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Virtual Phone Systems: The Perfect Tool for IT Consultants

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:33:57 AM

Whether you are new in the field or a seasoned professional, working as an IT consultant presents a unique set of challenges. This line of work rarely conforms to a 9 to 5 schedule and because networks and computers are now an integral part of so many businesses and homes, customers seem increasingly demanding.

With this in mind, consultants need to equip themselves with the proper tools to successfully juggle the needs of all of their customers. One such tool is a small business virtual phone, which can be extraordinarily useful in helping you meet the challenges you face. Here’s how:

Computer_consultant

Stay reachable

Whether it's a concern about costly downtime or a fear of losing important data, computer problems can evoke an incredible sense of panic from customers. These issues don’t always crop up during traditional business hours, but many times they need to be resolved quickly. With a virtual business-specific phone number, you stay reachable at all times without giving your personal cell number to clients. This is crucial to achieving a better work-life balance.

Look professional 

Projecting an aura of professionalism is critical even for small and microbusinesses with limited resources. A small business virtual phone provides the features of a legacy system—digital text greetings, extensions, auto attendants and more—without all the hardware and complexity. This way, when a new corporate prospect calls while you are busy on another job, the potential client forms a good first impression.

Conserve your cash

As any independent consultants knows, maintaining a trim budget is critical to success because company expenses come out of your pocket. Renting an office and paying for a legacy PBX system can eat away at money that would be better used on new equipment or expanding your client base. A small business virtual phone like Cloud Phone by Voxox, can help slash your overhead and boost profit.

Even for tech wizards like you, a convenient solution like a virtual phone can help you operate more efficiently and as you know, everybody needs a little help sometimes. 

Have any questions or stories? Leave a comment below or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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Topics: Industry Trends, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Enjoying Summer Golf? A Cloud Communications App is a Hole-in-One

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:32:41 AM

It’s Friday afternoon and the beautiful weather has you dreaming about sneaking out of the office to meet your buddies for a quick round of golf. You’re entitled to a little work-life balance; you work hard to keep your company thriving.

Cloud Communication App

But what if a critical business call comes in while you are out smacking that little white ball around? You simply can’t afford to leave your small business office without remaining reachable to clients and colleagues.

A cloud communications application lets you enjoy your afternoon round without worrying that you might be missing a crucial or message back at the office. When customers call your business-specific phone number, they are greeted by an auto attendant that presents them with menu options. If they need to speak with you directly, they simply punch in an extension—the same way they would with a wire-based enterprise system—and the call rings to your mobile device.

Additionally, a cloud communications application provides features like:

  • Business-class voicemail-to-email notification
  • Voicemail transcription
  • Instant conference calling   
  • Easily accessible and adjustable web-based settings

A cloud-based system is maintained by a third-party vendor, meaning it is inherently reliable even during storms or other disasters. Best of all, with just one low monthly service fee to pay each month, you avoid installation and maintenance costs as well.

So as you’re making pars and birdies this summer, ensure you have the tools necessary to keep your company headed straight down the fairway. Because sometimes when you sneak out of the office and onto the golf course, important business follows you right out onto the first tee.

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

The Five 'Ds' You Need for Startup Success

Posted by Ian LeWinter

May 10, 2018 10:32:24 AM

Starting your own business can be thrilling, nerve-wracking, and terrifying—all at once. While no secret formula for guaranteed success exists, common characteristics are pervasive in many of these startups and the entrepreneurs who created them. Here are a few:

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Discipline

Most new businesses have limited resources and have to disperse them with great care. Don’t waste money printing 5,000 business cards for two employees operating a company from a living room and don’t waste cash on a complex, legacy phone system when a small business virtual phone has everything you’ll need.

Delegation

You are going to learn pretty quickly that once you have even a bit of success, it’s going to be difficult to do everything yourself. You have to be able to delegate work and trust that it will get done correctly and to do that, you have to make the right hires. Don’t skimp on background checks and the interview process  so that you can be as close to 100 percent sure about a candidate before making a commitment.

Drive

A strong work ethic is important in any job but is particularly pervasive in founders of new businesses. You have to be willing to put in some long days but also have the focus to know where your energy needs to be directed at any given time.

Dedication

It’s a near certainty that you are going to hit some hiccups as a startup and that some sacrifices will be necessary. Although the most successful startups have created billionaires, initially founders and CEOs don’t rake in the big bucks. In fact, 66 percent of Silicon Valley founders pay themselves less than $50,000 per year. But if you truly believe in what you are selling, after a few years of modest earning you may find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

‘Daptability

OK fine: We cheated a little here. But adaptability is so important we couldn’t leave it out. To achieve startup success, you have to be flexible in your approach to product development, branding strategy and pretty much anything else. No business plan goes 100 percent perfectly; the key is making sound adjustments as you go.

Have another ‘D’ that’s essential for startups? Let us know in the comment section! 

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Topics: Industry Trends, Cloud Phone, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Cloud Phone Headed to Middle East and Africa with New Partner Agreement

Posted by Natasha Grach

May 10, 2018 10:32:14 AM

Voxox announced today that Cloud Phone will be getting a big push in the Middle East and North Africa region through new partner Virtustream. As detailed in the press release, Virtustream will be working closely with operators and other service providers in the area to partner with Voxox to resell Cloud Phone under their own brands. Check out the announcement ef="http://info.voxox.com/posts/1000" target="_blank">here..

Topics: Company Announcements, Cloud Phone, Business Phone Number

4 Ways to Gauge Whether You Need a Toll Free Number

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:31:39 AM

Regardless of the industry you're in, your business needs a way for customers to contact you directly. While email and online forms are convenient for some, many consumers still prefer to speak with an actual person when contacting a business. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may be wondering what's a better option for you -- going the local number route or the toll free number strategy. 

Many businesses have already discovered the benefits of having a toll free number, but if you're not sure if an 800 number is right for you, here are few questions to ask yourself:  

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Do you want to encourage customers to place orders over the phone?

Advertising a toll free number is an effective way to drive phone traffic because it can be easier to remember. Choosing a toll free number with a pattern or repeat numbers means people are more likely to call you, generating more sales!

Do you provide customer service via phone?

A toll free number has the perception of being customer-friendly, as the idea is to make calls free of charge for customers who want to connect with you. In the age of the mobile phone and unlimited plans, the cost savings of a toll free number isn't what is used to be, but the perception of reliable customer service is still in play here. There's nothing worse than needing help with a product or service and finding it nearly impossible to get a hold of a real person -- talk about frustrating! The toll free number is inviting and accessible, so it makes your customer feel welcome to give you a call (and more likely they are to remain a customer).

Would a higher call volume benefit your business?

Whether you sell directly over the phone, have a brick and mortar or are a consultancy, more calls generally mean more sales. A toll free number can also give the impression that you have a large operation -- providing the instant credibility you need to gain more business! 

Do you have a broad geographic customer base?

Wherever you're based, if you are able to serve customers outside your local area, a local number may be limiting. A toll free number can help you capture new markets.  

Did you answer yes to any of the questions above? If so, it may be time to take advantage of all that toll free numbers have to offer. Still have questions?  Comment below or ask us on our social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, Business Phone Number, Toll Free Number, Small Business Productivity, Improve Your Business

Catch up to the 21st Century With a Cloud Communications

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:31:29 AM

Cloud communications applications offer business owners unparalleled flexibility and speed in a marketplace that demands it. Delivered wirelessly through handheld devices and over the Internet, this technology brings the power and reliability of legacy phone systems squarely into the digital age and into your palm.

Legacy phone systems are expensive any way you slice them. Installations are time-consuming and pricey, repairs are frequent and downtime can be costly. Solutions like Voxox’s Cloud Phone, however, eliminate those downsides and replace them with powerful and mobile tools. See three big reasons why it's time for you to embrace this!

21st Century Technology

First, with an intuitive interface and app, there is no break in service and virtually no training necessary to bring yourself and your employees up to speed. Cloud Phone is 100 percent web-based and comes pre-configured based on your specific business needs.

Secondly, the state-of-the-art phone features include:

  • 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
  • Instant conference calling that boosts productivity and enhances collaboration

Finally, cloud communications applications’ costs are very manageable in comparison to legacy systems that can run hundreds or thousands of dollars a month. Cloud Phone has a fixed, low monthly fee and an additional maintenance or hardware costs.

Whatever your phone hurdles at present, Cloud Phone can help you clear them. Additionally, in an era of hopelessly disparate communication services and needs, Voxox can consolidate them into a single device. And that’s about as 21st century as it gets.

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Topics: Cost-Effective Solution, Business Phone Number

A Small Business Virtual Phone for Virtually Nothing!

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:27:23 AM

It’s no coincidence that all phone commercials stress their competitive pricing, but only cloud-based phone services really provide just that.

Phone systems are an expense many businesses consider a foregone conclusion and a sunk cost. Additionally, downtime, hidden fees, and lackluster support are considered norms. But traditional providers sticking to that old-fashioned model are in for a rude awakening, because there’s a new sheriff in town—small business virtual phones.

Stack of Coins for Small Business

By offering service maintained by a host over the Internet, a small business virtual phone lets businesses slash hardware installation and maintenance expenses. Cloud technology also makes the service more reliable and less vulnerable to disasters. Better yet, the monthly fee associated with the service is peanuts!  

Small business phone service also take all the business features of a legacy enterprise system and make them accessible from the one thing professionals almost always have in front of them: their smartphones. Those features include:

  • A digital text box for customized greetings that can be adjusted quickly on the fly
  • Voicemail transcription that lets you read messages when listening isn’t an option
  • Reach Me Anywhere call forwarding that ensures you are reachable anywhere
  • Instant conference calling that facilitates better collaboration
  • A business-specific number that you can start giving to clients right away

To review, small business virtual phone systems are less expensive than legacy service, and they are feature-rich. They are easier and faster to install and more convenient to use and maintain.

Remind us: why exactly would any business want to stick with a legacy system?

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Topics: Voice Communication, Voxox, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobility, Business Phone Number, Improve Your Business

5 Clever Ways to Use Phone Numbers to Grow Your Business

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:23:23 AM

Last night we reduced the cost of additional phone numbers from $5/month to $1/month. To celebrate I thought I would share some of the reasons for this change and provide some examples of how you can use multiple numbers to help grow your business.

Also, it's notable that if you already have additional numbers on your Cloud Phone account; the cost has also been reduced from $5 to $1 per month going forward.

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At Cloud Phone, we aren't just trying to provide another virtual phone service. We are trying to provide an incredibly valuable service that also disrupts the marketplace and challenges our competitors. When I explain the service, a common response is often, "Oh, it's like Google Voice". While there are similarities to Google Voice, I could write an entire post on why Cloud Phone is far different and more valuable and why Google Voice would never be a good business solution.One of the most important ways that Cloud Phone is a better solution is that you can have more than one phone number with Cloud Phone.

Until now, we charged $5/month/number on your account. You get one included number at signup, but have to pay for additional numbers. The awesome news is that now numbers are only $1/month/number!

So the big issue for a lot of customers is why they would need another number to begin with. Here are the main reasons why additional numbers can help you grow your business:

  1. Appear More Established & Professional
    Toll-free numbers are immediately associated with business, even more so - established business. Having both a toll-free and local phone number provides an immediate sense of professionalism that leads to credibility with customers.

  2. Secure a Local Presence & Reach New Markets
    For some businesses, having a phone number that begins with a recognizable area code is key to capturing the market. Additionally, adding numbers in neighboring area codes or other markets can be a great way to reach new markets and grow your existing business. In just a few minutes, you can add office locations in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas!

  3. Measure ROI for Marketing Campaigns
    One way marketers track the ROI of campaigns is to use a dedicated local or toll-free phone number for various campaigns. With Cloud Phone, it's easy to measure incoming calls to a phone number and judge the ROI for that campaign. Real Estate? Assign a number to each property you are working.

  4. Improve Responsiveness with Direct Lines
    While having a main company greeting and menu with options is great for general calls, it's not the best experience for established customers or closing new clients. Setting up a main number and direct numbers for each employee is a great way to improve customer satisfaction related to reaching staff directly.

  5. Run Multiple Businesses!
    Today's entrepreneur is often working more than one opportunity. Maybe you aren't just a wedding planner, but also an event planner, florist, photographer, online seller, etc... Often, a single person is running many businesses. Having a dedicated number for each within a single account makes it easy to manage them all (and know which way is up) all from a single account on a single cell phone.

In conclusion, this just touches the surface of how to leverage multiple numbers for your business - but we are thrilled to have made it one step easier (and more affordable) tonight!

To add a number to your Cloud Phone account, here are the steps;

  • Login to Cloud Phone from the web portal
  • Navigate to the "Account" section
  • Choose "Numbers" from the menu on the right side
  • Click the "Buy a Number" button

Once you add a number to your account you'll be billed on your next statement. The charge will reflect $1 for the current month, and $1 for the upcoming month. After that, you'll be billed $1 each month per additional number.

Topics: Local Number, Business Phone Number, Toll Free Number

Give Yourself the Gift of Cloud Communications for Father's Day

Posted by Ron Kinkade

May 10, 2018 10:20:47 AM

Every June, sons and daughters present their fathers with cards, ties, sweaters and various other presents to show their appreciation for their dads. But whether you are a father or not, if you own a small business, this Father’s Day is as good a time as any to give yourself the gift of cloud communications.

Father's Day Gift

Cloud communications can help your company cut expenses and boost productivity by offering big business functionality at a reasonable price. A cloud-based phone service, for example, is maintained by a third-party over the web, meaning you can invest in this gift without paying for a complicated installation or any hardware upkeep. Additionally, the phone system’s settings are also accessible through the web which allows you to make changes on the fly.

The vast array of features you can leverage with a cloud-based system lets you project a big business image even if you are a sole proprietor. For instance, top-shelf products offer:

  • A toll free business-specific phone number to give to customers and contacts
  • Reach Me Anywhere technology that connects your incoming business calls anywhere you choose on any device
  • An auto attendant that greets callers professionally and presents them with menu options
  • Voicemail transcription that lets you read your voicemails when you can’t listen
  • Business-class voicemail to email that ensures you never lose an important old messag 
  • Instant conference calling that facilitates collaboration among your employees

So even if your schedule is full this Father’s Day, find some time—maybe between breakfast in bed and dinner on the town—to investigate cloud communications. Because although Father’s Day comes only once per year, your company needs best-in-class business tools the other 364 as well.    

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Topics: Voxox, Cloud Phone, Cost-Effective Solution, Mobility, Mobile Productivity, Business Phone Number, Small Business Productivity

Business Phone 101: How to Get a Local Phone Number

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:20:30 AM

You want to get a local phone number for your business, but you don't want a landline and you don't want to carry--or pay--for another cell phone plan. We don't blame you. Local phone numbers can be invaluable for businesses looking to gain credibility in a local market, especially with businesses built and run out of a personal home. Getting a dedicated "virtual number" that routes to your mobile is a financially practical and convenient solution for your home-based business.

Virtual numbers work directly with the cell phone you already have, which means you have no equipment to buy, nothing to service, and just one phone to keep track of throughout the day. Getting a local phone number for your business is easy - and inexpensive- if you know where to look. Here's what you need to know before you select a provider:
1. User & Department Extensions
Just because you're a one person (or small) operation working from your home doesn't mean your business phone communications should suffer. Some services that provide virtual numbers may also offer multiple extensions to allow you to either hook up multiple people to the same line or create "departments" to give your company a bigger business feel -- after all, as an entrepreneur you do wear many hats! The number of extensions can impact the price, so be sure to choose what best fits your current needs. Voxox Cloud Phone offers unlimited extensions, with the option to add or remove extensions on the fly as your business changes, without charge.

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2. Minutes
Some businesses use their calling features all the time and some just don't. Knowing how often you'll be on the phone will help you pick the best plan for your needs, at the best price. From paying per minute to plans of 1,000 to unlimited minutes, it's easy to find a calling plan that's right for you.
3. Text Messages
Clients and customers of days past may not have appreciated a business-related text message, but as people rely more on SMS for everyday communications, business to consumer SMS is on the rise. Imagine being able to text your client a meeting location, or update them on the status of a project with a simple text--and vice versa. It's fast and it's easy. If you're not sure text is right for you, look for a plan with a lower number of monthly messages and move up as you see fit. Or go for unlimited and text your heart out.
4. Number of Lines
The number of lines you can have on your single plans differs from the number of user and department extensions. Lines refer to new numbers. So if you have a home office and want two lines (say one is for clients and one is for your suppliers) you'll need to choose a plan that allows multiple phone numbers. Providers like Voxox Cloud Phone also let you choose between local and toll-free numbers, or a mix of both if you sign on with multiple lines. Read more here on why both types of numbers might be good for your business.
5. Features
Not all virtual phone numbers are created equal when it comes to features. Some features, like voicemail, come standard, but other conveniences like conference calling and voicemail transcription might come at a premium. Check out the listings of included features before you select a plan, and make sure you're not getting charged extra for those features you really want.
6. Free Trial
Just because you think you need something, doesn't mean you do. By seeking out a provider that offers a free trial period of at least 30 days, you'll have a chance to try the service and see if it fits your needs. If you love it, keep it. And if you don't, look for another provider or communication channel that better fits your business.
7. Management
Being able to manage your account easily on your own, without having to call a representative and wait on hold, is a life saver for busy business owners. Voxox Cloud Phone, for example, offers a simple and intuitive online management portal where you can add and remove lines and extensions, and pay your bill. You can even track activity to see if your current plan is right for your changing needs. If you find out it's not--go ahead and choose a new plan with the click of a button.
8. Cost
The cost of getting a local phone number via a virtual number is lower than you may think – considering the convenience and much needed features that should come with it. With a basic plan starting at just $12 from Voxox Cloud Phone, you shouldn’t have a problem finding something within your budget. Plus, unlike traditional mobile and landline plans, you don’t need to buy any extra equipment, or pay technician or start up fees.
Is there anything else you may want to consider when looking to get a local phone number for your business? Let us know and we’ll help answer your questions. Check out our plans and features here.

Topics: Cloud Phone, Virtual Phone System, Local Number, Business Phone Number, Business SMS