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Ian LeWinter

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Increasing Productivity with a Small Business Phone System

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:53:13 AM

As a small business owner with limited resources, improving productivity is likely at or near the top of your priority list. But if you type “how to improve productivity for a small business” into a search engine, the number of results you’ll receive will probably be similar to the number of stars in the universe.

New articles and videos filled with tips and tricks for improving operations are constantly popping up on the Internet and while many offer quality suggestions, the sheer volume can be a bit overwhelming. Implementing a dozen different strategies at once is probably not the best idea, so we suggest you start with one—adopting a small business phone system.

Small_Business_Productivity

Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sebastiaan ter Burg

A phone service designed specifically for small and microbusinesses can increase productivity—specifically mobile productivity—by putting the power of an enterprise system in your pocket. With a cloud-based phone service you can use your mobile phone to get:

  • A business-specific line where you can be reached no matter where you are
  • Voicemail to email that ensures you get important messages even while you’re traveling
  • Professional greetings that can be customized from anywhere you have Internet access 

On top of productivity gains you’ll see your company can also cut costs with a small business phone service. Monthly fees are reasonable and because the service is web-based and maintained by the vendor you’ll avoid installation and maintenance costs altogether.

When you own a small business, you simply can’t afford to let valuable time go unused—fortunately you don’t have to.

Want some tips on creating a great mobile workforce? Take a look!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Improve Your Business

Extending Your Business Presence with a Small Business Virtual Phone

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:53:04 AM

Those of you running your own non-employer business understand that at any given moment you might be your company’s billing, sales and marketing departments—all at once. As a sole proprietor you simply don’t have the option to turn a task over to a coworker. But just because every department of your company is actually just you, it doesn’t mean you have to look small-time to the outside world.

Small_Business_Cloudphone

A small business virtual phone can provide the same features and functionality offered by traditional wire-based systems including easy-to-set-up extensions for your departments. With this technology all you need is a mobile phone to get your business looking like a Fortune 500 company. 

For example, let’s say a prospect or new client calls your business specific line—another feature of a small business phone service—with a billing question while you’re in the tunnel at Grand Central Station or on an airplane to Los Angeles. Because of your location, you’re unable to answer the call. You are unable to answer the call. With a small business virtual phone, your customer is professionally greeted and presented extension options for each division of your company, giving you big business presence that projects an air of credibility.

No matter what industry you are in, competition is stiff in today’s congested marketplace. According to a customer service survey by Zendesk, 55 percent of customers said they switched to a different company for a product after having a bad customer experience, which can include something as seemingly insignificant as an unprofessional interaction with a company’s phone service.

You’ve worked tirelessly to build a great product or service and to generate leads and the last thing you need is to forfeit lose out on business because your phone system makes a bad impression. As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make…” well, you know. 

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Topics: Cloud Phone, VoIP

Launch Your Startup into Success with a Small Business Phone System

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:52:57 AM

So, you’re a hot new startup operation with the potential to make an immediate impact on the market. But do you have the communications capabilities to support your goals? If you are struggling to find the right enterprise phone solution, perhaps you are looking in the wrong place.

Launch_Successful_Startup

Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sebastiaan ter Burg

A small business phone system is designed for small companies and startups like yours. It gives you big business presence for a low monthly price, including features like: 

Auto attendants

When customers get a professional automated greeting they get the feeling they are dealing with a Fortune 500 Company and not a brand new venture. So if you happen to be indisposed when an important call comes through, your customers have a first impression that keeps them coming back. A small business phone system managed through the cloud also gives you ability to change your greeting—or other settings—as long as you have a connection.

Conference calling

Nothing looks more professional than the ability to loop in another member of your team to get an answer for a potential client at a moment’s notice.

Voicemail to email

Suppose you’re in a meeting, and you receive an important voicemail but you don’t want to leave the room. A voicemail transcription service takes care of this, granting you the power to read your voicemail right over the interface of your mobile device.

Virtual extensions

Virtual extensions are another way to extend your business presence. Even if you are a sole proprietor you can configure your system with extensions for billing, sales, or customer service departments.   

As a new business owner there is no reason to settle for less than the functionality you need or pay more than you can afford. Now, go forth and succeed!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Improve Your Business, Cost-Effective Solution

Score Big with Cloud Communications During the World Cup this Year

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:52:18 AM

The most popular, most highly anticipated sporting event is about to get underway bringing waves of global excitement along with it. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be watched by hundreds of millions of people this year, many who will cheer themselves red in the face when their home country scores a big goal.

If you are planning to follow the event closely, you can remind yourself every time you see a goal that you can score a victory for your small business by adopting cloud communications. Switching from a wire-based, legacy phone system to a cloud-based phone service is like scoring a miracle goal with just seconds remaining on the clock, because your company can simultaneously boost productivity and cut costs.

A cloud-based system is maintained over the Web through a third-part y vendor, meaning you don’t have to worry about installation and maintenance expenses. Furthermore you get one, low monthly bill that never comes with any surprises.  The cloud also offers all the features you’d get with a traditional enterprise, including:

  • An auto attendant that greets callers professionally and presents them with menu options

  • Voicemail transcription that turns voice messages into text that can be read when listening is not an option

  • Business-class voicemail that makes retrieving old messages simple and easy

  • Instant conference calling that boosts productivity and enhances collaboration

Whether you’re a fan of the U.S., Brazil, Italy, France or a different country, we know that you are certainly a fan of making more money in your small business. So even if your team doesn’t prevail in the World Cup this year, you can win big with cloud communications.

How a Small Business Virtual Phone Can Set a Freelancer Free

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:51:07 AM

Whether you are a freelance writer, graphic designer or interior decorator, your creativity and imagination is what keeps your services in demand with customers. The quality of your work speaks for itself and you take great pride in making a client’s vision come to fruition.

Freelancer

When it comes to adopting the right business communications system, however, you may be having a difficult time making a decision. Fortunately, small business virtual phone systems exist just for successful entrepreneurs like you.    

A virtual—or cloud-based—phone system gives you much of the functionality you’d get with a legacy enterprise system at a much lower cost. You can set up professional greetings, designate extensions and have your voicemail sent to email so you won’t miss an important message. Furthermore, because your system is in the cloud your settings are easily accessible and you avoid installation and maintenance costs. Last but not least, all you need to get started is a mobile number!

Another advantage of adopting a cloud-based phone system is that if you decide to expand your freelance business into a full-fledged company, you’ll be sending a signal to millennials in the workforce that you are committed to running a modern business. When considering the emphasis younger workers place on a potential employer’s technology these days, attracting the best and brightest can be a challenge—one a virtual phone system helps you meet.

Being your own boss has many advantages, but one of the potential drawbacks is dealing with aspects of business outside of your comfort zone. Fortunately, today’s best-in-class technological solutions offer freelancers more tools than ever before. Yes, that is opportunity knocking at your door. Will you answer?

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Voxox, Cost-Effective Solution

Cloud-based Phone Systems + One-Person Businesses = A Winning Formula

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:50:58 AM

Let’s be honest: owning a one-person business can be overwhelming. Not only do you represent every department—from sales to marketing to accounting—but you are also wholly responsible for earning your own living. Given the challenges you face, any product or application that can make your life a little easier is probably more than welcome. As it happens, we have one in mind—a cloud-based small business phone system.

One_person_business

So what exactly do you get with a cloud phone service? How about all the features of a wire-based system from a large provider at a price your single-person company can afford? With leading-edge cloud-based systems you can setup extensions to simulate different departments to enjoy the appearance of a mega corporation. Customizable digital text greetings, conference calls and voicemail to email are available as well!

Not only can a virtual phone system offer top-of-the-line communications features at a low monthly cost, top-flight services are exceedingly easy to set up using just a mobile phone. Furthermore, because the system is Internet-based, it requires no hardware, no ongoing maintenance and is less vulnerable to downtime. 

The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there are 22.5 million one-person or “non-employer” businesses across the country—so we know there a lot of you out there looking for any edge you can get. Cloud technology can remove some of the burden of running a one-person business from your shoulders—you just have to let it. So consider adding a cloud-based phone system to your top-notch product, work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit. You’ll come away with a winning business equation.   

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Improve Your Business

Cloud-Based Phone System and BYOD: Better Together

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:49:02 AM

Increasingly, business owners and employees want the comfort and ease of using their preferred device for work-related purposes. For small business owners like you, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend can actually be a major benefit because it means not having to purchase expensive work-specific equipment for you or your employees. 

byod-1

Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sean MacEntee

That being said, if you want to embrace the BYOD revolution your phone settings have to be accessible from these mobile devices. As an entrepreneur you probably spend quite a bit of time traveling to trade shows, client meetings and more. You need to be able to change your company greeting or add an extension quickly and if you are like most Americans— 44 percent of whom have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any communications—the easiest way to make those changes is with a mobile device because at this point it is practically an appendage! 

With legacy phone technology, adding a line would require a technician to show up and changing your greeting would probably involve dialing in and rooting around in a complex system. Fortunately settings on today’s best-in-class cloud-based phone systems can be accessed from mobile devices. You can change your greeting digitally just by typing a message or add an extension in real time.  Additionally, with a web-based system you don’t need any special technological skills or knowledge to make adjustments—you just need a connected device.

Want to chime in about BYOD? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Cost-Effective Solution

Small Business Phone Systems: The Perfect Multitasking Tool

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:47:23 AM

Picture this: You’re sitting in a meeting when your phone buzzes indicating that an important voicemail just arrived. Unfortunately, you can’t pick up your device and listen to it. So you’ll spend the next 40 minutes tapping your fingers until you can get the information you need.

It goes without saying that multitasking in the business world can be extremely difficult. There are often a variety of tasks that need to be accomplished and no time to get them done. But with the right technology, you can be pulled in 40 different directions at once and not have to worry about maintaining stellar communications. The key to accomplishing this is a cloud-based phone service.

Small Multitasking Tool

Using a cloud-based phone service, incoming voicemails and faxes can be transcribed to email so you can read your message right over your mobile device or laptop. And for calls that require immediate action, you can route them to anyone on your staff, in any location you choose.

Another great feature of small business phone systems is the ability to customize outbound messages on the fly so you can stay in touch with important contacts as you move from the board room to the taxi to the airport.

The best part is that you can get access to all of these features without having to maintain any on-premises equipment. A cloud-based phone system will provide you with essential communications tools that will be updated and maintained by a third-party host.

So if you are looking for a way to focus more critical business processes and less on making sure you’re getting all of your phone messages, perhaps it’s time to give the cloud a try. You’ll be multi-tasking like a champ in just a matter of minutes.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, iPhone, Android, Small Business Productivity, Mobile Productivity, Business Phone Number

Provide Great Customer Service With a Cloud Based Phone System

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:46:56 AM

As the owner of a single-person business, catching your breath is a luxury you seldom have. Whether you are attending a trade show, making a pitch to a client, meeting with an investor or tweaking your product, downtime is a rarity.

Customer_Service_Rep

But as a single-person business owner, you can’t afford to hire assistants, build a call center or install a complex, wire-based enterprise phone system to greet customers when they call. Or can you?

A cloud-based phone system can provide many of the features you need to enhance customer experience. Let’s say a customer who is interested in your product calls for more information while you are away on a hectic weekend business trip packed with client meetings. If the customer reaches your mobile phone, leaves a message and doesn’t receive a call back until days later it may sour that prospect 

With a virtual phone system, however, you can setup a professional greeting simply by accessing your settings online. This way, the customer knows you are away on business and understands it may take an extra day or two for you to respond.

This is just one of many examples of how a cloud-based phone service can enhance customer service for businesses of all sizes. So even if your company is just you, you can cultivate lasting customer relationships that help sustain your business as it grows.   

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication

Cloud-Based Phone Service Helps You Focus Critical Business Processes

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:45:47 AM

Did it finally happen for you? After months upon months of wishful thinking and fruitless efforts, have you solidified your business idea, secured VC funding and honed your value proposition? Are you ready to transform your startup idea into a fully-baked reality? Congratulations!

Global Business Processes

So now what?

The truth is that for the 543,000 new businesses that get started each month, a vast majority fail due to poor planning, a lack of forecasting and a failure to embrace innovation. But you don’t want to go down that path. After all, you have worked too hard and you have a killer idea. So what do you do after you get the big idea? To begin, you need to immediately consider the gold-standard technology that will take you from fledgling to full-forced in a matter of weeks. Let’s take a look at where you need to begin when it comes to 21st century technology:

  • Assess Your Limitations: You can’t identify what services and offerings you need until you understand your limitations. For example, are you currently one-man shop, unable to support the payroll of multiple employees? Or perhaps you are operating your business out of your basement, even though you want to establish an international presence? Restrictions like these, for example, suggest the need for a robust business phone system, one that boasts a wealth of features from auto attendants that can greet your calls professionally to voicemail-to-email notifications that can allow you to handle calls on the go. Once you understand your setbacks you can identify the technology that will allow you to level the playing field.
  • Evaluate Your Expertise: Are you all thumbs when it comes to technological installations, upgrades and compliance requirements? Then perhaps you need to go the cloud route and entrust these daily tasks with a third-party provider, especially when it comes to your phone. A cloud-based phone service for example, allows you to focus on critical business processes—such as growing your customer base and conceptualizing best-in-class marketing tactics—as opposed to mundane administrative tasks such as upgrades, maintenance and troubleshooting. You can leave all that to your third-party cloud provider.
  • Consider Your Budget: As any budding entrepreneur can confirm, planning and sticking to a budget is of the utmost importance. While the big-ticket items like startup financing and office leases can steal your attention, don’t lose sight of the fact that other considerations—like technology—can eat up your budget. Therefore, after you get the big idea it’s important to take a look at your finances and determine where you want to place your spend when it come to technology. If you go the cloud-based phone service route, for instance, you can enjoy a reduction in CAPEX/OPEX spending—since you need less physical equipment and personnel to support your phone system. As a result, additional dollars can be allocated to other innovations such as WebRTC, UC and M2M technologies.

So now that you have technology considerations of your checklist, what’s next on your list?

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Voice Communication, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Call Routing