Davinci Virtual Blog



Societal Impact on Virtual Business

Virtual communities are the new black when it comes to business. For those who are not fashionistas, this means it is the new business staple. Any company that doesn’t jump on the technology bandwagon is going to be left behind in the dust. These days, even if you run the kind of shop that relies upon foot traffic mostly, many of those foot customers start that journey on their mobile devices. Want a latte? Let me check my smartphone to find a coffeehouse.

I'm sure you get the drift, but I'm forever shocked at how local business sometimes just don't get it. And that's a shame, because they're missing out on a lot of coin.
What some small companies also haven't realized is they can expand their businesses using virtual services. They don't have to hire a bunch of staff that mostly sits around waiting for the phone to ring. Instead, they can have active staff that generates sales - and leave the phone answering to someone much like Siri (not Tom Cruise's daughter -- but the one Apple uses).

The funny thing about how the virtual world and the Internet is that the perception has leaned toward isolation. For me, nothing could be further from the truth. My world is actually more intimate as a result of using technology. In fact, some people find out just how intimate it can be - as their sordid, personal TMI details are displayed for all of the world to see.

And social networks aren't just about fun and games. Many of these powerhouses, like LinkedIn, are nothing to sneeze at. I have a friend who gets ALL his business off of LinkedIn - and his business just keeps growing. He would never be able to do that just on his own, even if he went to every business function in the nation!

From new friendships to business colleagues and really valuable hookups (not those kind -- though that's possible too) these new relationships can last a lifetime. For business, what could be better than that?



Much like its demographics, New York City has an incredible level of diversity when it comes to sizes and types of businesses. From mom and pop eateries to Wall Street - it’s all there. For an entrepreneur, it can be an extremely exciting place. But it does take some guts, willingness to burn the midnight oil, and some ingenuity.


Unfortunately, New York's business environment has ranked low on the scale for its rather dismal tax policies - and that is putting it mildly. But there are still numerous opportunities to start, grow or expand a business there. It just takes some savvy financial planning.


A friend of mine recently opened up shop in what he says is a growing private sector. Despite Wall Street Syndrome, he is doing very well for himself. One way my pal saves on expenses is his lack of rent. No, he doesn’t do business out of his apartment, he has a virtual office with a fancy Park Avenue address for $50 a month. That’s incredible, given NYC's beyond expensive real estate market.


But it’s true. He has a Davinci Virtual Office with an assistant who answers his phone and forwards his calls. He loves the find-me feature because he likes to play hooky a lot. His name is on the directory and he has a lobby greeter for his clients. When he needs a conference room or day office, he just books one. He can order catering, too - which is less expensive and time consuming than going out and a lot healthier than eating at a greasy spoon.


He travels a lot for business development and often books rooms in different parts of the country - and the world - for just an hour, a day or more. This whole scenario is a testament to the fact that perceptions are all relative. One man’s challenge is another man’s victory. So really, anyone who wants to can start a business in New York City. There are never any guarantees -- but are there anywhere else?


Washington, D.C.

Much like L.A., businesses in Washington, D.C. rely heavily upon appearances to get them through. Not so much movie star good looks - although that can help - it's really about status, but in slightly different ways. For instance, political connections are more valuable, or at least just as valuable, as entertainment connections - although they can also be greatly intertwined.

Politicos have always had a love affair with celebrities. It makes sense, since a celebrity can take an otherwise unknown cause and turn it into a national topic. Whether a business is connected to politics or not, Washington, D.C. has always ranked as one of the top places to run a business. That always kind of surprised me because I'd assumed that the tax structure would be a turn off.

But the great thing is that now, thanks to technology, you can use virtual services to handle day to day business and communications. You can also use conference rooms that are just about everywhere - for a fraction of what it would cost to maintain a space of your own. For new businesses, this is a revelation. It sure beats having to borrow space at someone else's office pad or much worse, the client's place.

All those highfalutin' highly educated lobbyists, lawyers, and senators on the Hill keep that popping D.C. consumer scene going, too. That means anyone with a business that could serve them in just about any way has a lot of potential as well. For instance, retailers have found that the cost of being in the D.C. region are far outweighed by the many opportunities and advantages to access that hot consumer base.

Rent and taxes are higher - but that's to be expected. When you have virtual services and rent conference rooms, that really won't affect you. It also means that you don't have to deal with all that famous red tape Washington is known for. All this makes Washington, D.C. really great for entrepreneurs, so they can get a nice, big bite of that Federal pie!


Beyond the Walls: Virtual Business Methods

Technological innovation has made it possible to do things people never even dreamed of. I certainly never thought I'd be able to work from home on occasion or hit up my work email from a remote place when I first started out. Truth is, I kind of thought I'd need to accessorize my working wardrobe with that ball and chain forever.

From start-ups to large corporations, everyone is concerned with the budget like never before. This is where working virtually can really save for every business. Thankfully, working in today's advanced society, we no longer have to confine meetings between four walls. Nor do we have to stay in expensive hotels. Instead, we can have all the perks a hotel offers - actually more, in terms of technology and privacy.

There are so many kinds of virtual communication options to choose from that it can make your head spin - and mine often does. I get to choose from conference calls to live chat and videoconferencing - and they're all really great tools for my work teams.

Most hotels just don't offer as much gadgetry as you can get in the virtually based world. I've found that companies like Davinci Virtual offer everything from receptionists to traditional conference rooms - with all the services any business person needs - including ones they may not have thought of. For instance, virtual assistants that answer calls live, take surveys, make outbound calls, provide customer service, take orders, and even schedule appointments.

Businesses can use virtual office solutions to let employees actively participate in team meetings - no matter where they are. That is, unless you happen to work for Yahoo - since they nixed their work at home policy. I predict they will regret that decision, as employees move on to more progressive workplace environments - you know, like the one they thought they were working for. I mean, isn't that why their employees decided to work for Yahoo in the first place? Personally, I'm really glad that advances in technology have made it possible to meet and work virtually. There's really nothing like going to a meeting in your slippers!



Manhattan has an incredible history with plenty of culture and so many dining options it's hard to make a decision. It's also exceedingly expensive, especially for business. Whether it's a new shop, small, midsize, or large - the sticker shock of operating a place of business is sometimes overwhelming.

So how exactly is anyone really surviving? Can you say loss leaders? I discovered loss leaders years ago when a project I was working on received that designation. It seemed the product we were pushing was not as well received by the public as had been anticipated. So they lowered it below market to get rid of it. Theoretically, businesses use loss leaders to draw in customers. But in this case, the item unwittingly became a loss leader when it didn't sell. I say the manager just needed to find a way to save face and get it off the books - fast!

Another way that businesses can really save some dough is by using virtual office services. I read one study that showed how outsourcing traditional office jobs like answering the phone, taking messages, scheduling appointments, and taking orders costs around a whopping 50 percent less than when a company hires temp employees to do those jobs - let alone the cost of benefits for regular full time employees! This is a no brainer when you think about paying all those costs - like for unemployment insurance, healthcare, bonuses, paid time off for vacation and sick days, and social security and other tax obligations. All that stuff really does add up.

Smaller businesses are often faced with whether or not they can even operate at all. Entrepreneurs usually cannot afford to pay themselves, let alone someone else. When you think about it, virtual services can serve as a form of loss leader in that, if you make it easier for customers to find and do business with you - it's a way to draw them in. There is really no doubt that virtual services have revolutionized the way that everyone does business - in the best ways possible.