Whether it's taking calls in the office or keeping in touch with your mobile sales team, communication is important for your business to stay on track.
While many big-box businesses can afford expensive, complex solutions, your business can stay connected for a fraction of the price.
Look into new and emerging technologies to help you maintain all your necessary communications without breaking the bank.
Related: Quickly get competing quotes for VoIP phone service
In the Office
Previous generations of small business owners were caught in a telephony catch-22. The phone systems they could afford didn't have the professional-grade features they needed, whereas the systems with the features they needed were drastically out of their budget. This dichotomy was eased with the introduction of keyed and hybrid phone systems, and made obsolete by business VoIP phone systems.
By transmitting and receiving your calls digitally over an internet connection, you can take advantage of features like auto attendant, call transfer and forwarding, and multiple phone lines at a fraction of the cost of analog PBX systems.
- Another way to communicate effectively within the office: utilize a chat program, either integrated with your email system or as a separate program. This enables coworkers and team members to bypass phone calls and emails by sending a quick direct message. The less formal style of instant messaging enables team members to shoot questions and answers at each other quickly, without the social pressure of a formal email or phone call.
Related: VoIP Is Going Social
On the Road
When your employees are out of the office or on the road, they don't have to go incommunicado. Between mobile apps and cloud software programs, your mobile team can be just as connected across the state as they are when they're across the hall.
- Mobile VoIP: Installed on your employee's smartphone or tablet, this app uses the device's data connection to make voice or video calls. When the device is low on minutes -- or using the data plan is cheaper than paying for more minutes -- a mobile VoIP app can be a cost-effective solution to making long-distance or off-peak wireless calls.
- Installed either as part of your business VoIP or as a separate program, web conferencing programs can be installed on your employee's laptop so that they can participate in meetings from any location with an internet connection.
- Concerned how team members can access important files and information from the road? Use a cloud-based file sharing program to share documents between team members no matter where they're located. Cloud software programs are available to perform a variety of functions beyond file sharing; look into these programs if your mobile team needs frequent access to CRM or sales software.
Running a small business can be an exercise in juggling -- you need to keep costs down while still maintaining effective business processes. Mobile and business VoIP, as well as chat programs, web conferencing software, and cloud-based systems, can help you keep in contact with your business partners, clients, customers, and vendors without putting a strain on your monthly budget.