Archive for June 25, 2013

A Virtual Phone Allows you to Create a Virtual Office Anywhere

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With more workers going mobile, the “office” now goes virtually anywhere. Your employees need applications and connectivity that will enable them to work from anywhere and anytime – whenever they want, anytime they feel they are productive. It is also important for a business to provide a way that will allow easy communication and collaboration among its employees, customers and partners. For any business, this is one thing in common – the need to communicate and collaborate. But with the growing number in the mobile workforce, it is becoming more of a challenge. You need advanced features that will allow your mobile workers to work from anywhere. No matter how far you are from the office you can always stay connected with colleagues, customers and partners using a virtual phone.

Helps Create a Mobile Office

A virtual phone system allows mobile workers to communicate with co-workers and customers as efficiently as they could face-to-face. It is important to provide the workers with the right tools that will allow them all the in-office capabilities outside the office including answering calls, calling people, voicemail and faxing. A virtual telephone gives employees the flexibility to manage and maintain customer relationships and allows them to do their business anywhere.

Cost Effective and Easy to Use

A virtual phone is easy to set up and use. It does not need any hardware, software or installation. You can use it with any of your existing telephone connections. These phone systems are often referred to as cloud phone systems and are usually hosted by a service provider. Even though they are hosted, you can still manage the settings according to your business needs.

Voicemail and Voicemail Box

A virtual phone system allows you to use features including voicemail, voicemail transcription and online fax that allow you to continue your business communications outside office. If you are not able to answer a call, the call gets automatically forwarded to the voicemail box, where the caller can leave a message. You can be notified of every voice message through email or text message to your cell phone. A virtual telephone also allows you to screen a call before answering it. Answer a call if you want to or you also have the option of diverting it to the voicemail box.

Online Fax

Online fax allows you to send and receive fax even when you are outside the office. It does not need a fax machine, a dedicated telephone connection or a scanner for faxing. Faxes can be sent and received via an online interface. A virtual phone allows you to send and receive fax even when you are on the go. You can print, save and share a faxed document and it can also be sent through email. When you receive notification of a new fax, the email contains a link that will allow you to view your faxed document and also save it as PDF.

Tips To Become A Successful Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is actually a state of mind which is based on research-oriented ideas and thoughts. Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking differently to develop a new strategy to achieve organizational goals. Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a dream of millions of people on the globe, but this dream is achieved by just a few select individuals. Today, we are living in a global economy where launching a new business is more feasible than ever before. You can easily collect profits if you have the right kind of product for sale in a wisely targeted market. Following are some useful tips to become a successful entrepreneur:

# When you work for someone else, you have assigned tasks and someone else sets goals for you. However, when you become your own boss, you have to set your long term as well as short term goals. You not only set goals for yourself, but also for your subordinates. Without settings goals and objectives, your efforts are without direction, and you also have to set the estimated time period to achieve these long term and short term objectives in order to become a successful entrepreneur.

# Entrepreneurship is all about making profits by increasing sales, and you have to add some value to the product or service you are offering for the customers. While designing marketing strategies for the new products you have to think what this product is going to provide to the end users.  When you adopt thoughtful approaches for your marketing strategies, you add more value to the product or service for the consumers.

# Performance evaluation is one of the key factors in entrepreneurship. When you have a boss, you don’t have to worry about performance evaluation as he is doing it for you. When you are the boss, you have to evaluate the performance of yourself as well as your subordinates. One thing which you need to keep in mind is that performance evaluation is an art which you can learn.

# Understanding the target market is another key factor for a successful entrepreneur. Before creating financial or marketing strategies you have to understand what your target market is, and in this regard, you have to conduct proper research. You have to know the size of your target market. How relevant is your product to the lifestyle of your target market?

# Identifying the opportunities in the business is the key responsibility of any entrepreneur. You have to explore new ways of making money by exploiting opporutinities in the market.

# As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for success or failure. You have to take the responsibility to change the situation if you are not satisfied with the current status of your business.

# You need to reward yourself in order to keep yourself motivated. Whenever you or your subordinates accomplish your goals, you have to use rewards as a motivational factor.

# Entrepreneurship means you have to identify your limitations in terms of finances. You do not have to plan something which is not in your reach.

Tom Karam is a life long student of entrepreneurship. He writes and educates people about the value of entrepreneurship.

1800 numbers are Necessary to Build an Effective Communication System

How can I help you?

If you aim to establish better relationships with customers, you must consider using 1800 numbers. Also known as toll free numbers, these numbers help to reach your customers easily anytime and anywhere. Though a toll free number works like any other telephone number, these numbers are especially designed for businesses and can prove to be an asset for any company. There are in fact quite a few benefits that a business can relish by using this number – better marketing, more sales, more customers and an overall improvement of the business image.

How does a Toll Free Number Work?

1800 numbers work like any other phone number. If you are using it with a virtual phone system, you can enjoy features including call forwarding, voicemail, voicemail to email transcription and send fax online. A toll free number is also quite easy to use and it does not need any installation, hardware or software. The primary difference between this type of number and a normal phone number is that toll free numbers never charge the caller.

Toll Free Number for Every Business

Every business acknowledges the importance of 1800 numbers – be it a small business, a home business or a multinational organization. Effective business communications is practically impossible without this kind of number. But contrary to popular belief, a toll free number is more pertinent for a small business rather than a big one. A big business is already credible and viewed as professional.  Moreover, a big business can usually afford a fully fledged phone system. A virtual phone with an 800 number is an asset for a small business, because it helps a business grow. So, what are the benefits that a business can expect by using 1800 numbers?

Benefits of a Toll Free Number

Research has shown that 1800 numbers are more successful in marketing and advertising campaigns than a normal phone number. Vanity phone numbers are even more successful than a normal numeric phone number. This is because vanity numbers are easily memorable. Vanity numbers are a special type of toll free numbers that contain a combination of numbers and letters. The letters closely represent the business it is associated with. A vanity number is an indispensable tool for every advertising campaign.

The other benefits of this number involve the image that it creates of a business. It can make even a small business look as big, professional and credible as any large organization. 1800 numbers also act as a testimony to the kind of customer service you provide. It shows that you are available to your customers all the time and also assures them of superior customer service post-sales.

Making Best Use of All the Marketing Channels Available to You

When it comes to drumming up publicity for your company, it makes a great deal of sense to start online, due to the growing number of online enterprises and that fact that the majority of people nowadays are permanently glued to the Internet through laptops, computers, mobiles and tablets. What’s more, there is a variety of ways in which you can market your company online. It’s all about ensuring that you make the best use of what’s available to you in terms of business marketing solutions.

Here are some ideas of ways to approach online marketing:

–          Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

By implementing various SEO practices, you should be able to take your website to a higher position in online search rankings. By this, I mean, you should ensure that your company’s website has highly optimised onsite content, through the use of high ranking keywords, linked pages, and original and useful information for your customers and anyone else who visits your website.

The more SEO you can implement on your website, the higher your company site will appear each time someone searches for a term relating to the service you offer, which makes it much more likely that your website will generate more traffic and thus increase your sales potential.

–          Blogging

Just about everyone who has access to the Internet has a blog these days so you have to ensure that yours is one of the successful ones. Update your blog regularly and ensure that it can be accessed via your website. How do you do this? Well, include a tab at the top or down the side of your website’s homepage that links to your company blog when users click on it.

In your blog you can detail any competitions, company news, updates about the services you offer, special deals and promotions, as well as useful content relating to what you offer. For example, if you’re in the food industry, you may wish to detail recipes for people to try at home, or feature posts on healthy eating.

Make sure that as well as having a link on your website, you also link your blog to company Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest pages, which leads me nicely onto the next point.

–          Use Social Media

Similarly to blogging, pretty much the entire world uses social media on a daily basis to connect with others. If your business makes good use of the various social media channels, you can generate even more links to your company website, blog, as well as feature competitions and have your social media pages as a place of interaction between yourself and your customers.

Generate conversation by posting daily questions for people to respond to. This will make sure your customers are aware of new services your company is offering, and will help them to get a better feel for you as a company. If you’re a company who takes on board suggestions, and shows interest in its customers, people are more likely to return to you time and time again.

–          Banner Ads

This type of online advertising involves embedding an advertisement into a web page, so that when potential customers click on the link, they will be directed to your website. This process is also known as “click through”. In addition to notifying customers of the product or service your company offers, the results for advertisement campaigns using banner ads can be monitored in real-time and also targeted to the viewer’s interests, which makes them useful for attracting potential customers to your site.

–          Affiliate Marketing

This is a performance-based type of marketing where a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought to the company website as a result of the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Often adopting regular online advertising methods, affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing. The main difference is that affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations to drive sales.

–          PPC

Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as “cost per click”, is an internet advertising model that companies use to direct traffic to their website. Advertisers pay the publisher (or website owner) each time the ad is clicked. This is useful to help companies assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of internet marketing. The number of resulting clicks is a way to measure potential customer’s attention and interest.

In addition to online marketing, you may also want to consider the more traditional methods of advertisement. If you have a physical shop as well as an online presence, you could try distributing flyers to residents’ homes in the local area. Use advertising boards outside your shop to display any new special offers or deals and have a member of staff welcoming people by the door with money saving coupons to use in-store. If you’re changing your opening hours to include bank holidays, make sure your customers know by displaying posters in your shop window. Use any method you can think of to drum up extra publicity for your business, and you’ll soon find that your sales start to soar.

A Modern Communication Device for Modern Businesses – A Virtual Phone System

A virtual phone system perfectly reflects the contemporary need for a dynamic, blended, mobile and efficient business communication system. A traditional phone connects the telephone system and the faxing system of a company. But a virtual telephone consolidates many facets of business communication – voice, data and voicemail and faxing in a cost effective network. Using such a converged communication device helps to streamline the communication needs of your business, reduces cost and enables you to use powerful services including Follow-Me-Find-Me, Send Fax Online and Voicemail to Email transcription.

Business Advantages of Using a Virtual Phone

Consider the following possibilities:

  • A call from your client can ring on your desk phone, cell phone, home phone and on any other phone until it finds where you are
  • You can collaborate with your distant colleagues and customers anytime and from anywhere  – your home, office or even for a hotel room, if you are on vacation
  • Callers can leave a voice message in your voicemail box, if you are not there to answer their call. Voicemail notifications are sent through email and text on your cell phone
  • Voicemail can be read through email or can also be listened to
  • Your business can publish local telephone numbers for various geographies  and yet all those calls can be handled from one location
  • You can fax documents to colleagues and customers from your virtual phone without the need for a fax machine
  • You can save, print or share the faxed document or can also get a PDF version of the faxed document

Benefits of Virtual Communication for Businesses

A virtual phone system is indispensable for the professional image of a business. It makes a business look bigger than it actually is. When a caller calls a business, the auto attendant of a virtual phone answers, and greets the caller and connects the call to the right person or department. A toll free number can further help in enhancing the professional image of a business.

A toll free number with a virtual phone is a perfect professional and cost-effective combination for small businesses and home businesses. A virtual phone makes a business look bigger and professional and puts them on the same footing of an old, established and reputable enterprise. Features including Find-Me-Follow-Me, send fax online and voicemail through email help an entrepreneur to maintain constant connectivity with his clients and colleagues, no matter where he is.

A virtual phone system is also a great technological innovation for the mobile worker. In today’s business scenario, any employee can be a mobile worker, mobility is not only limited to salespeople. Working from home or from another geographic location is common in today’s business world and a virtual telephone is the best communication device for today’s workers.

5 Ways to Grow a Home Business with a Toll Free Number

Many of us feel that home based businesses can have limited growth.  But this is not always true. Like all businesses, a home based business also needs to follow certain rules for its success. With a little innovation, discipline and technology a home business can be as successful as any big enterprise.  A toll free number is one such technological innovation that home business entrepreneurs must consider for their success:

Use technology:  Working from home is not easy. You might personally find it very difficult to concentrate. Your children may be calling your name and friends and family may also drop in unannounced expecting you to be at home. So the first important thing for a home entrepreneur is to find a quiet corner of the house, which can easily be treated as an office.  Set up your own PC or laptop. Also get a business phone connection. You can consider using a toll free phone number to make your business look credible and professional.

Treat your home business like a business: Like every business, a home business also has back office jobs. In big organizations, there are separate employees dedicated to handle the back office job. But in a home business, you are responsible for managing the back office work as well. Mark out sometime from your regular business hours to dedicate for your back office work. This will help to keep you more organized and focused.

Remove all barriers: Do not create barriers in the way of customers reaching you. You might think that there’s no barrier and the customer can reach you anytime – think again! Try to think from the perspective of your customers. A long distance call charge can also be a barrier for a customer. Consider using a toll free number. It never charges the caller and can be used just as you would use a local number across the US and Canada.

Use voicemail: A voicemail is indispensable for every business and is more so for a small business. If you are not available to answer a customer’s query, the customer can leave a message in your voicemail box and you can reply at your convenience. A voicemail not only reduces the chances of missed business opportunities but also makes a business look big and professional. Using a toll free number with a virtual phone system allows small businesses to use such smart and advanced features within limited budget.

Meet your clients: Just because you are running a home business, it does not mean that you will never get out in person to meet your clients. A toll free number provides an important contact between you and your customers, but face-to-face meetings have their merits as well.  Go out and meet clients – this can also be helpful for growing your business.