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Adopt a Less Than Truckload Strategy for Increased Profits

How many things does your business pay for that is not used to its fullest capacity? No matter how many or how few, the full truckload methodology applied to businesses results in loss of revenue and opportunities to grow. Adopting a less than truckload strategy, however, can actually save your business money and increase its efficiency.

You may have heard the term “LTL” or “less than truckload” before, particularly in reference to trucking and transportation. Generally speaking, trucks would transport full truckloads of goods because it was more efficient than carrying less than a truckload. Transporting half of a shipment was wasteful. But then the “less than truckload” idea was innovated, and many companies would share resources, loading one truck with many partial shipments to create a conglomerate. In Seth Godin’s blog post, he explains that businesses can similarly increase their efficiency by sharing resources.

There are several business practices in which you participate that can be incredibly wasteful, but there are more affordable and efficient alternatives that provide the exact same services:

Hiring a receptionist


The first one is having a receptionist. Depending on the size of your business, spending the money on a full-time employee to handle tasks like answering phones and scheduling appointments is unnecessary. And the costs don’t stop there: you must also consider the cost of an additional workspace, supplies, and equipment. While you may absolutely need the services that a receptionist provides, there are more cost effective alternatives.

Instead of hiring an on-site receptionist, you can adopt the less than truckload model and share resources with virtual receptionist services. Virtual receptionists can perform all of the same administrative tasks as a full-time on-site employee, but for far less money. All virtual receptionists are based in the US, working in small teams from off-site professional buildings and offices, tending to a variety of clients. Each live virtual receptionist is trained to handle your business’s specific needs, saving you the time and costs that would be ordinarily be spent on training.



For as low as $59 a month, you can have voicemail management, advanced call routing, unlimited long distance minutes, and much more. Upgraded packages are also available if you need more advanced services.

By outsourcing this work through a company that shares its services with many businesses, you save time, money, and space.

Leasing additional office space


The second most common and wasteful business practice is leasing addition office space. Small businesses and startups have only the occasional need for spaces like conference rooms or day offices. As home-based businesses grow in popularity, so do virtual office solutions like meeting room rentals and virtual offices.

Virtual offices give you a local business address to use on your website and business cards, mail receipt and forwarding, lobby directory listings, and access to meeting spaces in business centers located at your professional address.

The concept of resource sharing applies here, too. These business centers offer meeting room rentals and are used by many clients, so their cost is far lower than that of an office lease. Since most businesses only occasionally need access to meeting rooms, it is actually cheaper to rent these kinds of spaces by the hour or by the day than paying thousands of dollars each month for 24/7 access to a 400 square foot room.



Adopting a less than truckload business strategy is helpful for any business owner paying for space and services they never fully use. By sharing resources through services like virtual office solutions, you not only save your business money, but also take a step toward increasing revenue by establishing a more professional image and freeing up more time to expand.
Contact us and stop paying for wasted space and adopt the less than truckload business strategy for your organization today with the services offered by Davinci Virtual.

 

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5 Tips for Overloaded Small Business Owners

How often have you felt overwhelmed with work? It’s easy to admit that finding the perfect balance between life and work is challenging, especially when you are a small business owner. As much as 1 in 5 business owners work over sixty hours a week. These statistics prove how easily we overload ourselves with work, and a lot of the time it isn’t entirely necessary.

Luckily, there are five things you can do to reduce stress, increase profitability, and streamline your business operations.

1. Learn to say no.


There is one thing you can start doing immediately, and that is to learn to say no. Oftentimes, the workload with which we find ourselves is a monster of our own creation. When a new task arises, you are the first to step forward and try to tackle it all on your own.

While being proactive is an admirable trait, it’s easy to become overwhelmed if you continue to take on everything. So, before anything else, know that sometimes it is okay to say no.

2. Delegate tasks to lighten your load.


Suppose you already have more work than you can handle by yourself. You can’t go back in time and say no, but you can ask for help.

Prioritize your daily tasks and determine which ones require your attention and which ones can be completed by another employee. Delegate some of the latter to someone whom you trust to do the work well. Even if you think you could do the work best, keep in mind that efficiency is just as important.

3. Balance work and your personal life.


This cannot be emphasized enough. To decrease the chances of burning out, you must not only learn to relax, but also to strike a balance between work and your personal life.

This may mean working less hours per week, spending quality time with friends and family, and learning to unplug and keep your two lives separate. Focus on restoring your energy and relaxing when you are not at work so you are prepared to give it your all when you are.

4. Improve time management and get organized.


To increase efficiency and profitability, create a strategy to better manage your time. This can be achieved by creating daily to-do lists, estimating how long each item will take to complete, and planning to finish them in the time you have allotted.

This will make you less likely to be stuck working late because you unknowingly committed to too many hours. Make a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it. The result is more productivity during the workday, saving your company both time and money.

5. Invest in tools and services that will make work easier.


Lastly, it is smart to invest in tools and services that will make completing your work easier. Automate any processes that you can, such as finances or inventory, or outsource administrative tasks like customer service, call forwarding, and appointment scheduling to a virtual receptionist.

To save more time and money, you can also use virtual office services to take the stress out of organizing meetings. Meeting room rentals come prepared to meet your business needs, and they cost far less than an office lease, so you can focus on the business at hand and let someone else tend to the details.

While it is easy to become overloaded as the owner of a small business, there are many solutions at your disposal. By taking a step back, getting help with what you can, and staying organized, you can simultaneously make your business more efficient and create a more manageable schedule.

Discover more tips by following Davinci on Facebook and LinkedIn, or by subscribing to our blog.

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How to Create a Business Image that gets Noticed

How does your business, with a smaller budget, stand out among larger competitors? It’s a challenge with which all small business owners are familiar, but one that must be overcome to continue to grow.

Creating a business image that gets noticed is simpler than you might think, even on a budget. Little adjustments to general business operations, technology, and marketing techniques can make a big impact on your level of visibility and success.

To get noticed, there are several things your business must have:

Highly professional image


In order to make an impression, it is important that you establish a highly professional image. This conveys to clients and customers that you are serious about ensuring they have a pleasant experience with your business.

This can be accomplished by hiring a professional staff. They should be well-versed in your industry and its practices, and possess as much knowledge as possible so that they can impart it to customers and clients when the need arises. This lets people know that you are considered an expert in your field, and as a result, more people will continue to invest in your services.

Another service to consider is a virtual office. A professional virtual address located in a major business center, complete with mail forwarding services, optional lobby directory listings, and access to meeting rooms in which to meet with clients, gives you the appearance of a larger company at a fraction of the cost.

Additionally, employing the use of top-of-the-line technology communicates your dedication to quality, not only in your equipment, but also in the way you conduct business. Clear, crisp phone and internet connections, as well as other high-tech communication tools, allow customers to interact with your brand more easily—which is invaluable when you are battling with other companies for customer loyalty.

Web presence


In today’s digital age, it is crucial that your business create a strong web presence. Your clients and customers are trying to reach you online more than ever, and for this reason, you must construct an environment to streamline that process.

This can be achieved with simple tools for e-commerce, online appointment scheduling, and even live web chat. With an affordable virtual receptionist package, a trained professional can tend to order processing and customer care not only over the phone, but also online, converting web traffic into more leads and sales.

Another way to keep your website visitors’ attention is to continuously add fresh content. Maintaining a company blog discussing trends and marketing your services can give them a way to interact with you, as well as other customers, and further establishes your business as a leader in your particular industry.

Similarly, staying connected through all social media channels can expand your business’s reach and give you another way to communicate with new and existing customers. Use it to promote deals, share new website content, and engage with your followers.

Talented, friendly receptionists


The most important thing your business must have to distinguish itself is to hire talented, friendly receptionists. Receptionists are the first connection a client or customer has with your business, so it is imperative that this personality is both agreeable and professional.

Live virtual receptionists can answer every call with a personalized greeting, answer all customer service inquiries, and transfer calls directly to you as needed, in addition to performing a variety of other administrative tasks—all for far less than hiring a full-time employee. They work off-site in another office, so while you do not need to supply a workspace for them, you can be sure that they are in a business-oriented environment to maintain the level of professionalism you want to establish.

Get your business noticed with Davinci Virtual today.

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The Connection Between Social Media and Business Success

The nature of marketing has changed drastically in the past five years due to the connection between social media and business. In order to thrive, businesses must now make strategic use of as many social media channels as possible. As people spend more and more time online, spending an average of 37 minutes a day on social media alone, television and other traditional vehicles for advertising are phasing out

The most successful businesses in the world all have one thing in common: a strong social media presence. By actively and cleverly managing social media accounts with fresh content and campaigns, businesses are able to achieve the following:

Increased exposure


Maintaining multiple social media accounts can give your business increased exposure. Suddenly, through Facebook ads, social sharing, and gaining followers, new and unexpected people get to see and interact with your brand.

It is important not to limit yourself to just one social media channel. While Facebook is certainly the most popular for general use, other sites can better serve other purposes, such as reaching particular demographics. Social media channels can determine other marketing factors, as well. For example, Google+ can have a bigger impact on search engine results than other channels.

To reach as many potential customers as possible, diversify your advertisements across all social media platforms.

Generate more sales and leads


As your social media pages and website get more traffic, your business is able to generate more sales and leads. According to B2C.com, “businesses that use social media as part of a planned corporate approach are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to anticipate revenue growth than ad hoc users.” Additionally, social media generates double the marketing leads of other advertising methods, including daily mail and PPC.

Gain a loyal customer following


Not only does social media make you more visible, it also makes you more accessible by giving customers more ways to engage with your company and share content. This new channel for communication between you and your customers helps nurture customer loyalty. However, this doesn’t occur overnight. Brand loyalty is earned over a long period of time with a smart and consistent strategy. You can achieve this by posting quality content and publicly responding to customer service inquiries. As a result, your customers will feel validated and return for more purchases.

Establish yourself as an industry expert


Part of earning your customers’ trust and loyalty includes establishing yourself as an expert in your field. By regularly posting blogs, helpful tips, infographics, and links to other relevant content, you become a leading voice in your industry, and people will return to your site and social media pages to obtain more knowledge, coincidentally creating more traffic and generating more leads.

Free advertising


Social media is unique for marketing because it provides free advertising. Word-of-mouth goes much farther online than in person. When your customers follow you on social media and share content about your company, more people are likely to click links and make purchases themselves than if it were mentioned to them during casual conversation. Internet users demand instant access to unlimited information, which can work greatly to your business’s benefit. As users click around during the extensive amount of time they spend on social media, they are likely to discover your company and try out its products and services if it is shared by a friend.

Social media is an indispensable tool to include in your business’s marketing strategy. Not only can it save you money on marketing costs, it is also the most popular and effective way to advertise. Formulating and employing a social media strategy expands your business’s reach, creates brand loyalty, and helps you better compete with other companies in your industry.

Get more information about how to use social media to see business success by following Davinci on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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Entrepreneurs Tips: Time Management for Business Owners

Do you know how much your time is worth? If you crunched the numbers, do you know how much money you are losing when you focus on tasks that can easily be delegated to others?

As an entrepreneur, you wear a lot of different hats, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming because it seems like you have to do everything yourself. Fortunately, there are affordable services available to business owners so that they can save time and money by doing the work they do best.

Calculate the cost of your time


Before you begin strategizing how to best manage your time, use this calculator to determine what your time is worth and how much of it is spent on administrative tasks. How many hours of productivity are lost? And what is that costing your business per month? The results can be shocking.

As the owner of a business, performing tasks like answering calls, processing orders, and customer service not only takes up a lot of your workday, it costs your company a lot money. Even as little as an hour a day could be costing you thousands of dollars a month.

If you are a startup or small business, you may not have the resources to hire another full-time employee. However, for far less than an employee’s salary, you can hire a virtual receptionist to tend to these details.

What is a virtual receptionist?


A virtual receptionist is a trained professional that works off-site performing administrative tasks, including call screening and forwarding, appointment scheduling, voicemail management, and answering customer service questions.

The best part: virtual receptionists are hired for one flat monthly rate through companies like Davinci that specialize in virtual office solutions. That way, you can be sure that the service for which you are paying is of the highest quality and your business is handled with care.

What features are included with virtual receptionist services?


With a virtual receptionist plan, you receive a toll free or local phone number to convey a national or regional appearance and a team of live virtual receptionists trained specifically for your business to perform tasks such as:

    • Customer service calls

 

    • Order processing

 

    • Appointment scheduling

 

    • Personalized greetings

 

    • Outbound calling

 

    • Voicemail, fax, and email management

 

    • Meeting support

 

    • Travel planning

 

    • Project managing

 

    • Live web chat



Hiring live virtual receptionists includes many unexpected benefits that are sure to help grow your business, as well. Having a skilled professional dedicated to these tasks is likely to increase customer satisfaction and bolster your company’s image, giving you an edge over your competitors.

Best of all, you get both personal and professional care, so you retain the charm of a small business while gaining the professionalism of a major corporation.

I have a virtual receptionist. Now what?


Once you have a virtual receptionist, you’ll find that you have freed up a significant portion of your workday. You’ll probably be wondering how to best spend this time to maximize profit. The answer is entirely up to you!

As a business owner, ask yourself what work you do best and what you enjoy doing. This is the work that should not be delegated, and not only yields more profit, but also produces the best quality of work.

Outsourcing is only one of many ways successful entrepreneurs effectively manage their time. But there is more you can do to ensure that the time you spend working is as productive as possible. Begin by creating daily to-do lists organized by their priority and work through each item thoroughly and carefully. Always remember that efficiency is not characterized by doing things quickly—it’s about taking an easier course to get better results.

Start managing your time better by contacting us about getting a virtual receptionist from Davinci Virtual today.

 

 

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