If you’re the owner of a small business, compared to larger businesses with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue or more, you have fewer resources to grow as you want to and less time (their CEO have more assistants, VPs and secretaries to execute than you do) to do it in.
What’s awesome of about the growth of hosted applications is that they are bringing so many new and improved virtual services enabling you to completely maximize every dollar and every minute of every day.
Beyond having the right technology it is so important, no matter how small you are to find others to help you do more. If having a full time employee is not for you, or you already have employees but don’t want to hire more just yet, consider working with a “virtual assistant” (and give them an appropriate title for your needs) or traditional “in office” consultant to help you do more.
I’ve found that eLance is an awesome service to find free lancers and facilitate their payment as well.
Having said all of this, one of the newest tools I’ve come across is a virtual call center, by ifbyphone, it’s named lead distributor.
So here’s the scenario, you’re in a business that relies on phone calls coming in to a call center and being answered by sales, marketing, support or others. Traditionally, your tele-agents are in one or more fixed locations. By using a virtual call center you can have agents located anywhere. What’s neat about ifbyphone’s service is that once you set it up, you can have a call center, just like your bigger competitors, but taking ofter the nimble JetBlue your agents can be at home or wherever you allow them to be.
You determine how your calls get answered based on the time of day, day of week, caller ID, and number of calls previously transferred to a particular phone number.
Having a virtual call center is just one example of leverage “virtual or hosted technologies”
if you’re smart and embrace technology you’ll be able to grow your business by leveraging technology. You probably need to spend money to make money but hosted applications and having a smart technologist can help you do so much more than you ever thought possible.
Here’s more telephone options:
Gotvmail, VirtualPBX, OneBox and Ring Central all provide virtual telephone systems.
Microsoft’s Response Point and TalkSwitch provide physical appliances that manage your phone system.
M5 offers a managed telephone system. The telephone system is completely hosted and managed by M5 via direct, private data lines.
Skype and other “voice over the Internet services” provide a wide range of telephony functions – some free and some low cost.
Most of these services can be integrated into your web site, database and other applications. Having a relationship with a programmer is a smart move as well.