Questions? Call Us: +1 (800) 750 6878

Contact Us

Leave Us A Message Below

Product Tips: Using Voicemail to Improve Productivity

For decades now, businesses of all sizes have been benefiting from voicemail as a means to capture important messages and stay connected with their customers, employees and vendors. With technological improvements there have been significant enhancements in this functionality to make it even more dynamic and helpful for business professionals. Now, let’s take this feature a step further and examine how you can use voicemail as a way to actually improve your productivity.

Anticipate Their Questions

What better way to reduce the amount of time you spend checking your voicemail messages than to prevent the need for them to be left in the first place? Consider the fact that a good majority of calls placed to a business are to gather basic information, such as hours of operation, directions and details about upcoming events. If your callers receive answers to these common questions as soon as they connect with your business, they won’t even have to leave a message. Include all of this data in your custom greeting, along with your website URL, and encourage callers to visit for more information. This saves you time, improves customer satisfaction, and, as an added bonus, may result in an increase in traffic to your website.

Provide Detailed Instructions 

Wouldn’t it be helpful if every message you received contained all the information you needed to move forward to the next step? Nothing is more time consuming and frustrating than filtering through messages that are missing key elements. This can easily be avoided if you clearly state what information you need in your voicemail greeting. Let callers know that they should include their name, contact information, best time they can be reached and ask them to state specifically what the purpose of their call is, so that you can be sure that the right party is the one who follows up. For instance, if the caller knows to indicate that they’re calling about a billing issue, as soon as you listen to the message, you’ll know to forward the message to someone in your accounting department, saving time for your business and improving customer care levels.

Get Organized

It can be an extraordinary waste of valuable time to have to sift through dozens of messages every time you need to locate something. Tools like visual voicemail eliminate this wasted effort by allowing you to retrieve your messages on your computer or mobile device. Read transcripts of your messages instantly and organize them just as you would email. You can even forward messages you receive to other members of your team to manage follow-up more efficiently. Not only does this help you by saving time, but when you can organize your messages, you will reduce the risk of something important slipping through the cracks.

Voicemail is a powerful and essential tool in today’s business world. By leveraging these helpful tips, you can harness this technology to improve your productivity, and get the most out of your valuable time.

Labels: , ,

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 2:06 PM

5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Home Office

As a small business owner, particularly one who works out of a home office, staying organized and keeping things simple can be quite a challenge. Between filing and paying invoices, managing receivables, handling customer service, and everything else that goes into running your business, it can be hard to keep things straight from one day to the next. The good news is there are several things you can do to get a handle on your schedule and get your business running like a well-oiled machine. Here are 5 easy ways to simplify your office.

Organize – Seems kind of obvious, but actually getting a busy home office organized can sometimes seem so overwhelming that we avoid it like the plague. Unfortunately, disorganization leads to mistakes that can cost your business money. Take the time to get your paperwork filed away, and begin ordering your tasks by importance so you are able to stay on top of things and don’t risk dropping the ball on anything critical.

Delegate – It can be really hard to let go of the reigns and let someone else handle tasks for your business, but if you have any hope of your company growing, it’s a necessary evil. Believe it or not, letting go of some of the day to day duties you’ve been worrying about can actually be incredibly uplifting. Not only does it help you simplify and organize your schedule, but it frees you up to focus on more important business matters, like increasing sales or launching that new product.

Go Paperless – Eliminating paperwork can be incredibly beneficial to your business. In fact, we just covered 5 compelling reasons to go paperless in a recent blog post. When you get rid of the clutter of paper files, you will be amazed at how uncluttered your mind will feel. Additionally, paperless billing can also increase the timeliness of your receivables, which means better cash-flow for your business.

Limit Meetings – In another recent post, we covered several ways to ensure that you are getting the most out of your business meetings. Meetings are notorious time-killers and can do a number on the productivity of yourself and your team members. Limit your meetings to only cover critical issues, and keep them short. Otherwise, they will be counterproductive and you may fail to accomplish what you set out to do in the first place.

Take a Break – When you own your own company, it’s easy to get so caught up in everything that you eat, sleep and breathe your business. It’s important to take a step back every once in a while, take a breather and enjoy a little time away. Spend time with your family, go shopping, go fishing or just take a day to do nothing but sleep in and watch TV. Mental health days are important to clear your head and help you get back on track, so make them a priority.

It can take some time and effort to actually simplify your home office and your business, but even if it seems counterproductive, the long term benefits are well worth it. When you simplify things, you are better able to refocus and reconnect with the things that are most important, so that you can continue to drive your business toward future success.


posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 7:23 PM

How Can Cloud Computing Help Your Small Business?

A few months ago we went over the basics of cloud technology. That post covered what this innovative technology is, an overview of the benefits and a breakdown of some common terminology used in conjunction with it. Today I thought I’d take it a step further and examine how you can harness this powerful tool to benefit your small business.

Scalable – The goal of most small businesses is growth. Cloud computing allows you to scale up when you’re ready, so you don’t have to deal with too much too soon, and potentially waste money while you’re at it. It essentially grows along with your business, allowing for a seamless transition. This can also be applied to downsizing, when necessary. 

Access to Experts – It used to be that if you needed a powerful tool for your business, you would either have to pay an exorbitant amount of money, or develop one yourself. With cloud technology, small businesses can leave that work to the experts in each field, and tap into to the resources they provide. For instance, rather than seek out and pay for expensive email programs, many small businesses rely on the power of Gmail, because Google handles all the behind the scenes work.   

Competitive Advantage – Cloud computing can help position your business to compete with larger organizations that you would not have been able to match a decade ago. When you can take advantage of technology that is cost effective, yet highly powerful, you can provide the same level of service and support to your customers as your larger competitors. You’ll also have a distinct leg up on any of your competitors that haven’t jumped on the cloud bandwagon yet.

Instant, Accurate Analysis – Tracking conversions used to be a nightmare, best handled by analytical masters who had the time (and patience) to pour through endless data and try to make sense of it all. With cloud technology, small business owners now have instant access to powerful and accurate analytical tools, such as Google Analytics, which tells them how their marketing campaigns are doing in real-time.

Automated – Cloud computing allows small business owners to access information at the click of a button, and handle formerly manual tasks with the ease and speed of automation. This saves time and allows you to focus on other more important activities, like boosting sales or growing your business.

Collaborative – Two heads are always better than one. Cloud technology provides the opportunity to collaborate with others without ever having to come together in the same room. File sharing platforms, like DropBox and Google Docs, allow for instant and secure transfer of data. Share documents, spreadsheets and presentations at the click of a button.

Affordable – For most small businesses, this is the magic word. One of the best features of cloud technology is its affordability. Many tools are free, or available for extremely attractive monthly rates that are usually scalable to fit the budget of each business.

Cloud computing is something that can bring your business to the next level, at little to no cost! If you haven’t harnessed the power of the cloud for your business yet, why not start with a virtual phone system? Give us a call or sign up for a free trial today.

Labels: ,

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 8:24 AM

How to Take a Much-Needed Vacation

Summer will be here before we know it, but as a small business owner, you’re probably intimately familiar with the challenges of actually taking scheduled time off. We all need a vacation – especially stressed out, overwhelmed and overworked entrepreneurs. So before you have no choice but to take time off to recover from a nervous breakdown, here are a few helpful tips to get you on the road to rest and relaxation.

Plan Ahead and Communicate – Let your clients and employees know in advance when you’re planning on taking some time off so they are prepared. If your business is big enough, consider training a trusted employee to handle things in your absence and keep the ship afloat. Don’t forget to set your “out of office” email and phone message a few days before you head out, and set your call forwarding to have important calls delivered to your replacement for the days you will be gone.

Make a “Must-Do” List – It can be much less stressful to leave the helm of your business when your replacement has a detailed list of what must be done while you’re away. Prioritize a list of essential duties, in order of importance, and communicate clearly what you expect so there are no surprises to come back to or worse – to interrupt your much needed time off.

Customize Your Vacation to Meet Your Needs – Chances are you won’t get a ton of opportunities to take time off, so make the most of it when you do. Figure out exactly what you want to get out of your vacation and plan accordingly. For instance, if it’s rest and relaxation you need to recharge your batteries, consider a luxury cruise or a beach retreat, rather than a busy or action-packed tour.

Schedule Your Vacation Around Your Business Cycle – Obviously this is much easier to do if you run a seasonal business, like a ski resort, because you always know ahead of time when your slowest time is. You can still schedule your time off to coincide with your business cycle even if your calendar isn’t as cut and dry, however. Just figure out what time of year you would be most comfortable not being present, and which times you simply must be there (like tax season), and plan accordingly. 

Taking a vacation may seem like an unattainable luxury when you’re running a busy business, but it doesn’t have to be.  In fact, time off can actually make you more successful, because it allows you to recharge and clear your head, so you can start fresh when you return. Follow these four tips and you’ll be enjoying that much needed rest before you know it. Cheers!

Labels: ,

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 5:26 PM