Virtual Office Space

Before every great business that came to be, there was a brilliant idea and behind that brilliant idea was tenacity. The world is full of brilliant ideas, but it takes real gumption to turn an idea into a thriving business. Funding can be a major in obstacle when trying to….
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Before every great business that came to be, there was a brilliant idea and behind that brilliant idea was tenacity. The world is full of brilliant ideas, but it takes real gumption to turn an idea into a thriving business.

Funding can be a major in obstacle when trying to get a business idea off the ground. Here are some basic steps to guide you in the right direction.

  1. Choose the right funding for your business

            It is a waste of time and energy to pitch your business plan to the wrong group of investors. Different types of businesses require different types of investors.

  • Venture capital – this is not an ideal investor group for small businesses. These investors seek seasoned entrepreneurs and high-growth industries.
  • Commercial bank Loans – These are also tough for new businesses to land, as banks consider start-ups to be high-risk investments. Most banks will require collateral.
  • S. Small Business Administration – the SBA is a great resource for seeking small business loans and guidance through the process. Check out their website at sba.gov
  • Angel Investors – Private investors or investment groups that seek out potential opportunities. You can reach out to your local Small Business Development Center to help you find investment communities.
  • Friends and Family – Seeking funding from friends and family can be risky. However, with tact and discernment, it is possible to successfully recruit them as investors. Avoid temptation to “borrow” funding, even if you have every intention of paying them back. Be clear that investing in a startup may cost them money and don’t accept funding from anyone who can’t afford to lose it.
  1. Attract investors

            Prepare a detailed business plan to submit to potential investors. If you are reaching out to private investors, in addition to your business plan, prepare a compelling pitch to cast vision about your goal and get them excited about your business. If you are seeking a bank loan or reaching out to the SBA, a complete business plan or a summary memo will be required.

  1. Inspire confidence

            When you pitch your business plan, remember, it’s not just about getting investors on board to fund your business. You need to convince them that YOU are the right person to run your business. Investors need to have just as much confidence in your ability to lead, as they do in your business to succeed.

  1. Do the paperwork

            Seek assistance from professionals to review paperwork, contracts, and details. It is critical to make sure everything is properly signed, notarized, and in legal order before moving forward with an investor.

Never spend “promised” money. Even if an investor has committed to a specific amount, until the money can be physically accounted for, there is a risk for the deal to fall through. Unless the cash is in your hand or your bank account, it does not exist.

Conclusion

As you secure funds for your startup, it’s important to plan out your spending strategy and find ways to get the most out of your money. Virtual offices and shared office space is becoming a popular and cost-effective choice for business owners desiring flexibility and efficiency. As a startup, the less money and commitment you have to make to your first business location, the easier it will be to adapt to the needs of your growing business. For customizable office space and business service options, check out YourOffice. They partner with business owners to help them find the space they need, on the terms they want, for whatever duration suits them.

Staffed Flexible Offices

Many successful businesses have started as an idea on a cocktail napkin. Starting your own company is hard, but it’s not impossible. If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea for a business already. That’s step one. Congratulations! You are now on your way to becoming an entrepreneur. What….
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Many successful businesses have started as an idea on a cocktail napkin. Starting your own company is hard, but it’s not impossible. If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea for a business already. That’s step one. Congratulations! You are now on your way to becoming an entrepreneur. What comes next is follow-through. You need to take that idea and turn it into a functioning business.

Below are 6 simple steps (and by simple, I mean I am covering the bare minimum here) to help you get started.

1.Make a Plan.
Whether it’s on a napkin or an online document, get your plan in writing. (For fun, consider including doodles!) Your plan should project at least 3 years ahead and provide an outline for the route your company plans to take.

2.Location, Location, Location
This is one of the most important decisions you will make, so do the research and then do it again. Address and office space can make or break a business, and fighting against the obstacles of a poorly-chosen location is a headache you don’t need.

3.Show Me the Money
You may have a great idea for a business, but an idea is all it will ever be if you don’t have a way to finance it. Research loan programs that you qualify for and don’t underestimate the power of networking. Your potential investor could be the brother of your friend’s sister’s husband’s golfing buddy. Also, crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter have been a successful vessel for many start-ups and personal projects to gain funding from individual supporters.

4.Be Legal
To avoid any surprise visits from the IRS or another company popping up with your business’ name, make sure you have completed the following 3 sub-steps:

Step 4a: Determine your business’ ownership structure-Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Cooperative, or Nonprofit.

Step 4b: Register your business name with your state government.

Step 4c: Get the proper tax identification number from the IRS and register for your state and local taxes.

5.Yay, Permits
Depending on your type of business and state of operation, there are specific federal and state licenses and permits that you will need to obtain. Get the paperwork started as soon as possible and plan for delays.

6.Assemble Your Dream Team
If you plan to hire employees, you need to be well-versed and compliant in the federal and state regulations of your responsibilities as an employer. This process can be tedious, but if you just take it step by step, you can build your team and keep your sanity.

Use Your Resources.
The process of starting your own business can seem overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you are seeking financial support, legal advice, or just need someone to walk you through all the paperwork, there is assistance available. For example, visiting the U.S. Small Business Administration website is a great place to start. Or, if you are in the process of choosing a location for your business, a company like YourOffice can help by providing prestigious business addresses and executive office space. YourOffice is a great option because it offers the flexibility and customization that a growing business needs.

Virtual office space

The average American worker spends 45 hours a week at work. Whether you are working from home, in a shared office space, or at your own business, you probably spend most of your time during the week at your office. It’s where your clients get their first impression of your….
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The average American worker spends 45 hours a week at work. Whether you are working from home, in a shared office space, or at your own business, you probably spend most of your time during the week at your office.

It’s where your clients get their first impression of your business. It’s where your kids come to visit on “bring your kid to work day.” Your office is a big deal and it can have a major impact on your business production.

Below are 4 Feng Shui inspired elements that you can use to transform your office into a space of comfort, inspiration, and productivity.

1.Death to clutter

Create a proper location for everything so that you can clean and find things easily. Your desk should be an open and clean work space, not covered in papers, pens, and folders. The same goes for your office space, don’t let boxes stack up, or file cabinets overflow. A messy and cramped office can increase your stress level and cause distractions. It can also communicate disorganization and laziness to clients.

Keep the room tidy and arrange your furniture in a comfortable and convenient way. This will make it an efficient working environment for you and an inviting meeting space for your clients and associates.

2.Air and Light

 High quality air circulation and lighting will ensure a healthy office environment that can improve your concentration and stamina. Make sure your office lights are in good working condition. If the lighting seems too bright or too dim, explore alternative light sources.

Poor lighting can cause a headache and it’s hard to concentrate in a stuffy room. The more airy your office is, the more comfortable you will be while working.

3.Incorporate Nature

Inspiration and relaxation is often found in nature, so bring those elements into your work space. You can use the 5 Feng Shui elements to help choose decorations and furnishings that will improve the tone of your office:

  • wood- picture frames,
  • fire- light candles or burn incense
  • earth- incorporate potted plants, silk flowers, or nature inspired artwork
  • metal- display a Newton’s cradle desk toy or a stackable magnet sculpture
  • water- install a small fountain or aquarium

4.Color choice
Creating an inspiring and effective workspace takes a little effort. You want your office to be professional, but you also want it to look sharp. A client takes notice of an office that has a well designed color scheme and layout. You may not savvy yourself an interior decorator, but having an attractive office can actually attract more business.

Choose colors that complement each other and can be tied in with any artwork or colored furnishings that you want to include. Below are some of the most popular Feng Shui color choices for a professional office space.

    • Green
    • Lavender
    • Earth Tones – tan, gold, brown, burnt orange
    • Blue
    • White

Make the space your own

Your workspace can be professional and personal at the same time. Improving your office environment can boost your productivity level, employee morale, and customer satisfaction. Clients want to partner with a company that they can relate to. So, go ahead! Hang up that picture of your family dog that makes you smile. You just improved your office space and gave a client something they can relate to.

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Stress is inevitable when running a business. However, you don’t want to let it get out of control. The build up of anxiety can easily turn your business dream into a nightmare. Below are 4 strategies to help you manage stress as well as you manage your business. Stay focused….
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Stress is inevitable when running a business. However, you don’t want to let it get out of control. The build up of anxiety can easily turn your business dream into a nightmare.

Below are 4 strategies to help you manage stress as well as you manage your business.

  1. Stay focused on your vision.

When you have a clear understanding of goals, the workload won’t seem so overwhelming. Keep track of a master to do list and an immediate to do list. The master list is reserved for large-scale goals that will take time to reach. The immediate to do list is for high priority tasks that can be accomplished within the week. Use these lists to track your progress and experience the joy of watching your business move forward.

  1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

A startup takes hard work and sacrifice. But don’t lose sight of why you started this business in the first place. If all of your time and energy is invested in work, you will start to resent your business. To avoid becoming bitter and disillusioned, take time to enjoy life outside of work.

  1. Create a stress-free environment.

If your office is messy and uninspiring, stress will find you. Maybe your interior decorating skills aren’t your strong point, bring in a friend to help you declutter and revamp. Taking ownership of your office space will make you a better and much more relaxed business owner.

  1. Celebrate success.

It’s easy to get stuck stressing about one or two areas and forget about the big picture. Take time to remind yourself (and your team) about your company’s recent victories, even the small ones (we got a discount on toner! Yay!). Step back once and a while and contemplate on where your business has come from and where it’s going. Obstacles will come and go, don’t dwell on them. Count your blessings, they will usually outweigh your business stress.

If workplace stress is making it hard for you to love your business, it’s time to take action. Try out these 4 tips and see which strategies work best for you.

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To make your business dream a reality, you need to take realistic steps. You may want a spacious office with the lake view, private secretary, and cappuccino machine, but that may not be what your business needs. Below are some tips to help the dreamer in you get your startup….
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To make your business dream a reality, you need to take realistic steps. You may want a spacious office with the lake view, private secretary, and cappuccino machine, but that may not be what your business needs.

Below are some tips to help the dreamer in you get your startup out of the clouds and into the competition.

Be honest with yourself.

You know your business best. Work with the budget you have, not the budget you want. There are resources available that provide big-business advantages at half the cost. For example, instead of blowing your budget on full-time office staff, hire a virtual office company to bundle your professional needs into a customized service that is flexible and cost efficient. Your small business can keep up a prestigious appearance without getting sloppy or acquiring unnecessary debt.

Think outside the cubicle.

Your office space doesn’t need to be confined to mortar and brick. If your dream is to one day see your business in a building of it’s own, that is an excellent goal. But your business may not need a full-time office space right now. Perhaps you only need a physical space once or twice a week, so why pay for more? Renting, coworking, shared office space- there are plenty of options to choose from.

Trim the fat.

Your business needs you. Avoid any unnecessary stress or management obligations that distract you from running your company. Business travel can easily consume your time and money. Of course, it’s necessary to interact with your clients and colleagues, but it doesn’t always need to be in person. Videoconferencing can be an effective service that cuts down stress and eliminates travel costs.

Love your business well. 

Entrepreneurs are big dreamers; we have to be. But when it comes to building a business you love, the trick is putting its needs above your wants. Your small startup can keep up with the big competition as long as you are utilizing your resources the right way. Run your business the way you need to now, so it will run the way you want it to later.

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“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your self.” -Aldous Huxley It’s 3:00 pm and you’re sitting at your desk staring mindlessly into your computer screen. You’re on your second coffee, you’ve read a million self-help books, but you still can’t….
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“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s your self.” -Aldous Huxley

It’s 3:00 pm and you’re sitting at your desk staring mindlessly into your computer screen. You’re on your second coffee, you’ve read a million self-help books, but you still can’t find the will to keep working. Motivation evades you. No matter how hard we pump ourselves up on Sunday night, the Monday blues quietly creep up around 9:05 am. Here are five simple ways to increase motivation at work.

  1. Create your own, personalized routine. It’s important to create daily rituatls to keep you motivated. The same practice works for toddlers, it keeps them happy and content in the world.
  1. Write your motivation goals down. Jot them down on a piece of paper or open a new Google doc. Brainstorm what your perfect work day would be. Write down 3 – 5 goals about what you want to get done today, tomorrow, next year, 10 years, etc. Create a plan on how to meet these goals.
  1. Become your own life coach. When you feel yourself falling into your dark place, become your own personal life coach. Learn how to be optimistic and see the glass half full. Keep a collection of positive quotes handy (or this blog post!).
  1. Face your work fears. Are you avoiding a certain project at work? Are you worried about making your boss angry? Work fear is one of the leading causes of demotivation at work. Face your fears and you’ll be surprised with the results.
  1. Find your passion. You should enjoy your work. Some people don’t consider their work “work”. What do you love doing? When are you in your element? If you aren’t feeling it at work you should consider switching jobs or going back to school.

The best way to increase motivation at work is to keep at it. Stick to your routine and don’t give up. Reevaluate your plan every 3 – 6 months to see how it’s working for you. You should also think about your career choice if you’re consistently unmotivated for years at a time. We all have our down days but you should generally enjoy your job.

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Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?  You’re not alone. In fact, 50% of Americans admit to feeling overwhelmed in their daily life. But as they say life is only as hard as you make it, and the secret to increasing productivity and reducing stress in your….
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Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?  You’re not alone. In fact, 50% of Americans admit to feeling overwhelmed in their daily life.

But as they say life is only as hard as you make it, and the secret to increasing productivity and reducing stress in your day-to-day life is about making efficient lists.

The to-do list is inescapable.  It’s our attempt to create order in our chaotic lives.  The trick to creating and maintain a healthy work/life balance is by staying organized and on task with lists.

Below are the most common mistakes people make when creating list and the best approach to making lists that will elevate your productivity.

  1. You Mix Your Lists

Just like your drinks, it’s not good to mix your lists.  Keep separate list for different areas of your life.  If you need toilet paper and want to write a business plan – these two don’t belong on the same list.  A solution is to make a home to-do list, a work-to-do list and a bucket list that are all separate.  This way you aren’t overwhelmed nor will you waste time prioritizing your chaotic list of tasks.

  1. You Misplace Your Lists

As we get older, the mind well it becomes more distracted and we don’t always remember where we put things.  Create a dedicated place or spot to put all your to-do lists.  Maybe keep them all in a notepad, or sticky notes that you take on the go.  Maybe it’s time to go digital, try some apps like Evernote, Wunderlist or clear.

  1. Your Lists Have No End Date

Make a daily list where you prioritize what’s most important.  Determining what tasks need to be dealt with first.  Having smaller, more tangible list will make you feel less out of control and overwhelmed.  Crossing off daily tasks on your list, making small victories as you complete your to-Do’s boosts confidence and keeps you motivated.

  1. Your Lists Keep Containing the Same Items

Outsource the task or get rid of it.  You know what they say, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.  Analyze your list and figure out which items can be given to someone else to free up your time for items that you can and want to do.  You know that item on your bucket list, something about bungee jumping… maybe it’s time to cross that off forever and move on.

  1. Thinking About Your Lists Makes You Cringe

Most likely your list is jumbled and disarranged.  You have tomatoes next to scheduled work meetings, coffee with friends, next to tasks to be done for a work presentation.  No wonder you feel agitated and anxious.  Organize your list one day at a time or even one hour at a time.  Try out different list techniques; see what fits your work identity.  By day, by project, by deadline are a few examples.  Try one system for at least five days before moving on to another.

This blog post gives you everything you need to know about the dos and don’ts of your to-do lists.  Remember lists are created to make your life easier, keep you motivated and accountable.  If you find that you are making any of the above mistakes try out our tips suggested and see if they make a difference.

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Today, we’re discussing how to set up and organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. A cluttered, disorganized desktop can zap your motivation and, in turn, make you and your team less productive. To get more out of your workspace, check out the following tips: Clean up your entire office at….
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Today, we’re discussing how to set up and organize your workspace for maximum efficiency. A cluttered, disorganized desktop can zap your motivation and, in turn, make you and your team less productive. To get more out of your workspace, check out the following tips:

Clean up your entire office at least twice a year. Get rid of every item you don’t want or need. If you haven’t used an item in six months, throw it in the trash (or give it away). Take inventory of all the items you’re keeping in your office. Do they each have a function? Are they working properly? Make sure everything has its place (and its use).

Create homes for every item on your desk. This could include baskets for pens, in and out boxes for projects, and a dish for your keys. Strive to keep everything in its place. Keep big projects in filing cabinets under your desk.

Hands down, this is my favourite tip – get a good labeler! Don’t buy the cheapest one either. Choose a model that’s easy to use and has the functions you need. Label everything in your office space: shelves, drawers, bins, etc. It will keep you in line and it will also keep your employees in line.

Lastly, how do you manage your files and paperwork? Are you paperless? Do you keep hard copies of all your documents? Depending on your industry, you might be able to keep everything electronically, and this would save you a lot of space!

A tidy office enables employees to be more productive because they aren’t wondering where everything is. Test out the above tips and let us know what you think. We’re sure you’ll be spending more time working and less time organizing!

5 Leadership Blunders to Avoid

Some people just exude negativity.  Everyone has encountered these negative nancy’s or ned’s in the work place. The Nitpicking, mean, negative, rude, gossiping, conniving co worker.  Who is always at your desk, sitting through meetings with you, hovering over you at lunch.  The effects of their criticism drift through the….
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Some people just exude negativity.  Everyone has encountered these negative nancy’s or ned’s in the work place.

The Nitpicking, mean, negative, rude, gossiping, conniving co worker.  Who is always at your desk, sitting through meetings with you, hovering over you at lunch.  The effects of their criticism drift through the office like poison, threatening your own peaceful temperament.

Unfortunately you can’t escape these people, they are a part of your everyday routine.  If you allow it, these toxic people will sabotage everything and everyone around them.

What can you do about it? Plenty.  Here are some ideas on how to effectively deal with them.

Poster person of Bad News

These people can’t wait to to tell you who in the office made a mistake or which person is getting fired.  They thrive on this information, and more so in sharing it.  For normal people this is incredibly draining. The best solution for these situations is to exit the conversation in a diplomatic and swift way.  Excuses like I have an important call to make, or a presentation to prep for.  The possibilities are endless, and your sanity will be intact.

Gossip King or Queen

In the work force the rumor mill never seems to stop.  Whispers of an office romance, someone is going to be laid off, talk of a new manager.  As rumors have it, they are repeated multiple times and often by the same person.  They just love stirring the pot watching the show.  What can you do, set boundaries.  When the gossiper comes to you with some juicy information just tell them you don’t talk office politics and continue on with your business.  They will get the point.

Drama Diva’s

These co workers seek attention and attention they will have.  Complaining about how they have the most work, or the worst clients, no matter what they will always one up anyones complaints..  As much as they complain they thrive on the turmoil, and the sympathy its brings.  The best quick fix is not the respond.  The more you feed the attention the worst the diva.  Give off the message that you’re not interested and they will find another victim.

Debbie Downer

No matter what good news you share, they will always find a way to ruin it.  With these types of people its best to confront the situation.  Point out gently how their negative view on things affects those and the energy surrounding.

Victims

Nothing is ever their fault.  A deadline was missed must be someone else’s error.  Victims complain about everything bad that is happening in their lives and are oblivious to their own control over the situation.  A victim never take ownership, and everyone is out to get them.  It can be hard to  help someone out of their black hole of negativity.  Without draining yourself suggest to your coworker that focusing on the positive rather than the negative can be much more uplifting.  Ask them how you can help to avoid miss deadlines, or help stratigize a better system to meet deadlines.

It only takes one person to derail a good day at work. But it also only takes one person to put that day back on track.  No matter your role or level, you can choose how to react to what’s going on around you.  Set your boundaries and always bring a positive attitude to your workplace.

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Do you feel unhappy at work? Do you lose sleep over work stress? You’re not alone. According to a recent NIOSH Report, 40% of employees reported that their job was very stressful. Additionally, 25% viewed their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Here are a few tips….
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Do you feel unhappy at work? Do you lose sleep over work stress? You’re not alone. According to a recent NIOSH Report, 40% of employees reported that their job was very stressful. Additionally, 25% viewed their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives. Here are a few tips to reduce stress while at work.

  1. If you’re feeling stress, take three to five slow deep breaths. Concentrate on pushing air out of your lungs when you exhale. This breathing method improves stress immediately.
  2. Sit down while eating and eat in the company kitchen if possible. Do you eat on the way to work? Do you eat while working at your desk? Stop! Focus on relaxing and talk with colleagues while eating. You can ignore your coworkers if they focus on gossiping.
  3. Listen to enjoyable music/podcasts on the way to work. During your drive or commute to work, put your headphones on and listen to something enjoyable. Look for motivating podcasts and/or audiobooks. Listen to your favourite music as well!
  4. Focus on the moment. Live today as if it were your last day. This can be tricky but if you really focus on it, this can drastically improve your mood.
  5. If you receive a negative email, don’t immediately respond. Most Americans obsessively check and respond to work email. In fact, the average worker spends 28% of their workday checking email. A 2013 survey found that 81% of Americans check their work email while away from work.
  6. Change your stress perspective. Your body releases hormones like cortisol and epinephrine when it feels stress. This process actually makes your body become faster and stronger. Continued stress is unhealthy as long-term exposure to these hormones can trigger numerous health problems. Instead, you have to work on your relaxation response. This can include exercise, journaling, gardening, meditation and yoga.

Numerous studies indicate that job stress is a major source of stress for most Americans. Increased stress can lead to a greater chance of suffering heart attacks, hypertension and other detrimental disorders. The above tips are meant to stop your stress, increase your happiness and help improve your work performance. Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.