virtual office, virtual office australia, virtual office sydney - SOI
Quick Quote

Blog

8Jun

4 steps to maximising your opportunities

By Michelle Mills | Business growth, Business Owners, Business Success, Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Small Business, Success, Virtual Office, Women Business Owners | 8 Jun 2017

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, or today – Chinese proverb It might just be me, but I think everyone has those moments when they look at some part of their life or business and thinks ‘darn, I should have gone with xyz opportunity ages ago’. And that’s then followed by a ...

18May

Should your business be hot desking?

By Blogger | Uncategorized | 18 May 2017

With tech companies such as Facebook and Google becoming well known for their “activity-based” office setups, the allure of going above and beyond with employee benefits has never been stronger for SMEs – cue the Foosball tournaments. Most recently, Amazon constructed a dog park at their new ...

4May

The one question you need to ask to build your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Success | 4 May 2017

As we trek towards the end of this financial year, how are you going with this year’s budgeted revenue? Did you achieve the number you were aiming for? If so, congratulations. If not, don’t fret, there’s still time. And even if you don’t quite get the new business in under the wire, if ...

2May

The business owners guide to maintaining your energy levels

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business growth, Business Owners, Business Success, Outsourced Admin, Outsourcing, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 2 May 2017

Are you a night owl or a lark? Knowing can help you be more productive. Picture this: you’re in the office experiencing a mid-afternoon slump. You’re preparing for a client presentation, writing a document, updating your website or dealing with an HR issue. Maybe you’re actually tasked ...

11Apr

Getting past the seven-year itch (in business that is)

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Outsourced Admin, Small Business | 11 Apr 2017

Recently post we wrote about hitting boredom and resetting your goals to find your way forward. But what if you’re really seeking something new and shiny instead? What then? Let’s face it, running a business is tough! Fun, great, tiring, exhausting and mentally and often physically ...

30Mar

Never too old to start your entrepreneurial journey

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Building a business in retirement, Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin | 30 Mar 2017

C.S. Lewis once said “you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream…” Even though this was written well more than 50 years ago, it has never been truer with today’s baby boomers living longer and better than generations before them. Starting a business in retirement ...

21Mar

Getting past the boredom of business

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Health, Life Balance, Small Business, Success, Women Business Owners | 21 Mar 2017

Taking your business to new heights One of the great things that taking a break at the beginning of the year brings, is the ability to take a step back and check-in with how we’re really doing, both as business owners and as, well, humans and all that our non-business lives entail. We get a ...

14Mar

5 tips for getting ‘unstuck’ in 2017

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Flexibility, Freeing up time, Health, Life Balance, Outsourced Admin | 14 Mar 2017

I love January/February. Thanks to the New Year, everything feels just a little bit fresher. Like it contains just a hint more opportunity. You know, that potential of so many good things waiting around the corner, when the real work of the year kicks off in earnest. Okay, it’s possibly also ...

21Feb

What’s next for you?

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Small Business, Virtual Office | 21 Feb 2017

Now that the ‘new year’ is well and truly underway and life and business have resumed their regular routine, you might be wondering what’s next for you. Not in the where is my career going, what are my goals kind of way – that’s so January. Rather, if you’re of a certain age or ...

24Jan

The power of one

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business growth, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Health, Life Balance, Outsourcing, Phone Answering | 24 Jan 2017

Why one thing at a time is a great strategy for business owners These days being a business owner means juggling a lot of balls at any given time. We all want to be successful. However, the reward for being successful in business is, well, more work. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but ...

20Dec

SME success: Getting ahead in 2017

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Life Balance, Small Business, Success | 20 Dec 2016

Serviced Office International - Reconnect with your business this New Year Right now the Internet is awash with tips and tricks to get business ahead in 2017. Everything from moving to the cloud to the top 10 books you should read (in the week that you’re on leave of course). And whilst ...

6Dec

Are you living up to the business ownership dream?

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Life Balance, Phone Answering, Small Business, Small Business Planning | 6 Dec 2016

Isn't time you took a real break? At this time of year, there’s usually a flurry of media and social posts about starting afresh in 2017 (although you can insert any year in there) which usually involves chucking in that job that you hate and turning the dream of starting your own business ...

22Nov

How small business owners can take a real break this Christmas

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Health, Life Balance, Phone Answering, Small Business | 22 Nov 2016

Hooray – it’s nearly Christmas! Did you just groan? Hmmm? If you did, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many business owners find themselves ridiculously busy at this time of year – clients demanding things be ready for the new year, trying to finish up those messy jobs still outstanding ...

8Nov

Small business owners – your time has come!

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business growth, Business Start-up, Business Success, Customer Experience, Great Service, Small Business | 8 Nov 2016

According to Harvard Business professor, Boris Groysberg, “startups are the Googles of tomorrow” and these days it’s all about “disruption”. But what exactly does that mean for your small business? Well, SME’s now make up 99% of Australian businesses in terms of numbers of ...

25Oct

Creating a vibrant service culture; why the best ones are FISHy

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business growth, Business Owners, Business Success, Customer Experience, Great Service, Serviced Office, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 25 Oct 2016

“Aren’t all Serviced Offices the same?” Now that might strike you as an odd question for us to pose (and even weirder to mention fish – we’ll come to that), but truth be told, we hear that question said quite a bit. And to a certain extent it’s true. All providers of serviced offices ...

27Sep

Choosing your new workspace – 4 intriguing considerations

By Michelle Mills | Business growth, Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Serviced Office, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 27 Sep 2016

Last blog, you might recall we wrote about what you’re really getting when you choose a serviced office. This post, we’re exploring four somewhat esoteric things you probably hadn’t yet considered when thinking about choosing a workspace for your business. Office chats as productivity and ...

13Sep

Growing up and moving out

By Michelle Mills | Business growth, Business Owners, Serviced Office, Small Business | 13 Sep 2016

What to look for when considering leasing office space Perhaps you are a funded startup with a growing team that needs office space; or, you may be a boomer or GenXer who is running a small business – but too many years in corporate means it just doesn’t feel right working from home. So ...

23Aug

Boomer businesses need options as they grow

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Customer Experience, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Small Business, Success | 23 Aug 2016

You might recall last post we talked about how, as a generation, the baby boomers are forging ahead in a major way in the entrepreneurial stakes. So today, we’re going to look at ideas for managing growth, without losing your sanity, if you’ve got a boomer business that’s on the ...

9Aug

Boomers lead the way in entrepreneurship

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Life Balance | 9 Aug 2016

Studies show that boomers just aren’t ageing the way their predecessors did. Rather they are the most textured, spirited, and determined generation to date – none of whom are looking to slowly blend into the dark and disappear. Maybe it will happen when boomers reach age 95, but definitely, not ...

19Jul

One small step for Sydney startups

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 19 Jul 2016

One great leap for Sydney's womenkind This year’s Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Cities Index lists the 25 best cities for women entrepreneurs to get their startups off the ground. New York took top spot, while San Francisco and the Bay Area, London, Stockholm, and Singapore occupied the next ...

5Jul

Virtual receptionists – 10 reasons they could be your new sanity saver

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Life Balance, Phone Answering, Small Business, Small Business Planning | 5 Jul 2016

Isn't it time your trade business got someone else to answer the phone? If you’re like many business owners you consider your phone a life saver… and a total curse!! You’re frantic if you’re ever without it (heaven forbid!), but it rings so often that there are moments where you ...

30Jun

10 ways co-working could change your life and business

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Coworking | 30 Jun 2016

Ever wondered what all the fuss was about coworking spaces? Surely they’re just the modern day equivalent of a serviced office? Aren’t they noisy and difficult to concentrate in? Um, no. Not only aren’t they difficult to work in, they can change your life and your business. You will ...

26Oct

How a Virtual Office can create business success

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Phone Answering, Small Business, Virtual Office | 26 Oct 2015

  You’ve started your business, got off the ground and have some revenue. What do you need now? Some help to increase revenue further and boost your presence in the market place. Going from a one man operation to having staff can be a huge task. But what if there’s another way? If ...

1Sep

The value of a phone call

By Michelle Mills | Customer Experience, Freeing up time, Phone Answering | 1 Sep 2015

Let’s say you need a service. It might be a plumber, electrician, an accountant or a builder. Whatever it is, you don’t have long to get it sorted and so you decide to call. Email means waiting for a reply. You don’t have the time for that. You want to get this sorted and move on to the other ...

17Aug

Small business and the influence of perception

By Michelle Mills | Phone Answering, Virtual Office | 17 Aug 2015

Perception is everything. A business can gain customers and increase growth through the power of perception. For a small business or a start-up one of the main focuses is to create a bigger presence, and with it, a greater authority in the marketplace. This presence is your image as a large and ...

10Aug

Doing business in the 21st Century

By Michelle Mills | Business Success | 10 Aug 2015

Businesses in the 21st Century have moved on from the traditional hierarchies and static values of the past. To succeed today in the global and digitalised corporate world companies need to be forward thinking and adaptable. Thus, the new business model is about dynamism, innovation but, perhaps ...

30Jul

The value of a virtual office

By Michelle Mills | Business Start-up, Phone Answering, Small Business, Virtual Office | 30 Jul 2015

What exactly is a virtual office?   You don’t need a physical office anymore to operate a business. A virtual office enables you or your employees to work from any location without the need to lease out an office space. Your phone calls can be answered on your behalf, your diary ...

23Jan
Image

Creating the Perfect Hot Desk Area for More Productivity

By Michelle Mills | Serviced Office | 23 Jan 2015

Creating a hot desk area can allow for flexible work amongst your staff and enhance their productivity. With workplaces ever changing in today’s business world, organisations are looking for some solutions to make their offices more efficient. And what better way to achieve this than by creating ...

12Jan
Image

Sydney Is Driving Australian Economy

By Michelle Mills | Serviced Office, Small Business Planning | 12 Jan 2015

Amongst Australia’s major cities, Sydney is the one driving national economy. With a 37.9% contribution to Australia’s growth in the 2013-2014 financial year, Sydney is driving national economy. According to the report by consultancy SGS Economics & Planning, the city’s economy expanded ...

15Oct

5 E’s of Entrepreneurship. How to give your start-up a solid foundation.

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs | 15 Oct 2014

Starting a new business often begins with a bit shaky start. You have a rough idea of what you need to do, but you’re not completely sure. It’s important to create a solid foundation on which you can build your business. And just like many other things in life, preparation is ...

2Oct

3 business lessons from another perspective

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Marketing, Business Success, Entrepreneurs | 2 Oct 2014

As a SME owner, it’s vital that you develop strong strategies that align with your goals, passion and direction. If you do that, your business is more than likely going to grow.   If like us, you’re a little over the usual “expert advice”, Mike Michalowicz, a very successful ...

18Sep

5 business finance questions you need to be able to answer

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Do what you're great at | 18 Sep 2014

Confused about your business’ finance? You’re not alone. Speak to any business owner and you’ll find frustrations around their finances often occupy their mind in the wee small hours.   And that the government keeps changing the rules each budget period doesn’t exactly help. But ...

5Sep

Seven Secrets to Self Employed Happiness

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success | 5 Sep 2014

Of course there is no definitive answer to the secret of happiness. It’s all rather subjective. But if you’re venturing into a new entrepreneurial plan, or you’re already in one, there are ways you can maintain your happiness (and sanity) whilst you are self-employed. If you take on the ...

15Aug

5 steps to your ideal customer

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Business Success, Customer Experience, Entrepreneurs | 15 Aug 2014

You know you have the perfect product or service, you’ve got some clients, but you’re having problems taking your business to the next level. And you’re wondering why.   Maybe you’re not fishing where the fish are or maybe you’re trying to be all things to all people and ...

1Aug

Why new crowdfunding laws could be an opportunity for your small business

By Michelle Mills | Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Success | 1 Aug 2014

Raising finance for your entrepreneurial dreams, just like much else in entrepreneurial-land, has likely been harder than you thought it would be. You need ‘x’ amount of money but the bank is only willing to give you ‘y’. I’m sure you have thought in the past, if only there was an easier ...

15Jul

4 ways to rethink what’s important in your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Success, Entrepreneurs | 15 Jul 2014

As the old saying goes, “if you at first don’t succeed, try, try again”. But what if, when it came to building a business, the pain of  the “try, try again” part was a lot easier to avoid?   It’s no secret that starting up your own entrepreneurial venture can be fraught with ...

1Jul

Taking a moment to celebrate

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Success, Women Business Owners | 1 Jul 2014

As the end of the financial year draws to a close, lots of stories in the media will tell you now is a good time to review your numbers and get planning the next financial year. And whilst that’s great advice, it misses something important that we business owners are likely to ...

17Jun

Entrepreneur success – fairytale vs reality

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Outsourced Admin, Outsourcing, Phone Answering, Small Business, Success | 17 Jun 2014

There’s a lot written about written about start-up entrepreneurs on the internet. Everybody is either becoming one or wants to be one. And more than a handful of people you meet at the average networking event describe themselves as one. But in fact, once upon a time, to say you were an ...

3Jun

Building a business is a marathon not a sprint

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Serviced Office, Success | 3 Jun 2014

When I first began building my business, I think I had the wrong idea. I think so many business owners do. You see, I thought (and it’s kind of funny some 15 years later), that if I worked hard enough for a little while - at the front end, the rest would be easy. In other words, I thought ...

29Apr

Entrepreneurship is the new way of business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs | 29 Apr 2014

Did you know that Australia is amongst the world’s most entrepreneurial countries? Ernst & Young (EY) listed Australia in their top five along with Canada, South Korea, the UK and the US. Entrepreneurship in Australia is perceived to give us a sense of independence. Its current rise in ...

15Apr

Australian vs. overseas virtual admin assistants

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Flexibility, Great Service, Outsourced Admin, Outsourcing, Phone Answering | 15 Apr 2014

What you need to consider before hiring either. Over the past five or so years, outsourcing to a VA or virtual assistant has boomed, particularly within the SME market, due in part to the publication of the 4hr work week by Tim Ferris. But, it goes much deeper than that. Outsourcing can ...

13Mar

Hot desking – The new trend in the office

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Flexibility, Serviced Office | 13 Mar 2014

Flexibility and convenience has become more and more apparent in the lives of small business owners - especially those who are always on the run. Last blog we explored virtual offices and this blog we’re exploring yet another office alternative - hot desking. Catching on in both small and big ...

20Feb

Flexibility and professionalism – no longer a trade off

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Flexibility, Great Service, Phone Answering, Serviced Office, Virtual Office | 20 Feb 2014

Increasing flexibility has become a serious requirement of today’s business landscape - especially if you own a business. And whilst business owners have always had more flexibility than most, until now, it’s always been rather a bit of a trade off between having that flexibility and the look ...

12Jan

The only tip you’ll need for success in 2014

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Serviced Office, Women Business Owners | 12 Jan 2014

It’s often at this point in the year, when you start seeing blogs, news stories, etc popping up on business trends for 2014 or business lessons from 2013. Now of course it’s important to keep a watching eye on trends that might impact your business. However, contrary to all the hype that’s ...

20Dec

10 lessons for business success in 2014

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Freeing up time, Life Balance, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Women Business Owners | 20 Dec 2013

From time to time on my blog, I've talked about taking the time to review where your business is currently at and the end of the year or mid year (aka end of financial year) are often good times for that. I’m thrilled to say, we've had a good solid year this year and we've worked with many ...

19Nov

Does your business have a business continuity plan?

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Small Business, Success | 19 Nov 2013

With so many potential disasters and crises looming around the business environment, it’s essential that your business has an effective continuity plan in place.   Business continuity is often described as common sense, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, it has elements of common ...

7Nov

SME’s and the great burnout question

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Health, Life Balance | 7 Nov 2013

The recent shock announcement and exit of David Jones chief executive Paul Zahra, has many pundits talking about just how much pressure company leaders face. Upon his announcement, Zahra said “Whilst much has been achieved and the company is well placed for the future, I believe it’s time for a ...

22Oct

Building better business relationships

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Serviced Office, Small Business | 22 Oct 2013

Strong relationships are the fuel that feeds the success of any business, even more so if you have a small business. And whilst that might seem obvious, so many business owners get caught up in the details of their products or services and forget how critical it is to build relationships, not just ...

8Oct

Spring clean your business this Spring

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Outsourced Admin, Small Business, Success | 8 Oct 2013

Spring has officially arrived (even if it already feels like Summer!!). The warm, pleasant days, the sun shining down on our bodies usually leads us to a sudden urge to clean up, clear out and de-clutter. You might also be feeling the urge to Spring clean your business. A business spring clean ...

24Sep

Keeping your focus until your next break Pt2

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Success, Life Balance, Outsourced Admin, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 24 Sep 2013

Last week we wrote Part 1 of how to keep you as a business owner can keep yourself focussed until your next break. This week, we thought we'd add another three tips. 1. Focus helpers If you’ve got a project that requires significant focus and your brain’s feeling a little groggy and you ...

18Sep

Keeping your focus until your next break Pt1

By Michelle Mills | Business Owners, Business Success, Life Balance, Outsourced Admin, Phone Answering, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 18 Sep 2013

I love September - it’s warm and gorgeous outside my office window and as I watch, I can see people enjoying their weekend. Australians just seem that bit happier with life. It’s also that time of the year when we’re in that serious revenue producing part of the year for most businesses ...

27Aug

Defining business owner ‘success’

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Success, Women Business Owners | 27 Aug 2013

In the 14 or so years that I’ve been building my own business, Serviced Offices International, we’ve met a lot of business owners, many of whom have been extremely successful and grown from one person to many. We’ve even seen some clients build and ‘flip’ their businesses for goodly sums ...

15Aug

5 marketing don’ts to grow your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Marketing, Business Owners, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Small Business Planning, Success | 15 Aug 2013

It’s important for every business owner to have an idea on how best to market their business in order to maximise every chance of winning those all important new customers and grow their businesses. Last post we wrote about the 5 marketing do’s: 1. Define your ideal customer 2. Make ...

23Jul

5 marketing must do’s for your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin, Outsourcing, Phone Answering, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 23 Jul 2013

Marketing is a crucial part of establishing and growing any business. Regardless of what age, stage or industry your business is in, it's vital to define who your ideal customer is and figure out how to reach them. No matter how great your product or service, it's your marketing (and sales) ...

2Jul

Business 101 7 tips to keep clients happy

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Customer Experience, Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Great Service, Outsourced Admin, Serviced Office, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 2 Jul 2013

In the 14 years since I started SOI, I’ve had the very great privilege of getting to know a great many business owners and watch them develop and grow their businesses a step at a time. We’ve seen so many of those businesses flourish and grow. Generally when we’ve first met, the businesses ...

18Jun

Soldiering on through business ownership

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Outsourced Admin | 18 Jun 2013

It’s that time of year again and people everywhere are coming down with the usual batch of the dreaded lurgies (you might want to read my previous blog on the business owners guide to staying healthy).   But that got me thinking about ‘that’ old TV commercial for soldiering on ...

4Jun

Tips for healthier business owners

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Health, Life Balance, Outsourced Admin, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 4 Jun 2013

With winter creeping onto our doorsteps, so too does the dreaded cold and flu season. I don’t think I’ve ever met a business owner who doesn’t feel that sense of panic when they think about getting sick and not being able to work.   So I thought it was probably time to look at how ...

28May

Small business lessons from psychology & economics

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Customer Experience, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 28 May 2013

There’s a relatively new ‘field of endeavour’ that highlights that people buy products and services based on irrational decision making. It’s called Behavioural Economics which is situated somewhere between economics (which looks at people making decisions based entirely on a rational ...

13May

Coworking – the solopreneur’s business edge

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Entrepreneurs, Serviced Office, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 13 May 2013

If you’re a business owner who’s either in or been through the start-up phase, you’ll know that whilst there are benefits of working from home, there are also downsides to working from home too. After the euphoria of not having to commute, wake up early, or even get dressed, etc has worn ...

30Apr

10 tips for solving business conflict

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Entrepreneurs, Great Service, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 30 Apr 2013

Given every news channel has been talking about the potential for increased conflict with North Korea for the last couple of weeks, I thought now might be a good time to visit how to deal with conflict. Although the potential for conflict exists in every workplace, every family and in every ...

23Apr

The more and more of building business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 23 Apr 2013

Whether you’re in that first initial push to get a business up and running or you’re several years into business, no doubt you’ll come across a period when you want to get more from your business. That might be gaining more clients, bigger customer spends, broadening your offering, building ...

16Apr

Getting past email overload

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Freeing up time, Outsourced Admin, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 16 Apr 2013

Gosh the year is flying by, it’s almost the end of the first quarter and things are well and truly ramping up. Business confidence seems to be on the rise, everyone’s got their heads back in the business game and the pace everyone’s back working at is blistering. And those emails - well ...

9Apr

Fishing for new clients

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Building Leverage, Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 9 Apr 2013

5 tips for finding & catching them. Now Easter is over and all those ‘pesky’ holidays early in the year are now over, business life can resume normal programming. And for most of us that means getting on with new business development. When you first start out there’s a real ...

26Mar

Taking stock

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Freeing up time, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 26 Mar 2013

As the 2012-13 financial year comes to a close, many businesses both small and large, especially those in retail, are starting to plan for their usual year-end stock-take. Cue groaning. And whilst stock-takes are often rather dreaded, they’re a great chance for businesses to; reassess ...

12Mar

Are you on the business road that leads to awesome

By Michelle Mills | Do what you're great at, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Outsourced Admin, Small Business | 12 Mar 2013

I saw a short, but wonderfully inspiring, video this morning that I had to share. It’s by an eight or nine year old child. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s in primary school - scripted, probably - but boy is he good. And wise, oh my goodness. Although the messages delivered in the language ...

26Feb

8 tips for growing your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 26 Feb 2013

Now that we’re well past the holidays , January thinking and planning time  – business life is returning to normal. But what do you do if you’re still quiet? In the early stages of building your business, there are a million things to do that keep you busy and distracted – building ...

21Feb

Customer conquest or real relationships

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Customer Experience, Small Business | 21 Feb 2013

Someone was speaking at an event the other day on the topic of sales. As a business owner, I’m particularly interested in sales - because without sales you don’t have a business. And without sales, you don’t have customers - which in my book should be the core reason for your business’ ...

12Feb

The 6 keys to business success

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Outsourcing, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 12 Feb 2013

Recently I took a look as one does at the end of financial year at how the business was doing. And despite the lingering tail of the GFC that is still affecting business confidence, our business was doing okay, well even. Given the SOI business has now operated for more than a decade and most ...

5Feb

Gaining calm when your emotions run riot

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Entrepreneurs, Freeing up time, Life Balance, Phone Answering, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 5 Feb 2013

You’re back in the office. The sun is shining, you have exciting business plans for 2013 and all you need is a week in a vacuum to get yourself sorted. What you’ve got however, is  ringing phones, 10 more phone calls to return, a mountain of emails, harried customers desperate to get stuff ...

29Jan

Making the right impression

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Building Leverage, Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Do what you're great at, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 29 Jan 2013

Research says you only have 7 seconds to make an impression. Yes, 7 seconds. And let’s face it, by the time you’ve started speaking you’ve probably already used, maybe even wasted, a couple, if not all of those precious seconds. This blog features:   What matters in the first ...

22Jan

Getting back to business – when it feels like work

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Outsourced Admin, Outsourcing, Small Business, Virtual Office | 22 Jan 2013

Happy New Year! Welcome back. Hopefully, you’ve returned to the office refreshed and ready to get stuck in to building the business of your dreams. But what do you do if your body’s returned to the office and your head still feels like it’s on holidays? Here are 5 tips.   1. Go back ...

15Jan

The art of customer focus

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Outsourcing, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 15 Jan 2013

One of the biggest things that you’ll have to face as a business owner is a seemingly endless array of distractions – on a daily basis. Distractions from new product/services decisions, new opportunities, deadlines, suppliers, clients, business partners, the family, your staff, the accountant ...

1Jan

The 7 critical factors for business success

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Outsourcing, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 1 Jan 2013

Building a successful business can be one of the most thrilling things in life. And everyone you meet along the way will have a different point of view of what works and what doesn’t. Having worked with small business owners for the last 20 years – these are the seven critical success factors ...

18Dec

The business owners guide to taking a break

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Life Balance, Small Business Planning | 18 Dec 2012

If you're anything like me, you've probably got a million things on at the moment. You’re probably preparing for 2013, going to all those festive season social and business events whilst trying to tidy up 2012 – all of which make you even busier than usual.  So, really who has time for ...

11Dec

6 tips to maximise new business efforts

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Owners, Business Start-up, Business Success, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Virtual Office, Women Business Owners | 11 Dec 2012

Being able to create new business opportunities is the absolute lifeblood of any business and the business owner. These days so many people rely on technology (email and websites) to do the majority of the work. And frankly who likes calling prospects anyway.   But using your phone as ...

4Dec

Are you going fast or far?

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 4 Dec 2012

Last week, I read with interest a three part piece in SmartCompany on the 7 stages of business. It got me thinking about how and where we’re heading in our businesses. So many of us got into business to ‘escape’ the 9-5 grind only to find ourselves working 7-10 often 6 or 7 days a week. ...

27Nov

6 ways to create customer delight

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Customer Experience, Great Service, Outsourcing, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 27 Nov 2012

Recently we posted five tips for exceptional customer service. Today, we wanted to take that one step further and talk about how to create customer delight. You’d be right in thinking that it is a by-product of exceptional customer service because without the latter you don’t have the ...

20Nov

The business of getting on with business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 20 Nov 2012

In the lives of pretty much all business owners at some point, there are days when you just don't feel like it. Depending on who you are and the business you’re in, that day might be BAS day, new business calls day, preparing for a presentation, writing a document or dealing with staff issues. ...

15Nov

5 tips for exceptional customer service

By Michelle Mills | Customer Experience, Do what you're great at, Great Service, Outsourced Admin, Small Business | 15 Nov 2012

Customer service is king...and all of that. Did you just groan or roll your eyes? Yes, me too. Aha! Now that I’ve got caught your eye, I thought it was time to talk about why everyone knows it’s important, but pays so very little attention to actually following through on its ...

6Nov

4 reasons why the telephone is not dead

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Freeing up time, Great Service, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 6 Nov 2012

You have the latest iPhone, Android, HTC (insert whatever brand you carry). You love it. It can do so many things. You can check email, play games, connect on social media, read the paper, take photos – all from wherever you find yourself. When you think about it, all these added features have ...

30Oct

The 7 downsides to working from the home office

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 30 Oct 2012

Last post I wrote about the 7 benefits of working from home – and I’m sure I missed many more benefits. However, in the interests of balance – I thought I’d also point out the downside of working from home. You’re the first (only) one called if your children (or other family members) ...

23Oct

6 tips for staying the course in business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Outsourced Admin, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 23 Oct 2012

Today I wanted to talk about quitting. There seems to have been quite a bit written about trying something and quitting quickly and often if it’s not working out. Even more so in a business setting. That, my friends is a furphy! Succeeding in business, despite what you hear about ‘overnight ...

11Oct

Business lessons from Australian retail woes

By Michelle Mills | Business Start-up, Customer Experience, Great Service, Phone Answering, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 11 Oct 2012

Over the last 12 months or so the string of poor profit results seen by the retail sector and the resulting wailing by behemoths David Jones and Myer and the like might lead one to believe that ‘retail’ in Australia was dying. And yet, there are droves of European retailers such as Top Shop, ...

9Oct

The 7 benefits of working from home

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Small Business, Small Business Planning, Women Business Owners | 9 Oct 2012

Technology is a wonderful thing! Where once we were confined  to the four walls of corporate offices and by being geographically close to our clients, team and/or suppliers, now we can work from almost anywhere, with almost anyone with a minimum of fuss. So if you’re considering getting out ...

20Sep

Never too late to start your business

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Business Start-up, Outsourced Admin, Serviced Office, Small Business, Women Business Owners | 20 Sep 2012

Someone once said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, or now. The same can be said for starting, building or growing a business. it’s easy to bemoan that you should have done x or y last week, last month or ten years ago and hindsight has always been a wonderful thing.  But don’t ...

4Sep

5 tips for getting your small business under control

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Freeing up time, Outsourcing, Small Business, Small Business Planning | 4 Sep 2012

Last post, I wrote about an issue many business owners face – finding the time to spend working on, rather than just in, their business. If that’s you too, don’t worry, you’re far from alone. Today, you’ll find some practical ideas for how to claw some time in your busy day that makes ...

21Aug

Do you own your business or does it own you?

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Building Leverage, Do what you're great at, Freeing up time, Outsourcing | 21 Aug 2012

5 ways to create leverage for your business If you’re an entrepreneur, especially if it’s your first venture, you most likely started your business on a tiny shoestring and are likely tobe doing most, if not all of the work yourself. It’s great that you’re prepared to roll-up your ...

7Aug

The keys to great customer experience

By Michelle Mills | Building a business, Customer Experience, Great Service | 7 Aug 2012

Hooray SOI finally has a new website! It’s not completely perfect yet – there are still some little tweaks to be made here and there, but it’s significantly better than our old one – which to be fair served its purpose well, but it had more than served its time. However, our new site ...

12Jun

7 critical factors for small business success

By Michelle Mills | Building a business | 12 Jun 2012

Building a successful business can be one of the most thrilling things in life. And everyone you meet along the way will have a different point of view of what works and what doesn't. Having worked with small business owners for the last 20 years – these are the five critical success factors ...