Author: Jessica Campas – Cloud Product Marketing Manager
Walking around and browsing the small businesses of the historic downtown areas of any city is an increasingly popular weekend activity across America. Especially with millennials, these older areas are a trendy place to live, work, and (if you are lucky enough to find a vacant storefront) start a business. The U.S. Small Business Administration claims that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States is created by small businesses.
Because small businesses have the unique opportunity to embrace local culture and forge strong connections with customers, reliable methods of communication are crucial.
In fact, the right business communications platform is essential to keep these small businesses lively and thriving. Here are five ways a hosted phone system can help small business owners be successful.
Take business with you, wherever and whenever you go. Leaving the office for coffee or lunch should not mean that customer calls will go missed or unanswered. Forwarding your calls to a mobile app while you are running errands for your small business will ensure that every potential money making scenario can be addressed in a timely manner. Your reputation as a passionate and responsive store manager will also be boosted, leading to fantastic company reviews and happy repeat customers.
Save Money Upfront
Starting a small business and running it for its first few years requires a lot of personal investment from the brave souls that feel driven down this increasingly popular business path. In fact, the lack of capital and an unstable cash flow is the #1 top challenge faced by small business owners according to Guidant Financial.
Obviously, one of the best ways to overcome this challenge is to avoid the large kind of capital expenditures that destabilize cash flow. A cloud phone system, for example, is an OPEX (operational expense) type of phone system. It avoids large up-front investments, freeing up initial cash flow to spend on other necessary expenses to get the company off the ground. All of the updates, support, and phone service is all rolled into one, low, monthly recurring cost.
The potential for growth of a small business is usually unknown at the time of its conception. Just like any proud parent, the owner will obviously hope that the company takes off and expands both rapidly and steadily during the first few years of its life, but guarantees can never be made. Because of this, being able to add and drop extensions on a phone system is an important aspect to consider. Costly and time-consuming forklift upgrades to your phone system can be a major delay and cost your business thousands. In contrast, you can add extensions to a hosted phone system same day, and it can easily grow to accommodate the rapid expansion which is expected in this lucrative environment.
Less Risk and Liability
With all the unknowns that come with starting your small business, having a phone system that has virtually no risks is invaluable. An astounding 77% of small business owners do not have a natural disaster plan in place. Tornados, hurricanes, fires, and other natural disasters will have no effect on the phone system since there is no onsite equipment to get burnt up or blown away. Acts of nature are only one form of disaster to consider, but you must also consider theft or burglary as well. If the phone system is in the Cloud, that is one less piece of technology that could be stolen or damaged. It may be a grim subject, but in order for a business to be successful, you must consider all situations related to business continuity and disaster recovery, both fortunate and disastrous.
Owner Of Many Hats
Enterprise companies usually have a full-time, dedicated IT staff that can manage equipment, schedule software updates, and provide support if anything happens to their phone system. For small business owners, wearing multiple hats, including that of the IT Administrator, is a must. This is where a cloud phone system becomes the smartest communications decision you can make. There is no hardware to worry about, and all you need to have is a trusted and secure internet connection that your phone system will rely on to deliver the secure voice services that are so crucial to the business. No IT department is necessary, and you are free to focus on keeping your patrons happy.
82% of consumers are currently shop at small businesses, and 48% plan to increase their small business shopping this year. This isn’t just a trend anymore. It’s a way of life. Small Business Week is a great time to appreciate small businesses for their contribution to our economy. But it’s also a time for small business owners to sit back and evaluate how they can be even more successful.
Communication is vital, and with a hosted phone system like Switchvox Cloud, you can:
Be sure that you will always be reached by your customers
Save money on upfront expenses with less potential risk
Be free of all IT related duties
And be able to focus on the passion you have for your business