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The advent of cloud based telecommunications has seen small business and entrepreneurs revive the use of phone answering services. Many businesses that use virtual office answering services are left at a disadvantage unlike those who choose virtual phone answering services.
Cloud based phone answering services offer a great alternative to virtual phone systems and voicemail. About 80 percent of callers hang up as soon as they are sent to voice mail and may never call back. This is why startups, business owners, entrepreneurs and small businesses should outsource their phone answering to a virtual answering system.
Advantages of Using a Virtual Phone Answering Service
- No more lost customers and opportunities. Instead of sending callers to voicemail, you will have a live receptionist to attend to all questions, concerns and suggestions coming via telephone. The live receptionist should have all the necessary information about your small business. If callers are sent to voice mail, chances are that you will lose them and potential sales opportunities.
- You can update your availability status over the phone or on the web. The virtual service is able to answer your phone, screen calls and transfer your calls if you are available. The service identifies real and potential customers and transfers them to you. You will be able to handle your calls more efficiently and concentrate on other areas of the business.
- Portray a professional image. A virtual phone answering service makes your business have the professional image that you want. The live receptionist answers all incoming calls and identifies urgent calls based on the information settings in the account. The live receptionist portrays a professional first impression.
- You have control over how you want your calls to be handled. If you are a business that deals with a number of other industries or persons, you may want calls from different entities to be treated differently. These can be configured when your account is set up.
- You can view your messages online or on mobile apps. The messages are usually on top of the queue for you to access immediately you log in. You can login, view and manage your messages and change availability status, more like an email.
Most small businesses have a poor reputation for phone answering because of the need for human interaction with communication systems. However, this reputation is slowly changing as businesses leverage online technology systems that have never been seen before.
The new era in cloud phone answering services provide capabilities that are far much better than the more than a century old circuit switches and public telephone networks. Most of the virtual office phone answering services providers focus on providing services for small businesses.
Running a business is quite a challenge, especially when one has to deal with various elements of the business such as finding office space and recruiting the right employees. However, things are likely to change for many entrepreneurs thanks to virtual offices, which is a recent innovation that is already revolutionizing the way people do business. However, virtual office space providers are not the same. As such, you should lease virtual space that befits your brand image. Read on to learn more about this topic.
- Ramp up Your Business’ Reputation
- Show Clients Your Creative Side
Your business’s location can make the difference between success and failure. Entrepreneurs who run businesses using home addresses are likely to give clients the impression, that they are not reliable or trustworthy. According to a survey carried out by Entrepreneur magazine, 36 percent of business owners cited opening offices in other countries as a big challenge. One way of overcoming this hurdle is to lease virtual office space in a prestigious address that will most likely make it easier for you to attract clients.
Besides location, clients pay a lot of attention to the way an office looks. Pictures of a well-organized office on your website will show clients that you are dependable. A study published by Carson Research Consulting Inc. shows that between 26 and 54 percent of satisfied clients are likely to recommend a business to other people.
Virtual offices do not have to be dull and unassuming spaces. You should look for virtual office service providers who have set up unique workstations. Most people associate creativity with unusual working spaces. For example, the office layout for search giant Google includes open floor plans, workspaces designed to look like pods, and spaces flooded with natural light. Such an approach gives clients the impression that you run a forward thinking and innovative business.
Whether you run a startup or an established business, virtual offices San Francisco can help you expand your market footprint. They also improve a business’ brand image.
The virtual office has gained a lot of attention over the years as it becomes increasingly easier to work remotely, but for some businesses it brings a unique benefit. It has become possible to host start-up businesses within your office space. While this may at first seem a little odd, there are some extremely unique benefits that you can gain by opening your spaces to a start-up and to helping them establish a virtual office. Naturally, this is a very symbiotic relationship because the start-up gains as much from the experience as you.
How Start-Ups Benefit
The benefits to start-ups are relatively easy to guess. By being able to share space with an established business, start-ups are able to find better spaces for employees. Most office complexes are made for larger businesses, making it more difficult for start-ups to get the right kind of space for their needs. If you have extra space, you can give them an opportunity that they are not likely to find anywhere else.
The employees stand to benefit a consider amount from the virtual office. They will be able to interact with your employees, providing an amount of stability generally lacking in start-ups. They can gain encouragement and mentoring that they are not likely to find within their own organization, if for no other reason than because they are far fewer in number.
How You Benefit
The energy and ideas of start-ups are contagious. They have a new way of looking at things and in expressing ideas, which will help rejuvenate your workers and your own approach to the work. Start-ups also move far more rapidly than older, larger companies because their primary goal is getting established. This sense of purpose and urgency are great for your employees to witness as well as it will inspire them to take a similar approach.
The close interaction with a start-up will generate a better understanding of other businesses. It is one thing to see how your customers and other businesses work from the outside, but working in close proximity to a start-up creates a whole new appreciation for how others operate. It is too easy to get stuck in a rut or to fall into routines that work in some cases. Having a start-up working in your office space will generate goodwill, and you will be able to help each other in different areas, like new hire references and positive opinions being expressed to others based on the relationship.
Things to Consider
If you are seriously considering creating a virtual office with a start-up, you do need to take a few things into account. For example, you should both sign a nondisclosure agreement to make sure trade secrets are respected and upheld should they be discussed between your company and the start-up. You should also agree to not solicit each other as they generally creates more tension, as well as establishing base rules for working in the same space.
Money is crucial to the success of any small business. Whether you are a one-person operation or have a few employees, there will be bills to pay, employee salaries, equipment and supplies to pay for and other expenses. These expenses can stifle the growth of your business and thus it makes sense to find financing early on. Here are five top ways of financing your small business:
If you are running a very lean startup, your personal savings can kick start the business and help it stay afloat. There are examples of successful businesses that have made it through with bootstrapping. If you are thinking of starting your own business, start saving for it.
Savings from Family
Your family members can help you fund your business. Some will do it out because of the familial ties they have while others may want to come in as investors expecting a return.
Angel investors are usually wealthy people who believe in your business and would like to help you make it successful by providing funds. An angel investor will expect profits and may want to have a say in the way your business is run.
Venture capitalists (VCs) commonly finance startups. Getting money from a VC can be a lengthy process and you need to have your business facts right. VCs usually consider your business plan, management team and your commitment to make the business a success before providing funds.
Merchant Advance Loans
Merchant cash advances can help your business when money is needed fast, perhaps to pay for a sudden expense. The merchants will usually not look at your credit score to finance you. Merchant loans are usually given to companies that have started seeing some positive cash flow.