Posted on March 23, 2015 by Dan Quick
My Dad used to talk about having champagne tastes and a beer budget in the sense that he always knew he wanted something nice but would always have to settle for whatever was a realistic option in his price range. We’ve all been there and, frankly, we’re probably in this situation more often than not. The double-edged sword of our modern society’s preponderance of options is that, while we are typically presented with options for anything from cellular service to airfare that are reasonably affordable, we are also assaulted with images and advertisements of options that are both much more desirable and astronomically expensive. Why can’t we just have both?
No, I’m not talking about the billion dollar Silicon Valley startups. But just as rare and incredible are the findings of intrepid bargain hunters and savvy business people alike when they find a real value in the marketplace. VirtualPBX Anywhere Plan should satisfy that definition, but the fact is that our award-winning business phone solution can no longer fly below the RADAR. All of the fanfare and recent recognition aside, the incredibly flexible and affordable VoIP phone service for businesses with distributed or mobile workforces has got a coach airfare with Gulfstream accommodations.
TrueACD Queues are only available from VirtualPBX and are one of the most highly sought-after features of our most option-rich, powerful enterprise phone solutions for corporations, call centers, and even national political campaigns. What you may not realize, however, is that they are also part of the standard suite of features on every single Anywhere Plan package. TrueACD Queues outperform basic hunt groups that are common in traditional, physical phone systems in many ways, but none more importantly than in how VirtualPBX makes them available.
We monitor and maintain all of the servers and software that power our virtual phone systems we can improve and service it without you ever experiencing a loss of service. Anywhere Plan customers benefit from this because whenever they need to make a change to their phone system, reroute a call, program a queue, or make any one of literally hundreds of changes to their phone system that they want, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse on their free, online web portal, and we handle the rest.
Infinitely flexible, premium service at pennies to the dollar of what a traditional phone system would cost you may not exactly be Dom Pérignon, but nothing tastes as good as saving tons of money and getting more than you thought possible. Go ahead, take a sip.
Avoiding the Next Tech Bubble
Posted on March 20, 2015 by Dan Quick
Yeah, we live in Silicon Valley, home of the 20-somethings with million dollar homes and genius code junkies who are more likely to afford a new Porsche than they are to have graduated from college. It can get a little weird, a little intimidating, and a lot more volatile. Especially because memories of the dotcom bubble bursting in 2000 are often short, even nonexistent for many Ivy League or Stanford MBA wunderkinds who were in elementary school at the time. But these young, brilliant minds are where thousands of angel investors are betting millions of dollars on in the hopes of getting equity in the next Google. These groups are also, according to billionaire investors Mark Cuban and Bill Gurley, exactly who will be responsible for the next, and in their mind inevitable, big tech crash.
A Penny Spent Is A Penny Burned
“Burn rates, the amount of cash companies are losing every month to operate, are higher than they have ever been,” according to Gurley who says that spending by VC-backed startups is basically out of control. The type of financial outlay that Gurley suggests these early startups of committing is unsustainable in that they are spending in excess of their revenues in attempts to drive growth. This strategy exposes the company to burning out before it has established a solid, foundational business model simply by establishing risky business habits that are, according to Gurley, shortsighted.
But to all rules, of course, there are exceptions. The business software maker, Slack, is breaking even the wildest of molds in every single way. Not only has the company, originally founded as a failed gaming application, reached a billion dollar valuation in an unprecedented eight months, it is doing so while producing admirable revenue with strict adherence to sound financial operations. Purported to only be burning $100,000 a month, the company is rising at a meteoric rate of 7% growth, each week. Yes, it’s true that this type of growth is unsustainable, but having had this growth for most of a year combined with fiscal discipline and a $1 billion bankroll is a reliable recipe for long-term stability.
FOMO Struggles are Real
FOMO, or fear of missing out, as the kids are calling it, is another contributor to what the mega-investors are saying will lead to a possible bubble burst. Mark Cuban made his fortune with getting out near the top of the 2000 dotcom bust with Broadcast.com and has remained a cunning investor ever since, even launching his reality show, Shark Tank, which allows him and other angel investors to capitalize on trends and innovation in any market. Cuban is claiming that, unlike the public companies that failed in 2000 where investors could still sell (though often at a massive or total loss) their stake in failed companies, the current private equity that fuels Silicon Valley is a risk greater than that of merely sitting on the sideline.
With investors lining up to throw money at the newest startups to try and get into the ground floor, there has been an increase in the number of actual accredited investors to over 225,000 such capitalists. Because most people can’t achieve actual VC status, though, there are new opportunities to invest in the burgeoning tech scene in today’s Silicon Valley and beyond. Operations like Angel List are new investment aggregators where for $25,000, anyone can get in the game. The problem, Cuban contends, is that there is no liquidity nor escape hatch for these amateur investors to kick the plug with should their investment go south. With private equity, there’s no public market for their stake in a company so, should their darling startup falter. This unprecedented marriage of middle-American wealth with volatile venture capital is exactly why Cuban believes the effects of a tech correction could be massive.
Hedge Early, Hedge Often
For companies of any size or description, simple steps can be taken to ensure long-term financial stability in the face of market volatility. In this case, the best offense is definitely a good defense. Companies like Slack that are disciplined in their expenses have the best chance of combatting any threats to their business, of course the billion dollars doesn’t hurt, either. For companies that don’t have those coffers to rely on, though, simple steps, like vetting utility providers, can prove invaluable. Flexible payment plans, modifiable options and features, and pooled resources are all characteristics of a solid service partner. Not coincidentally, those are just some of the benefits of VirtualPBX’s award-winning Anywhere Plans.
A commitment to reliability and service is what has seen VirtualPBX through recessions, depressions, and corrections. The unprecedented value of services like the Anywhere Plan is what has helped our customers do the same.
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield said that, “It’s difficult to call a top, but it’s pretty obvious we’re far from the bottom.” This is couldn’t possibly be more true. However, though we don’t know if we’re actually staring down the next tech bubble or not, we remain committed to staying true to our core values and to providing industry-leading innovation at prices that are right for every budget. No matter what the future holds, you can count on that.
Infographic- Anywhere Plans At A Glance
Posted on March 19, 2015 by Dan Quick
VirtualPBX Anywhere Plans are the small business person’s best ally in the the struggle to keep an edge on their competition. Whether it’s with allowing your nimble team to maintain a professional office appearance without sacrificing any of their agility or by keeping a healthy balance sheet with low, flexible pricing plans for every budget, Anywhere Plans deliver for all types of small businesses.
Pot of Gold – Luck is When Preparation Meets Opportunity
Posted on March 17, 2015 by Dan Quick
The Roman philosopher, Seneca, couldn’t have been any more accurate when he opined that luck was merely a happy coincidence of training and the chance to execute thereon. Seeing as how it is St. Patrick’s Day and all, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some pretty good luck that we’ve had at VirtualPBX recently.
Two Products, Two Awards
You may have already seen that the premium business telephone system, VirtualPBX Office, has won the Product of the Year as judged by our industry peers, but VirtualPBX Anywhere plans also just won Product of the Year for Exceptional Innovation this month, too. This is a little bit like lightning striking twice and, under the right circumstances, that could certainly seem like quite a lucky turn of fate. I, however, take a different view on the situation.
It was Thomas Jefferson who said that, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” It is through this lens that I humbly suggest we have come to this point in our history. We work pretty darn hard here to bring our customers the best products, backed by the best service that we can offer. When we stumble, we pick ourselves back up and try again. When we succeed, we ask, “How else can we improve on that next time?” This is how we have tried to create our own luck, and we are very grateful to have had so many of you to help guide us along the way.
That’s Gaelic for “good health” but it’s also just a nice way to toast you all today. To thank you for contributing to our efforts and to help share in the celebration of these two awards and today’s festivities, we’d like to offer you a pot of gold in the form of 10% savings on Anywhere Plans to you and your colleagues.
You can click here for all of the details on the 10% discount or you can always reach out to our local, live, and free Customer Support Team (who have also received awards for quality service in the past, I might add!) who are standing by to help in anyway they can. But don’t wait too long, this deal won’t last forever, and plus there may be some green beer in their future this evening, too.
Thanks again and have a safe and happy St. Paddy’s Day!
Auto-Attendant & Waffle Irons
Posted on March 13, 2015 by Dan Quick
Fake it Until You Make It: Auto-Attendant
I remember going into one of my first interviews at a financial firm years ago remembering what a broker I worked with used to tell me, “fake it until you make it.” I went into that room with the intention of doing just that and, who would have thought? They saw right through me. Trying to be something you aren’t isn’t just a bad idea, it’s bad business.
Polite Introduction, Impressive Polish
Fast forward to today when I was thrilled to learn about how one of our satisfied customers uses his Auto Attendant feature. He likes the VirtualPBX features so much that he left a glowing Yelp review that you can find on our Testimonials page. Auto Attendant is the best way to get a centralized call directory experience for your callers. Answering and providing options to callers without an actual receptionist is more than just a way to cut down on overhead and operational costs, it’s also a way to elevate the first experience callers will have with your company.
David V., a customer from Rowland Heights, CA, said that, “We’ve been using VirtualPBX for years. It helps our company appear much bigger than it is while also providing the services we need.”
That is a terrific review and we’re thrilled to help people boost their morale with such a dialed-in, detailed decorum. However, I would also like to suggest that David already had the professionalism and stature that he found in the Auto-Attendant all along.
No Need to Pretend
It was while I was reading David’s review that I was reminded of the advice from my former coworker. I don’t believe that companies like David’s need to fake anything, I believe he already has the large, successful corporation that he wants to be viewed as, VirtualPBX merely made it possible to sound that way a little bit sooner. Was Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman not already a visionary when he used his wife’s waffle iron to make the sole of the company’s first running shoe? Of course he was. And just like how Nike saw how it could rival the then-dominant Adidas with an innovative, cost-effective alternative, companies like David’s are doing the same thing every day.
VirtualPBX’s Auto-Attendant and the mountain of other features it comes with are helping entrepreneurs find innovative, cost-effective alternatives to the relative indentured servitude of traditional phone service. With the vision to see and seize an advantage, and the right tools to get the job done, VirtualPBX is helping today’s David’s become tomorrow’s Bowerman’s.
Get in touch today and see how we can help make your business dream a reality.