Dash Business Phone System Interface

VirtualPBX Blog Authors

The VirtualPBX Blog showcases topics that matter most to your business. Whether we discuss a trending Top 5 or dig deep into telephony, these features offer something for every business.

Author: Casey Houser

Start Your Online Consulting Business With Only 500 Calling Minutes

Business Conversation - Start Your Own Online Consulting BusinessYou can make headway today in starting your own consulting business on the side. All you need is 500 nationwide calling minutes from VirtualPBX.

500 minutes is how much you receive when you sign up for the VirtualPBX 500 Unlimited User Plan. It provides you with a number of professional features like a Business Phone Number and Call Forwarding. And more than anything, it gives your consulting business a necessary outlet for reaching your clients.

Armed with your knowledge of a specific market, you can complete a lot of calls with that amount of air time. Let’s see how a Business Phone Plan can meet the criteria for your consulting business checklist.

Make Calls From Anywhere With Web Phone

VirtualPBX Web PhoneOne of the most important elements of our Unlimited User Plans is their inclusion of the VirtualPBX Web Phone.

You can use Web Phone to make calls from anywhere you have a data connection. It runs in the web browser of your computer and phone, and gives you instant access to your growing address book.

As your consulting business increases in popularity, one-click selections of important contacts and access to your call history and voicemail will be essential. Your follow-up calls to clients will play a key role in your hustle, so Web Phone will certainly become a staple of your daily activity.

Inbound Calls Through Call Forwarding

VirtualPBX Call Forwarding MenuFor all its power, you may still wish to accept inbound calls from outside Web Phone. This is where Call Forwarding will become your ally.

Prospective customers will begin to see your advertisements and hear about your services through word-of-mouth. Their outreach to you will take a different path than your cold calls to them. Specifically, you’ll want to set your Automated Attendant with a custom greeting so clients know exactly who they’re reaching.

Then calls can be directed to your personal smartphone through Call Forwarding. You can use this exclusively or in tandem with Web Phone as your primary device. The flexibility of Call Forwarding + Web Phone lets you start a consulting business on the right foot because you can place and accept calls on your own terms.

Start a Consulting Business the Right Way

Don’t let your talents go to waste. You know you already have the specific knowledge necessary to help others grow in their own markets.

Now, with a VirtualPBX Phone Plan, you can spread the message of your own business and keep in touch with all your clients. For a consulting business, the conversations never end, since that’s mostly the service you’re selling. We can start you with 500 minutes you can use to hit the ground running; then if it’s ever time to upgrade to something more, we’ll be here for that too.

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How to Start a Side Hustle

Man Using Laptop - How to Start a Side HustleWe’re glad you’ve reached the VirtualPBX blog today in search of information about how to start a side hustle.

Today we’d like to share with you some information about how you can establish your budding business with the proper communications tools. We’ll cover online chat, chatbots, and phone systems (our favorite).

Stick with us to see how the right Business Phone Plan, alongside other customer outreach tools, can help you start and succeed with your new side hustle.

Your Side Hustle Needs Communication

No profitable business exists without customers – they’re the overarching constant between all industries. They play as essential a role for enterprises as they do for you, the side hustle entrepreneur.

On Day 1 of your journey, when you’re still crawling the internet for “how to start a side hustle?”, the most direct reaction you should have to this ever-present need for customers is that you must remain connected to them.

Give your present and future customers methods to reach you. Do this before any prototype has been crafted or any code has been typed. And be sure to make it easy and accessible for both them and you.

Online Chat

Probably the easiest way to give customers your contact information is to build a website and use online chat software.

At VirtualPBX, we use Intercom as our live chat method of choice. There are many platforms on the market that offer plans for entrepreneurs. Some starter options are free, so it’s easy to give them a test run without the commitment.

This means there’s no excuse not to try a few and find out which works best.

Chatbots

Your choice of online chat platforms might also be supported by a chatbot. This type of helpful service will answer questions for your customers while you’re away.

Our list of Top 5 chatbots (linked above) can work within platforms like Slack and Facebook. You will certainly find others capable of attaching to stand-alone chat services like Intercom. Regardless of which one you choose, this automated helping hand can give your online presence a boost when you’re unable to answer questions live.

Business Phone Plan

VirtualPBX Web Phone Promo VideoOur favorite, the Business Phone Plan, lets you expand the scope of your customer reach.

You can use a phone system in your office on desk phones and the VirtualPBX Web Phone, or on the go through our Call Forwarding feature.

Completing phone calls with VirtualPBX service lets you initiate aggressive sales campaigns where you cold call prospects. Or using features like our Automated Attendant can help you develop a personalized channel for responding to customers’ concerns by routing calls according to purpose. In both ways, you gain a human touch that doesn’t always come forward in online chat platforms.

How to Start a Side Hustle? By Working Together

When you want to know how to start a side hustle, one of the keys to the early days of that process is to let your tools work for you, not against you.

Have your communications tools (online chat and phone plan) give customers everything they need to reach you. Provide them with always-on access through a 24/7 chatbot that guides them through your website’s troubleshooting documents. And make your phone channel available for outreach and for customer service situations that need a personal touch.

These tools will take you far in the early stages of your journey as an entrepreneur. Get started with us today to save 20% on the best entrepreneurial phone system on the market.

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Forward Calls to Another Phone as Your Backup

In our previous blog about Call Forwarding for Daily Use, we discussed how VirtualPBX Phone Plans can forward all your calls to your smartphone. But what if you only want to forward calls to another phone when your primary phone is unavailable?

This is what we call “failover.” It’s an included feature with all our phone plans, and it’s especially useful in our Unlimited Users Plans for using our Web Phone as your daily driver and your smartphone as a backup.

Let’s take a deeper look at how failover works.

Failover Call Forwarding Configuration

Forward Calls - User Portal - VirtualPBXUsers are able to enter their User Portal and change their personal settings when they want to forward calls to another phone.

They can enter the number for their smartphone, for instance, to have all calls be directed to that preferred device.

Admin Control for Failover

Account administrators have the power to establish Failover settings for any user on their Phone Plans.

In the Users section of their VirtualPBX Dashboard, admins will find a User Features grid that looks like the image shown here.

User Features Menu - VirtualPBX Dashboard

Clicking “Call Forwarding” in that grid will open a pop-up menu that presents the Failover Mode option. It’s then possible for the admin to enter a phone number to be used as a sort of emergency number for that user.

Call Forwarding Failover Menu - VirtualPBX DashboardIn Failover Mode, the designated user will only have calls forwarded to them when none of their other devices are registered.

Deregistering a device may occur when:

  • A user signs out of their Web Phone
  • A VoIP device is disconnected
  • Power is lost to a VoIP device

Failover to the Rescue

In practice, Failover Mode can be helpful for users who have more than one device but who might wish to make workplace devices primary. An individual may have a Web Phone and desk phone that they use every day at work, but they may want calls directed to their smartphone in the case of a power outage at the office.

When you want to forward calls to another phone, Failover Mode makes is simple to have one device work as your backup.

Admins can make the change easily for any user. And at any time the user needs to change back to normal Call Forwarding, they can enter the User Portal and select the necessary settings.

If at any point changes are made in the admin Dashboard or the User Portal, those settings will immediately take effect. Admin actions in the Dashboard will override existing User Portal settings; similarly, User Portal changes will override settings in the Dashboard.

See It In Action

Ready to see what Call Forwarding can do for you? When you sign up for a Free Demo, a professional from the VirtualPBX team will show you everything our phone system provides. Then you can decide to get started with a new VirtualPBX Phone Plan which, for our Unlimited User Plans, are 20% off when you sign up this February.

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VirtualPBX Proudly Meets Kari’s Law, E911 Standards

Emergency Sign on Hospital - VirtualPBX Meets Kari's Law StandardsToday’s blog post was written by VirtualPBX COO Lon Baker, whose expertise with the VirtualPBX Phone System makes him an excellent pick for the discussion of Kari’s Law and its implementation.

In 2013, a tragedy took the life of Kari Hunt Dunn. Out of this tragedy arose Kari’s Law, which was passed in 2016 by the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 408-0 and followed with unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate.

Kari’s Law requires that all phone systems be able to recognize “911” to reach emergency services – without requiring the user to dial a prefix. VirtualPBX has always provided this capability for all its VoIP users across the U.S. and is proud to partner with Intrado to ensure customer safety and security through reliable and accurate E911 services.

No More “9” for Outside Line

Kari’s Law requires phone systems to be configured in a way that allows people to call 911 without dialing any additional number, code, prefix, or post-fix, regardless of location or device.

It has long been standard practice for private phone systems to require the dialing of an extra digit to reach an outside line. An internal call could be completed by dialing the extension “555”, for example

But to dial an external phone number that begins with those same digits — like 555-1234 — “9-555-1234” could need to be entered.

Dunn’s fate was tied to this phone system requirement when, in need of emergency services at a hotel in 2013, her young daughter was unable to complete a call to 911 for her. Kari’s Law removes the need for extra dialing when an emergency call must be placed.

What Businesses Must Know

VirtualPBX is continuously improving its E911 implementation to meet and exceed industry best practices and legal requirements. Our phone system is in full compliance with the fundamental requirements of Kari’s Law.

Other businesses that deploy multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) will want to be aware of the following dates:

  • Existing businesses must comply with the requirements of Kari’s Law by February 16, 2020
  • Enterprises with fixed MTLS phones are to comply with the new requirements by January 6, 2021
  • Businesses with non-fixed MLTS devices on- and off-premises must comply no later than January 6, 2022

Kari’s Law and the Future

While Kari’s Law is just the latest of important E911 communications legislation to be passed, there will certainly be future protections laid out in law in the years to come.

VirtualPBX will remain dedicated to working with its partners to stay compliant with all communications standards as they arise.

Establish Your Own Business Call Forwarding

Smartphone Face Down - Use VirtualPBX for Your Business Call ForwardingMany of our Unlimited User VoIP Plan clients use their plans as business call forwarding services.

These clients keep their smartphones as primary calling devices and configure their VirtualPBX Plans to forward all calls to those phones. This type of setup lets them gain features like a Business Phone Number and keep their personal and workplace lives separate.

Want to learn more about Call Forwarding and how to forward calls to your cell phone? We’ll show you here how easy it is.

What is Call Forwarding?

Call forwarding is the process of moving calls from a primary to secondary destination. This happens automatically and lets you bypass the primary destination entirely.

You could, for example, forward calls from your office phone to your smartphone. Where inbound calls routed from your Automated Attendant would normally reach your desk phone, you could program your phone system extension to skip that desk phone and only ring your mobile.

In your VirtualPBX Phone Plan, this can be done on a user level or an administrator level for maximum control and flexibility in your organization.

Business Call Forwarding in VirtualPBX

Once your business is up and running with VirtualPBX, forwarding calls takes only a minute to configure.

User Level

Forwarding Calls on VirtualPBX as a UserAll users in your system will have access to their own User Portal. They can set their own Call Forwarding preferences by checking the box next to “Enable Call Forward:” in their Settings menu.

In that location, they can enter the number they wish to forward calls to and change it as necessary.

Admin Level

Forwarding Calls on VirtualPBX as an AdminSystem administrators can also make Call Forwarding settings changes for individual users.

In the Users menu of the VirtualPBX Dashboard, admins can select and alter a user’s configuration, including their forwarded number and Voicemail preference.

This can be helpful for users unfamiliar with the system or for administrators who need fine control over their phone system.

Ready to Forward Your Own Calls?

More than just a dedicated call forwarding service, the VirtualPBX Phone System is a full-featured communications package. With any plan you choose, you can easily route inbound calls through your Automated Attendant and manage the extensions of all your employees with just a few clicks.

There’s no complicated setup, so it’s easy to get started. And then maintenance is simple and straightforward. Most of our customers want a system they can set and forget – like The Marks Group who has used VirtualPBX for several years to forwarding calls to its dozens of employees.

You can give VirtualPBX Unlimited User Plans a try this February for 20% off. Let’s help you get started.

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