5 Ways a Virtual PBX Can Help Your Small Business Act Bigger

Traditionally there has been no love lost between big and small businesses. There are a number of reasons for this. Small businesses have frequently been pushed out by their larger competitors. Big businesses have larger budgets to use for advertising. Big businesses have access to technology that allows them more efficiency. Big businesses have the budget for staff to delegate tasks and responsibilities to.Regardless of how small businesses feel about their bigger competition there is a lot that they can learn from them. Many times acting like a big business can increase efficiency and project the image that the small business is looking to achieve. And they don’t have to look any further than their phone system to get started.
Act bigger by using a dial by name directory. Many big companies use this tool for a reason. It cuts down the time a receptionist has to spend directing calls and it also allows the caller to choose the extension themselves if the receptionist is not available. A virtual PBX will give a small business the ability to do this without the huge expense of a standard phone system that would traditionally support this functionality. It really doesn’t matter if you have two employees or twenty. The end result is the same – a more efficient and customer service oriented phone system.
Have the ability to direct and redirect calls. A big business will use a large PBX that will allow the receptionist to direct calls to the appropriate person in the appropriate place. Even if a small business only has a few employees, they should be able to direct callers to those employees easily and seamlessly. A virtual PBX will allow them to do this. A virtual PBX has even more flexible call routing and call redirect features than a traditional PBX. This functionality will allow small businesses to direct the caller to the appropriate person whether they are there in the office with them or not. As one example, many small businesses are forgoing the traditional office space and working outside the box. In this case, they will not have a central phone system to work with. A virtual PBX will allow them to redirect calls to employees wherever they are. They don’t want to be telling the caller that they can reach the person they are looking for by dialing another phone number.
A small business can act bigger by tracking what is happening on their phone system. Today a big business phone system is most likely going to have reporting capabilities for their incoming calls. They use it to track calls, monitor usage, check when the busiest time of day for calls is, gather information on where calls are coming from to help target advertising better, and more. A small business should be doing the same. A virtual PBX will allow them to have the reporting, get all the same benefits and without a huge investment in the hardware of a standard PBX.
Record incoming calls. Anyone who has made any amount of calls into a large company will be familiar with the phrase, “Calls may be monitored or recorded.” Big businesses will record calls to help train new employees, help current employees hone their customer service skills, see where they might streamline communications, as well as protect themselves in case of false claims. A small business should be recording their calls too. A virtual PBX will allow them to do that and reap the same benefits as a big business.
Act big with a professional main menu greeting. Larger companies use main menu recordings to greet their callers for a number of reasons. One simple reason is that it tells the caller whether or not they have reached the right place without the receptionist having to speak to them. Two, it sets a tone and projects the image that the business would like to present. Small businesses can use a virtual PBX to take advantage of the main menu greeting for the same purposes. It increases efficiency in their phone system and presents an image for that small business. Many small businesses would like to sound bigger than they are while others would just like to sound more professional. Still other businesses would like to weave in a little more of the company’s personality when greeting their callers. Using a main menu recording will allow them to do any of those things.
A small business will usually have nothing but disdain for their larger competition. However, there are many cues that they can take from them that will help their own business succeed. Many of those cues come just from looking at how they utilize their phone system. A big business will have the ability to direct calls to different employees or departments with ease whether that is using a dial by name directory, a receptionist or straight from the main menu. They will be able to track and record calls coming in and project an image of their choice to their callers. A small business can also do all of these things by utilizing a virtual PBX.

Online Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses – Part 1 – The Basics

Online marketing strategies for small businesses have never been as important as it is now. Businesses, towns, states and even countries are on the verge of Bankruptcy.What are you supposed to do?It seems like the catch phrase has become, “Well, in this economy, we just have to make some cuts.”Sound familiar?As a business owner myself, I understand and appreciate the value of making cuts. However, let’s make some of the cuts in the right places and make sure that your efforts (and dollars) are quantifiable and measurable.So how do you, the small business owner, remain not only in business, but competitive in your Market Place?This is actually easier than you think. In fact, after learning what you’re about to read, you will not only remain in business, but will in fact be able to catapult yourself to the head of the pack.So grab a pen and a piece of paper as we cover 3 basics of online marketing strategies for small businesses. As the old saying goes, you can either make dust or eat dust…I’ve done both and I’d like to save you from that dry gritty taste.· Get Clear: If you’re going to begin to dominate your market, you first must understand WHO your market is.I know, this almost sounds too simple. However, you’d be surprised how many small businesses WASTE a ton of time, energy and money marketing to the WRONG people.Without getting too deep into human psychology (which I am not an expert) I think most small business owners get caught in the IMPRESSIONS of an idea rather than its’ effectiveness.Let me explain…have you ever been approached to be a sponsor of a local Golf Tournament?Sounds great doesn’t it? A few hundred people will see your logo and promotional material on certain Tee boxes. You’ll get mentioned in the Golf Tournaments advertising and you can put your material in the welcome Gift Bag to all players!Man, who wouldn’t want to be a part of THAT!?!You! And any other small business owner who demands to see an effective return on your Marketing/Advertising dollar.As a small business owner, it is VERY important for you to NOT take the shotgun approach to your Marketing. You know, a big wide spread blast to a huge area.If you are an Insurance business owner you need to drill down to YOUR specific niche…and no, your specific niche is NOT the entire Insurance market.Get Clear, Get Specific.· Information & Education: One piece of Marketing is NOT enough.Today’s buyer is MUCH savvier than ever before. Part of this is the fact that there is an unlimited amount of information for your customers.People hate to be sold but they LOVE to buy. So how do you make sure you do as much sales as possible without selling your customer?That’s actually pretty easy, you inform.I know you’ve heard the term, “If you sell shovels, teach someone how to dig a hole.” The premise being that when that person decides to buy a shovel, they will buy from you.A perfect example is of my local Home Depot. I am NOT a handy person. You know who is…My main man Clark. I had gone in to Home Depot trying to figure out a project I was working on. I had no clue what I was doing. When I ran into Clark, he obviously knew I was out of my league.Instead of him taking the “sell him everything we’ve got” approach, he showed me step by step how to complete my project and gave me multiple options of getting it done.I have done two other projects since then and Clark has helped me with both.Where do you think I go if I’m going to do a Home project? Who do you think I ask for?The best part for your small business is that you can do this very same thing for your potential customer without ever leaving your office or having to do it face to face.Trust me, whatever your business/industry is; your potential customer IS looking to get educated. Do yourself a favor and make sure you are the teacher.· Follow Up: Tell me if you can relate to this…You have so much going on and you deal with so many customers and clients that you drop the ball on something.It may be something as simple as a phone call or email, but it may be something as important as a shipment or re-order.You know these crazy new online marketing strategies for small businesses can ensure you never miss another follow up anything.Automation and delegation are the two biggest assets to a small business owner.How much more effective will your business be when you can do ONE piece of marketing, put it in digital format, hit send and have your entire existing customer base be informed.This is just the tip of the Ice Berg. Not only do you inform your existing customer base, but also your potential customers and completely new prospects also get a taste of your business.I know you’re just like most small business owners…BUSY.You don’t have time to sit and write Newsletters and individual emails to your entire Customer list.You need to be able to inform as many people as possible to make sure your TIME is as effective as possible.When you have implemented the first two basics, not only is your time effective, but so is your message because it is going to the RIGHT person, saying the RIGHT message.Implementing the correct online marketing strategies for small businesses can be the difference between success and failure. Start with these basics of Getting Clear, Informing and Follow Up.Be on the lookout for part 2 of Online Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses, where we are going to cover HOW to Get Clear…HOW to inform and HOW to correctly Follow Up.