Posted on May 22, 2015 by Dan Quick
This Memorial Day weekend you’ll hopefully be out camping, picnicking, road tripping, or just hanging around with your friends and family. One thing that we hope is involved no matter what you have in store, however, is a recognition of the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families so that we could all enjoy the freedom to do whatever we please this long weekend.
There has been a rising tide of desirability for having veterans on staff as their many leadership and objectives-based qualities are just what corporate America looks for in ideal candidates. Furthermore, many veterans are taking their innate skills and focusing on building their own companies backed by the increasing number of entrepreneurial lending options catered just to veterans.
For years, VirtualPBX has been committed to supporting our nation’s service men and women as they reenter into civilian life. Fueled by the new influx of capital provided by veteran-focused investment, many of whom are bound to continue accomplishing new missions in business. Having trudged challenging roads enough already, we want to make their pathway to success in business as smooth as possible from here. That’s why we offer and will maintain evergreen, special military pricing incentives on our award-winning VirtualPBX business telephone service for current and former servicemen and women.
We know that what we have to offer pales in comparison to that which has been given to us so freely by our nation’s veterans. We also know that, while every customer benefits from our industry-leading support, we take unique care and pride in each and every one of our veterans that we have the honor to serve.
Thank you to all of our veterans, their families, and all active men and women in the Armed Forces. We hope you all get a moment of rest this weekend as we honor you and your sacrifices. If we can help you in any way or if you have any questions about the special military pricing, please do not hesitate to contact one of our expert support representatives today.
RadioShack- Building a Powerful Franchise One Transistor At a Time
Posted on May 18, 2015 by Dan Quick
Some of us will remember being able to buy any number of different components to build a transistor radio or basic computers at the local RadioShack. Heck, even the first wearable technology, Lizzy, was constructed with a few odds and ends that came from the nationwide hardware retailer. Though things have not been so rosy lately for the ‘Shack. With the advent of online retail and big box stores decimating their market share over the last 15 years, the venerable retailer has had to make some big changes to stay afloat.
Founded in 1921 by a pair of ham radio enthusiast brothers, RadioShack has been a model of American franchise business. Even in spite of deciding to close nearly 20% of their locations in 2014, RadioShack persists to be a desirable franchise business opportunity and still cracked into the top 150 companies in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500 list of best franchise investments. Though there are many financial reasons that contributed to this favorable listing, one of the most valuable propositions of owning a RadioShack franchise has been far less tangible.
Even in the current state of affairs where RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, there persists a very profitable endeavor to acquire the majority of their locations. If the company is in decline, sells dated technology, and is currently contracting, though, why then would there exist a bidding war for their last storefronts? The same things that investors want from them now is what entrepreneurs and IT professionals have known they would be able to get from them for almost a century- a consistent, authentic, enthusiast’s experience for communications technology. Creating a solid brand experience is one thing, curating and preserving it through global expansion how RadioShack has done for decades is entirely another. Maintaining that purity of a brand as it is entrusted to a multitude of franchisees is something that throttles many business owners as they look to expand their own companies. It doesn’t have to be that scary.
No, that’s not a riddle or Zen kōan, it’s how business owners maintain consistent brand standards with their franchise partners everyday with VirtualPBX Franchise Phone Systems. With locations growing and cropping up all over the country, there exist two key challenges to keeping a brand’s core experience intact, Customer Connection and Brand Cohesion.
You’ve built a successful regional or national brand, how do you continue to connect customers over an increasingly large area with the right locations during rapid expansion? The best way to do that is with singular, corporate contact points in the form of your existing website and a national toll-free number. Just having a toll-free number can be a drain on your staffing requirements if it requires a call-center and operator functions, though. VirtualPBX toll-free numbers can be programmed to automatically direct your callers to the most appropriately located by identifying the caller’s area code and routing it to the nearest franchisee.
manage, change, edit, and monitor the content and function of the toll-free number from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection.
RadioShack didn’t have access to these types of unified communications when it was founded. They, like you, have relied on the tried and true method of identifying a need and providing a reliable and valuable solution to fill that gap in their communities. Today, you can utilize the latest iterations of technologies that were designed with RadioShack components to ensure that your brand’s growth can be at least as potent, consistent, and effective as even the largest franchises in the world.
To learn more about how VitualPBX’s unified communications strategies can best be employed for your business, you can read more about it on our blog or get in touch with one of the VirtualPBX Franchise Experts today.
National Bike To Work Day
Posted on May 14, 2015 by Dan Quick
May is National Bike Month and today with the second full week being Bike to Work Week and today, Thursday May the 14th, is National Bike to Work Day. That basically is like the epicenter of the your-co-worker-might-be-a-bit-stinkier-than-usual month that marks (for most) the gateway into the summer months. All of the added hours of commute time that the budget-conscious, fitness-oriented and environmentally-minded cyclists in the office will have to put in this month, plus the days away from the office that typically occur during the coming summer months, make finding ways to stay connected when on the road even more important.
Though cell phones, laptops, and devices galore have become ubiquitous in today’s society, not everyone wants to leverage their digital flexibility at the expense of their personal freedom. Giving out personal information like mobile and home phone numbers makes delineating clear lines between the beginning and ending of work hours difficult. Even for sales executives who are on-call more often than not, maintaining an element of anonymity for the times they do not want to be disturbed by work is important for a healthy work/life balance. Furthermore, for either budgetary or logistical reasons, carrying separate mobile devices for work and for personal use is not a realistic solution for many people or businesses.
Forget for a moment how ridiculous this expression is (seriously, I always eat all the cake I have, every time) and focus on how great it is when things work out with a double-whammy like it implies. Now you can use any device to conduct business. Whether it’s your work, personal, family, or borrowed device, as long as it has an internet connection, the VirtualPBX Softphone App mirrors your office presence from anywhere, anytime.
The VirtualPBX Softphone is an application that uses internet, wifi, or a network data connections to create a portal into your company’s hosted PBX system so that you can access it remotely. By using the company’s existing phone network, you can mask all of your communications with the work telephone number that you use when you’re at your desk in the office. No more missed calls, no need to share private information.
Unlike how some of your bike-riding co-workers may have realized that they probably could have benefitted from a few rides beforehand to ramp up to their commute today, you don’t have to prepare anything to get started with the VirtualPBX Softphone App. In fact, the sooner you get the desktop or mobile app download, the sooner you can start working remotely as if you were in the office.
If you have any questions about the Softphone App or hosted telephone service for your business, you can always contact our award-winning VoIP for Business Experts. They have probably cleaned-up from their rides in by now, too.
Blocking and Tackling: It’s all about Fundamentals
Posted on May 12, 2015 by Dan Quick
For sports fans, the Bay Area is a great place to live. We have two Major League Baseball teams, two National Football league teams, a National Basketball Association team (go Warriors!), a National Hockey League team, a Major League Soccer squad, and a host of other pro and semi pro teams ranging from Roller Derby to Cycling and everything between. Maybe it’s the great weather or big industries that are synonymous with Northern California, or maybe it’s just that we’re really fortunate, but the point is that we have an abundance of opportunities to improve business with lessons from professional sports.
Recently the NFL held its annual draft of college players into the pro ranks and this inspired many conversations around the office concerning each prospect’s relevant skills and upside potential. In spite of an impressive 40-yard-dash or bench press reps completed, however, the key thing that it always came back to was how fundamentally strong the athlete was. In sports, just like in business, how strong a foundational skillset and functional intelligence an athlete or company has will dictate much of how scalable and ultimately how successful they will be.
We’ve discussed in the past how important basic operations and balance sheets are for avoiding a potential tech collapse, but basic skills go beyond accounting into other compliance and regulatory areas, too. For many large industries, like healthcare, legal, and any service capacity, proper record keeping isn’t just good business, it’s often times a matter of regulatory necessity.
They say a big part of success is just showing up, that’s true in a lot of ways and the concept extends to other areas of being present, too. Dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s is not the sizzle to any workplace steak, but it often makes the difference between success and failure. Think about how important procedure is in a court of law where improperly handled evidence or questioning can result in mistrials or dismissals. From a reporting perspective, many pitfalls and regulatory sanctions can be avoided by simply keeping organized records.
Recording conversations, contacts, and events has become easier with email archiving, but for many businesses that is merely one portion of their communication. With so many critical conversations still occurring over the phone, establishing an equally reliable and automated call-recording procedure is the best way to mirror an electronic message capturing protocol.
VirtualPBX has a battery of call recording features that achieve the highest standard of compliance for business to keep running smoothly. From the convenience of the Extension Manager, call recording preferences can be set and changed from anywhere there is an internet connection and in real time. Features include-
- Set automated call recording by extension or by entire queue
- Toggle recording in call with a simple key-pad entry
- Set recording storage and delivery preferences to email, cloud storage, or send a recording directly to your DropBox account
The basics of record-keeping and operations aren’t solely responsible for a company’s success, but improperly addressing these things can effectively damage the chances of that success. To discuss how your company can keep its fundamentals strong with automated call recording and storage, contact one of the compliance experts at VirtualPBX today.
Grow With Confidence – Franchise Phone Systems
Posted on May 8, 2015 by Dan Quick
There exist hosts of challenges to growing any business. For some businesses, many of those challenges can be avoided by shifting their growth strategies to a franchise model. Franchises allow for more rapid expansion and iteration, but also come with some concerns unique to them.
Perhaps the biggest concern for expanding franchises is that they risk diluting the core brand that made them successful in the first place with every new franchisee they open. Not being able to directly oversee operations in all locations is a relative leap of faith for many business owners, but with the implementation of certain technology strategies, this becomes far less of a Hail Mary.
By implementing a franchise phone system, businesses can easily unify every franchise location in a single, nationally recognized, and appropriately branded fashion. With hosted PBX phone systems, every location can be routed to just like they were all different lines in the same office building. Unlike traditional, on-premises phone systems that require a physical connection to each telephone, VirtualPBX makes distance irrelevant and can connect all locations, even those that use a local phone number, to a single national toll-free number.
Another benefit of utilizing a cloud-based telephone solution is that customers never have to know exactly where the nearest franchise location is. VirtualPBX offers a variety of different routing methods whereby inbound calls are routed instantaneously and based off the most appropriate metrics. Either with automatic analysis of the inbound callers’ three-digit Area Code or by offering a prompt to enter a zipcode or any other distinguishing number for a business, calls are always sent exactly to where they can be served quickly, passing on the benefits of a nationally recognized company to the franchisees.
These hosted telephone solutions are more advanced than can be achieved by even the most robust physical telephone systems, and yet they are also much more cost effective, as well. By switching to a hosted telephone service, many companies stand to save upwards of 40%-80% over their current, on-site options. We’re thrilled to have been able to help countless businesses achieve their goals by offering them a bolstered national appearance all while cutting their operational costs considerably. You can read about some of our satisfies customers through our reviews, and the 55Places.com case study that deals directly with franchise and call routing across a national network.
For any additional questions on how a VirtualPBX phone system can positively impact your business, get in touch with our expert, award-winning Customer Support Team today.