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Administrative Assistant (VA)

Get work done for you, without the hassle of employment related cost and management

Your Virtual Administrative Assistant (VA) can handle many of the everyday administrative task for you. Businesses are very well aware that expenses for office space and personal are the highest of their overhead cost. Would it not be great to have someone representing your company and answering your phone, but without having to hire a full time receptionist? Your phone might ring twenty times a day, half of these calls are from telemarketers, trying to sell their services and keep you away from being productive. No need to have a full time employee to answer your phone, if you can just have our receptionist take your calls for you. Get a local or toll free number, specifically for your business, routed to our phone system and answered in your companies name. The pricing is very marginal, you can even have our auto-attended answer and forward calls for you, if that is sufficient for your needs. An eFax service is included and all your voice messages and faxes are automatically forwarded to your email. An administrative assistant also comes in handy, when you need the occasional letter drafted, have data to be entered or mail to be opened and organized. This can easily be outsourced to your VA without having to pay for it full time. The great thing is that you will only be charged for the exact amount you utilize the VA's services. Let us handle all the management and payroll related task's. The cost for your VA vary by the specific assignment to be handled and can include but are not limited to Phone Answering, forwarding and message taking Simple administrative task and data entry Preparation of presentations Paralegal work Real Estate related work Accounting and book keeping Incorporation Services Notary Services In any event your personal administrative assistant is professionally trained for a variety of secretarial undertakings and can be further educated to your specific requirements.  


What is a Virtual Office

How does this actually work exactly?

What is a Virtual Office and how does the concept actually work? When I was looking for office space to open up my first business about 16 years ago, there were not that many options. I wanted a "cheap office" to begin with to keep my overhead down. When you were searching for the term online, only very few matches came up. I visited a few offices in my neighborhood and was introduced to a virtual office concept. What is a virtual office I wondered? A virtual office plan is like a membership in a corporate office environment, a real large and appealing office space, at least one floor, sometimes even two. However; instead of entering into a long term lease agreement were you would pay a monthly rent, whether you use it or not, you are just paying for the virtual office membership. The monthly fee is significantly lower and the terms are short with only a subscription agreement. After three month the agreement will turn into a month to month contract, which can be canceled any time. Your company is represented by the shared receptionist, in case you have a client stopping by. You can also have a business phone number, local or toll free and have it answered by the receptionist. The modern phone technology makes it possible that we can see which number is being called, so your calls are always answered in your companies name. After business hours an automated receptionist will capture your calls and forward them in accordance to your specifications. What is a virtual office? It is a great concept, which makes it possible for new and existing businesses to either start or expand their business in a very cost effective and flexible way. Whenever you are in need to occupy physical office space, you can just book a few hours in a private office or meeting room. Depending on your circumstances, you will always make the right impression on your clients. The great thing is that you only pay for what you are actually using. So if you utilize the office for 1-2 hours, you are only charged for the exact time. This allows you to afford a much more exclusive location and office. At the same time it remains flexible, if you get more busy you can even lease an executive office suite for monthly occupancy. Another great advantage is that the offices are already fully furnished and serviced. You just have to bring your Laptop and can start working right away. Nowadays the concept is widely spread all over the world. More and more entrepreneurs and even larger companies have recognized the value of co-working space. Overhead cost are always an issue and flexibility with variable expenses is very important for businesses to stay competitive. If you still have open questions about "what is a virtual office", feel free to contact us and one of our account representatives will be happy to assist you.


What is Marketing

What marketing is and how to get it started

If you have a company and have difficulties to gain more customers or to get brand awareness, than the question "What is Marketing" is probably a good one for you to ask and analyze. I see this problem with a lot of professionals, whether they are Attorneys or CPA's, Doctors, work in Real Estate or the Mortgage industry. All of them are studied academics with at least a bachelors degree in any of their specific areas. Now the problem is, that a title or a position, does not get you any clients and you must market your company, brand, service or product to an audience. In layman's terms you could say that "marketing is the ability to create a positive perception to prospective customers about what you have to offer, in order to sell something" . Notice the word perception? It means nobody has to know that you are just starting out, or that your product is new and untested. You can make it sound better than it actually is, as long as you can live up to the expectations. So in detail, what is marketing and what are the different areas you need to concentrate on in order to market well? Branding You can brand yourself or the name of your company, but also a certain product. Apple is a master of branding, the name and the logo, which align with the whole product line, as well as the description of the products. Imac, iphone, ipod, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, etc. This is a great example of branding the companies name and integrate the whole product line, easy to identify for potential customers. In order to brand you need to Create a logo Create a tagline Have a website, where people can research about your company, products or services add logo and tagline to all marketing material including letterhead, email signature, business card etc. Make it easy to identify what you do or sell. Spread your brand to potential customers consistently Create a list of people you are in contact with and market to them frequently. Marketing means that you want to be in front of them when they need what you have to offer. Identifying your customers needs A big part of what is marketing is identifying and creating a demand for your products or services. This can be a certain untouched niche market, a better and improved product or something of better overall value. Particularly if you have competition, you need to concentrate your marketing a lot on what you can do better. Can you offer a better service or price Identify a different target group and tailor to their needs Location and season specific needs More variety Better overall experience Offer discounts to new customers Survey previous customers to see how you can improve New Product launches New products are a great way to market to your customers, create anticipation and excitement is the single best thing to keep in touch with already existing clients and create "The Hype" to gain new ones. Television and radio advertisement Internet advertising Expositions Product specific events, news and press releases Social Media Marketing In terms of what is marketing, social media cannot be longer ignored. It is a great way to interact with your existing customers, entertain and convey your message. Facebook business page Twitter account Instagramm Google plus and local business page Blog on your website The most important part of marketing is that it has to be consistent. Marketing can be expensive and time intensive; however a well designed marketing plan will usually pay you ten dollars on every dollar you spend.      


Virtual Office Online

Your personal office online, completely digital

Virtual Office Online, the fully digital office solution for intelligent businesses. Did you know that you can now operate your business completely virtual, from the convenience of your home, right from your computer? With Officentos - Virtual Office Centers you can now build your enterprise nationwide. No matter where you are, you can have access to your virtual office via your online platform. You can sign up, upgrade or downgrade services, right from you smartphone. You have an unexpected client meeting in New York, but are located in Miami? Just sign up for one of our locations in the city who never sleeps. Its easy, its convenient, always with short term contracts and it can all be done through the internet or with a quick phone call. Having access to your own virtual office online from any location with access to the world wide web, making your business extremely flexible, in the most cost effective way. Stay connected with your own personalized live phone answering service. Get a local or toll free phone number with find me follow me feature and auto receptionist for after business hours. Never miss a phone call again. During business hours we will answer your calls in your companies name, take messages or forward the calls to a number you specify. Our sophisticated business class phone system can identify your companies phone number being called, so we can always answer accordingly. After business hours your virtual office online wont stop working for you. All calls will be answered by your auto receptionist, you can determine which calls are being routed to voicemail and have the system forward certain important numbers to your cell phone. Have you ever been at the airport and all the sudden you need an important report, a presentation or letter drafted, but do not have the time to do so? Now you have access to your virtual assistant, just a phone call away. Give your instructions and have the work done by our professional staff. You will always only pay for the time you use your VA and never be responsible for payroll or management related expenses. Having you own privatized virtual office online, accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Combined with any single or multiple locations to chose from, allows you outmost flexibility for the best price structure available in the market.


The American Dream

Make your dream reality!

The American Dream, closer today than ever before. Millions of people around the world are still seeing the United States as the land of the unlimited possibilities. And it is true, entrepreneurship is encouraged, it is extremely simple to engage into business activity and potentially make it big in the US. Nowhere else in the world is sales and marketing bigger than here, the market is huge and you can be whoever you can dream off. But where and how to start? People are seeking anything for two reasons, they are either inspired by an idea and dream they want to realize, or they are desperate. Inspiration and desperation are the driving forces of achieving the american dream for you personally. The difference between the talkers and the doers is that the doers find a way to overcome there inner fears. They find a way to get out of their comfort zone and understand that in order for them to get what they want, they need to act upon it. The american dream will become a reality for you, when your desire becomes bigger than your excuses. Your technical and academic knowhow will not determine your level of success. Intelligence wont guarantee riches, the world belongs to the people who understand to act on their dreams and make them a reality. Change will happen, not through knowledge, but through the ability to act upon what you know. To start your own business nowadays, is easier and more affordable than any other time before. The concepts available today are tailored to the needs of businesses. The start up cost can be very small, without having to lack a professional image. The marketing possibilities brought through us by the ability to connect worldwide are endless. The only unavoidable task for you, is the willingness to work on your dream consistently and never to give up. Get started today, do the first step toward a brighter future. Begin your path, redirect as many times as you have to in order for you to reach your goals. Make the american dream a reality for you, it is so easy to have your own business up and running in less than 24 hours.


How to incorporate a business

Incorporating your business and what to watch out for

  When you are starting your company, you may have many questions in reference to incorporate a business. It is in general advisable to consult with your attorney and CPA to find out which is the best form to incorporate for you. Incorporating basically means that you will make your company an independent legal entity, by registering your business with the division of corporation for your specific state. The registration includes the name of the business, the proposed business activities, as well as the names of all officers the corporation will have. You can chose from multiple ways how to structure your company, all of them will have slightly different tax implications and liabilities. In order to understand how to incorporate a business, following a summary of the the most recognized forms to operate your business. Sole Proprietorship As the name describes it, you are operating your business on your own. You do not have to register with the state, but need to watch out for certain forms you will have to file with the Internal Revenue Service. The business is operated under your personal name, not under a separate company name. For your tax related responsibilities you need to use your SSN.  If you chose this form, make sure you separate your business income and expenses. Keep good record, it will help you and your CPA to file your taxes properly and allow to deduct business expenses. Partnerships A Partnership is an arrangement between two or more parties, which equally invest and share gains and losses. The partnership has to be registered under a separate name with the division of corporation. If you incorporate a business as a partnership, the company wont pay taxes, but rather pass the tax responsibility through to the partners. This can be done in the form of dividends, each partner is responsibility to file their own taxes. C-Corporation Incorporate a business by forming a C-Corporation. This will allow potential shareholders to receive the companies stock in exchange for capital or property. The separate business name is registered with the state including all required information. The corporation itself is allowed to take certain federal tax deductions. Both the corporation and the individual tax payer are required to file taxes separately. The C-Corporation is taxed on its profits and the individual business owners on their dividends. In reality, this leads to a double taxation. S-Corporation Many smaller corporations chose to incorporate a business as a S-Corporation, this has similar benefits to a Limited Liability Corporation, but is not taxed individually. The S-Corporation is required to report income, but passes the profits through, in form of dividends to the shareholders. There are certain conditions you need to fulfill in order to be able to qualify as a S-Corporation. A separate form needs to be filed with the IRS after you incorporated with the state. Limited Liability Corporation This is a form to incorporate a business which is regulated by state statutes and might differ from state to state. The owners or owner of the LLC are called members. Each may own a certain percentage of the company, rather than shares. A person, company or foreign entity can be a member of a LLC. Depending on the amount of members the IRS can determine if you are taxed as a person, corporation or partnership. One of the main advantages of creating a LLC is that the company itself is treated as a legal entity and the members only have limited liability, depending on their active position in the company. The typical operating agreement to be executed regulates all particular details. To incorporate a business, contact your states division of incorporation, it will be slightly different in each state and can be done in multiple ways. Attorneys, CPA's, Business Consultants and incorporating services can assist you to create your entity. Depending on your specific needs, this may cost you between $750 to $2500 USD. The draft of an operating agreement is an additional cost and can be significantly higher. First Step - Chose a name for your business and the form of incorporation. Once you have decided, your consultant can check on the availability of the name and start preparing the specific documents. Second Step - Your companies name, including the name(s) of the owner(s), officer(s), the registered agent and the initially issued shares, will be registered with the state. Third Step - After you incorporate a business with the state, you now need to register your new entity with the IRS. You have to apply for your TIN (Tax Identification Number) and if chosen to be a S-Corporation, file an additional form. Fourth Step - You may order your book of incorporation along with your articles, stock certificates, minutes of meetings and corporate seal. Make sure that you keep all information up to date and obey to the required meetings of the corporation. One additional remark is important to know, the filling of your annual report. You are required to renew your business status each year by the end of April and submit all applicable changes and fees. To incorporate a business simply follow this guide, it is probably much easier than you initially imagined.


Hard Work vs Opportunity

Hard work always beats opportunity!

Hard work or opportunity?  The idea of the one great opportunity is all we need for our big breakthrough, is what most are waiting for, and than it never comes. I have seen people jumping from opportunity to opportunity, because it looked easy and eventually was not. People misunderstand an opportunity takes work to realize and seldom comes at a bargain. Especially in today's society, we are easily seduced by the idea of taking shortcuts and will our way to riches, but are not prepared to put in the equivalent of work. Opportunities will come more often if you decide and focus on one thing at a time. If you start something, finish it, do not give up to easy. Overnight success does not exist, it is the sum of work, the right relationships, time and money. It takes ten years to make one dream a reality. Oftentimes it is overestimated what can be accomplished in one year and underestimated what con be done in ten. Hard work will always beat an opportunity, work causes consistent and steady grow, while an opportunity is just there for a flash. Hunting for the easy opportunities to come, can cause you to loose a lot of valuable time, frustration, hardship and pain. You eventually give up and look for the next big thing. This cycle will never end, until you realize that you must determine what it is what you are here for. What are your unique talents? What can you do the whole day without feeling it is an effort? There is a pattern in all of our lives, which will point you to your own greatness and purpose. Stop chasing the opportunities and decide who you are and what you want to become. Commit to finish what you started and the chances will come automatically. Along the way, no matter how positive and enthusiastic you might be, you will face obstacles determined by your own unique path. Keep in mind that things are only as good or as bad as the meaning "you" give to them. Everything will work out just fine, if you keep going. Your internal dialog and ability to adjust to lives adversities, will control the time it will take for you to reach your dreams. Make the whole thing a journey, enjoy your life now while you can. Chose to be who you want to be, decide and take action. Take time outs to think and correct if necessary. Work consistently and you will realize the right people, opportunities and doors will open for you.  


How to start a startup

Learn about starting up your business

When it comes to how to start a startup, many things come to mind, which can be somewhat overwhelming. Questions like "Where do I get the money from"?, "Do I have what it takes"?, "What will my family say"?, "Where do I start"? and many more will cross your mind. This can be intimidating, especially if this is the first time you are trying to start a business. Don't let these things discourage you, everybody was once in your shoes. This is the first big step, overcoming your doubts and being aware that people around you will try to convince you away from your ideas. The most important advice I can give for how to start a startup, is preparation and planning. Instead of just wildly become involved in business activities, take some time and prepare. Does your product or service have a demand? Its great to have an idea which is unique, but is what you have to offer in demand? True business people have learned to anticipate the next big trend. This is steered many times by certain generations. Lets take the baby boomers for example. The generation born between 1946 and 1964, after world war II, family values became top priority and literally 76 Million  babies were born. These people were growing up with high values on ethical work and family, saving for bad times and security. This means they have likely accumulated wealth and therefore their particular buying power is very strong. Think about it, if you could have anticipated that in this 20 year window so many people would have been born, what would have come to mind? Imagine diapers and baby strollers, toys and baby food, day care. What when they grew up? Children clothing, school supplies. Their early adulthood. Cars, bars, nightclubs, gas, jewelry, fashion etc. As they grew older, they bought their first home, bigger cars, tv's and on and on. How to start a startup? That's how, anticipating what is the next big trend, steered by certain generations. Is there a demand and how long will that demand be there? You must evaluate your market, see if you have competitors and if its worth to get a share of that market. Do you need capital? And how much? Today it is easier than ever to get access to money. Investors are constantly looking for ideas to invest in. Don't be shy, your idea is worth money and the investors will get a big share of it in return. It is even a great idea to outlay your plan and they can help you to determine the amount of funds and time you really need. These are expert business people who are operating on a whole different level. Personal loans from family and friends, as well as crowd funding is a good source for smaller amounts Bank loans Private investors Hedge funds Angel investors Established corporations are just an example of the multitude of money sources out there. Keep in mind, in order to "sell" your idea you need to put it into a formal structure, people can easily understand. This is called the business and marketing plan. For large amounts of money, this is essential and a big part on how to start a startup. Location, location, location You hear this all the time, selling an ice machine to an Eskimo probably wont cut it, but doing the same in an area with tropical climate will be a killer business. You got to be in the right location, regardless if your business is small and local or if you market to multiple markets at the same time. Determine your market and chose a ideal area to start your business, do you need an office or can your start from home? Will you meet clients and if so where? These are all questions you have to identify. Success leaves clues One of the most important components in how to start a startup, is that many people have built successful businesses before and that you can too. Why not following someone who already has a flourishing enterprise? Surround yourself with people who have answers to your questions. Identify the authorities in your field and gather information based upon actual outcomes and not hearsay. Everybody has an opinion, only a few can actually back it up with proven results. Get a coach and mentor, this is the best way to learn while you are building your business. Someone you can rely on to identify potential mistakes before you make them and can guide you in the right direction. There are great sources nowadays to find coaches online, small business consulting has become a great business by itself. Get the right legal and tax advice This might not seem that important at the beginning, but you will have to incorporate your business sooner or later. Knowing about the benefits of the different corporate setups will help you protect your business and save taxes. How to start a startup is a lot about learning before doing. You can spear yourself a lot of disappointments and frustrations if you are willing to learn from an expert. Keep a positive attitude You will face a lot of adversity along your journey. Like everything in life, building a business has to be learned, it will take time. How long solely depends on your individual talent and willingness to work and learn. The hours you spent on productive activities and to a large extend your attitude. How many times can you navigate yourself through the ups and downs of your business? What if things are not working out, once, twice ten times? Can you hold it together? You must find a way to stay motivated. One great way to do that is to find a very strong reason why you must succeed. This reason must be more painful for you than to admit defeat. Everybody can stay down and give up, getting up and finding a way to try one more time will make the difference of your success or ultimate failure. Make failure your friend and learn from it. You will only fail if you do not try again, there is always another day to correct, redirect and succeed eventually. How to start a startup is about finding a way for you individually to make your dream come true. Keep that attitude the one of a winner and never give up.  


Business Relationship

Build relationships instead of selling

If you want long term success in any of your ventures, build the business relationship first instead of selling your product or services. People will buy from you if they trust you, no matter what you may have to offer. You have to start somewhere, why not building your personal brand? That way you can offer any product or service, as long as it is associated with your brand. Look at some of the recognized names, Dell, Apple, Microsoft, Ford, General Motors, Anthony Robbins, Donald Trump  just to name a few. These are household brands, famous for a certain category and the majority of people which bought products from them, become believers. They trust the quality of the merchandise and therefore recommend it or become repeat customers. Even though they might not have the only or best product available, they have build the business relationship first and maintain the trust of their customers. People do not change easy, they like to work with what works and where they can receive the best customer service. It takes time to build that trust, but it is well worth it. Consider that your best customers are the once you already have. Make sure your brand is seen Repetition is the mother of skill, once you have developed your brand and slogan, keep it in front of your consumers. your email signature letter head business card advertising material your car embroidery on clothing Building and office signage promotional items Let your brand be seen and repeat often, let it will sink into the minds of your potential and existing customers. Build and keep the business relationship strong, by being exceptional. Join a professional Networking organization Networking is a great way to receive referrals and build trusting relationships. There are many local, national and international networking organizations to chose from. Local chambers of commerce, providing network events, seminars and meetings Bilingual Business chambers, oftentimes organized by foreign countries doing business in the USA City clubs or bankers clubs, offering business accommodations, meeting facilities and gastronomy with many benefits for its members Rotary Clubs, an international organization, well structured. Business Network International, an international organization with multiple chapters in each city. Build a business relationship with not only potential customers, but other businesses who each have a network of trusted clients, they can recommend to you. Remember trust is everything and people tend to believe a positive review or referral. Provide excellent customer service Especially if you are new, providing a better service than your competitors, can increase your market share. Keep in mind that the customer can go where ever he / she decides to go, give them a reason why they should come to you. Customer service is not a luxury, but essential to maintain a strong and loyal customer base. Remember that these people spend their money on your offerings and they eventually pay your bills by doing so. Keeping this in mind should encourage you to tread them like kings and queens. The stronger your business relationship becomes, the easier it will be for them to recommend you to their network. Create added value Everybody likes to get a better deal, by providing added on services, you differentiate yourself from the competition. It does not always have to be a big ticket item, nobody is expecting you to work for free. However; sometimes going the extra mile for a customer will result in large returns. Give first before you expect to receive, it will bring you much further than just going for the quick sale. Building a strong network where you value your business relationship first, will bring you an unlimited amount of new and existing customers, happy to refer more business to you.


Marketing Concept Revealed

Develop a marketing concept that gets results

One of the most asked question in business is "How can I get more clients"? Simply answered, you need a marketing concept. Marketing is the key to obtaining more customers; obviously, only because you have started a business does not necessarily mean that they know you exist. There are many ways you can differentiate your marketing from the other and particularly larger companies. Don't be afraid of competition, if you market your niche in the correct way, you will have a great amount of followers buying your products or services. In general when you first look at developing your marketing concept, determine what you want to accomplish. A simple formula to remember is, amount of leads generated x conversion rate = profits. Your marketing will create prospective clients (leads), which than need to be converted into paying customers. You can see that the success of your marketing concept has two components, the actual lead and the ability to convert. If your lead generation is great, but you cant get more customers, than you need to work on your conversion technique. On the other side, when you convert many leads into clients, than you just need to work on your lead generation methods. Oftentimes business owners get overwhelmed when it comes to develop a marketing concept, but it is really not that hard, the only thing you need to do is choosing some ideas and than stick to it. As a small business you are more flexible and much closer to your actual customers, you can react faster to changes and demands, use this to your advantage. List building and email marketing A classic and still oftentimes very underestimated. The definition of marketing is that you present your company in a way that you place it in front of potential customers and at the time they are ready, they think of you. Building a list of potential, existing and previous customers is essential. Think about it, these are people who are already interested in your product or services, why would you not keep them interested. send out special deals and coupons, e.g. if you have a restaurant, you could offer a free desert with the next visit. If you are a barber shop give a haircut for free after they paid for ten, etc. This works especially well in the service industry. send customers a birthday or anniversary card. Show them you care and remember them, trust is what creates repeat business. announce new products or services keep customers informed about your growth and development.   Include a specific service, which is only offered by your company Larger companies have a disadvantage when it comes to fast and flexible action. Changing anything in the initial marketing concept takes a long time. Use this to your advantage, offer a business specific item or service which only your company has. Bundle offers and give discounts, go the extra mile, make the customer want to come back. People pay you for value added services, even better, they remember you and come back the next time. Create a blog for your website Many companies have still not realized it, having a website alone is by far not enough anymore. In fact a website without getting any traffic is useless. Having a static website is snow from yesterday, if you are not keeping up with the customers demand for information, you are left behind. A website is a great tool to produce a large amount of traffic. This requires particularly one thing, fresh content. It must be a top priority of your marketing concept to have an ever growing web presence. Feed you website with industry specific information, reviews and news. Share your content on social media  and write guest post on related websites linking back to your own. Hire a search engine optimization specialist to advice you how to write targeted content and optimize your website to rank high in the search engines. This is a science and changes all the time, so it is good to outsource this to an expert. Be active on social media sites Having followers, means you have control about data. Advertisers are paying millions of dollars to get access to your list of followers to place related ads. Views, likes, hits and commenting is called engagement and that is what you want to accomplish with social media. Get to know you potential customers and get them interested and engaged with your company. Post product updates, news, discounts and entertaining content around your business, several times a day. One post a week is not enough, depending on the interest of your audience, you have to post 10 to 15 times a day to create true momentum. Add these ideas to your marketing concept, be consistent and you will see the results.      


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