Category Archives for "Small Business"

Preparing your business telecommunications
Oct 10

Preparing Your Business Telecommunications For The Unknown

By Mobex | Business Communication , Business Tips , Cloud Communications , Mobile Communication Technology , Small Business , Unified Communications , Virtual PBX , VoIP

A recent survey revealed that 74% of American small businesses do not have a disaster plan, 84% do not have adequate insurance, and 71% lack a back-up generator.

Disasters can destroy property and inventory, leading to dire consequences for small businesses. During these uncertain times, it could be devastating for a business to lose its ability to communicate. However, with proper planning and preparation, a business can ensure that its phone system will continue operating during emergencies and be there to help rebuild after disasters strike.

Businesses that rely on premise equipment like phone systems can lose their ability to communicate in an instant even if they have onsite back-ups or redundancy. With a comprehensive cloud communication solution your business communications can continue uninterrupted even in the most precarious situations.

When called upon, there is no hardware to boot, no software to run, and no data to move. When the rest of you office systems go down, your phone service can be automatic transferred to a predetermined location or you can bypass this automatic failover and manage the transition on your own schedule.

Advantages:

• Calls can be routed to alternate locations, such as cellular phones, secondary branch offices, home phones, or virtual phones setup by Mobex
• Rerouting of calls can happen automatically or manually from a remote location
• Keep an automated attendant or IVR up and running during any crisis or disaster
• Ensure alternative telecommunications routing capabilities with redundant call paths
• Use remote office or mobile services to resume normal business operations quickly
• The basic disaster avoidance solution is a standard feature of Mobex’ comprehensive cloud communication solutions.

Even after a disaster has passed it could take days or weeks for power and internet to be restored. Most businesses cannot wait that long. Having the ability to reroute calls anywhere at any time can be a business lifesaver during and after a catastrophe.

The benefits are many, but most important of all is that your business communication will never stop, even during the worst of times. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive cloud communication solutions.

You can also continue your disaster readiness by using these helpful tools for businesses:

-Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards by using these resources from Ready.gov.

-The SBA also has resources that will help you develop a plan to protect your business and re-open quickly after an emergency.

-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides. These tools help your business better understand what steps to take after an event occurs.

-The SBA also offers low-interest disaster loans to businesses, homeowners, renters & private non-profit organizations. Get additional details at www.sba.gov/disaster

-The US Chamber of Commerce has set up a Disaster Help Desk for Businesses to ask questions. Simply call 888-MY-BIZ-HELP

-To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, first call FEMA at 800-621-3362

Benefits in Upgrading to SIP Trunks
Jul 15

10 Benefits of Using SIP Trunks

By Mobex | Business Communication , Business Tips , Mobex , PBX , SIP Trunks , Small Business

One of the most underrated, yet valuable, cost-cutting measures in the marketplace for businesses of all sizes, SIP trunks are the means by which you can take a traditional, sometimes unreliable, and expensive phone service and turn it into more affordable, easier to manage, Internet calls. Not only does it make your service stress-free and more efficient, but also much more budget friendly.

SIP trunks are an ultimate solution for companies that currently own PBX hardware and want to cut down on monthly expenses. SIP trunks work directly with the PBX, the hardware that connects outside and inside callers with the desired line. This way, the calls are completed via the Internet, which makes the complete service much cheaper and provides the business with greater functionality.

Here are Mobex’s Top 10 Reasons to Use SIP Trunks:

  • The savings potential – They are ideal for companies with numerous extensions and a moderate amount of simultaneous external calls. The number of SIP trunks you purchase directly correlates to your external call volume rather than number of employees. For example, if you have 20 employees and expect no more than four external calls at any given time, you will only need four SIP trunks. So, dependent upon your individual needs, that could potentially be a huge cost cutter.
  • Eliminate overlapping networks and their costs – Instead of operating and maintaining both data and telephone voice networks, one internet-based network provides both capabilities.
  • Reliability – SIP Trunking is very stable. Rather than being at the mercy of local events such as power or circuit outages, SIP trunking can automatically be rerouted to other offices, mobile phones, or virtually anywhere based on your business rules.
  • The features – One of our favorite benefits of using Internet calls over traditional phone service is the numerous features. The majority of plans come with options like unlimited extensions, easy call forwarding, detailed caller ID, simple-to-use conference calls, and the ability to have voicemails sent to emails.
  • Mobility SIP Trunking can help tie together mobile devices and remote workers by enabling a blend of premise and cloud based services.
  • Cheaper international calling – Having SIP trunks not only reduce the cost of internal and domestic external calls, but also international calls. This is an area in which traditional phone services still haven’t caught up.
  • Grow when you are ready Unlike a traditional phone system that requires pre-planning for future capacity needs, SIP Trunks can be added on demand when additional needs arise.
  • No Capital Investment With SIP you can leverage the investment you’ve already made in your local PBX without having to make any additional equipment investments.
  • Get rid of costly 800 numbers, but not the convenience – Instead of providing customers with an “800 number,” local numbers can be provided in each city, which are terminated locally when picked up and place on the Internet.
  • Unlimited calling! As we keep saying, using SIP trunks is cheaper, often 50-60% cheaper than traditional service. Although using a PBX with VolP cuts down on costs by itself, it’s only for internal calls. SIP trunks are what makes ALL calls less expensive. No more counting calls, you would now have the option to go unlimited.

No matter how big or small your company happens to be, SIP Trunking could offer great benefit for you. For more information about our SIP trunks or any of our services (or to set up your order!), click here.

Mobex provides business caliber telecommunications with customizable features to help you better connect with your customers. With Mobex, you have the added benefit of giving your small business a large business feel, and added security and value to your customers.

Jul 06

How VoIP Can Help Small Businesses

By Mobex | Business Communication , Small Business , Unified Communications , VoIP

In our previous posts we have examined the many benefits of switching from standard phone service to what’s known as a VoIP. VoIP phones use voice over IP technology for placing and transmitting telephone calls over an IP network, such as your Internet service, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network.

We know it has been easy to see how the advantages of VoIP we have featured are beneficial for medium to large organizations, but a bit difficult to see how they are just as valuable for small businesses.

Here are just a few of the variety of benefits our clients with small companies have found by switching to VoIP.

  1. Increased productivity.

Small businesses usually operate with a very small team that only has so much time in the office, it’s all about quality over quantity. So any uptick in productivity can go a lot further and mean a lot more than it might at a larger organization. With VoIP, every employee can have access to the network and their calls and email whenever and wherever they are. Employees will enjoy the chance to telecommute while still having full functionality.

  1. Decreased expenditures.

As a small organization, we know you don’t have the largest budget with which to work. Telephone service is traditionally known as a huge, but clearly necessary, expense. With VoIP, telecommunications no longer have to be such a burdensome line item.  First and foremost, they don’t necessitate the massive amounts of equipment that traditional phone service does. Therefore, you save a significant amount for choosing VoIP from the very beginning. However, have no fear, because of its scalability, you won’t break the bank by making a switch or by having to add services as your company grows and needs increase.

  1. Simplified technology.

When issues arise with a traditional phone system, getting them fixed can be quite a process. A process that costs business owners – especially those with small companies – significant time and money, neither of which they can afford. Remedying issues with VoIP service is much easier, as they’re usually connected to a simple user error or an issue with the vendor. The majority of the time the problem can be fixed by someone onsite or with help over the phone, and not by waiting on an expensive technician to come to the office.

  1. Improved access.

Essentially, with VoIP you get all of the same toys the big boys have. You don’t have to wait months or years to be able to utilize all of the telecommunications larger companies have. You can have all them now, and for less than what you would have been paying for a rotary phone.

Jun 15

Cloud Based Phone System

By Mobex | Business Communication , Business Tips , Customer Service , Mobex News , Mobile Communication Technology , Small Business , Uncategorized , Unified Communications

Imagine a world in which you can tie numerous locations into only one phone system, allow employees to utilize their desk numbers on their smartphones, and easily add and change features in minutes, not days. Those are just a few advantages of having a cloud-hosted phone system. Overall, switching from a traditional system to a cloud system lowers costs, improves customer service, and expands employee capability and productivity.

Many organizations still utilize traditional phone systems designed for the working environment of 15-20 years ago. Employees came into an actual office every day to work off of landlines and desktops. Working from home wasn’t an option, and affordable, user-friendly laptops and smartphones were still to come.

Cloud phone systems were developed for today’s ever-changing business environment, providing the ultimate in scalability for companies of all sizes, and employees to do their job whenever and wherever they are.

Mobex believes you should go cloud-hosted phone system for multiple reasons, these being the most attractive:

  1. Mobility and efficiency.

Tools utilized within the cloud are easy to use any time, from anywhere, including a smartphone, desktop, laptop, or desk phone. Instant messages, email, voice capabilities, and even CRM tools are available whenever they’re needed. This level of access is integral when employees work remotely, and increases efficiencies in overall processes and workflows.

  1. Flexibility and continuity.

Whether a business is growing or down-sizing, its telecommunications needs will change. In the midst of a rapid growth phase, it could change quite often, from new employees and more customers to a change in office spaces. A cloud-based system can easily scale up or down as needed, without the costs associated of changing a traditional system.

In addition, as changes occur or as workers travel and transfer, employees will remain connected to each other and customers no matter what.

  1. Upgraded customer service.

With so many features and capabilities, you can easily direct calls to any department or employee and create custom messages and greetings for each division. This way customers have a more seamless and unique experience, as opposed to feeling like just one more insignificant person in a queue.

  1. Lower costs.

One of the biggest (and most eye-catching) benefits of a could system, transferring telecommunications from a traditional system to the cloud is typically less expensive than the monthly fees associated with the former, standard plan.

May 04

Tips for Expanding Your Small Business

By Mobex | Business Tips , Small Business

Starting a business, no matter how big or small, takes a lot of time and research. You probably read a dozen books, spent a collective 120 hours online, and talked to at least 20 close friends and relatives. Then you spent a good portion, if not all, of your life savings and immeasurable time and sweat getting your business up and running. And now it’s paying off. So what’s next?

For those of you who lived through the startup process and are finding success, first of all, congratulations! Second of all, what’s next? Time to grow? Offer new products? In this post for National Small Business Week, we take a look at tips and advice for expanding your small business.

Talk to your customers.

No one knows the ins and outs of your business like you do. However, no one knows how well your business is truly perceived by the community and other consumers quite like your regular customers do. See what they think. Talk them while they’re in store and go online and see what they’re really saying. But be prepared for a few things you might not want to hear. If you’re thinking about growing, however, constructive criticism can ensure you’re headed in the right direction.

Review your marketing strategy.

If you are only looking to increase revenue before you make any growth or expansion plans, take a look at building a better marketing plan. There is nothing greater than word of mouth, but you must do your part. Are you routinely active on social media? Facebook and Twitter are staples. But dependent upon your type of business, Instagram and Pinterest might be good additions. And a Yelp profile is a must. Although most features on Yelp are free, talk to one of their sales reps (every market has a team) about additional options that fit within your budget. This helps your visibility and search optimization. The same thing goes for Facebook, boosting a post or paying for an ad, if only $20-$50, goes a long way.

Don’t be afraid to partner with other businesses for cross-promotions as well. A well-planned alliance with another brand can pay off quickly. For example, if you’re running a hair and nail salon, why not work with a local gym or spa to create a “total transformation package” or discount options for using both facilities within the same week or moth? Partnerships can go a long way without costing you a substantial amount of resources.

Explore financing options.

In our last post we took a look at tips and tricks for getting a small business loan to help get started. But now that you’re thinking about expanding, it might be time to review your loan options, should you not have sufficient funds on hand. You might need a new office space, to take over the store next door, and/or to hire new staff. If your regular financial institute isn’t an option, apply for financing assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. They are committed to helping small businesses be successful and offer numerous programs for a wide variety needs.

Open another location.

Your marketing is on point, you’ve got your bank on board for financing, and your customers are coming from miles away. Clearly what you have is what they want. Don’t let someone else move in across town with a similar concept. Don’t be afraid to open another location. The worst thing a business of any size can do is not capitalize on its market, especially in a growing community.

Look at new technology.

Not staying on top of current technologies can hurt your business or potential expansion plans. Upgrading, from your POS and computers to your phone system, improves many areas: productivity, time management, efficiencies, and more. Not to mention cost! This is an area in which Mobex can definitely help. From VolP options and call center improvements to a cordless office, we have customized telecommunications solutions for businesses of all sizes, including those that are planning on expanding.

May 02

Small Business Week: Finding a small business bank loan

By Mobex | Business Tips , Small Business

Since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week each year. This week puts the spotlight on America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners and their essential contributions to our economy and society.  Comprising nearly two out of every three new jobs in the United States, more than half of our population works for a small business. Mobex provides telecommunication solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes and we genuinely value our partnerships with small business owners. Because of this, and in honor of National Small Business Week, we are kicking off a series dedicated to tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and anyone considering launching his or her own small business. Today, we will explore tips on finding a small business bank loan.

Be strategic.

Don’t go into a bank with a “hat in hand” attitude or some form of sob story. Be strong. Be confident. Remember that the banks need loans and accounts in order to make their business model work. Look at the bank as a new partnership. They need you just as much as you need them.

Be patient.

Unless you already know the banker with whom you are working, this relationship is brand new. They do not know you, what type of person you are, or how dedicated to your business you are. Should you qualify for a loan on the first visit, don’t expect it to be the amount you want (or need). Get to know them – your loan officer, the tellers, everyone – while you put their money to good use. Foster the partnership well and you can expect your credit line to increase as needed.

Know your bottom line.

A strategic working relationship is great, however, the boss’s boss at the bank only cares about your past, present, and potential revenue. Know your numbers upside down and backwards when you schedule that first meeting.

Don’t wait.

Even if you’re six months away from asking for a loan, start shopping banks early. Research online and get recommendations from friends or owners of similar-size businesses; you’ll want someone familiar with dealing with and lending to startups. Then take time to meet with potential banks; get to know the loan officers and a feel for the environment. Ideally, you want a long-term relationship and you don’t want it just anywhere.