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Archive for April, 2009

My Most Passionate Encouragement to Start Up

Check out this NYC regional TV show with Brian Lehrer as host (and me silenced in the first few minutes but then unLEASHing my enthusiasm about why now is a great time to start up, once my mic starts working, that is…) I give a five point prescription for steps to take to pursue your startup opportunity [...]

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Website

For many of you, your business website will act as a central hub for your marketing, branding and communications. It will be a major touchpoint in your relationship with your prospects and customers. If you plan on being successful, it behooves you to create a website that fuels your business growth. Then why is it [...]

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A new way to cut costs: your phone system

An overlooked cost savings for entrepreneurs is switching to VoIP, or an internet-based phone system for your business. According to a recent survey, over 86% of business owners rated VoIP satisfaction level as “very high.” Why? VoIP and internet-based phone systems offer features, services and equipment that some traditional phone systems can’t compete. In terms of service outside your business and systems inside your business, switching to VoIP can save your business money. Here are some quick tips to get you started:

VoIP choices

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) based systems use the internet for calls. Most smaller businesses choose a basic package from Packet8 or Speakeasy for their service. You can also choose a hosted service and all you need is either an adapter (ATA) or a router. The equipment is all done remotely by a provider. If you have a high call volume and don’t have room for wires, this option works well because there is no maintenance and configuration to worry about.

Cost savings

Typically you can get a good VoIP system for under $1000 plus the cost of the equipment. If your business places a high volume of long distance calls, you can expect to save quite a bit. Monthly bills for service plans typically run up from $10-20 monthly. One study tracked the impact on Intel Corp when they switched to a VoIP phone system and found a cost savings of $312,000 a year. Most business owners are surprised to learn that you’ll save the most by becoming more efficient.

VoIP features

Besides the standard features that all businesses need (voicemail, call forwarding, call transfers and hold messaging), auto-attendant is another additional service that lets the caller dial by name, extension, or listen to a general message containing business hours. Features are generally included in a VoIP plan, but make sure you ask if you specifically need a feature like video conferencing or one-click dialing.

VoIP providers

There are many phone system providers that offer affordable VoIP solutions. Some of the larger and well-known companies like Vonage and Jive have websites where you can see pricing and packages. You can also visit our quote center and find a list of vendors that match your specific needs by simply filling out this form. There are many systems to choose from depending if you want services outside your business or inside your business so do your homework. You can get an inexpensive system with all the “big name” features and the systems just plug into a standard Analog line.

VoIP negotiation

Ask for free equipment. Most salespersons are allowed to include VoIP phones or adaptors to win a contract. If equipment is a no-go, ask for additional features. Can you get a bundle package for cheaper? Try shopping at the end of the month when sales needs to meet their quota.

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An overlooked cost savings for entrepreneurs is switching to VoIP, or an internet-based phone system for your business. According to a recent survey, over 86% of business owners rated VoIP satisfaction level as “very high.” Why? VoIP and internet-based phone systems offer features, services and equipment that some traditional phone systems can’t compete. In terms [...]

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We’re learning that free is a good price.

Just got a newsletter from the School of Visual Concepts, a Seattle-based org providing classes in several disciplines, giving small businesses that needed vitamin B shot of knowledge to immediately apply in their environments. “If you were thinking of attending our free “Get a Job in Tough Times” presentation tonight at the School of Visual [...]

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Be Clear. Be Brief. But come back…often.

So I’ve spoken briefly about Twitter in the past. I am still observing the form to understand its place in the overall ecosystem of social networking…and I heard recently that Strunk & White just released a 50th Anniversary Edition of the Elements of Style. To me, it was the perfect collision of old and new…and [...]

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