Whether an organisation is a Start-up Business or not the development of its identity and the maintenance of it brand is vital for continued success. Part of the mix are considerations around communications. A new website and social media presence will be required and an important component will be effectively addressing the Start-up Business Telephone requirements.
Bootstrapping a Start-up Business
Many businesses are set up with limited finances, or with no external financial input, a start-up process called bootstrapping. Investopedia defines bootstrapping as:
“A situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital. An individual is said to be boot strapping when he or she attempts to found and build a company from personal finances or from the operating revenues of the new company.”
In circumstances like this operating costs have to be kept to a minimum and from a telephony perspective one of two solutions are chosen:
- Using a personal mobile phone number
- Using the home landline phone number
Whilst either of these options can help save money in the short term problems can arise sooner rather than later.
Issues with using a Personal Mobile Phone
To begin with everything is working well. You can keep in touch with your customers wherever you are and they can contact you. Then comes the first call from a client in the evening when you have just sat down to dinner with the family. Another is made on a Saturday when you’re at a football or rugby game. The separation between work and family life is broken.
To re-establish some work life balance you decide to purchase a second mobile phone, for business use only. Because giving a new mobile number to all your friends and family will be too disruptive.
This is turned off outside of the working day allowing the associated voicemail service to pick up client messages. BUT a number of clients still have your personal number and persist with calling that one. Not to mention that, overnight, you have doubled your mobile phone costs. Plus, you are now carrying around two mobiles for most of the week.
Issues with using the Home Landline
You don’t use the home phone for making personal calls anymore because you have a mobile with a great minutes package. In addition few of your friends and family call you on the home number anyway. So using the home phone for your business seems to make sense. You even decide to forward incoming calls from this home number to your mobile phone so that you can maintain a presence whilst you are out and about.
Tying the home phone to your mobile for incoming calls quickly puts you in to the situations described earlier. Breaking the separation you desire between a working and family life. Especially when you need to make a call to a client when you’re away from home and using your mobile is the only option.
Moving Into Your First Office
Then comes the day when your business has grown, you are successful, and you want to move in to an office. To accommodate a team of staff now working for you. Your home number is now intrinsically linked to your business brand.
Porting your number in to a newly purchased telephone system is possible BUT this will cease your home landline and the broadband service running over it. If you decide to purchase a new business number, with the telephone system required to support you and your team, how do you keep in touch with your current client base? Will they properly record your new number when you send it to them?
Perhaps, more importantly how much business are you going to lose because prospective clients still call your old number. When they don’t get an answer they decide you have gone out of business becoming clients of your direct competitor.
Start-up Business and SME Telephone Solutions
Business VoIP Telephone Services offer a great solution for both Start-ups and SMEs. Regardless of whether staff are office based, mobile or working from multiple geographic locations. In fact, cloud telephony solutions offer so many powerful features that many businesses investigate their use before considering any other options.
How can VoIP provide a solution for Start-up Businesses?
With all business VoIP solutions a company can be supplied with a geographic number range and a wide range of associated call plan features for a set monthly subscription. Voicemail should be included in the service and a minutes package will provide free inclusive calls to both UK landlines and mobile phones.
Maintaining a work life balance – with the introduction of an App on a mobile phone business calls can be made without presenting the mobile number to clients. The hosted VoIP service presents the geographic company number for every outgoing call and manages incoming calls routing them through to the App. Logging out of the App at the end of the day, or activating the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature will ensure all calls are picked up by the voicemail service.
Removing the reliance on physical phone lines – because the telephone service is run by a cloud server a business only needs connectivity to the internet to operate the system. No longer are businesses restricted by the number of physical phone lines they have when making and receiving calls. In addition, businesses can move without worrying about losing their telephone service or disrupting overlying data services such as broadband prior to their relocation.
And the price?
For less than the cost of a new business mobile phone contract, or the supply of a new business telephone line a company can purchase a Business VoIP Subscription. Make and receive calls from the published geographic number and make use of a weekly schedule that automatically presents an out of hours voicemail service.
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