What Size Business Needs an Answering Service

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | What Size Business Needs an Answering ServiceConventional wisdom states you must have a medium to large size business in order to justify having an answering service. This truism arises primarily from the dated idea that those who answer the phone late are employees or are contracted to the company. While growing businesses with 50 employees or more by default really need to have a manned after-hours line, it is worth taking a look at the assumption that smaller businesses cannot afford an answering service. Of course, every industry is unique and no two companies within one industry are exactly the same. Despite this, you can still make some general inquiries into the need for and the cost of an answering service. The results might surprise you.

Small Business Is Helped Most by an Answering Service

Expanding large and medium businesses, as noted, seem to grasp the reality that having a real person answer the phone at all hours is not a luxury but a necessity. Research indicates, however, that the outfits which benefit most from a phone answering service are small businesses. Part of the dynamic has to do with the depersonalized manner in which business-to-consumer contact is initiated in the digital age. Statistically, most consumers believe their better chance of hearing back from a business when they have a question or an issue is by sending an email. Further, when a customer does call your business and gets an after-hours voicemail, only 20% of the time does that person leave a message. Unfortunately, studies reveal that many voicemails from customers linger for three days without being heard. Up to one in five customer voicemails are not responded to at all. The antidote for these ills is a virtual receptionist, an answering service that fosters an immediate connection between the customer and your business.

There Is a Difference Between a Call Center and Answering Service

Many business owners make no distinction between an answering service and a call center. A call center is a network of telephone agents that both receive and make calls primarily for marketing companies. Their work by definition is extremely high volume and impersonal. Should you ever reach the same person at the call center twice, it is strictly by chance. An answering service differs in that it is not a high-volume attempt to make sales on behalf of a number of businesses. The primary purpose of the answering service is to enable communication between a business and its customers as well as within the firm itself. This means the service often provides critical information that allows a sale or a business deal to be consummated. However, the answering service is not a pressurized sales unit, but rather a communication link.

Answering Services Can Offer Lots of Options

Another distinction between call centers and answering services has to do with options. Businesses that use call centers tend to be locked into a service that has limited flexibility in what it offers. A professionally managed phone answering service, on the other hand, offers a number of adaptable alternatives to its clients.

  • Payment options. The better services may give you the option of paying for their work by the individual phone call or the length of time the customer is on the phone. Since you know how long an informational call for your business usually lasts, you will immediately know which of these options is better for you.
  • Point of origin. Another plus that addresses a long-time concern of business owners is the origin point of the service. Some of the finest after-hours answering firms are based in the U.S.
  • Testing the waters. Finally, before locking your company into a contract without knowing how functional the service will be, you may want to find a service that allows a brief trial period.

An Answering Service Takes Your Business Global

Speaking of being U.S based, some businesses are concerned that an answering service will not be able to deal with international calls. After all, having 24/7 live voice support automatically suggests that people from different parts of the globe can do business with you. It is important to recognize that customers who call you will expect to be conducting business in English, which is universally regarded as the international business language.

Financial Tips For Businesses In 2021

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Financial Tips|Financial Tips For Businesses In 2021As a business owner, it is always important to be intelligent with your finances in order to maximize your bottom line. For many, 2021 is when financial intelligence and careful management are critical with many companies struggling due to COVID-19. The businesses that manage to succeed and come out the other side in a strong position will be those that are intelligent with finances during this time, so what are a few helpful financial tips for businesses that can help right now? Keep reading for a few tips that will hopefully help to improve your company’s financial health in 2021.

Go Through Regular Expenses

One of the first steps to take is to go through all of your regular expenses and to see if you could either cut out the expense or make savings by changing. Keep in mind that cuts and changes could make work harder for staff and/or impact the quality of the product/service you provide, so it is important that you make intelligent cuts and changes that won’t negatively affect the business.

Outsource To Address Staffing Issues

If you find yourself with staffing issues during COVID-19 (like many), it can be hard to know what to do. Hiring new staff can be a huge expense, so instead, a good alternative is to outsource aspects of your operation to specialists. This can lighten the load for your existing staff and ensure that the work is being completed by a specialist without paying expensive employee costs.

Embrace Remote Work

Most businesses have had to experiment with remote work during the pandemic, and many have found that it benefits all parties. One of the main ways it benefits the business is that it helps reduce costs, and you could even downsize or go without a central office once the lease expires to free up a huge amount of money.

Sell Unused Equipment/Buy Second Hand

If you have any equipment that you no longer need, you could look to sell this to raise some extra cash. Alternatively, if you need new equipment for your business but don’t want to spend a fortune on new equipment, you could look to buy second hand. This is a smart way to keep costs down while making key improvements to your business – click here to find more about selling and buying used equipment for your business.

Look Into Solar Power

The world is becoming greener, and every business should be taking action to reduce its environmental impact. One of the most effective ways that you can do this is by switching to solar power, which will not only greatly reduce your environmental impact but also help you to make huge long-term savings. The upfront costs can be high, but ultimately this will prove to be a smart financial investment and help you improve your green credentials in a time when today’s consumer is selective and eco-aware.

Take Out A Loan If You Need It

Many businesses owners are reluctant to take out a loan, but it can actually be incredibly useful and help companies to manage during challenging periods or to cover growth plans (such as the cost of solar panel installation). There are lots of different options in terms of types of loans, so it is important to research each one and find the right type for your business and needs.

Negotiate With Vendors

You might also find that now is a smart time to negotiate with vendors. The pandemic has affected every person and business in different ways, so you might find that they are willing to renegotiate terms and rates that could help you to free up costs. Additionally, if you are coming to the end of your contract, it is worth exploring your options.

Invest In The New Normal

It is also important to realize that things will not simply be “business as usual” and that some changes are here to stay. This means that it is important to invest in the new normal and to adapt your business so that you can thrive in a post-pandemic marketplace, which might include contactless technologies, remote work tools, online services, and more.

Hopefully, these financial tips will come in handy and help you to make smart financial decisions during this challenging time and come out the other side in a strong position to find post-pandemic success. It’s not going to be easy to succeed in this industry due to the effects of the ongoing pandemic, yet these tips can help make it more manageable.

How Can You Show Your Employees You Care?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Care for Employees|How Can You Show Your Employees You Care?You need to take care of your best employees. Because it is difficult to find talented individuals to take over open positions, you need to make sure you keep the best employees you have. Even though you should offer them a competitive salary, this is only going to get you so far. If you really want to convince your best employees to stick around, you need to show them that you care about them as people. How can you do exactly that? There are several ways that you can show your employees just how important they are to your business.

Offer Trips on the Company Dime

The first thing you may want to think about is offering trips on the company dime. Even though your employees may end up on business trips from time to time, you should also send them on vacation. For example, you may want to run a competition where your best employees are going to compete for a free trip somewhere awesome. Or, you may want to offer multiple trips, allowing the winner to pick his or her preferred destination first before moving on to the other people in the company. This will incentivize your employees to work harder while also showing that you care about them.

Provide Your Employees With More Autonomy Over Their Schedules

You may also want to provide your employees with more autonomy over their schedules. For example, a lot of companies have given their employees unlimited vacation time as long as the work gets done. If your employees are working remotely, allow them more control over their own schedules. Let them pick one they work, when they relax, and when they go on vacation as long as they get the work done. If you show your employees that you are willing to provide them with more autonomy over their work schedules, they will be more likely to stick around. They know this is something that they are unlikely to get from other businesses.

Let Your Employees Pick Out Their Equipment

You should also consider allowing your employees to pick out their own equipment. Everyone has slightly different preferences. Therefore, some employees may prefer to work at a standing desk. Other employees may prefer to work at a sitting desk. There are other employees who may have back issues. Therefore, they may require a specific desk chair. As an employer, you should be willing to invest in these items for your employees. If your employees are comfortable, they will be more likely to get their work done on time. You may want to provide them with options for their other equipment as well. For example, you may want to consider offering them custom pencils, special coffee mugs, or even specific lights that could be helpful to them. This can make a significant difference in the overall morale of your employees.

Give Extra Sick Days and Holidays

Finally, you should also take care of your employees by providing them with extra sick days and holidays. Every employer is going to offer a competitive compensation package. If you really want to set yourself apart from the others in your industry, show your employees that you care about them by offering sick days, holidays, bereavement days, and other days off. If one of your employees has a death in the family, they should be allowed to go to the funeral without having to answer any questions. If your employees have to stay home to take care of a sick child, they should be allowed to do so. If you demonstrate to your employees that you view them as people instead of replaceable cogs in a machine, they will be more likely to stick around. Go the extra mile for your employees by giving them time off when they need it.

Take Care of Your Employees

It is important for you to take care of your employees if you really want them to stick around. It can cost a lot of money for your company to find new people, train them, and make them as productive as your current staff. Therefore, this is probably an issue that you would rather avoid. One of the ways you can stay away from this problem is to make sure you take care of your best employees. If you show your employees that you will take care of them, they will take care of you by rewarding you with their loyalty. Reach out to professionals if you want to learn more about how you can take care of your best employees.

Things to Know Before Starting a Small Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Starting a Small Business|Things to Know Before Starting a Small BusinessIt’s pretty brave. Gathering your skills and wits to set sail into the unknown world of a new business venture takes real courage, whether folks admit it or not. There’s just so much you have to keep in mind at all times when you’re starting something new.

Everything will be up to you, ultimately, especially during the early stages of the development of your business. Staffing, rosters, marketing, and even finding ways to send a fax online; will all be your responsibility in the final reckoning. That’s the job of being an owner.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Bigger picture thinking is probably something you do quite well, or you wouldn’t be embarking on this journey to begin with. But, being naturally adept at something doesn’t necessarily make you a master of it without concerted effort.

You’ll have to be able to see exactly how your business will interact within the specific context in which you’re planning to operate. This means developing it from the ground up. You will need to have a very thorough grasp of precisely what it is you’re adding to the market.

Not only will you need to be intimately familiar with the larger perspective, but you’ll also be the one who makes it visible to your team. For this, you’re going to have to be a positive motivator and leader, which is where a lot of entrepreneurs thrive and shine.

The Devil’s in the Details

The flip side of the wider context is those pesky details. Once all the big stuff makes sense, you’re likely to find that it’s all the smaller things that conspire against the entrepreneurial spirit.

Until you’re in a position where you’re able to hire specialists in these nitty-gritty areas, you’re going to have to manage it on your own. Very often, it will seem as if you’re trying to plug a levee that keeps springing new leaks, but there’s no other option.

It’s asking a lot of anybody, but the business world slows down for no one, and the only solution is to have a panoptic view of every single thing that takes place. From the big dream all the way to the littlest feature, all is within your purview.

Know the Law

The last of these three considerations is by no means the least. Having a decent grasp of the laws surrounding your specific business is essential to success, as even businesses with a low legal footprint still have HR regulations and tax laws to navigate.

If your business model involves higher contact with areas of law, such as environmental impact assessments, you will have to become conversant in those areas too. It would be a shame to have created something great, only to run afoul of a legal hurdle somewhere.

Concluding Word

Creating new businesses is what keeps the world ticking along. Every economy on Earth welcomes this pioneering zest, especially because it isn’t easy. You have to be all things to all people, the big idea person and fount of all knowledge rolled into one.

Risk and reward are the binary poles, though, so if you can manage to master the context, the detail, and the legal stuff all at once, you will also be the master of your new life. It’s the start that’s the most difficult of all, however once the ball starts rolling it will gain momentum.

Cutting Expenses: Why Wholesale Solar Panels Are For You

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |wholesale solar panels|Cutting Expenses: Why Wholesale Solar Panels Are For YouWe all want to save money and if we can help the environment, then even better. Wholesale solar panels are a great way to decrease your overall electrical costs and help reduce your carbon footprint. Power plants use non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas to generate the bulk of electricity.

Solar panels reduce the dependence on these fossil fuels and can decrease your electric bill in the process. Solar energy has come a long way through the decades and is more efficient than ever. This guide explains the benefits of solar panels and solar panel installation.

Wholesale Solar Panels Have Great Efficiency

Solar energy has been around for a long time. The earliest solar panels had little efficiency and weren’t capable of generating enough electricity to power a home. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that research into solar energy took off thanks to a push by the federal government.

As the efficiency improved, businesses used the technology to create electricity, but it was out of reach for residential applications. The last couple decades have seen great strides and the price of solar panels for residences has decreased significantly.

It’s not not only a viable option, but the government offers tax benefits for people who install solar panels.

Decrease Electrical Costs

The upfront of solar panel installation is high, but over time it saves you money. Solar panels, if taken care of, can last decades and provide most of the power for your home. Instead of relying on the power grid, you make your own.

Photons emitted from the sun hit the photovoltaic cells on the panel and create electricity. As long as the sun shines, they generate electricity. We’re surprised you’re not already looking for a “solar company near me.”

If you have a battery connected to the solar panels, then energy is stored and used throughout the day and night. You can have electricity even when the sun isn’t out.

Solar Installation and Care

It’s important to choose the correct solar company to install the panels. If you want to save money, then you need to have maximum output. You need installers that specialize in solar panel installation,

Purchasing wholesale solar panels means you’re cutting out the middleman and getting them at the least expensive rate. You can’t beat that.

Once your panels are installed, they need to be maintained. The installers should tell you what needs to be done and when. If the solar panels get dirty or broken, then their efficiency decreases as does their lifespan.

You can have years of inexpensive electricity by choosing the proper installers with a great reputation and taking care of the panels through the years.

Get Your Solar Panels Today

Wholesale solar panels are a great investment for your home and it helps the environment. You get them at the least expensive price and generate pollution free electricity from your home.

If you want to learn more about solar energy or going green, then please explore our site.