In Manhattan, the business capital of the world, the price of office space can run as high as $140 per square foot. Costs are nearly that high in San Francisco and Boston as well, with Los Angeles not too far behind. Billion-dollar corporations can shell out that kind of money without a second thought, but small businesses are far more limited in what they can spend. That's why many small businesses are looking to forego renting expensive commercial real estate but not at the cost of sacrificing their professional image. After all, in business, inspiring customer trust is as important as any product or service a company has to offer.
Photo Courtesy of Flikr User Sebastiaan ter Burg
Traditionally, business was done in office buildings, but with the advent of new technological capabilities—particularly for communications—that trend is slowly shifting. Specifically, the proliferation of small business virtual phone systems is making it easier than ever to run a business from anywhere.A virtual phone system maintained through the Web provides all the functionality of a traditional wire-based enterprise phone system without the complex hardware. As a result, companies no longer have to shell out cash just for a space to put desktop phones. Additionally, companies can now rent office space on a per diem basis for meetings, further reducing the need for full-time office rental.
With top-shelf small business virtual phone systems, companies get the modern business phone features they need to stay competitive, including:
- A toll free business-specific phone number to put on business cards and distribute to customers and contacts
- Reach Me Anywhere technology that connects incoming business calls to any location on any device
- 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
- Settings that are easily adjustable through an Internet interface
- One low monthly bill that never includes maintenance or upkeep costs
Another major benefit of small business virtual phone systems is the inherent reliability that comes with the cloud. Because the service is maintained through the Internet by a third-party vendor and not through on-premises equipment, it is far less vulnerable to hardware failure or natural disaster. Considering research shows that the median cost of downtime for a small business impacted by an extreme weather event is $3,000 per day, reliability is not a feature to be overlooked.
Business is an ever-evolving landscape where trends and strategies can shift quickly. Successful small business owners understand that to thrive while competing against larger organizations, they need to stay abreast of any technology that might provide an advantage. As business owners increasingly adopt virtual phone systems, it becomes increasingly clear that as far as cloud communications and small business are concerned, the future is now.
The only question left to ask then is, are you living in the past?