New businesses have so much to look out for and so much to consider and it’s understandable how they may overlook things. However, this article provides seven tips that will make it a lot easier to ensure your telecoms isn’t something you need to worry about.
I have a mobile number, that is everything I need, right?
Although your mobile device is similar to a mobile office providing you with calls, emails and most office functions covered in some app somewhere, it is frequently not a good idea to solely rely on your mobile number when you are just starting your business. According to research, as many as one third of individuals won’t call a mobile on their first interaction with a business or other kind of organisation. In addition, if you are using your mobile for both personal and business calls, it may be virtually impossible for you to separate the two. There are services that are available such as our mobile app that make it possible for you to get your smartphone integrated in the form of an extension so that you don’t have to give your mobile number out ever again.
My home phone number is a landline, will that work?
This is a similar situation as attempting to use your mobile. How are you going to be able to determine which are personal calls and which are business ones? Also, depending on who else lives in your house, how will you be able to ensure that your calls are always answered in a professional manner so that your business is represented the way you want it to be? In addition, as your business continues to grow, taking your home phone number with you when you move into office space or adding more numbers could cause problems for you in the future.
Choosing Skype as your option
Skype is incredible; it makes it possible for you to make business audio and video calls, in addition to exchanging chat messages free of charge. You can definitely use Skype, but you don’t want to completely rely on it, since it isn’t a substitute for traditional telecommunications. Skype numbers are not portable; once you have outgrown Skype you won’t have access to the number any more or any of the business it could provide to your company. In addition, not everyone is on Skype, so you are going to need to have telecom services for communicating with vendors, suppliers and consumers.
I just need to have something right now and in the future I look to get something more sophisticated
The watch word here should be to start off the way you intend to go. You may be thinking you are too busy right not setting up your business. However, once you get a few customers you are going to start to wonder how anybody is able to survive on only 24 hours a day. Revisiting your telecom system is going to be very low on your growing list of priorities. However, it isn’t necessary for things to be like that. Cloud telephony has been designed to be scalable and flexible. You simply remove or add extensions as needed. In addition, with a good platform such as ours you will be provided with all of the features that your business truly needs both now and in the future as it continues to grow. Adding loudspeaker capability with a good quality bluetooth speaker system can also help and allows you to take calls en-mass and easily without a handset.
We are using shared office space, can’t we just utilize the number that has been allocated to us?
There are a few reasons why this may be a bad idea. First of all look at what your costs are. We have had some of our customers realise that they were paying high rates for the telecom being provided to them by their serviced office. Then when they made the decision to move, they suddenly realised they were merely renting those numbers and couldn’t take it with them. That resulted in them incurring additional charges to have their calls forwarded to a new number.
A lot of broadband businesses require a period of time to get around to installing the service at your business place. Even if the hardware is there, often broadband isn’t activated for up to 14 days. This can lead businesses moving in beforehand and having to wait for a solution, which can be crippling. Additionally, it’s best to use a broadband checker to decide on the best broadband for your area – speeds can vary significantly and often more expensive providers run slower than cheaper ones such as Bigpipe Internet dependent on area. In essence, price doesn’t dictate quality.
Accepting free installation offers for signing a long-term contract is very tempting. However, if you end up moving or expanding your business, you could potentially end up facing penalties for cancelling your contract. In addition, you are getting yourself locked into current prices where prices are tending to go down in the present environment.
Call Answering Services
So what would you like the service to do? If they are merely taking messages for you, you need to take a good look at this and determine whether the service is really adding any value for you. However, if there are certain queries they can handle, then it may enhance what you are offering.
So what options do you have? For small businesses, you can get a basic inbound geographic number set up for around £7 per month. For a small added fee, you can get voice mail along with a whisper facility which informs you when the call is a business call.
Traditional or VOIP telecom solutions are the best choices for larger start-ups. The higher the chances are for growth and the more sites you have, the greater the chances are that VOIP is going to be your best solution. PBX might be better if you want to have more sophisticated features.