Love Your Employees? Then Set Them Free!

Remote teams are fast becoming a normal setup for Company working environments and the amount of new businesses following this trend is growing rapidly with around 80% of work contracts including flexible working arrangements (flexjobs).

Remote work is when a member of your team works outside of a traditional office environment. This could be at home, in a coffee shop, CoWorking Space or some other flamboyant location of their choice with Internet access.

Remote workers are also known as Telecommuters, Virtual Staff, Cloud Workers, Home/Mobile Workers and Digital Nomads.

Happy Employees

This method of working is quickly becoming the preferred way for todays employees with 85% of millennial’s wanting to have the option to telecommute 100% of the time. Remote Working also meets the current and future demands of the younger workforce. (workplaceinsight.net).

Working remotely has shown health benefits for individuals. Staff that work remotely have proven to not only be happier with increased morale but are also less stressed about their work and are vastly more loyal to their employer with increased levels of productivity (Forbes.com).

Remote Working not only applies just to employees but also to the 1000’s of Entrepreneurs and business owners that are appreciating the benefits of working almost anywhere around the globe.

Ticking boxes for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of being able to work location independent and as technology is being built daily to support these working environments is proving to be a more attractive option for todays Business owners.

Cost savings are high on the list of importance for any new business venture. The ability to work from any location without the need for the normal overheads is saving companies large amounts in setup costs. This allows them to focus their budget on what’s important for their business to succeed.

You only have to look at today’s Entrepreneurs on Social platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to get a feel of how these individuals and their teams are working in an environment that meets their dreams and personal aspirations whilst working and also creating revenue for their business along the way.

Team Callaboration

As new technology is launched to make remote working even easier gives employers more options when monitoring staff and customers at the same time.

Tools like Basecamp, Trello and Slack are topping the charts for some of the best remote team management tools on the market. With their slick interfaces and functionality these platforms are extinguishing any worry that business owners may have when considering the management of remote teams.

Customer Management platforms like Zoho, Insightly and Nimble also help Small Businesses to keep on top of their customers and prospects by offering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions.

Is a Remote Working environment right for you?

The option of working in a remote environment may be appealing and beneficial to both an employer and its workforce for the reasons outlined, but this doesn’t mean that this way of working is right for everyone.

Some companies still wish to have their teams where they can see them and interact face to face rather than over collaboration tools or communication products like Skype.

With any new exciting ways of working, unfortunately will also brings new challenges. These learning curves may not be tempting for every business owner.

Published by VoiceRules who are a leading provider for solutions promoting the remote management of international sales and customers contact support for small businesses and Entrepreneurs around the world.

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De-Stress with a Business Contact Number

Did you know that you can easily set yourself or your business up in 1000’s of cities instantly without even stepping foot or opening an office in that Country?

Well you can! With the increasing availability of Global Internet and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) means that you can setup a local or International presence for yourself or your business within minutes and with ease.

International Coverage

Phone numbers are available almost anywhere including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Australia.

This opens up a whole new and exciting ball game for new and existing Entrepreneurs and Businesses.

Saves Cost & Lets You Breathe

Before now to open a local business was a gamble and with the expense of having an office, telephone lines and staff could be an expensive one at that.

Having the ability to purchase local phone numbers on a short term rental basis means that corners can be cut to test a market before opening up shop there.

Virtual Numbers or Direct Inward Dialling (DID) numbers (as they are also known) can be used for a number of different reasons. Not only do they stop the need for individuals to give out their mobile numbers – keeping them private, but can be associated with particular campaigns so that companies can monitor Sales or Customer services calls from particular regions to identify which projects are a success or not or to monitor where a business needs more growth/attention.

Compete on an International Stage

Usually these numbers and associated benefits were only available to larger organisations, with the rapid movement of VoIP means that such services are also available to Entrepreneurs or Small to Medium Businesses (SMB’s).

Numbers can be managed by non-technical individuals directly which means that directing calls to who ever you want when ever you want takes the pressure off having full time staff.

Calls can be routed Call Centres, Virtual Receptionists or any of your team members around the world no matter where they are or what technology they are using.

You may also display your number when calling your customers. If you wish to display a local number to your caller when dialling them this can be also be achieved with little effort. This gives your customer the feeling that you are local to them which in turn builds rapport, even if you may be on the other side of the world to them or on a vacation.

Click to Connect

With the rise in Click to Connect features for Social platforms (including Facebook and Instagram) and direct from a Company web site indicates that your customers wish to contact you when they need to via whatever means possible.

This demand means that businesses need to rethink how they are managing/implementing this process, and with what solutions dependent on their individual requirements or situation.

Low Cost Maximum Impact

The good news is you don’t need to employ a full time receptionist or layout serious cost to project yourself as being a large company when in fact it might only be you and a small team in your business.

A Virtual Number opens up new doors and opportunities, if you haven’t considered them yet then maybe you should.

Numbers can be purchased or rented as low as $1.00 each per month and when attached to a sophisticated Phone Call Management solution can catapult your business into an international market within minutes.

Come test drive our platform with a 7 day free trial at www.voicerules.com

Cost Hacking Your Small Business Empire

Are you thinking of building a new start up, looking to expand, or just looking to reduce cost in your current business? There a number of overhead costs to take into consideration but as new technology becomes available so do your options in keeping business costs to a minimum. Here is a demonstration of ways in which you can avoid tremendous expenditure and at the same time allow you to focus on important areas of your business.

Virtual Office

A virtual office is an office that has no practical existence. Virtual offices have no dedicated workspace like a traditional office. Companies which provide virtual office services, provide you all the facilities which make up an office. The virtual office is one, or one of many hubs for your customers/clients to connect to you and your business. Having a virtual office can save you from the complications of having an actual office, still give your company a local professional look and feel but allow you to focus on some more important areas of your business. A virtual office can be set-up almost anywhere and will incur far lower costs and shorter contracts. Cost savings come from the rent/price of the office building, the costs to maintain and run the office like electricity bills and the expenses of stationery and a number of other miscellaneous items required to run an office. If you wish to have a physical presence in a city or a number of cities this expense can be astronomical, a virtual office can give you an introduction into whether or not you wish to open shop in a particular City or Country at minimal risk/cost.

Remote Workers

Employees are found to be happier than 9-5 office workers and dedicated when they work in a virtual environment. They can work easily from their home or any location worldwide if its practical to do so. They are also found to be more productive and have a lower turnover rate. You also do not have to hire people on constant pay-role. You can have the work done by freelancers at comparatively lower rates and you will only have to pay them for the work done. There is no need to hire a person for a full time job and give them heavy salary and other benefits. Using platforms such as Upwork.com, Toptal.com and Peopleperhour.com can introduce you to professionals to assist you with short or long term business tasks from Tech Talent through to Virtual Assistants.

No Hardware Outlay

Previously starting a business needed a large amount of investment in hardware including the furniture, computers, fixed and mobile phones amongst other necessary items to make an office look and operate properly. If you opt for a virtual office instead of a traditional office all this money can be used for some better purpose, maybe one example could be the investment in good staff. Also while BYOD (bring your own device) allows users to use their current preference of technology, this gives business owners one less thing to worry about, and in the process save a shed load of potential cost, not only for the actual hardware itself but also the ongoing maintenance.

Team Collaboration/Management

So, having a virtual working environment is a great way to keep costs low, whilst working from absolutely anywhere (in the world). But, how do businesses manage this network of workers? There are some cool collaboration and management tools on the market that assist businesses in getting the very best out of their remote team. Products such as Insightly.com, Slack.com, Trello.com, Asana.com and Hivedesk.com empower you to easily communicate, manage, monitor and track your team and their work and tasks for all of your projects, all from easy to use interfaces and at low or no cost for small teams.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Obtaining new customers is one thing, managing those customers can be a stressful process. Although you may want the very best for your customers and wish to attend to them in the quickest time possible, sometimes things can fall through the gaps. Now that today’s businesses have every opportunity to network with customers outside of their home territory means potential more commerce, but at the same time can create more problems (good and bad). Now that your teams can be remote and based anywhere, well, and so can your customers. Customer management platforms are available not only for large businesses but also small. Platforms such as sellfapp.com, Zendesk.com, LAdesk.com, Zoho.com to name a few, are some of the more popular and cost effective options. Being able to notify, monitor, manage, delegate and control prospects as well as outcomes for customer requests can be managed from a central platform and distributed throughout your network of colleagues in a well structured environment.

Voice Communications

In virtual environments, the working hours can potentially be 24/7. Your employees can work at any time and the customers can contact the office round the clock. The bridge connecting the employees to one another and the customers to the employees i.e. the virtual office never goes offline. Communications can be managed using a whole range of available tools whether within your business or externally.

A popular internal communication platform is Skype that works on VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Skype.com gives the ability for you to communicate free of charge whether by voice or video call between you and your team no matter where they are located.

External communications and management of your inbound business calls can seem a little trickier. VoIP communications have advanced somewhat because of the continuous global expansion and the increasing speed of the Internet from both mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity. This can also be said for inbound business calls. Working within a virtual environment means that you, your team and your third party suppliers can literally be based any where around the world and at any time, as with your customers.

Like other virtual environments VoIP compliments your business by giving it the ability to have a presence in 1000’s of cities and allow you to portray an enterprise level presence to your customers and prospects.

Not only can you purchase local, National and Toll-Free numbers from almost anywhere worldwide, but you can also easily manage, monitor, record and route those calls across your business team, making sure that you never miss a call whilst keeping a professional interface to your customers. Communication can come from traditional phone calls all the way through to click to call campaigns directly from your web site. Companies such as VoiceRules.com give you the ability to have a fully virtual, feature rich, voice communication network giving you and your team the flexibility to work absolutely anywhere globally.

Successfully Managing Your Business Phone Calls

So, picture this, you’re at an Internet café in Italy when you receive an important business call on your laptop, tablet or mobile device. You’re travelling from city to city, or maybe country to country and receive an important voicemail, notified to you via your e-mail inbox on the move, that you missed whilst in transit. Your business has a phone number with a UK, USA, Australia or Hong Kong local or national area code, even though your latest office hub is located in Indonesia, or your colleagues work remotely and are scattered all over the world.

This is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP has moved on somewhat since its earlier days and with VoIP services and features, your phone calls travel with you and your team across the globe with little effort at a dramatically low cost whilst increasing your productivity and flexibility of you and your team. It also provides useful features and capabilities that everyday phone technologies can’t offer.

The popularity of VoIP has been growing stronger. Because of the vast, rapid expansion of the Internet and various applications available has enabled businesses to be more flexible with how, where and with whom they do business. This has directly built a requirement for more flexible office working conditions and has enabled staff and business owners to base themselves almost anywhere with Wi-Fi.

The truth is, VoIP’s benefits far outweigh the negatives. Find some further information below;

1. VoIP Saves You Money.

VoIP calls have always been known to be low cost in comparison to standard business lines or mobile roaming charges and on average savings of 50% and sometimes more can be achieved.

Landline set-ups not only have long contractual agreements and can also take some weeks to be installed but more importantly set small businesses back around $30.00 per line on average (dependent on country), before adding any other telephone features.

Productivity levels are also not taken into consideration when looking at the cost benefits of VoIP. Allowing staff to work absolutely anywhere increases moral and therefore productivity. Various studies indicate that around 31% of businesses moving to VoIP do so for this reason alone, giving them a competitive edge over their competitors.

Today’s VoIP services have evolved and allow you to make and receive calls using standard phones and other mobile devices; staff can utilize their current technology devices (BYOD) saving hefty hardware tech investments and maintenance.

As some platforms are also setup and managed through easy to use interfaces that a company or individual can use and manage themselves with absolutely no prior technical knowledge, this also saves considerable cost on maintenance fees and the need for in-house technical expertise.

2. Make you and your team more Productive

Remote working is an industry within itself and growing at some speed.

If you’re not the latest entrepreneur working from out of a business hub somewhere in SE Asia, you are freelancer providing your very best skills to businesses big and small from all corners of the globe, earning more money, are happier and probably stress free.

VoIP simply enables your business to be global. You can not only easily set-up and manage your communication infrastructure to suit your business requirements but you can also easily set up a local presence in 1000’s of cities around the world, suiting the need of your staff and customers, and routing business calls to you or your team anywhere.

Your business can now be totally mobile, maybe even neglecting the need for an office or even the need to give out your personal mobile number, in fact actually keeping it personal!

Now there’s a thought? No roaming charges and no out of office hour’s calls, etc….

The features of an Enterprise level telephone platform are now available to individuals and SMB’s. Being able to take advantage of features like a professional call answering, simultaneous calling on multiple devices, endless amounts of Voicemail boxes and Intelligent Call Routing to name a few, means that not missing important calls and avoiding phone tag therefore reducing time wasted and saving money.

3. Clarity, Scalability and Installation

Call and sound quality has always been a sticking point for some when considering the move to VoIP, however, as Internet connectivity has improved so has the quality of VoIP calls. In fact, many businesses today have abandoned traditional phone platforms in favour of VoIP.

In a study of a selection of SMB’s in 2015, out of the 57% of those companies considering the transition to VoIP, only 1 respondent out of 208 reported to be dissatisfied with the call quality.

Installing a VoIP solution for Individuals or Businesses is as simple as one another. With the growth of SaaS platforms in all areas of tech means the route to setting up a fully blown telephone platform can not only be done in a matter of minutes but provides a non technical easy to use interface to manage it day to day if necessary.

Scalability is an important factor for any business; most VoIP providers today will support you and your businesses when the need to scale up arises (or down for that matter). Being able to easily add users to your network and have specific or relevant communication routed to them is important for general, sales or customer service needs.

4. VoIP platforms make you, your business and your phone platform highly flexible.

VoIP platforms allow you to do things that are simply not possible with traditional phone technology. For example;

Mobile Office Solution

As long as you have access to Wi-Fi, you can use your VoIP platform anywhere, such as in a hotel, on the Beach or at any Startup Hub around the world. Customers and employees can connect with you or your business just by calling your regular local business phone number to them—they no longer need to call your cell phone, which means you can save on roaming charges and allow you to keep your mobile number personal and be selective as to who can contact you directly and when. If travelling from Country to Country you can simply add your contact number to your platform as you go, so no matter what country you are in you will continue to receive your business calls.

Be contactable on your personal devices

Some VoIP platforms include a telephony interface that enables you to send and receive calls using your laptop or tablet. Now you will not miss an urgent call from a client or colleague no matter where you or your teams are in world.

Get voicemail on your e-mail

VoIP services allow you to have voice mail or multiple voicemail boxes; messages are forwarded to your regular e-mail inbox. You and your team can get all your messages in one place, and your voice mail can be easily archived or forwarded to others. Voicemail can be easily setup for your company in multiple languages to cater for those countries and languages where your customers may be based. By manipulating your call traffic you can easily route inbound calls to the right team members, should they be busy or unavailable you can route calls to other members or to voicemail and notify those team members easily.

Easily setup virtual phone numbers.

It goes without saying that having a local or national presence when dealing with your customers goes a long way in building rapport and trust. You can easily setup phone numbers in 1000’s of cities around the world in a matter of minutes, and not just the one assigned to your companies region. For example, you may have a business based out of Hong Kong, but could have local or national numbers set up throughout Europe or the USA.

This benefits those countries that are expanding their business and want to attract customers in multiple countries, having a local presence for your business is important, this also neglects the need for a local office, saving $1,000s in set-up, overheads and various other ongoing costs.

Call forwarding

VoIP offers a true uninterruptible business communication solution, with uptime at 99.9% and intelligent routing means that you will never have to worry about downtime of your voice communications network. The ability to strategically control the routing of your business calls means that if you ever experience downtime on your local internet connection, or you are in transit travelling from country to country you can manage how calls are routed in the event of not being able to answer them, or being available at any time. The ability to setup your own rules and profiles around how your business calls are routed is fully under the control of you and your business. Being able to route calls to various destinations worldwide or worse case to voicemail means that your calls from your customer or prospects are controllable and never missed.

Analytics

Data is a big topic if you’re looking to understand why, when, and how calls are made to your business. To be able to monitor the calls that connect to your company/departments and their outcome provides some serious business development criteria, whether your business is large or small. Being able to manipulate the information on your calls gives your business sales and marketing focus. For example; Click to call campaigns allow your business to be directly in touch with your prospects or customers by prompting them to connect to your business directly and with ease, you may have various Local, National or International numbers setup for specific campaigns or geographical areas, you may be dipping your toe into the water in a foreign country.

Analytics will show you how to improve on those campaigns by providing valuable data. Data can be collected around why and when calls are made, the duration, which person or team responded to those calls and their outcome.Volumes and percentages can be used to increase, amend or retract focus in certain areas of your business.

No matter what size of your business may be, VoIP is a surprisingly flexible, affordable technology that offers the same, sophisticated communication tools your enterprise-size competitors have for a very small fraction of the price, it gives your small business scalability and future proofs your business.

Managing International Business on a Budget with Remote Phone Services

Gone are the days when only big market players could think of overseas expansions and international operations. In these modern times marked by technological evolution, even solo entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses start their operations with a global approach in mind. What is the driving force behind this change? The answer undoubtedly lies in the improved networking and connectivity brought to us by the internet, cloud-base services, and exponential growth of mobile phones. Another decisive factor that can contributed immensely toward the increasing global outreach of businesses is the symbiotic relationship between cloud computing and telecommunication, which has led to creation of hosted telephony services. Here is how these services can play a key role in helping you secure an international presence on a budget:

Ease of Operations

The first and foremost advantage of a hosted telecommunication system is that, unlike its traditional counterpart, it is housed at a different location, making it easy operate and handle. Instead of having to focus on the maintenance and upkeep of the telecommunication network, you and your employees just need to learn how to handle different features of the telecommunication system such as making and receiving calls, retrieving messages, and forwarding calls. This not just simplifies everyday operations but also eliminates the need for having a technical support staff, thereby giving business owners more scope to channelize funds toward development and marketing their products and services.

Access to International Numbers

Hosted telephony services offered by key players like VoiceRules bring to you the benefit of having access to international telephone numbers anywhere in the world. The inbound call to this international number is routed to an intelligent call management platform, which directs it to wherever you wish and in whatever country you may be in. However, an international customer calling this number gets a sense that they are dialling a local number in their area. This allows you to create the impression of having an international presence without having to set up shop or office in different locations.

Multi-site Operations

A great deal of business ventures today operate outside the realm of a traditional office, with employees scattered at different locations across the globe. Hosted telephony is the perfect solution for such organisational set-ups, as the multi-site feature allows for a single system to be accessed, operated and monitored from multiple locations. You can take your operations international on a budget in the true sense with this facility, as you pay for one hosted system that can be accessed by your employees or business partners in different cities, regions and countries.

Self-Service

Now that modern day platforms are built  around the user, means that set-up, management and monitoring can easily be maintained in-house and without the need for technical experience. Platforms such as VoiceRules put the power back into the hands of the business which means that a whole fully functional and international telephone network can be set-up in a matter of minutes, meaning that your business could in effect have a presence in 1000’s of cities in no time at all.

How Can a Virtual Phone System Help My Business?

A virtual phone system is one that accords you the most high-end features in the world of telecommunication by tapping on the benefits of an internet-based cloud system. This system works particularly well for entrepreneurs, new startups and small businesses. Virtual phone set-ups are designed to streamline your telephony requirements in a cost-effective manner. One of the key features offered by VoiceRules, a prominent player in the field of cloud-based telephony, is the facility to access an international number anywhere in the world that your customers can use to reach you. Here’s how having a virtual phone number can help your business grow:

Cost-effectiveness

One of the biggest advantages of virtual phone numbers hosted on a cloud is the cost effectiveness it brings to business operations, which a big draw for small businesses and entrepreneurs working with limited financial resources. You can now reach out to wider customer base globally without investing a hefty sum in putting together traditional telecommunication paraphernalia, setting up offices or employing local staff.

Freedom of Mobility

The concept of virtual phone numbers goes a long way in providing entrepreneurs freedom from traditional workplace. With a virtual international number, you can carry your office with you on the go. This works particularly well for businesses that entail extensive travel or enterprises with employees scattered in different locations. If you are a Digital Nomad or are working on your latest startup business, being able to move around at your leisure whilst working is part of todays lifestyles, not only for business owners but also for their teams.

Greater Credibility

Having an international number increases your business’ credibility for a global audience, as they perceive you to have a local presence in their country or region. The international number used for your business appears to be a local number to customers dialling you. Though the call is routed to you or your team based at any location, they get a sense they are talking to someone local. The same applies to outbound calls as well. After all, receiving a call from a number that seems to be local is a lot more reassuring than an overseas call from an unrecognised area code, and is more likely to be answered.

Scope for Scalability

International numbers can be acquired for a low flat monthly rate calculated as per your business requirements. Footing a low monthly bill allows you to receive multiple inbound calls, while outbound calls are charged at lower than standard international rates. This clearly defined system offers a lot of scope for scalability, allowing you to expand your telecommunication network to support your growing business by simply upgrading to a higher package or cut down on redundant services by downsizing.

Please come visit our latest platform at http://www.voicerules.com

Click to Call – What is it and how can it help my business?

Click to Call, also known as click to dial or click for talk, is one of the latest marketing strategies where a VoIP setup can be used to convert incoming web traffic into a voice call. The Click to Call services offered by hosted telephonic service providers such as VoiceRules allows for instant connectivity in real time. The phone numbers of a company are displayed as hyperlinks on an advertisement, webpage or even an email, and potential customers can initiate a call by simply clicking on the hyperlink. The Click-to-Call service can be used through any advanced smartphone or computer with internet access. VoiceRules’ Click-to-Call services can be availed for a nominal monthly fee. Here is how your business can benefit from Click to Call:

Optimizing Online Sales Opportunities

By giving your website visitors a quick and easy means to reach out to you through the Click to Call option, you can truly optimize online sales opportunities. In addition to this, the ability to reach out to you instantly, helps build the buyers’ faith in your service. Since they know they can reach out to you by simple click of a button, if need be, the risk of abandoned sales and visitor bounce rate is reduced considerably.

Improved marketing effectiveness

The ultimate aim of putting your services out there in the online realm is to reach out to a wider base of potential customers. The data gathered through Click to Call helps you understand your customer base better, thereby giving you the advantage of posturing your marketing strategy to meet those needs. What makes them click to call you? What is nature of enquiries like? Which products of services prompt most number of calls? An analysis of these trends can help you market yourself more effectively.

Boosting Customer Relations

A Henley Centre study says a whopping 65 percent of consumers are likely to stick to a company that seems to care about its customers, even if its competitors are offering better financial deals. The Click to Call button holds the key to boosting customer relationships. First of all, with a hosted telephone network, such as those offered by VoiceRules, you can be available to respond to customers reaching out to you through Click-to-Call services round the clock, as you have a working telecommunication network that works on the go. This also accords the customers an upper hand, as they can reach out to you at their own convenience and with minimal time lapse. This makes for a seamless interaction between you and your customers, thereby demonstrating a positive approach toward customer responsiveness.