Posts Tagged ‘Small Business Owner’
By the time you read this text, Thanksgiving can be over, nonetheless there are a few things that a small business can do as the holiday season progresses. As a small business owner, you have to make certain that you give thanks to several courses of individuals. Those who I think you need to give thanks to include employees, suppliers and customers. This assortment of people is most significant to the survival of your business.
It’s possible you’ll ask, “Why did he make workers first on the list.” The order of this listing has been argued for a protracted time. What comes first, “the rooster or the egg”? It is unimaginable to draw and keep glad clients without good stable employees. Caring for staff is important to the well being of your small business. A happy employee is a productive employee. A sad employee can actually sabotage your whole enterprise. You cannot do every little thing alone, you will need to have assist and it needs to be good help. Spend a while getting to know your workers. Discover out what makes them tick and what drives them to work exhausting and be productive. The time spent pays many dividends. Maybe you could possibly even develop a significant rewards program, in case you can afford it. Not all employees are motivated by money, generally it’s recognition or typically it may very well be a new little gadget to assist them do their jobs better. Discover out what strikes them and try to make it happen.
The subsequent on the record of significance people to your enterprise are you suppliers. Why suppliers? Well again, it relies on the nature of your small business, but when you have some type of restore business, or similar, that requires components, then a good provider is extremely important. Have you ever tried to repair the brakes on a car without having new brake shoes or calipers as they are now called? Possibly you should not all the time shop price. Perhaps it’s generally better to pay a couple of dollars more to take care of the boldness of a strong supplier. Speed of supply is preferable to cost almost anytime. Right here again, this could depend on what kind of enterprise you operate. Make sure you acknowledge your greatest suppliers at certain times each year with a card or a present or even a nice luncheon. Find out what will make them even more loyal to you. They are people too; they’ll use a hearty “thanks”.
The third class of individuals that is necessary to your corporation is your customers. Nicely, duh! Discover ways to thank them for their business. Give them a little discount from time to time. Develop a program that offers them one thing further in the event that they store with you “X” numbers of instances or purchase “X” variety of goods. There a 1000′s of how to acknowledge your good customers. The best way nonetheless, it to offer nice service and sell your service or products at aggressive prices. More often than not, service quality and pace are extra important to the client than getting the lowest value in town.
During this vacation season, discover a couple of ways to give thanks to your workers, your suppliers, and your customers. It is going to pay big dividends. Good luck.
Free web hosting abound on the web, with literally hundreds of services vying for our attention. The question is: Should you partake as a small business owner? Well, there are several things to consider if you are considering a free web hosting site. The following list is just some of them:
Most free web hosting services make money by placing banners or other ads on YOUR site, which can draw potential customers from you.
Many free web hosting sites, limit their features (such as bandwidth) in hopes of selling you their upgrade web hosting packages. If you anticipate your site growing, a free web hosting deal does not seem to make sense because you will have eventually outgrow its limited features and have to move anyway, which could be a real hassle. Better to just start with an affordable shared web hosting package.
Some free web hosting providers provide only sub-domains instead of your own domain. For example: freesite.yourdomain.com instead of just yourdomain.com. You can imagine the negative impact this would have on your business.
Overall, these are just some of the reasons why you may wish to consider paying for an inexpensive but reliable web host that will not limit or detract from your online business. One last word regarding free web hosting. There are definitely some instances where a person may benefit from free web hosting. One such circumstance may be when a person is new to the idea of web site building and design, and wants to simply get their feet wet. In this sense, a free web hosting site may be just the thing to help them with the learning curve of putting a web site on the web.
Communication is a vital factor for every business organization. Small business owners always prefer to use hosted PBX telephone system for their communication needs. With this system, contact with existing customers as well as new clients can be effectively maintained without making capital investments.
Using this phone system, you can make calls to long distances and international locations at economical call charges, which considerably reduces your telecommunication expenses.
Hosted PBX with Powerful Features
To provide a better communication interface for the callers, hosted PBX phone system is integrated with sophisticated call management features identical to conventional premise- based telephone systems including
• Auto attendant
• Find me follow me call forwarding
• Automatic call distribution
• Voice mail
• Voice to email
• Fax to email
• Call conferencing
• Customizable menus
Remain Connected With Your Clients from Remote Sites
Hosted PBX phone system offers small business owners and their workforce more flexibility. Calls to the official numbers can be answered on your alternate phone numbers including personal landlines and cell phone numbers assigned as extensions, through the find me follow me call forwarding option. When the calls remain unanswered in these extensions, callers are directed to the voicemail box for leaving voice messages. Thus the system eliminates any chance of missing important business calls. Voice messages are also forwarded to your email account and this enables you to remain connected with your clients even when you are away on a business trip.
Hardware Investments Not Needed
Another major benefit provided by hosted PBX phone system for small business owners is that all these communication features can be utilized without purchasing and installing on-site PBX hardware. All the equipment is maintained by the service providers at their premises and PBX services are offered at affordable monthly charges.
Hosted PBX and VoIP services are indeed a great benefit for small and medium businesses working globally or in remote locations. They help businesses to stay competitive with improved, advanced telecommunication systems. In addition, they allow client companies to enjoy all benefits of a sophisticated phone system at controlled expenses.
Reduce Operational Expenses with Hosted PBX Services
Hosted PBX services eliminate the need of implementing complex network and expensive hardware in your premises, thus reducing operational expenses. These phone systems are easy to install and are handled completely by the service provider; all you need is an existing phone line and a dedicated broadband connection to get started. Any number of phone lines can be easily integrated to this phone via the internet. With the web-based user interface, you can conveniently customize your PBX to create groups and call queues, scrutinize call detail records and billing information, listen to your voicemail and delete it, and upload music on hold.
VoIP Services – An Ideal Means to Draw More Prospects
VoIP services come with all advanced functionalities that would help a small business owner to enhance the business image. Among the many versatile features, the auto attendant is of great utility value. It greets the callers with suitable greeting messages, and then directs them to a choice of menu options. Incoming calls can be routed to the required extensions, call queues, groups, mailboxes, conference rooms, or even other auto attendants.
There is also the option of a live person answering system provided with VoIP services. You can set up a telephone number to ring a specific extension first or a group to enable sequential or concurrent rings.
Stay Connected with Your Employees Any Time
Small and medium businesses can get started with the hosted PBX and VoIP services with the support of a good service provider, and start making calls straight away. Whether at home, office or anywhere round the globe, with these phone services you can stay connected with your employees and clients all the time. Moreover, you can convincingly project the image of a bigger corporate.
To fully appreciate how and why a hosted, virtual, or IP PBX provides benefits to your business we need to take a little trip back in time to the days of the switchboard. You’ve probably seen old pictures, movies or cartoons depicting a group of operators hurriedly connecting calls by manually swapping wires from one place to the next as calls arrive. Back then, switchboard rooms might be filled, floor-to-ceiling, with the equipment required to patch every call while “runners” were hired to climb the ladders that were attached to those switchboards, simply to connect calls. The equipment was incredibly monolithic; the process was very labor-intensive; and there was no chance a small business owner could conceive of having their own switchboard. It’s hard to even believe that we actually managed to communicate that way.
As time passed, advances in basic telephony, switching enhancements, improvements in signaling, the advent of the PBX (private branch exchange), and the eventual intersection of computing technologies contributed to the rapid disappearance of manual switchboards during the latter half of the 20th century. Phone systems became smaller and more automated, required less space to install, less people to make them run, and provided much more functionality at the touch of a button. One or two operators could do the job of what had taken dozens just decades before. By the late 20th century, a well-heeled entrepreneur could conceivably purchase and install a PBX with the aid of a consultant and such a PBX system could, quite literally, fit inside of a closet.
For the small business owner, unfortunately, the overhead cost of a phone system living in a telecommunications “closet” still presented a huge cost concern. Adding together the price of the PBX hardware, switching systems, phone lines, configuration and ongoing maintenance costs, as well as the dedicated phone hardware made such a purchase cost-prohibitive. The risks involved with maintaining the hardware on-site also might cause a business owner some nightmares. What happens if there’s a power failure or a major catastrophe? What if the business needed to move? What if local construction “accidentally” cuts the incoming lines? Enter the Internet Age.
With computing and mass storage centralized to data centers and even larger dedicated “closets” where power, environmental conditions, and even backup could by maintained by third parties, the ability to take the traditional PBX “out of the closet”, so to speak, became a plainly obvious endeavor. If websites and other business-critical applications could be “hosted” outside the walls of corporate headquarters, so could a phone system. And if a phone system can be hosted, then everyone (including the burgeoning ranks of micro and home-based businesses) could leverage the cost advantages and power of a…wait for it…hosted pbx. Virtual PBX was the first to deliver such a system in 1997 and coined the term ‘virtual pbx‘ to more adequately describe the technology. You’ll also find such systems under the moniker of ‘hosted phone system’, ‘hosted IP pbx’ (we’ll be exploring that one in the future), and most recently,’ VoIP pbx’. These days many of the terms are used interchangeably to describe a phone system that incorporate the following functionality:
Have an auto-attendant that acts as a virtual operator or virtual receptionist – Every caller is greeted with a message and options that are unique to the business.
Employees have an extension and every extension has voicemail – Just like an enterprise PBX.
Forward calls to any phone number – Standard PBXs lock employees down to the phone at their desk. With a hosted pbx, the employee defines what phone is used and multiple numbers can be stored.
Have the ability to handle multiple phone numbers – Toll-free numbers for a national presence; local numbers for your local presence.
Send any phone number to almost any part of the hosted pbx.
Be able to take the entire Caller ID or portions of the Caller ID and automatically route calls as they arrive.
Be able to route calls based on caller input.
Follow-me calling – A hosted PBX can call each phone number that an employee stores allowing them to take calls wherever they are; this function is also readily enabled or disabled.
Provide information about each call including the ability to screen – Also known in the industry as call whisper.
Be able to transfer calls – An obvious and critical function.
Decipher between normal calls and fax calls and be able to handle those messages accordingly.
Convert messages to attachments that can be forwarded in email.
Include a call queueing system – An intelligent and automated delivery method that allows small businesses to create virtual “departments” that are able to handle a caller’s needs more specifically.
Include a web-based interface – A hosted pbx can be readily configured and maintained through a web browser
Include some form of reporting and logging – Allows even the smallest businesses to learn about their phone traffic and how to maximize how the phones get used
Include redundancies in the back-end hardware – Technology is useless if it fails. This goes double for your phone system. Building in a high-level of fault tolerance and backup system allows hosted pbx to perform mission-critical tasks.
For small business owners, especially ones that utilize the phone as a critical link in their operations, the advantages of a hosted pbx are hard to ignore:
Low cost to implement, low cost to maintain.
No hardware-lock in – if you have a phone (land line, cell phone, VoIP line, Sat Phone, etc.) you can make use of a hosted phone system.
No pbx hardware to buy, no software to learn and upgrade because you’ll have…
Off-site hosting and maintenance – This is especially valuable if you run your business in areas that are routinely impacted by weather or conditions that can affect your phone system.
Provide an enterprise-level presence even if the company is run by a single proprietor.
For the diversified entrepreneur, a hosted pbx allows multiple businesses to be run under one phone system.
Be able to provide actual departments to callers. Businesses look even larger and the customers are handled more appropriately.
Instantly discern between your business calls, personal calls, and calls from your VIPs.
With all the capabilites available from hosted pbx technology and the value-add that is inherent to the technology, the most important aspect of the hosted phone system is that it becomes a transperent and intergral part of your day-to-day operations. In fact, your phone system becomes a key enabler of your business; a vital cornerstone that, along with a set of tools, allows you to do business anywhere. By simply adding a customer relationship management solution; dedicated billing software; and any combination of freely available communications and office productivity tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Docs, and a multi-IM client such as Trillian or Digsby, you’re ready to work wherever you, your laptop, and your phone are most comfortable.
And what will the future hold for such a key member of your business? That’s what we intend to look at in our final installment. We hope you’ll be back for that one.