Category: Entrepreneurship

Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Cloud Based Phone System for Small Businesses

Cloud based phone systems bypass traditional PBX systems in terms of cost and features. Find out how small businesses can benefit from new phone systems.

Advantages of Cloud Based PBX Systems

Easy Set-up

Hosted phone services are easy to set-up and use – it’s just like plugging your phone to a computer. Services are instantly activated. The simplicity of a user-friendly interface is characteristic, allowing users to change phone numbers, add seats, log in/out of call queues and other functions by themselves. There is no need for a system administrator and the server monitoring and maintenance required with traditional PBX systems.

Savings on Equipment Cost

Conventional phone systems involve the use of private branch exchange (PBX) equipments that allow offices or homes to make connections among the internal telephones. This may involve thousands of dollars to set-up. With cloud based PBX and VoIP systems which are hosted phone services, no costly infrastructure that can become obsolete in a short time is needed. A monthly subscription plan that is suited to the needs of the users is all that is needed – no upfront payments or costly investments on equipment are required. Common problems with subpar wiring, switches or improperly configured equipment are also avoided.

 Flexibility

Cloud based phone systems also offer greater flexibility in configuration. Whether you are operating a company with 7 or 20 employees you can enjoy a full-featured phone system similar to those of large companies. One can easily mix and match phones suitable for each individual while providing a communication system with large enterprise features.

Cool Features

The best features that can enhance business are offered by cloud based phone services such as toll-free numbers, teleconferencing, three-way calling, rules-based call routing and answering, dial-by-name directories and music-on-hold. There are a number of options you can choose to make your small or mid-size business office seem like a large enterprise.

Aside from phone calls, internet fax service that gives users the ability to send and receive faxes through the internet without a fax machine may be an option. Users can transmit documents online, sign and edit their faxes digitally, and receive text and email alerts whenever a new fax arrives.

Stay Connected

With its call forwarding features virtual phone systems can allow you to stay connected since calls can be routed to any phone anywhere in the world, and not just to a phone physically wired to an in-office PBX. Staff members can receive business calls whether they are working in the office, at home or on the road.

Easy Disaster Recovery

When problems occur such as loss of internet connection or power occur a hosted PBX system can easily route calls to cell phones, home phones, or any other phone. It can also allow calls to go to voice mail.

Small Business Advice: Before You Ask for Advice, Ask Yourself These Questions

Small Business Advice

Perhaps sales are lagging for no apparent reason, or your industry is undergoing tremendous changes. No matter what the reason, some small busines advice is required.

But from whom, why, and for how long? Those are the hard questions. Hopefully, this article can help you navigate the small business advice question, giving you more information to make the best decision for your entrepreneurial venture.

What Type of Small Business Advice Do You Need?

You need to know your goal, before you can figure out how to get there. Do you know exactly what you need to accomplish, and what the problem actually is? Are sales lagging, customers not walking in the door, high staff turnover, or your marketing techniques not working?

There are a myriad of rasons why your small business may be faltering, and why you need advice. Make sure you know exactly what is wrong, before you start looking for professional help.

Once you have determined the exact issue you need to address, it sholdn’t be too hard to figure out what type of professional you require, whether it be financial, himan resources, marketing, legal or technical.

What Control Are You Willing To Relinquish to Receive Small Business Advice?

In order to hire someone to review your entrepreneurial practices, improve them and give you fair small business advice, you’ll need to relinquish a fair amount of control. Are you able, or willing, or do that?

Once, I worked for a combination pub and restaurant, who was offered a free small business advice consultation; a complete review of the problems and issues in the business (although any solutions would cost a fee, of course). But the actual review of the business practices was, at times, so invasive, it was difficult to keep the business running.

Make sure you are fully aware of what any busines advisor will be reviewing and why, and then schedule accordingly. Any professional dealing with the day-to-day issues of running a small business will need to see both your busy and your slow periods for an accurate assessment – but first ask what exactly that entails, so that your business isn’t left scrambling.

What is Your Small Business Advice Budget?

Simple, and obvious. But really, really important. Many small business consultants will offer a free consultation, as the business I mentioned in section #2 did. However, actually doing something about any problems will cost money, and depending on the problem, may add up quickly.

Be sure to openly discuss fees, extras and contingency plans with any consultant you talk to, before making any sort of commitment.

Finding Someone to Provide Small Business Advice

The last task on your lsit is to locate a small business advisor, which shouldn’t be terribly difficult. Talk to other entrepreneurs in the area and see who they use. Alternatively, you can contact your local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau or business networking group for referrals.