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5 Modern Time-Saving Tips for the Modern Business

§ November 26th, 2018 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

There are a lot of time-saving tips out there. It’s great if you are already using them. However, if you are still struggling to organize your time, check out these modern time-savings tips.

Respond to issues quickly

We all have smartphones, tablets and devices that allow us to respond to issues quickly. For example, you can check emails while you are stuck in traffic. You can respond to issues that need a simple yes or no in just a matter of seconds. Don’t wait till you get to the office to do things you can do on the road or instantly.

Don’t be scared of technology

Technology is there to help us. Do not be intimidated with new gadgets that come out. If you are still using a traditional business telephone system that cannot be connected to your IT network, it’s time you made the shift. Modern business telephone systems can be integrated with customer relationship management software, emails, etc. This will not only save you time. It will also improve your level of customer service.

Use your devices to make lists, set appointments, connect to people in long distances quickly, make presentations, do some research, read and a lot more. Technology makes our lives better so take advantage of it.

Disconnect

Sure, we live in a connected world but it’s good to disconnect from technology from time to time especially if you have a big project to finish that requires all your focus. Set aside an hour or two each day and turn off all your devices. Focus on your task. Do this every day until you finish your project.

Say no

Most of us don’t want to disappoint the people around us – family, friends, colleagues, employees. But, there are some instances that you should just say no. Learn to delegate tasks especially if you are the boss of the company. You are there to make important decisions and not to do everything. Learn to say no in a nice, respectful way so that you can focus your time on things that really matter to you.

Schedule time for yourself

At the end of the day, you need to have some time for yourself. Some people (especially workaholics) feel guilty when they do something for themselves. They feel like they are being selfish but in reality, you are doing the people around you a favor. You need to sleep in order to function properly the next day. You need to rest your mind so that you can make sound decisions. You need to do a hobby or exercise so you will feel refreshed and get your creativity flowing. In short, you need “Me Time” in order to be an effective boss, parent, employee, etc.

Change happens to us daily and it happens at warp speed. You should be able to keep up and adapt to changes in your life as they happen. These time-saving tips will help keep you on track. Practice them for 10 days and you will have some great time-saving habits.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or if you already own a small business, chances are, you have a group of people that you turn to for advice. This is your advisory board. As your business grows, so should your advisory board. Some companies even hire professionals to make up their advisory board. You don’t have to hire people if you are a small business. You just need people you trust who can give you unbiased advice. Here are some benefits of having a good advisory board.

You can have a bouncing board

Are you familiar with Dr. Gregory House, the crazy doctor from the television series? He has a very brilliant mind but he needed people to bounce ideas around with. During the first season, he was seen bouncing ideas with the janitor so the hospital chief told him that he needed a team to serve as a bouncing board. The same goes for a business owner. No matter how brilliant you are, you still need the opinions of other people so that you can refine your idea. They may have some experience in areas that you are unfamiliar with.

Advocates

If you get your advisors excited, they will talk about your company. Word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool. This can open doors for your business. You can gain access to new groups of customers, investors, lenders, etc. They can’t actually get an investment for you but they can introduce you to the right people.

Better view of the industry

Some business owners overlook the issue of competitors. Sometimes they feel that they don’t have any just because they don’t know anyone who has the same kind of business in their locale. But what if the business wants to expand and you soon find out that there are several or even hundreds like you in your state, country and even the world? What do you do then?

Having an advisor look into the current marketplace will give you valuable insight about your competition.  These advisors will give you the truth and this will help you plan your attack well.

Credibility

Having professionals and industry experts in your advisory board is one way of building up your credibility. This will show that your business is legitimate, that you are who you say you are and that you can be trusted. Don’t put names of important people in your board just because you met them once or twice. It can cause a lot of problems if they are asked about you and they can’t remember you. This is bad especially if someone wants to invest in your company and find out that you are lying. If your brother is an industry expert, then by all means, go and put him in your advisory board if it’s okay with him. Just make sure that each one in your board understands his role and knows you very well to avoid embarrassing moments.

Having a board of advisors will help you tackle different problems and can take your business to the path of success.

The Things You Need to Know About VoIP

§ August 10th, 2015 § Filed under Uncategorized § No Comments

Installing a VoIP phone system is great but there are a few things you need to know in order to avoid possible problems with your new system.

You need a reliable Internet connection

Hands down, this is a must. You need both speed and stability. A good connection allows your VoIP to work properly. Avoid dropped calls with a good DSL connection.

Costs

VoIP is very attractive when it comes to call rates. Most providers offer unlimited minutes for a fixed monthly rate. However, there are other costs associated with VoIP such as hardware installation. Installation can start with a simple telephone adaptor and grow into more sophisticated hardware for big office networks. Some setups are simple that you can DIY them. Before installing one, consult an expert so that you can utilize your current equipment and not waste money in the process.

Reliability

Know that your system will go down when there is a power outage. Traditional lines are not affected by this. VoIP uses equipment that rely on electricity. Ask your provider about contingency plans in case of power interruptions.

Security

Protect your lines from eavesdroppers and identity thieves by encrypting your phone lines. Ask your vendor about security protocols.

Caller ID

This function is dependent on the provider. In some instances, having this function is a waste of money because some providers allow a caller to make it appear as if they are calling from a different number. There are also devices that allow one to modify the caller ID information.

Emergency calls

You may have problems with emergency calls because they cannot be routed to a nearby help center as the system cannot locate users geographically.

A Quick Look at Other Phone Systems in the Market and their Costs

Business phone system costs vary widely. Basically, the cabinet cost, wiring, installation and units are already included in the fee. If you need optional features such as hold music, CTI, etc. they can also be included in your monthly service fee.

There are different price averages in phone systems. Adding extra features and lines can add to your total cost.

Average Costs

The average cost is based on the cost per user.

Key-Systems

Key systems cost between £200-£600 per user. Add to that, the optional features that you need.

KSU-less

This is the cheapest in the market. The only actual costs that you will incur are the phones, setup and installation. This costs £60-£150 per phone. Added consideration includes maintenance and additional wiring.

PBX

This setup costs around £500 per user and can go up to £600 on average. If you have 100 or more users, the cost per user is significantly reduced because of scaling. This is popular among large businesses.

VoIP

Cost is the number one attracting feature of VoIP. It is comparable to KSU-less systems and as a matter of fact, many KSU-less systems can be used as an Internet phone system. However, you need a router that increases your one-time cost. The average cost of this system is £60-£150.

Factors that affect the cost

Here are some things that can affect the total cost of your system.

Installation

In many instances, the installation costs are the same price as the whole phone system. Key and PBX systems require complex setup so you need to call the professionals to do the job. That costs a lot of money especially if your current wiring is not compatible or not enough for your new system.

Maintenance

Maintenance fees are usually already included in the price but if you want more, you will be charged more. Inquire about a good maintenance plan so that you can avoid problems in the future.

Cabinet

The cabinet is the central operations unit of your entire phone system. It is expensive. It can cost anywhere from £600 to £6000. The price depends on the size and complexity of the setup that you need.

Telephones

Brand is a major factor in price. Panasonic phones are usually more expensive than Samsung, AT&T, NEC and Linksys. Price also depends on the features of a phone. Obviously, a phone that has a loud speaker, hands-free function, etc. costs more. If you don’t need high end phones, cheap phones in bulk can cost you just £60.

Extra features

Hold music, CTI, etc. can cost you extra. If you have a limited cash flow, take the time to really list down what you need. If you do decide on an extra feature, make sure that it will help you get your ROI.

Some providers offer a free trial period. Take advantage of this and test out a feature you are eyeing. Most features included in the phone system are enough for a small company. Many big company features are also now available to smaller businesses at a fraction of the original cost. These features can make you look more professional so take advantage of them.