Davinci Virtual Blog



3 Reasons to Cultivate a Culture of Integrity in Your Business

Integrity scandals are nothing new. Even now you can read about the Wells Fargo scandal. At the same time, Taiwan’s FSC chairman has resigned amid a mega financial scandal and Singapore has shut down a second Swiss bank over a corruption scandal. 

The list goes on and was already long before these recent cases. Even if you aren’t running a major bank or Fortune 500 company, integrity is vital to your business. 

Simply stated, integrity means to be honest and fair. Merriam-Webster defines it as “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values” and “the quality or state of being complete or undivided.” 

Think about it for a minute. Would you want to hire an employee with a reputation for stealing, providing poor service or otherwise lacking integrity in some area of their life? Likewise, your company’s integrity speaks volumes in the marketplace. If you build your company on the foundation of integrity, it will pay dividends in the years ahead.

Three Reasons to Cultivate Integrity in Your Business

Here are three ways cultivating a culture of integrity in your business will serve you well as you build on its foundation.

1. Your brand depends on it. There’s plenty of talk about brand building in the marketing world. Integrity is the hallmark of every strong brand. Compromising this hallmark will damage your brand, sometimes irreparably in a customer’s eyes.

Transformational leader Barbara De Angelis put it this way: “Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”

2. Relationship-building demands trust. Any relationship you build requires trust. Building a business means earning—and keeping the trust—of your customers. Without integrity, those efforts will fall short.

Oprah Winfrey brings it home, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

3. Your reputation precedes you. Word travels fast. If your company lacks integrity, you may realize a negative viral impact on your bottom line as your customers will tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

What True Integrity Looks Like

So what does integrity look like in practice? Being honest even when it means you may lose a customer is the beginning of integrity. Don’t oversell, overpromise or over pressure. 

Don’t take shortcuts in relationship building. Spend the time to get to know what your customers need so you can honestly provide the best products or services. In doing so, you will win their loyalty.

Treat your employees, customers and partners with respect. They are not just cogs on a wheel. They are real people with real challenges that need real solutions. When you show respect, you gain respect. 

And always keep raising the bar. Integrity doesn’t settle for what is acceptable—it pursues what is excellent. 

The late Victor K. Kiam, an American entrepreneur and TV spokesman for Remington Products, and the owner of the New England Patriots football team from 1988–1991, said it best, “As an entrepreneur, a reputation for integrity is your most valuable commodity. If you try to put something over on someone, it will come back to haunt you.”



Benefits of a Virtual Office Address [Infographic]

There are several reasons to go with a Virtual Office Address vs. a Physical Office.  Here at Davinci we are big supporters of the Virtual Office.  We've put together an infographic to explain a few of the benefits.

Benefits of a Virtual Office Address Infographic


Small Businesses Turn to Virtual Office Addresses and Rented Meeting Rooms to Reduce Costs

One of the biggest challenges small businesses face today is controlling costs. A sizable portion of their expenditures go toward renting and maintaining office space. In fact, research shows they spend nearly 10 percent of their revenue on office space. Only employee wages and inventories rank higher.

In the past, office space for virtually any business was an essential requirement. But digital disruption and changing dynamics of the workplace, many small businesses are recognizing that they don’t need as much office space, and in some cases they don’t need it at all.

Even if you do determine that office space is a must for your business, there are ways to optimize its utilization. Here are a few ideas:

•   If you have underutilized office space, you may want to downsize the next time your lease comes up for renewal. Alternatively, you can also explore the possibility of sharing the office space with another company (subleasing it).

•    Institute a “green” office policy that reduces your cost on everything from paper to power consumption.

•    Consolidate your phone and computer networks by switching over to voice over IP (VoIP). In addition to cost savings, you will get added capabilities from the VoIP network.

•    Furnish your office with used or rental desks, chairs, filing cabinets, and bookcases. You may even be able to acquire some of the furnishings for free through online communities like Freecycle.

These are some great ideas and starting points for a business. But the opportunities for even bigger business outcomes exist. Small businesses are turning to virtual office solutions and renting meeting rooms, day offices, and co-working spaces to revolutionize their approach to workspace. The death of the 9 AM to 5 PM workday and deconstruction of the premise that work is completed when employees are sitting at their desks most certainly are aiding in this transformation.

The following are some of the ways that small businesses are thinking outside of the box when it comes to office space:

1. Eliminate permanent office space. With occupancy rates growing 1.3 percent faster than new supply, rents are skyrocketing in many locations. Twenty-two percent of companies that use rented office space – conference rooms, day offices, and/or co-working spaces – previously had permanent physical offices. In addition to foregoing leasing or purchasing increasingly expensive office spaces, these small businesses are able to avoid the associated costs of furnishing and staffing (e.g., receptionists). At the same time, even though they jettison the costs of office space, these companies are able to retain great addresses by leveraging virtual office addresses.

2. Reduce permanent office space. With workers spending less than half of the workday at their desks, much of office space goes underutilized. This affords companies an opportunity to drive cost efficiencies by reducing permanent office space. They can tap rented meeting space when they require additional office capacity – whether scaling up to accommodate influxes in employees or office utilization rates, holding internal employee all-hands meetings, or hosting external meetings with prospects, partners, and customers.

3. Expand virtually. Physical office space inhibits a business from expanding its operations and services into a new region or city. Virtual office and rented office solutions enable small businesses to secure great addresses and rent conference rooms, day offices, and co-working spaces for a fraction of the cost of a permanent office space. Great virtual office solutions come with mail receipt and forwarding, lobby and director listings, and a local presence for dropping off and picking up customers and prospects. They also should include the ability to rent meeting rooms and offices.

4. Give workers flexibility. Changing demographics and the emergence and evolution of new technologies make working 9 to 5 a thing of the past and tying workers behind desks is an aberration. The majority of businesses indicate offering flexible, mobile, and remote work options assists them in hiring and retaining workers. These companies also perform better, producing up to four times higher growth than companies that don’t offer their workers these options. In this scenario, rented meeting rooms play a critical role, even if the business elects to retain a permanent office space, as workers can have professional conference rooms and day offices where they can work either all of the time or part of the time.

Small businesses can start saving on their office costs today by utilizing virtual office addresses and rented meeting rooms. The business returns can be substantial.


How Small Businesses Can Turn a “Penny Spent” into “Pounds Saved”

All of us have heard the saying, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Our parents probably recited it to us innumerable times when we were growing up, and now we tell the same thing to our kids.

Small businesses certainly know the implications of this wise-old saying. Indeed, lack of capital is one of the foremost reasons small businesses struggle to grow. Strategies to cut costs is top of mind for many small business leaders. A quick Google search on the top yields countless articles and blog posts on ways small businesses can reduce their expenses.

Disruption of the 21st-Century Workplace

But sometimes eliminating or decreasing costs isn’t in the best interest of your business. And sometimes not spending your capital on the right things has the reverse effect: it costs your organization more time and money than if you had actually spent the money. In this case, the age-old British saying, “A penny wise, a pound foolish” is quite apropos.

Technology disruption is transforming the face of the 21st-century workplace. The 9-to-5 workday is dead. The virtual office is quickly becoming a mainstay for the workforce. And mobile is changing how, when, and where work is done.

Importance of Prospect and Customer Communications

One area where small businesses—and entrepreneurs—can be a “penny wise, pound foolish” is in their communications. Simply listing numbers that route all callers directly to your office line or mobile device doesn’t make sense. Calls aren’t prioritized, customers are stuck using local toll numbers, voicemail management is complex, customers are left waiting on hold for long periods of time, and the list goes on.

Your brand truly matters. The communications experience of your customers and prospects play a critical role in how they perceive your company. But this is missing in too many instances. For example, over 90 percent of marketing budgets for small businesses is spent trying to get prospects and customers to call; however, only six percent is actually spent on the operations for handling the call.

Why is this important? Seventy-eight percent bail on completing transactions because of a poor engagement experience. It isn’t simply sales inquiries but includes customer service touches: 81 percent of customers will change suppliers due to poor customer service. And for those who do connect with you over phone, you have about 60 seconds—40 percent hang up after 60 seconds and 34 percent of those never call back again. Are you pushing all callers to your voicemail and planning to call them back as your schedule permits? This a mistake: 65 percent will simply hang up.

These communications extend further than live receptionists. Your prospects and customers also expect an Omni channel approach that includes live web chat, email, and even self-service capabilities. Take live web chat as an example. Customer utilization rates have grown from 38 percent in 2009, to 43 percent in 2012, to 65 percent in 2015.

Turning Your “Penny Spent” into “Pounds Saved”

When you deliver a great communications experience, customers and prospects respond positively. They spend more, express higher levels of satisfaction, and positively advocate on behalf of your company to others. At the same time, managed communications allow small businesses to become more efficient while focusing on customers and core business requirements. These business premises are at the core of Davinci Virtual Office Solutions and its founding over a decade ago. Not every business has the resources to manage the technologies and hire the headcount needed for great prospect and customer communications.

This is where Davinci Virtual Office Solutions can help, having assisted tens of thousands of companies to engage with prospects and customers through exceptional communications experiences. Whether it is Live Receptionist, Auto Receptionist, or Live Web Chat services, Davinci Virtual Office Solutions has the capabilities to cover virtually all of your communications needs and turn your “penny spent” into “pounds saved.”


How to Send a Cold Email to One’s Dream Internship

Sending a cold email to a company you’re determined to work for is intimidating. You want to find the right balance between professional and personable, as well as make the recipient interested enough to actually respond. The good news is that cold emailing can be successful if you know what to do:

Get noticed

Your subject line has a lot more impact than you think — if it doesn’t immediately catch someone’s eye, your email will likely never be opened. Your recipient is busy and probably receives dozens of emails every day, and may even skim over them while distracted on the phone. It’s important that your subject line is catchy enough to stick out in a positive way.

Be specific but succinct. Put the important information at the beginning and make your point clear. It may help to include a common interest, like a shared alumni status. (“Fellow Jayhawk seeks marketing opportunity,” for example.) Consult with others to see what they think: would they open the email based on your subject line? You only get one first impression, so make yours count!

Choose the right greeting

For the first email, you want to be professional and respectful yet still warm. Always include a salutation instead of just starting the email with the recipient’s name — you want it to feel like a message, not a bulletin. Use “Dear” instead of a casual “Hi/Hello.” And always default to “Mr./Ms. Smith” instead of “Paul.” If they respond and sign only a first name, you can make the transition, but it never hurts to be formal in the initial contact.

Be confident

It takes guts to send a cold email, so do it with confidence. Don’t be timid about reaching out. Think of it not only as an opportunity for you, but as a chance for your recipient to meet a qualified, passionate colleague in his field. Your recipient wants to meet you, they just don’t know it yet! Don’t just send an email you’re content with, send one you’re excited for employers to read.

Include your résumé

Even if you’re just asking to buy your recipient lunch and pick their brain, include your résumé in your initial email. Some contacts may want to review it before agreeing to meet with you and will appreciate not having to ask. The easier you make the process, the more likely they’ll be to at least respond to you.

Keep it short and sweet

Once you’ve gotten them to open the email, reward your recipient by getting to the point right away. Forbes suggests sticking to a simple four-sentence structure that opens with the essentials: your name, current or desired occupation, and why you’re contacting that person specifically (make sure you’ve done your research). Then, ask to meet them to discuss their career and experience in the field — keep it focused on their wisdom, not your career opportunities. Give a simple time frame within the next week or two and offer to buy a cup of coffee. Find an appropriate way to sign off and leave it at that.

Follow Up

Give your recipient at least a week to respond. If after seven days you still haven’t heard anything, reply to your original email with a polite follow-up. It will add an “RE:” to the subject line and may make the recipient think they responded earlier, increasing the chances they’ll respond this time. As long as you give a reasonable amount of time, most professionals won’t mind follow-ups and may even be glad for the reminder — especially if they were impressed with your initial outreach!

Cold emailing is tricky, but not impossible. Don’t be deterred if it takes some time, and keep trying!