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Entrepreneur Travel Tips: How to Avoid International Roaming Charges While Traveling Abroad

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:49:08 AM

Last week we wrote about the convenience of having a virtual PBX service in your pocket when you travel. From on-the-go account management to call recording and much more, most virtual PBX services have a slew of travel-friendly features for entrepreneurs. This week we are talking about travel features that help keep costs down-- specifically: avoiding those pesky international roaming charges on your mobile phone.

Traditional business phone systems are not so easy to manage once you leave the confines of your office and roaming charges on mobile can rack up in no time. A virtual PBX service provides several ways to stay in touch without extra charges or being tied to a landline—despite the fact it works directly through your mobile phone.

Here are a few creative ways to use your virtual PBX service to keep in touch with business contacts while enjoying a little R&R and keeping costs low:

1. Forward business calls to your hotel room number

While on vacation, why not take a little vacation from your cell? You can set up your virtual number to forward calls to your hotel room phone. If you're expecting a business call, it's a great way to eliminate any chance of roaming charges, especially if you don't have WiFi or your connection is down. Setting up call forwarding to your room’s landline is a sure way to keep your entrepreneurial ventures uninterrupted while also being able to enjoy all that this world has to offer when you're off the clock. This can also work with extensions for your work colleagues when they are traveling!

2. Check voicemail without roaming charges

Not only is visual voicemail convenient for those who don’t want to (or simply don’t have time to) listen to multiple voicemails, it’s also available to view over WiFi—which means if you can pick up a WiFi signal you can read it for free through an app, assuming the virtual PBX service provider offers this feature (Cloud Phone does!). An added bonus is that visual voicemail lets you reference the call’s information without having to go back and sift through your old messages.

3. Voicemail transcription

Similar to the perk above, you can connect to WiFi and retrieve your transcribed voicemails via email or you can also get texts with voicemail transcriptions, if you so choose. Best part: you can then forward the voicemail transcriptions to your business partners or colleagues back home! After all, you can’t be expected to take care of everything.

4. Conference calling via WiFi

Sometimes meetings just can’t wait, even if you’re in the middle of enjoying a pina colada. That’s where conference calling comes in. Find a quiet space (away from the tiki bar), connect to WiFi and dial in the gang —it’s that easy! Make sure your virtual PBX service provider has a solid conference calling feature. Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, will let you conference in 5 people through the Cloud Phone app.  

5. Professional greeting 

Say you forgot to record an out-of-office voicemail greeting before you went abroad. With a virtual PBX service, you can easily swap your greeting anywhere you are via mobile app -- no need to call your business number and incur roaming charges. You can change your greeting as many times as you need based on your fluctuating travel schedule and availability, all without roaming!

Leaving soon? No problem! If you already use a virtual PBX service, then just make sure you have the service's mobile app on your smartphone and you're all set. When you get to your destination you can manage your settings, forward calls to your hotel number, etc. If you haven't signed up yet, check out Cloud Phone! There's a 30 day free trial, so all the more savings. Some texting is included for free with your bundled plan, so savings there too. After a few easy steps, you’ll be ready to hit the beach – or wherever you choose to go – all with your business contacts in the palm of your hand.

Topics: Virtual Phone System, international travel, visual voicemail, virtual pbx, roaming charges

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: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution

From Small Business to Fortune 500 in One Minute

Posted by Tristan Barnum

May 10, 2018 10:48:55 AM

Your business is growing and you need a small business phone system that can keep up, but you don’t have the technical know-how or money to implement a complex phone system. Sound familiar? We understand the pains that come with running a small business, which is why we’ve developed the perfect small business phone system that can help you go from the “little guy” to Fortune 500 in less than 60 seconds.

Small_business_resteraunt

Cloud Phone, Voxox’s latest addition, is 100 percent web-based and comes pre-configured based on your specific business and user needs, making it simple as pie. Moreover, Cloud Phone is operated and maintained by Voxox, so there's no upfront investment and no repair, upgrade, or maintenance costs –just your basic monthly fee. 

Besides ease of use and low cost, our small business phone system offers up a set of cutting-edge features that will make you look more professional whether you’re running a business out of your home or the local Starbucks ( free Wi-Fi!). These features include:

  • Business Phone Number: Cloud Phone provides you with a free local business phone number, meaning you can finally stop giving out your personal mobile phone number to clients and start looking like a pro.
  • Professional Auto-attendant: Our technology greets all your callers professionally with your company name and instantly connects them to anyone within your company just like the big guys.
  • Instant Conference Calls: Whether you’re on the road or at a conference across state, you can easily connect with clients and other team members with Cloud Phone’s sophisticated conference call feature.

Level the playing field and go from small business to Fortune 500 in one minute with Cloud Phone. To learn more, click here.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Auto Attendant, Business Call Routing, Improve Your Business

2 Most Common Cloud Phone Configurations (And How To Set Them Up)

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:48:47 AM

One of the fantastic things about signing up for Cloud Phone is that in just about 2 minutes you have a fully functional, and ready-to-use, business phone system. The service simply works, and without the complicated configuration common in other solutions.

Not everyone has the same needs though, and not everyone wants the system to work the way it's automatically configured. In this post, I'll show you the two most common ways that customers configure their accounts and show you how to make the most of the Cloud Phone mobile app.

Need more help? Here are some other great resources:

To get started let's talk about how we make sure your account is ready-to-use immediately after you sign up for an account.

Company Information

During sign up, the most important part of the process is the ability for you to pick your virtual phone number. You should think about this number as your company's main phone number. Today, you can choose a toll free number or a local number from the United States or Canada. Your Caller ID settings are configured automatically to use this number and our cloud based platform instantly configures the routing on our platform to ensure the number reaches you. (Coming soon! New interface for picking numbers and international numbers.)

The name and company fields aren't just used for profile settings. They get added to a company greeting template that is used when someone calls your business number. Calls are automatically routed to the pre-configured auto attendant which plays the greeting.

"Thank you for calling COMPANY. Please dial 1 for NAME, or 9 to leave a message."

To really make the service work immediately we take the mobile number you enter during signup and use that as the location where we route calls from your business number. We also send notifications for voicemails and faxes here.

All of these settings are configurable, but these are the default settings.

So to recap;

  1. Picking your number starts the configuration on our platform.
  2. Company and First Name are used to configure greetings.
  3. Routing is configured based on your mobile number
  4. Notifications are sent to email and mobile

Now, on to the 2 most common configurations...

Configuration #1: Small Business Is Big Business

I really like this setup because it provides significant benefit to our customers. Regardless of the size of a business, where they work from (office, home, coffee shop, the car, etc...), or how successful they are --- this is the plan that supports the dream of every business owner.

What does that mean? It means that no one gets into business to not be successful. Everyone starts with a dream, and hopefully they dream of making it big and their idea turns into a huge success --- but we all have to start somewhere, and often that somewhere is a business of just one person!

Here's a notable statistic; there are over 33 million MSME's in North America1. MSME stands for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and they are normally defined as a business with less than 10 employees.

msme-opportunity

When you are a business of just one, or just a few - you can't afford to appear less than professional or to miss out on opportunies. This configuration plays off these key features;

  • Company Greeting & Main Menu - Setting up a professional greeting ensures that your company makes a great first impression. Main Menu options (Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Finance, Press 3 for Media Inquiries) can help create the perception of a larger company, even when all the options ring to one person.
  • Toll Free Number - A toll free number can instantly create the perception of a more established and professional company.
  • Call Management - Cloud Phone provides a sophisticated yet simple call routing feature set that includes call routing, call screening, and call transfer. The bottom line is you can stay connected to your business from anywhere in the world and connect team members regardless of their location.

Here are the basic steps to setup this option;

  1. If you have more than one employee, simply "Add an Extension". This button is located on the main page of the account management portal and let's you quickly add others.
  2. Next, go to the "Greetings" tab of the main navigation to customize your greetings and setup your Main Menu options.
  3. If you didn't select a toll-free number during sign up, go to the "Account" section and you can add a toll free number.
  4. To configure your call management settings, simply click on the Extension Card on the main page of the portal for the extension you want to manage. (Coming Soon! Revisions to this page to simplify extension management)

Now your new business number is configured and ready to use.

Configuration #2: All Work No Play

One of the most common requests we get from customers is, "How do I get calls to just ring through to me?". When I think about this persona, I imagine the always on the go entrepreneur. Perhaps it's a busy real estate agent, an event planner, or an online seller - but it's someone who knows that connecting with their customer is critical to their business. These "go-getters" don't want to put their customers through a series of menu options or screen the calls, they want to connect as quickly as possible.

They need a dedicated business number that just forwards to them, wherever they are.

Here's how to set it up;

  1. From the portal, head to the "Numbers" area of the "Account" section. Once there just select the gear icon and change the Call Behavior from Auto Attendant to "Connect to Phone".
  2. Next, head over to the Extension card and the "Call Settings" area in order to disable Call Screening.

That's it! Now calls to your business number will bypass the Auto Attendant and ring directly to your phone. Callers won't be screened and you'll be able to connect to them quickly and efficiently.

Bonus Tip: Download the Mobile App

We recently released our mobile app which gives you full access to manage your virtual phone service and access additional features like call recording, conference calling, eavesdrop and flip.

Most importantly the app is the first product from Voxox to leverage our patent pending voice codec which greatly out performs other apps when it comes to call quality.


In conclusion, I hope your takeaway from this is that Cloud Phone is powerful, yet simple solution to simplify your business communications. Eliminate the expensive, hardware based solutions and join us in the cloud. 

As always, if you need any help with your Cloud Phone account you can always reach out to our amazing support team or message me directly.

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Topics: Cloud Phone Mobile App, MSME, Account Management

10 Reasons Why Hispanic Entrepreneurship Matters

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:48:38 AM

INTRODUCTION:

The list post is one of the most popular and readable blog formats on the web. It is composed of -- you guessed it -- a list, and includes short explanatory paragraphs about each item.

Use your introduction as a way to tell the reader how this collection of ideas will help them. Keep it light by including a personal story. If you have any data that you can include relating to your list, include that in your introduction, too.

Here are some examples of how we use list blog posts here at HubSpot:


BODY:

Now deliver what you promised in the first section. This is the longest part of the post, so make it easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet lists, and bold headings to set different sections apart.

Some common section headers include:

1. Reason #1 why writing a list-based post is helpful

2. Reason #2 why writing a list-based post is super helpful to your marketing

3. Reason #3 why everyone should be writing list-based posts

You can use bulleted lists, numbered list, or multiple headings. Include as many steps, numbers, or bullets that will allow you to discuss your topic thoroughly.

Here are some pointers to make the best possible body of your blog:

  • Include visuals
  • Include short explanatory phrases in your headers
  • At the end, transition into your conclusion


CONCLUSION:

Now it’s time to say goodbye and wrap up your post. Remind your readers of your key takeaway, reiterate what your readers need to do to get the desired result, and ask a question about how they see the topic to encourage comments and conversation. Don't forget to include a Call-to-Action!

Congratulations! What a lovely list post you've created!

Topics: hispanic entrepreneurship

What is a Toll Free Number and How Does it Work?

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:48:14 AM

Think toll free numbers are just for large enterprises or call centers? The reality is they can be an indispensable business asset for companies of all sizes – even a one- or two-person startup. Beyond providing customers and prospects with a free and convenient way to call your company, a toll free number offers a long list of benefits, such as brand recognition and credibility, and are a great way to expand your business into new markets.

If you’re a small business owner and haven’t cashed in on this inexpensive business asset simply because you didn't think it was easy to obtain a toll free number or because you aren’t clear on how a toll free number could help your business, read on.

Toll_Free_Woman

What is a toll free number?

A toll free number is a telephone number with special area codes (such as 800, 888, 877 and 866) that allow callers to dial your business without incurring any cost – making it an ideal form of communication for all types of businesses. Whether you run an e-commerce website or a flower shop, any business that requires customers to call in to make a purchase, connect with customer support, or inquire about a service can benefit from a toll free number.

Generally, toll free numbers are issued on a first come, first served basis, but going the extra mile for your customers and choosing a memorable number – like one with repeating digits or patterns – could make an impact on your call volume, sales and ROI. After all, making it easy for customers to contact your business is key to keeping them happy, which directly impacts your bottom line!     

Benefits of a toll free number

Toll free numbers can be extremely valuable to businesses looking to project a professional image. They not only provide your business brand with recognition and credibility, but they can also enhance your company’s perceived size and image – among other things. Here are a few ways toll free numbers can benefit your business: 

1. Appear larger than life.

Until recently, toll free numbers were most frequently used by enterprise level corporations or call centers, which is why having a toll free number – even if you’re working from your home office—can give the impression that you have a much larger operation. 

2. No location? No problem.

With a toll free number, location is obsolete. So whether you’re working from home or relocating your brick and mortar, you and your team can be reached simply by forwarding calls to your cell phone or any phone of your choice. Plus, if you're on the move, having a toll free number through a service like Cloud Phone lets you take all your important calls without being tied to a desk.

3. Improve privacy.

Not only does the added convenience of forwarding calls from your toll free number to your cell mean you don’t have to juggle multiple phones – it also means you no longer have to give out your personal number. Keeping personal and business calls separate is vital to maintaining a professional image for your business.

4. Virtual hub.

Many small businesses these days have remote workers, with no central office and no secretary to direct calls or take messages. With the right setup, a toll free number can act as a hub for your business calls – directing incoming calls to different “departments” or team members, as well as a message center. All it takes is a virtual assistant!

Does your small business have a toll free number? How does it benefit your business? Share your story with other small business owners and entrepreneurs by commenting here or on our social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+.

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Topics: Voice Communication, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Toll Free Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Going on a Summer Vacation? Get a Cloud-based Phone Service

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:47:53 AM

To most everyone’s delight—particularly after a nightmarish winter--summer has finally arrived, meaning a lot of folks will be getting ready for that long-awaited summer vacation. The salty Italian air, waves crashing on the beach, tan skin, hot sun’s rays—you have been dreaming about it for weeks!

Summer Vacation Cloud

The only thing strong enough to break you out of this dreamlike haze and bring you back to reality is the remembrance that you are the owner of a small business, and while you do trust your colleagues, you also know that as the head honcho it is always possible that something only you can handle could come up.

This is a problem scenario, but one with a solution—a cloud-based phone service. A small business phone service offers an array of capabilities that will benefit you and your business no matter where you may be traveling this season.

Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic features that a cloud-based phone service offers:

  • Auto Attendant: Customers are greeted in a big business manner, guided to the correct department. So you can rest assured that even if you are touring the Vatican or at a winery in Florence your customers are being well served.
  • Reach Me Anywhere: Connects your incoming business calls to anywhere, on any device. You won’t have to worry about missing important business calls overseas because your cloud service will connect them all to your phone. Relaxing on the Italian coast? No problem! You are still in reach for “can’t-miss” calls.
  • Voicemail Transcription: Voicemails are converted to text before they’re delivered, so you can read the message if listening isn’t an option—and on vacation, sometimes it simply isn’t.

Using a cloud-based phone service allows your small business to conquer all of the problems travel presents for a small business owner like Roman Empire conquering Italy. And doesn’t every business want a phone system that helps it triumph over all challengers?

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Auto Attendant, Mobility, Business Phone Number, Improve Your Business

Need a Business Phone System for Your Food Truck Business? A Virtual Phone Service is the Answer!

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:47:46 AM

Because food trucks are on wheels, foodie entrepreneurs on the go have the ability to travel anywhere the road may take them –even if it’s out of their local area. With food truck popularity on the rise all across the country, limiting yourself to dishing out grub in one place may hurt your selling potential, but you know the local food movement is also a crowd pleaser. So how can you use business phone technology to help you plunge into new markets while also staying relevant to those who want that local feel? Try a virtual business phone system.

Green Minivan Near Brown Wooden Crate and Brown Food Truck

Typically, virtual business phone systems offer both toll free numbers and local phone numbers so you can accommodate both local and widespread markets. Your clients will be able to easily reach you (aka to track you down for some lunch!) and they'll never need to know where your company originated –unless that's part of your marketing, of course. Maine lobster rolls, anyone?

To get started, you just sign up for a virtual phone service (for example, Voxox Cloud Phone!). From there you can choose what you want –local number(s), toll free number(s), or both. What’s even better is that all these numbers ring directly to your cell phone, or any phone you choose.

Here are a few ways to use a combination of both local phone numbers and toll free numbers to bring your growing food truck business to the next level.

Local Phone Number

Numbers with local area codes are a great way to establish yourself in markets where a recognized local presence is needed to reach customers. With Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, there is no limit on the quantity of virtual numbers you can add to your account, and you receive between 1 to 25 local or toll free numbers at no additional cost with your monthly subscription, depending on your plan.

Below are some useful features for mobile businesses, like food trucks.

1. Custom Voicemail

Don’t you cringe when you call a business and receive a generic voicemail? So do we. That’s why we think it’s so important for companies of all sizes to create a custom voicemail for their business line. Not only can you identify your business, but sharing useful information –like your weekly scheduled whereabouts or hints on where your clients can find you –will save you time from returning phone calls also keep your hungry suitors in the know. Here are a few more tips on crafting the perfect voicemail

Pro Tip: You can also create a custom voicemail with a toll free number!

2. Business SMS

Texting isn’t just for friends anymore. Customers today expect text support and in the food truck business this can be a huge bonus! Texting your client list your whereabouts, or providing text clues is an impactful way to interact with your followers and a fun way to attract new ones.

Pro Tip: Toll free numbers can also support SMS!

3. Marketing Tool

If you're marketing a product from a specific area, using an area code from that location could be to your advantage. Think a taco cart in San Diego and a lobster roll truck from Maine. Imagine if these two were switched –lobsters from San Diego and tacos from Maine. The hype may not be as well received. Use your phone number to your advantage!

Toll Free Number

Toll free numbers can be super handy for food trucks (and similar mobile businesses!) expanding their presence beyond select local markets.

1. National Presence

Toll free numbers are a great way to expand your business so you can reach new markets and instantly sound more established and credible. Whether you have a fleet of food trucks or are a one engine show, a toll free number will make give your clients the sense you’re a solid organization—and a central number to reach your team.

2. Memorable Number

Not all toll free numbers are created equally. A catchy or easy to remember sequence can be a lifesaver for clients who want to reach you fast.

3. Marketing Tool

Whether you’re using only a toll free number or a combo of toll free and local, displaying your toll free number on your marketing materials (truck, business cards, menus, etc.) is an easy way to stay relevant while you travel.

Putting the power of both a local phone number and a toll free number behind your food truck is a solid win for your business communications. Now go ahead and get started! If you need some more pointers, connect with us by commenting here or on our social channels -- we're happy to help!

Topics: Virtual Phone System, Local Number, Business Call Routing, Improve Your Business

Feeling Chained to Your Desk? Let Cloud Communications Set you Free

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:47:30 AM

As a business owner or professional, chances are you’re being pulled into 10 different directions throughout the day, meaning you’re running around and outside the office, away from your desk. So what happens when an important client unexpectedly calls your office number or a colleague sends you an urgent email?

Cloud Communication Office Desk

Well we hate to break it to you; if you have a legacy phone system, you’re just plain out of luck. However, with cloud communications you don’t ever have to experience FOMO (fear of missing out) again.

With a cloud communications application like Cloud Phone, business leaders can break away from the shackles of their desks. You can easily conduct business per usual while on the go and Cloud Phone gives you a fully featured phone platform that’s 100 percent “in the cloud.” That means there is no expensive hardware to buy, nothing complex to maintain, and no reason to worry about downtime or other complications.

Cloud Phone connects your incoming business calls to you wherever you choose, on any device whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The best part? You can also have calls routed to multiple employees simultaneously to ensure no call ever goes unanswered.

The voicemail to email notification feature delivers voicemails instantly to your email, so you never have to dial in to access your voicemail again. What’s more, its voicemail transcription feature automatically transcribes voicemails, so you can read important messages when you can’t listen

Stop living in the past with legacy communication technology and step into the “now” with cloud communications. You’ll never experience FOMO again. 

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

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