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Small business, big business – does size really matter?



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By Rene Sugo

Voice communications are getting a huge boost in flexibility and functionality by being hosted in the cloud.

It’s the age old question. Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, the simple fact is that unless you’re offering a localised product or service, you’ll want your business to reach as many people as possible.

The best way to do this is to ensure that your business has a national presence, which for many small businesses is a Catch-22 – you can’t expand nationally without a larger customer base, yet you can’t acquire more customers without expanding your reach.

The good news is, there’s a solution and it lies within this new high-tech concept called the “cloud”. The cloud simply means a service that is hosted on the internet and is accessible from anywhere by anyone.

These new types of services are popping up everywhere, and voice communications are also getting a huge boost. The virtually infinite possibilities that exist within the cloud can help break geographical barriers that often limit businesses.

1300 Numbers in the cloud

We’re all familiar with 1300 numbers and their benefits that include giving your business a national presence by providing a single, national point of contact for customers to call at the cost of a local call.

1300 numbers can also be hosted in the cloud, giving your business additional flexibility and functionality. The most important feature of a cloud-based number for many businesses is the ability to actually be in control of it via a self-service Online Portal. This gives business owners the ability to be in total control and make changes in real-time – an important must-have, allowing for the capability to react to situations as they arise.

A cloud-based number also has the added benefit of ‘never being busy’, effectively meaning that you’ll never miss a call. Additional features such as voicemails, call diversions and more will ensure that your callers are never greeted with a ‘busy’ tone and therefore, are less likely to hang up.

Local Numbers in the cloud

At the other end of the number spectrum is local geographic phone numbers. The cloud is virtually limitless and with this comes the ability to have as many numbers as you want, wherever you want them.

Advertise a local number in each state and/or specific region you want to reach and it will appear as if you have a presence in every state. Furthermore, having local numbers advertised on your website has the added benefit of helping improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ranking.

Making it work – Virtual/Hosted PBX

The key to making the most of the features and functionalities of your 1300 and/or local number(s) is of course, a cloud-based phone service such as a Virtual or Hosted PBX. As its name suggests, a virtual/hosted PBX is hosted in the cloud and does everything a traditional PBX does, and often a lot more!

At just a fraction of the cost of a traditional system, a virtual PBX offers the features and benefits of a big business phone system with the simplicity and flexibility to suit growing businesses. Direct your 1300 and/or local number(s) to a virtual PBX and communicate effectively and professionally with advanced features, such as voicemail, voicemail to email, call forwarding, hunt groups, auto attendant,  time of day routing and more.

Already have an existing number? You can bring it into the cloud via a process called Local Number Portability (LNP) and unlock its real potential. Once it’s in the cloud, the number belongs to you, even if you switch providers or move locations.

Most providers also offer the ability to manage your virtual PBX via an online portal, which means you can say goodbye to unnecessary maintenance costs and the need to call a technician every time you want to make a change to your system.

Improve productivity, minimise operating expenses and demonstrate your focus on service and efficiency while avoiding the size or location prejudice that some customers may have, it’s a win-win situation. Move into the cloud and the size of your business is entirely up to you.

For more information, visit MyNetFone or call 1300 395 468.

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