Friday, September 15, 2017

How to Send the Best Business Emails

In business, emails are sent quite often. In fact, business emails are sent so often that some people receive dozens, if not, hundreds per day! Emails that aren’t constructed properly could cause them to be left unread, skimmed through too quickly, or thrown in the trash. For those looking to “up” their email game, listen up!

structured cabling & VoIP

Email Construction Best Practices
  • Create an Accurate Subject Line - Never leave your subject line blank — ever! Not only do these email gets overlooked, many can get marked as spam. When typing your subject line, choose a few choice words that will sum up the topic of your email. This will help the person receiving the email sort it appropriately.
  • Send Reply Emails Quickly - Nothing is worse than sending an email and not getting one back for days at a time, or even having to follow up. If you need more time to create a detailed email or report, send back a reply stating you will get back to them at a set time.
  • Auto-Responding Tools - Whether you’re out of the office for one day or one week, it’s important to let your clients, vendors, prospects, and fellow employees know this. Set up an auto-responder to let people emailing you know that you are out-of-office, when they can expect you back, and who they can contact in case there is an emergency.
  • Use “High-Priority” Sparingly - Do not be that person in the office that marks half of their emails with a “High-Priority” subject or marking. Doing this too many times will label you as the “boy who cried wolf.” The day you need someone to look at your email immediately, you don’t want them to think it’s just another one of your falsely advertised emails.
  • Proofread and Use Good Judgement - Before you send out your emails, look them over for obvious grammatical mistakes and see if everything is worded clearly. Additionally, make sure all of the content you need is in that email, and make sure you want to send everything in that email. Sometimes you might include something that really shouldn’t be in there (i.e. an angry tone or too much information).

Being able to construct business emails properly with the appropriate etiquette to go along is extremely important in today’s world. Every business should have lightning fast internet AND a reliable phone system (preferably VoIP). To learn more about structured cabling and VoIP phone systems, contact Reliable Voice & Data Systems at (877) 385-6657.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Growing Pains That Can Hurt a Small Business

When a small business experiences success and growth, there will sometimes be growing pains. These things are normal, but it's all about how the leaders in charge handle these growing pains that will determine the ultimate success. In order to keep things moving forward, avoid (or manage) these growing pains.

voip phone system | cctv

People Are Unaware of Other Workers
  • If one employee is working in one area or on a project and is unaware of others’ responsibilities, another person could be doing the same exact thing. Too much overlap can become inefficient and wasteful.
  • Employee theft is something that happens and it's important to put practices in place that can avoid this issue altogether. Implement a reward system for employees to bring forward evidence of theft while also installing CCTV security cameras inside and outside of the business’s location.

Communication is Lacking
As companies grow, there will be more employees, more responsibilities, and more things to communicate. This can become even trickier when multiple locations or offices are thrown into the mix. Every growing business should be equipped with a VoIP phone system to help foster reliable communication.
  • New phones can be added to the system on an as need basis due to the constant growth of your small business.
  • Features such as video conferencing, call forwarding, call waiting, and mobile phone compatibility can make receiving those calls that's much easier.
  • VoIP phone systems are at least half the price of traditional phone systems, which can help you allocate your savings to other areas of the business.

Successful small businesses can experience rapid growth in a short time — but with success comes some hardships. When your small business is in need of CCTV security cameras or a VoIP phone system, contact Reliable Voice & Data Systems. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (877) 385-6657.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

How to Avoid an Entrepreneurial Burnout

Starting, running, and trying to grow your small business can be one of the most daunting and stressful jobs of all time. It's easy to stay cool and collected in the beginning, but all of the hard work and uncertainties can make a person feel burned out after a while. The goal isn't just to have a successful business, but to also enjoy yourself during this crazy rollercoaster ride.

voip phone system

Take a Step Back
If you feel like you're this close to snapping, take a step back away from it all. Put someone in charge of the day-to-day tasks and take a personal day to let yourself rest, physically and mentally. This means no email, no calls, no nothing! Allowing yourself to have at least 24 hours to away from it all can make you feel re-energized to take on the following day’s tasks.

Learn How to Delegate
Taking on every task and responsibility is a foolish thing to do. You hired your employees for a reason, because they're good at what they do and you trust them to get the job done. Delegate tasks that will allow you to focus on the more important things that need your full attention.

Pick and Choose
Doing all of the work all of the time is not always a good thing. Your priority should be to focus on tasks that will bring you closer to your and the company's goals. If there is a lot of busy work that needs to get done, but you don't have time, you should — delegate!

Don't allow yourself to become burned out — you're the most important piece of the company, so it's time to take a breather. For companies looking for an easier (and cheaper) way to communicate, opt for a VoIP phone system. To learn more or to schedule a free estimate, contact Reliable Voice & Data Systems at (877) 385-6657.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Properly Speak on Business Phone Calls

Does your business and line of work rely heavily on the use of phones? Since phone calls are most people's main point of contact, it's pertinent you answer the phone the right way. Because after all, this is the first impression — don't you want to make a good one on behalf of your business?

VoIP phone system

  • Pickup Speed - Do not keep your caller waiting by letting the phone ring until right before it hits the voicemail. On the other hand, do not pick up right away, as this can catch the caller off guard. Picking up at the third ring is the sweet spot!
  • Tone of Voice - Smile when you speak your greeting. You want to sound welcoming and happy to take their call — not monotone and unamused.
  • Greeting - In your greeting, you want to include a welcoming statement, the company name, your name, and a question. An example would look like, “Good morning! Thank you for calling Reliable Voice & Data Systems. My name is Employee, how may I help you today?”
  • Clear & Concise - When speaking, try not to use short words or slang like “okay” or “sure.” Instead, say “Certainly” or “You Got It.” Try to also refrain from saying “uhh” or “uhm” in between words. If you feel yourself about to say these things, create a short pause to collect your thoughts.
  • Never Not Know - There are going to be times when the person on the other end of the line will ask you something you don't know. Rather than admitting you don't know, say “Great question, let me write that down and find out for you.”

Knowing how to conduct a proper business phone call is equally as important as an in person encounter. In order to have the best experience possible on the phone (with features like call forwarding, clear sound, and reliable service), contact Reliable Voice & Data Systems to inquire more about VoIP phone systems. To learn more or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (877) 385-6657.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

How to Expand Your Business

Do you have a small business that’s performing well, but you would like to take it to the next level? Those who are experiencing steady growth should look to find ways to aid it by making select business decisions to take their business to new heights.

business growth

Venture Into New Territories
You’ve gotten to where you are today because your current recipe is a successful one. To expand your business further, use your method because you know it works well — but in a new area. Keep doing what you’re doing, but think about expanding the territories you currently service or sell to. Hiring new employees to venture out to these areas could help you tap into a previously untapped market.

Target Another Market
Your current customer base can usually be categorized into a select few categories based on their demographics (and sometimes psychographics). However, there are other customer markets your service or product could possibly be offered to. For example, you could have a successful business selling to people close to retirement age but also have a secondary customer market with new homeowners. It’s worth a shot to do some research and find out!

Reevaluate Current Processes
Just because your current business model works, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved even more. See if there are unnecessary steps, more cost-effective alternatives, or expenses you can cut out altogether. For example, you could use a more cost-effective material when producing a product or cut out expenses like a traditional phone system in favor of an affordable VoIP phone system.

Your business is doing well and we applaud you — but every business can always be doing better. When it’s time for you to ditch your current phone system in favor of a VoIP phone system, contact Reliable Voice & Data Systems. To learn more or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (877) 385-6657.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

What to Do About Employee Theft

Are you worried that you might have an employee in your business that is currently stealing from you? Rather than going around firing people with no proof, there are questions you need to ask and steps you need to take.

Are You Being Stolen From?
  • Count the Money - Open up the books and check to see if all of the numbers add up. Every once in awhile there might be fluctuations, but keep an eye out for unusual discrepancies. Theft can appear as large chunks or a small amount missing each and every day.
  • Check the Inventory - Shoplifting can cause your computers to reflect a different in-stock quantity than what you actually have. However, if the CCTV security cameras don’t show proof of shoplifting, consider internal theft as a possible reason.
  • Listen to Employees - Have you heard employees say that something of theirs has gone missing? Internal theft isn’t always at the expense of the business, other employees can fall victim to it too.

How to Handle Employee Theft
  • Internal Audit - After checking all of your records, put aside any that have any significant or patterned discrepancies. Now that you have narrowed these variances down to a few instances, try to find out why they exist. If you can pinpoint cases of either shoplifting, damaging out items, etc., you’ll see what remains unaccounted for.
  • Interview Employees - Round up your employees one by one and give them each an interview so you can see how they act and respond to any questions you may ask them. Rather than asking them if they stole from you, ask if they know who has been stealing and watch how they react — their tone of voice and body language could tell you a lot.
  • Compile Evidence - You have your records with the discrepancies circled and maybe a testimony or two from other employees, but what about actual evidence? This is where CCTV security cameras come in handy! Go back and rewatch the tapes so you can monitor the area where the items or money was stolen from. Surveillance footage is the most compelling evidence to have when trying to remove (and convict) an employee who is stealing.

Employee theft is something that is very real and can happen to your small business, so it’s best to be prepared. To prevent employees and customers from stealing, consider installing CCTV security cameras by Reliable Voice & Data Systems. To learn more or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (877) 385-6657.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

How to Fund Your New Startup Business

Are your trying to secure enough capital in order to fund a new startup business? Gathering this large sum of money can be difficult, but it is possible. If you’re looking to become a new small business owner, gather this money by...

funding for small businesses

Getting the Family Involved
The first (and most common) way people will fund their new startup businesses is by borrowing money from a family member or close friend. This is considered to be the least risky option for you since most friends and relatives won’t charge you an interest rate, ask for collateral, or give you a strict repayment plan. However, make sure you establish if this is strictly a loan or if you just acquired yourself a silent business partner that will now split any and all profits.

Heading to the Bank
As long as you have good credit, assets, and something to put up as collateral (your home), you have a good chance of being approved for a business or personal loan. Going this route to fund your new business will most likely provide you with more money upfront to get things going. Just know you will have to pay interest while also following a strict repayment plan.

Keeping Costs Low
Once you get the ball rolling and your new startup is beginning to take form, stay away from any unnecessary costs. You’re going to need all of the capital you can to get this business off of the ground.
  • If you need a physical location, don’t over-estimate the size you need — if not, work out of your home to stay rent free.
  • Do not hire employees if you can do the job yourself. However, jobs like doing the taxes  and any manufacturing might be better off left with actual professionals.
  • Stay away from traditional phone systems as they can cost a fortune, especially if you need to add more phones to the plan later down the road. Opt for a VoIP business phone system as it is roughly half the price of a traditional phone system and is easily expandable.

Having enough money to fund a new startup business is the first speed bump to overcome when trying to become a small business owner. When you want to keep costs low, opt for a VoIP phone system that’s installed and serviced by Reliable Voice & Data Systems. To learn more or to schedule a free estimate, give us a call at (877) 385-6657.

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