You’ve heard the phrase “Fake it until you make it?” It’s doubly true for growing small businesses.
Any PR or marketing expert will tell you that projecting a more professional business image is the first step towards greater success.
For example, think of the first time a potential customer contacts you as less sales pitch and more interview.
Seasoned recruiters know that an interviewee’s success in landing a job is often determined within the first 30 seconds of their interview.
Like it or not, a firm handshake, strong eye contact and a confident manner have a huge impact on whether a potential candidate becomes a trusted employee.
Were you caught in the gridlock caused by last week’s closure of Melbourne’s CityLink tunnels? Or if you’re based in another city or state, did you have traffic nightmares of your own to deal with?
When experiencing serious congestion on the roads, most of us have the same thought: “There has to be a better way!”
The good news is that modern technology and cloud-based services mean that the better way is available right now (and it’s surprisingly affordable).
It’s always important for customers to be able to contact your business. This is especially true when you’re first starting out and working hard to build up your customer base.
Unfortunately, start-ups can often be the most difficult types of businesses for their customers to contact. For example, common start-up ”challenges” can include the following:
- There’s no budget for a formal office, so everyone works from their own home offices. That can mean that customers often need to know multiple phone numbers to be able to contact everyone they’re after!
- Some employees may spend time each week working a second job (while they’re waiting for the new business to make enough money to pay all their bills). That typically means there may be certain hours each week when they can’t be contacted by phone.
- Some roles require employees to do a lot of travelling, for example to visit customers or suppliers, which may see them away from the office for hours or even days at a time.
You need to structure your communications so that customers are still able to contact your employees who work remotely, are not always able to answer their phones, or spend a lot of time on the road. The good news is that 1300 Numbers provide you with an easy and affordable way to ensure that your customers can always reach you when they want you.
New technologies mean that the ways in which we’re communicating with each other are changing every year. And that’s not just for personal communications. Cloud-based “virtual” services have started a revolution in business communications as well.
Unified communications is one of the latest revolutions. As the name suggests, this unifies all of your incoming communications into a single channel, which you typically access via email. That means that you can access all incoming communications including emails, phone messages and faxes from anywhere that you have email access: including from a smart phone.
Of all of the unified communications services, Fax to Email (Fax2Email) is proving to be the most popular with small to medium businesses.
The telephone is an essential communications tool for businesses: especially for small and growing businesses. It’s often the primary method your customers use for keeping in touch with you, so it’s important to ensure that you receive every call.
Many small businesses use a Live Answering Service to help with incoming calls. With Live Answering, an Australian-based operator answers calls when you’re not available, and immediately forwards messages to you via SMS, email and web-based portal. This ensures that your customers’ calls are always answered quickly in a professional and friendly manner, and that you never miss an important message.
A basic live answering service, where all messages are forwarded to a single email address and SMS number, is ideally suited to a sole trader. As your business grows, you’ll want to expand to a live answering service that is able to support multiple people and departments (who may be in different physical locations).
The NBN (National Broadband Network) is coming!
Let’s ignore the politics and instead focus on what this is going to mean to your business:
- Our ageing copper phone line network is being replaced with high-speed fibre.
- All phone services will be moved over to the fibre (broadband) network as it is rolled out. Many business phone systems will need to be replaced or modified.
- The NBN network will provide strong, reliable VoIP call quality that will be as good as (or better than) our current copper (PSTN) phone network.
- Business VoIP (carried over today’s business-grade broadband, and soon the NBN’s fibre network) provides features and functionality that are currently out of reach for many small and medium businesses.
- Advancements in high-speed Internet and VoIP mean new opportunities for your business to reduce communication costs while improving the way you communicate with your market.
Embrace the change now and get the jump on your competitors!
When dealing with a business we’ve never used before, most of us are looking for a bit of reassurance that the business is professional and will do the right thing by us.
The larger and more professional the business appears to be, the more comfortable we are about handing over our hard-earned cash. And even though it may be unfair, we’ll often hesitate if the only contact details provided are a mobile phone number or free email address (e.g. Yahoo, Gmail).
The good news is that with today’s cloud-based and “virtual” services, it’s never been easier (or more affordable) for even the smallest business to present a professional image. Even if you’re a sole trader working from the comfort of your home office, you can present an image to the world of a larger business with multiple departments and employees.
The phone is an essential tool for small business. It’s the way many customers form their first impression of your company, and is often the main communications channel between you and your customers.
It’s important that everything about your telecommunications solution helps to present your business in a positive and professional manner.
It’s equally important to select a solution that not only meets all of your needs today, but adapts with you as your business grows and your needs increase.
They ruled supreme in the 1960s and 70s, but these days, businesses tend to use fax machines less and less. They still come in useful at times, like when you need someone to send you a signed document. But the rest of the time they just take up office space, need their own landline, and use up your paper, toner and electricity (and sometimes, your patience).
Fax machines are so 20th century. What the modern office needs is a 21st century solution that allows you to send and receive faxes without the need for the physical machine and its associated running and maintenance costs.
That’s what Fax to Email (Fax2Email) services are all about.
Hi. It’s your phone here.
I know you’ve been stressed lately and I have seen how busy you have been, but you can’t leave me ringing.
Sometimes I ring for so long I get out of breath, but you are either out of the office or else talking on that floozy mobile phone. And even though I ask the callers to leave a message for you, a lot of them just hang up on me.
I think we need help.
1800/1300 NUMBER SPECIALISTS
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