour or two, or on daily or weekly basis.
How to Avoid Major New Business Pitfalls
Running a business is a difficult task. You need to grow your business without making large mistakes that could cost you everything. New business owners are notorious for making poor decisions that they could have avoided with a little research and planning.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency that assists in the establishment of small businesses to ensure free competition within the U.S. economy. Assistance comes in a variety of forms, including starting and growing a business, and finding loans and grants. The SBA also offers its own loans to qualifying businesses.
Ever wondered why some companies have loyal and dedicated employees while other companies can’t get someone to stay longer than 6 months? Generally, this has to do with leadership. Employees like to work for people that value them as a resource, not just another number.
While all owners and managers can be bosses, not all bosses are leaders. There are distinct differentiators.
Differences Between a Boss and Leader
Preaches vs. Teaches: A person that is just a boss simply tells you what to do. A leader wants to hear what his team is saying, encourage them to speak their mind and have employees take charge of projects and situations.
Takes All the Credit vs. Acknowledges Others: A boss will take the credit for any success while a leader will give credit to team members.
Debbie Downer vs. Motivator: Mistakes happen in business. A boss will harshly criticize the person or team that made the mistake. A leader will point out what was done right, and then coach team members through what they did wrong. The point is not to make the person feel bad. The point is to help them learn from the situation.
Talking vs. Listening: A boss likes to do most of the talking. They prefer everything their way. A leader wants to listen to what others are saying, learn from it and use his teams’ ideas to improve his plan or goals.
Profit vs. People: A boss only thinks about the company’s bottom line. He wants to get richer. A leader knows that his team is the reason that he will be successful and that people are a better investment. If his team is motivated, they’ll work that much harder to make the company successful.
Ego-driven vs. Humble: Bosses must be the center of attention – the “leader”. They know that they’re better than others, even their own team. A leader wants to ensure that the job gets done and won’t brag about his accomplishments.
Sits on a Pedestal vs. In the Trenches: Most bosses don’t like to get their hands dirty, even if it means that a project won’t get done on time. A leader works alongside his team on tight deadlines and big projects, helping them with that they need.
Unemotional vs. Empathetic: Bosses don’t really care about your needs as an employee. They just want you to do your job. A leader is empathetic and caring.
The What vs. The Why: Bosses hand out assignments, never explaining the purpose of it – only that it needs to get done. Leaders explain why team members are receiving the assignment and why it’s necessary. This ensures that employees will trust him and understand the overall goals.
Detail-driven vs. Big Picture: Bosses focus solely on the details of a problem, but often never look for a solution. Leaders like to keep project and company goals at the forefront. They won’t do anything that doesn’t support these goals.
Businesses need leaders. Without the guidance, support and education that a leader can provide, your business runs the risk of failing your customer due to lack of commitment and dedication from your most valuable resource; strong teams and an energized staff.
You’re busy. You have your business to run, meetings to attend and deals to close. You don’t have time to constantly answer the phones and perform administrative tasks. This is why a receptionist or personal assistants are so important to your business.
Google isn’t just for searching anymore, and the company has created a bundle of services that make running a business easier, faster, and cheaper. Google Apps for Business is Google’s comprehensive paid solution to help businesses work more efficiently, but even the freebies Google offers can make daily tasks simpler.
The Affordable Care Act has officially been implemented, and small business owners are bearing the brunt of rising healthcare costs. According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, over 60 percent of surveyed small business owners with less than 100 employees are “paying higher insurance premiums per employee in 2013 than they did in 2012.”
Many entrepreneurs must travel around the country to meet new clients, visit current ones or even connect with colleagues and employees. When you’re in another city, however, it can be difficult to find adequate office space that doesn’t involve hotel lounges or coffeehouses.
As the holiday season draws near, many begin making plans for taking a break to enjoy time with loved ones. But for a lot of businesses, the holidays mark one of their busiest times of year, leaving them in search of helpful and cost effective resources and tools that can help them navigate increases in customers and tasks.