We’ve hit the 70+ posts mark (or thereabouts) on Start Up Nation…which seems like sort of a milestone in a way. Balloons didn’t drop from the ceiling (yet), and 70+ is a relatively low number but I’d like to know what issues are top of mind for you by writing a short feature on your [...]Continue Reading
Archive for 2009
Now, I will tell you that I myself would have probably taken the lady aside and, well let’s say be frank about her behavior. However, the young woman that she was assaulting was very hospitable to this cranky woman. So, I guess I have to practice what I preach also…..huh? I was eating breakfast with [...]Continue Reading
Last night I attended my first baseball game of the season at AT&T Park in San Francisco. It’s tradition in most stadiums around the US to incorporate a little crowd participation on the big screens during a break in the game. Everyone has a little fun watching the KissCam, you know when couples are shown [...]Continue Reading
The phone is not ringing and crickets are chirping. That’s likely what will happen if you are sending out press releases to the masses and waiting for the sales to come in. I bring this up because several entrepreneurs contacted me recently about their PR activities. They hired publicists. But instead of obtaining media exposure, [...]Continue Reading
Hello. My name is Jessica Eaves Mathews and I am a serial entrepreneur. There. I said it. I am coming clean. It is high time I admitted that not only do I love helping my law clients set up and run their own businesses, but I have a *fond* attachment to setting up my own [...]Continue Reading
Sometimes, being “widely aware” is as important as being “narrowly focused.” Thought you folks would benefit from this audio-visual snapshot of what’s happened over the past two hundred years in the world and why it’s so seismic relative to the history/future of humankind and the planet we inhabit. While this isn’t specifically about business, it [...]Continue Reading
I typically focus on email marketing, since it is cost effective, it has a viral quality, and VerticalResponse happens to offer a great email solution for startups, but the following suggestions can apply to direct mail projects as well. When designing your email campaign or your promotion mailing, from copy to layout, consider how your [...]Continue Reading
I received a press release today that deserves a few minutes of your scanning. It’s the monthly consumer confidence report issued by The Conference Board. It shows that consumer confidence actually trended up this month for the first time this year. Is this a sign that we’re going to start hustling and bustling again? Well, little by [...]Continue Reading
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 [...]Continue Reading
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 [...]Continue Reading
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.-->
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 [...]Continue Reading
We can do far more together than we can alone. This I know for sure. Michael Port just interviewed me for his Think Big Revolution audio series. Check it out. He just released his 4th (and best) book: The Think Big Manifesto. This book is outstanding. It’s a little book with a big [...]Continue Reading
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 [...]Continue Reading
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 [...]Continue Reading
Hard to tell if this qualifies as innovative or if it should be put in the “people-will-pay-for-anything” category…but I can say I’ve seen it all now. I suppose it’s green, technically… I suppose it’s home based. Clearly niche, if you believe that only a small segment of the population would actually put money behind the [...]Continue Reading
Ever thought about writing like you dress in your online communications? I gave a talk the other day on making the most of social media and email marketing and we got into the conversation of creating the voice for your company in your online presence. At VerticalResponse, and right here in my SUN blog, I [...]Continue Reading
I often get asked, “what is the hottest franchise?” or “what sort of business should I buy?” and my response is typically the same … Often is depends on your interests, skills, work ethic, location, and several other factors. But when pressed, I urge people to look at changing demographics, sites or other factors that [...]Continue Reading
I just spoke to a potential client who wanted to stay away from search engine optimization (SEO) in her copy because she was afraid it would be dishonest and sound like a commercial. Do you think this way too? If so, you are missing out on a great opportunity. How are potential customers going to [...]Continue Reading
Boy, it sure does sound like that is a silly thing to say? How do you make money when you do not have work? Well, it isn’t easy…but you can do it. My husband lost his job two months ago, after 25 years in aerospace…..now who has issues? He is OK though because: 1) He [...]Continue Reading
You have news and you don’t even know it. It might not be the Wall Street Journal that picks up the fact that you have a new head chef in your restaurant, or a new winemaker at the winery, or that your software company just hired a new VP, but you’ll be surprised at the [...]Continue Reading