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tour1Google Virtual Tours

As local businesses owners, you all know the importance of using images to display your products, services and brand. Some of you have even invested in very effective online video marketing strategies to engage and attract customers.  Now there is an amazing way to combine both to create a virtual tour of your business allowing customers to see what it would be like to walk through your front door and see your store in a 360 degree panoramic view.  This unique product is made possible by Google and can be used on your website,Google Plus Local Page, and anywhere else you choose to place it (done with an easy to add link).

Google Virtual Tours for Your Business Location

  • Create a visually appealing, cutting-edge feature to your website and social pages
  • Professionally done by a local Certified Google Business Photos Expert
  • Stand apart from your competition
  • Utilize a Google-approved technique to increase local customer engagement (highly recommended!)

Share with the world

Not only will these images appear on Google searches, Google Maps, and Google+ Local, but you can easily embed panoramic photos on your own website, social media pages, and more!

Check out our Virtual Tour!

 

How a Virtual Office Can Help Workers Beat Distractions

“The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.”

So says the late, great William Edwards Deming – American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, consultant and all-round business brain.

Here’s another statistic that’ll grab your attention: Around 50% of American office workers say they work for just 15 minutes before getting distracted, while 53% feel that an hour or more is wasted every single day because of disruptions.

Are you easily distracted at work? Can’t stop browsing Facebook? Time for another gaze out the window? You’re not alone – in fact, it turns out that quite a few of us are plagued by distractions that keep us from reaching our productivity potential. From constant background chatter and phone calls to feeling tired or frustrated, there are plenty of reasons to stop you from getting on with the job.

So how do you deal with distractions at work?

Step one: Go virtual. At Alliance Virtual Offices, we can vouch for the disruption-busting benefits of a virtual office, and how flexible working methods like telecommuting and working from home can cut down on distractions, and boost productivity too. Think of making a presents in a different state or even needing an office close to home? Executive Office Suites offers Virtual Packages that offer the connivence to you and your business.

Think about it. When you use a virtual office, you’re not tied to a physical office. So instead of working in an open-plan office and listening to inane background chatter about last night’s TV or tomorrow’s game, you can fill the gap with actual work. You know, the type that impresses your boss or brings in revenue for your business.

Step two: Hire a virtual assistant. At Alliance Virtual we have a team of professional live receptionists who can take over your call handling duties. They’ll receive calls, take messages and pass them on – making your day easier, less cluttered and ultimately more productive. If you are looking to make a Raleigh North Carolina presents Executive Office Suites has all the amenities to assist you.

Step three: Identify your distractions

  • If you get tired easily, go to bed earlier. And remember to take little breaks during the day.
  • If you can’t stop looking in the fridge, eat a better breakfast, stock up on your five-a-day and consult a nutritionist.
  • If it’s the Internet or emails that are bugging you, work offline for a while.
  • If you’re feeling stressed, you could be taking on too much work, or overdoing the multi-tasking. Try to focus on specific tasks – and make sure you finish one thing at a sensible point before moving on to another.
  • If you’re bored of a specific task, work to a specific time then reward yourself by moving on to something else.

On the subject of rewards, this can be a valuable part of the working day. Habit-changing author Charles Duhigg says that instead of struggling with distractions, you can actually make them part of your working day. If for instance, you can’t stop going on Facebook or you feel constantly distracted by Twitter, set yourself a target and then reward yourself with 5 minutes of social media time. Accommodate that need and build it into your schedule.

After all, rewards provide motivation – and a little motivation can reap huge rewards for your business.

Find out more about virtual offices and office space that Executive Office Suites has to offer! In the meantime, what other tips can you recommend for beating distractions at work?

 

Image source: Executive Office Suites

Written by Joanna Republished with permission by Alliance

Virtual Offices Are The Freelancer’s Best Friend


We can talk all day long about how great using a virtual office can be (because it really is great), and how the general, catch-all “busy business person” will benefit from the flexibility and value they provide. While this is very much the case, perhaps it is time we shine the spotlight on ourselves for a minute – take a more personal look at just how beneficial the world of virtual officing can really be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Take me for example. I am just the person to espouse the greatness of a virtual office because 1) I am a freelancer and can benefit greatly from the use of a professional environment every once in a while. 2) I have used them before and therefore can speak (or write, rather) from experience. Without droning on and on, let me tell you a little about myself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I established myself as a freelance writer years ago both because I love to write and my husband’s career choice forced me to find work that I could pick up and take with me no matter where in the world we live. From Portland and New York City to Virginia Beach, Indianapolis and Lexington, KY, I have moved around an almost comical amount in the last several years of my life and I’m grateful for the existence of virtual and serviced office suites and meeting rooms. While I may not have the most geographically stable lifestyle, it is one that I love and I have the ease and flexibility of virtual offices to thank for some of that. I know I can take my business with me wherever I go, so I never have to worry when another move is looming on the horizon … like next summer, when we’ll move to Washington DC …
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            While no two freelancer’s journeys are ever the same, perhaps you can find a common bond or two between my story and your own? Ultimately, the point is that virtual offices, unlike traditional office space, have the unique and incredibly valuable power to mold and shift to your ever-changing, and expanding, needs. Whether it is a more impressive (i.e. legit) environment that your business needs or, as in my case, the ability to create this type of professional setting in multiple locations as your own geography changes, virtual offices provide the perfect solution, every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Image source: Executive Office Suites

Written by McDuffie Republished with permission by Alliance

 

We are excited to welcome Midtown Medi-spa, Inc. to Executive Office Suites at Lafayette Village!

ElizabethPaner

 

Elizabeth Paner, Licensed Aesthetician and Owner of Midtown Medi-spa, formally trained in Cary, North Carolina in the field of aesthetics.  She extended her aesthetics training with several post-graduate courses with emphasis on skin rejuvenation.  Elizabeth has been working in this field for 7 years and has managed, consulted and launched several successful business operations.  She has served as a consultant with area Medi-spas, was a regional make-up artist with Estee Lauder, and has been featured in area women’s magazines. 

Elizabeth loves to pamper her clients. “If my clients are happy and seeing results, then my technique speaks volumes.”  Her approach is customized to the individual and delivers fantastic results.  “I love what I do and love to see my customers’ smiles.  It’s my passion, not work!”

Services include

-Customized Facials/Peels

-Firming/Circle Eye Treatments

-Vi Peels

-Dermaplaning

-Dermal Needling

-Waxing and Tinting

-Permanent Make-up

 

We can not wait to have Midtown Medi-spa at Executive Office Suites.  Make your appointment today by calling 919.622.2281 or emailing Elizabeth@midtownmedispa.com

What’s Trending: Workplace Trends to Watch in 2013

Executive Office SuitesWith the beginning of each new year comes the unique opportunity to both reflect on events, trends and “happenings” of the previous year while also looking ahead to what new and innovative trends can be expected in the twelve months ahead.

2012 saw significant positive growth and expansion in the virtual officing world, and here at Executive Office Suites we have been enjoying the increased attention that the world of the virtual office has been receiving over the past couple of years. So, with the limelight shining ever brighter on our industry, what then can we expect to see when it comes to workplace trends in 2013? Here are a few things to watch out for this year:

1) A virtual office boom: Savvy companies around the world will continue to utilize virtual offices to expand into new arenas and maximize their global presence. With offices around the world, offering impressive addresses and top-notch services and amenities, Executive Office Suites is always at the ready when it comes to serving the busy mobile professional.

2) Increased disaster preparedness: The devastation caused by super-storm Sandy has increased the attention that is being placed on disaster preparedness and how we can better equip our businesses in times of trauma. The flexibility afforded to virtual office users is unmatched by traditional, static office spaces and allows mobile entrepreneurs to move locations when disaster – or simply their mood – strikes.

3) Work options galore: From hot-desking, home-working, co-working, virtual officing, telecommuting and much more, the days of sitting in a cubicle from 9 – 5 are long gone. While some may still continue to work that way, the good news is that you don’t have to! Choices are never a bad thing. What’s more, when it comes to office expenses, the price of office space ranks just below payroll costs. Look to see companies utilizing temporary and virtual work options more than ever before as a way to increase their flexibility in work styles while decreasing their monthly office space expenditures.

With Executive Office Suites’s extensive list of flexible virtual office space options, we will always keep you on the cutting edge of workspace innovations – keeping you right in line with today’s latest and greatest trendsetters.

Image source: Executive Office Suites

Republished with permission by Alliance

Three Reasons Why Tracking Your Center’s

Google Analytics Goals for SEO Matters

 

Track Google Analytics Goals for SEOMany Businesses do very little when it comes to tracking the results of their search engine optimization efforts. Given the mass volume of search being conducted every day over the internet, if you are not engaged in serious efforts to track your traffic, you may not be making the necessary adjustments to keep up with the search engines.

We came across the article posted below from www.searchenginewatch.com. It outlines very clearly what businesses need to consider regarding configuring and tracking Google Analytics goals. Not everything will be relevant to your center, but it’s an important enough topic that we thought we’d republish the article here.
__________________________________________________________________________________

How to Configure & Track Google Analytics Goals for SEO

Goal measurement is quite possibly the most important element of SEO itself… because it is the justification of the investment.

Those new to SEO often want to base campaign success on surface value metrics such as rankings. Rankings are great because they provide exposure, visibility, and something even greater: traffic. Once upon a time, rankings and traffic were the main ways to measure the success of SEO.

Increased rankings and traffic are good, but if your traffic doesn’t convert, then SEO becomes a producer of negative ROI. Would you know that though, if you weren’t tracking goals/conversions on your site?

What Are Your Goals?

Goals in Google Analytics (using this as 99.999 percent of site owners use it) can come via a few different forms, but before you decide how to measure your goals decide what your goals are in the first place.

  • Conversions: Sales, etc.
  • Lead: Submission forms, contact forms.
  • User behavior: Pageviews, etc.

Think about what the mission of your site is. What was it created to do? Once you have answered this question you will have your goal metrics.

How to Track Goal Metrics

There are three basic types of goal tracking in Google Analytics: ecommerce tracking, event tracking, and standard goal tracking.

Ecommerce Tracking

How to get this: You will need to select the ecommerce site button in the Admin>>Profiles>>Profile Settings>>ecommerce Settings section in Google Analytics. Additionally, you will need to place additional tracking code on your receipt page. Refer to Google’s instructions on tag placement.

What is this good for: This is a must for any site that is transactional as it is critical that you understand transaction and revenue growth. Digging deeper, you can look at transaction success at the keyword or landing page level. Understanding your organic traffic, more than watching high level numbers, is your key to honing in on what is helping you sell, or not helping you sell. Analyzing at a more granular level also allows you to begin looking at your landing pages with an eye on conversion optimization.

Event Tracking

How to get this: Additional code placement on text links, image links and videos. Refer to Google’s instructionson Event tracking code placement.

What is this good for: Event Tracking helps you gain a better understanding of user actions/behaviors on-site. Do you have a goal such as PDF downloads for which you cannot tell through standard tracking those who land on the PDF? This allows you to understand how many of these goals are being reached. Do you have a few key calls to action on the homepage you want to test link click-throughs? Are you engaged in an external site partnership and want to see how many clicks are leaving your site to visit theirs? These are all good situations to use Event tracking.

Standard Goal Tracking

How to get this: This goal method, of the three, is the easiest to implement. By visiting Admin>>Profiles>>Goals from your Google Analytics dashboard you simply can add the type of metric you wish to analyze, whether it be a visitor usage related goal or a URL as a destination.

What is it good for: The latter above is typically the most commonly used value for these type of goal tracking. Do you have a lead/contact submission form? Ensure you have a thank you page after user submission and this can become a goal page. Do you have several different types of lead forms? Then you can use multiple goals for multiple form types, common if some lead types are worth different values to your organization. Be mindful of your match types here though as selecting the wrong type for your goal URL needs whether exact, head or regular expression can cause goal tracking to be inaccurate or broken all together.

Get to Tracking!

This article has only scratched the surface – there is so much to goal/conversion tracking that once you get acquainted with these basics, the analytical possibilities will become seemingly endless. Hopefully it has helped provide a guided approach into the true investment justification of SEO – and offered you a new viewpoint of success.

Thanks to www.webmasterstudio.com for the image.

Republished with permission by Sue Saldibar

Tech Trends: Is Your Workspace Pushing the Right Buttons?

Tech trends

Technology is shaping and influencing the way we run our lives at work, at home and everywhere in-between. It’s ingrained in everything we do and it’s developing at an incredible pace, fueled by social behavior and an insatiable appetite to have everything ‘now’. Remember when IT lessons at school felt a little alien? Not anymore. The next generation is growing up surrounded by technology, with the same appetite for knowledge and collaboration that we as business people demand today.

So the multi-million pound question – and the one that fascinates the human race – is what’s next for technology?

A recent article on Real Business by Vanessa Zainzinger unearthed some fascinating trends about technology and how it’s about to turn the way we do business on its head.

The culture of immediacy

We live in a world where we want everything yesterday. From music downloads and streaming movies to answering that annoying question, we want information at our fingertips – and the internet gives us instant gratification.

In this must-have-now culture, businesses are expected to adapt. Whether it’s a booking system with online payments or immediate customer service, clients expect immediacy. Workspace operators can tackle this in many different ways – such as checking their customer service protocols and assessing their online presence. Those with coworking or meeting spaces should have an online booking facility, and centers can assess their ‘immediacy’ by making sure their websites as user-friendly as possible – ensuring they are delivering the right information to clients quickly and accurately.

Collaboration and sharing

When bank funding is hard to come by, businesses get creative. Crowdfunding is one such solution. It’s a way of generating funds through people power and it’s all part of our sharing ethos and collaborative culture, the same concept which is made possible by social networks and which has fuelled sites such as eBay and Airbnb. If you can share goods, rooms, parking spaces and even cars, why not share money – and use it to invest in something that you believe in?

Zainzinger describes it as “rebooting” the business world, a move that was inspired by public anger at Wall Street, bank bonuses and interest rates. “It has enabled a new channel for business growth,” she says. “Now, crowdfunding lets you generate funding, build customer feedback, market and improve your product, all in one, without any significant upfront investment.”

Continuing the sharing concept in business, Spacedadi is one tool that’s actively bringing the workspace industry closer together by encouraging operators to market each other’s space. This culture of openness and sharing is expected to develop rapidly over the next few years, so operators should use it to get their workspace ‘out there’. Market it through systems like Spacedadi and you’ll not only help to sell your space and your competitors’ space (earning a commission while you’re at it), they can return the favor too – meaning you’re also sharing the marketing burden. In short, sharing helps the world go around.

The real era of mobile

Gartner predicts that in 2013, mobile devices will overtake desktop PCs as the most common web access tools. This has triggered a BYOD boom and means that barriers to market are quickly shrinking. As we have written about so much on Officing Today, it is essential that your work space website is adapted for mobile. And if users can book online through their device, you’re already ahead of the curve and ready to welcome Gen Y in their droves.

This is driving concepts such as ‘talent as a service’ – based on the idea that thanks to mobile technology, businesses can hire talent anywhere in the world. By 2020, ‘talent as a service’ is expected to impact one-third of professionals worldwide. This breaking down of geographical boundaries means that the traditional workplace will continue to change, and alternative forms of officing such as the virtual office and coworking will keep growing.

It shows that technology and workplace are intrinsically linked. It’s an exciting time for the workspace industry and equally, a time when the industry is expected to be at the forefront of alternative workplace solutions, with the tools to let mobile businesses find and book space online whenever they want. And we all know that businesses want it ‘now’. So instead of waiting until your front desk opens at 9am to accept a booking, accelerate your business by embracing technology and providing that ‘instant gratification’.

What is your business centre doing to address these demands and stay ahead of the curve?

Image source

Republished with permission by Jo Disney

Virtual Mobile OfficeTexting while driving can be dangerous – and can even get you pulled over in some cities. But a man in Germany took remote work to a whole new level.

According to The Associated Press, German police say they nabbed a driver who had wired his Ford station wagon with an entire mobile office, creating the equivalent of a virtual office space.

“Built on a wooden frame on his passenger seat they found a laptop on a docking station tilted for easy driver access, a printer, router, wireless internet stick, WLAN antenna, and an inverter to power it all,” the AP reports. “A navigation system and cell phone mounted to the windshield completed the array.”

If this doesn’t show the mobile workforce trend is catching on, what does? As business center owners and operators are well aware, mobile workers are on the rise. But hard statistics drive the point home. By 2015, the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2 percent of the total workforce, according to IDC.

“Despite recent market turmoil, mobility continues to be a critical part of the global workforce and we expect to see healthy growth in the number of mobile workers,” said Stacy Crook, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Enterprise Research program. “Our forecast shows that the worldwide mobile worker population will increase from just over 1 billion in 2010 to more than 1.3 billion by 2015.”

What’s more, Forrester Research estimates 66% of information workers in North America and Europe already work remotely. Over time, Forrester predicts this trend will have profound implications for everything from the location and design of offices, to IT’s provisioning of technology, to how business leaders marshal expertise.

Is your business center ready to accommodate the demands of the mobile workforce? With a mobile workforce working from remote locations, business centers should expect more foot traffic – but business centers that market their serviced office space as mobile worker friendly will lead the charge.

Many mobile workers may be yet unaware of the availability of day offices and meeting rooms. Savvy business centers are commuting the message to large corporations and entrepreneurs alike. How do you do this?

For starters, be sure to include language on your website – preferably an entire webpage – dedicated to marketing your services to mobile workers. Use keywords like “mobile workers” on those web pages so you will come up in the Google search results. Show mobile workers that you understand their needs by listing services that appeal to their pain points. Treat the mobile workforce as a niche – a niche that’s worth plenty as business evolves.

Image source: Saarland State Police, Germany

Republished with permission by Mike Sullivan