Monday, October 30, 2017

7 Small Business FAQs You Need to Know

Have you recently started your own small business, or are looking to do so in the immediate future? Like any big decision, it’s important to do your research and know all of the facts in the beginning. Doing your homework now will help you set your expectations and know what’s in store for your business.

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1. How Many Small Businesses Are There in the U.S.?
  • As of 2013, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the country
  • 80 percent were businesses with no other employees (other than the owner)
  • 20 percent were businesses with paid employees

2. What Percentage of Firms Do Small Businesses Comprise?
  • 99.9 percent of all firms are small businesses
  • 99.7 percent of all firms with paid employees are small businesses

3. What is the One-Year Survival Rate For New Small Businesses?
  • Roughly 80 percent of small businesses will make it past the one-year mark

4. What is the Five-Year Survival Rate For New Small Businesses?
  • Roughly 50 percent of small businesses will make it past the five-year mark

5. What is the Ten-Year Survival Rate For New Small Businesses?
  • Roughly 33 percent of small businesses will make it past the ten-year mark
  • Another 33 percent are said to be sold or acquired by other businesses

6. How Many Small Businesses Are Home-Based?
  • 50 percent of small business are home-based
  • The most common home-based small businesses are information construction, construction, and professional services

7. How Are Small Businesses Most Commonly Funded?
  • 22 Percent - Personal/Family Savings
  • 6 Percent - Profits & Assets
  • 5 Percent - Business Loans
  • 3 Percent - Business Credit Cards (Banks)

Knowing all you can about small businesses before starting one is important for your own expectations and success. When your small business is looking for ways to grow and cut costs, consider installing a VoIP phone service provided 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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Friday, October 20, 2017

Easy Ways to Build Up Your SMB

Are you looking for ways to help build up your small-medium sized business? Yes, this can be a difficult task to accomplish, but there are proven ways to help meet this goal. It’s hard work, but when you focus on these actions, you will be sure to see some success.

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Make Customer Service a Priority
Having a good product or service will certainly attract customers and earn you their business. However, providing good customer service will KEEP those customers coming back. No matter how good a product or service is, if you provide it in combination with poor customer service, most people will not come back. So invest in staff training, be more thorough during hirings, and offer empathy and solutions toward unhappy customers.

Enter the Mobile World
All businesses should have a website — there’s no discussion about it. However, just having a regular website is not enough in today’s world. Websites need to be mobile-friendly, as more than half of web users are on the internet via their mobile devices. If a potential customer goes to your website on their mobile device and your site is not mobile friendly, the chances of them sticking around is slim to none.

Get Rid of The Fluff
Businesses are expensive to run — there’s no way around that. Review all of your costs over the last half-year and see if there are any cost-effective substitutes, improved ways of producing goods or providing services, and expenses that aren’t vital to the operation of the business. For example, you can easily cut your phone bills in half by switching from traditional to a VoIP phone system.

Building up your small-medium sized business is no easy feat, but with the right mindset and action plan — you can put yourself on a path to success. When you’re ready to make the switch from traditional t 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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Friday, October 13, 2017

How to Build Customer Loyalty

Do you own a business? Are you looking to find ways to turn first time customers into repeat customers? It all starts with building customer loyalty by adopting the following actions...

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Create Relationships
Customers shouldn’t be viewed as dollar signs, they should be viewed as potential relationships. This is especially true for small and local business, as many customers will be from that very town. Take the time to greet them, find out who they are and what they’re looking for, and remember their key purchases. Building relationships with customers will help guarantee their loyalty to your business.

Become Involved
Being a local business shouldn’t stop at your physical location. Showing your customers that you’re a local business means involving yourself within the community. Participate in town festivals, fundraisers, or even offer support to local charities or programs. When your business helps others in the community, people will recognize this and be more inclined to be repeat customers.

Make It Easy For Them
Good customer service means you’re going above and beyond for your customers. However, it also means you’re making it easy for them right from the get go. A good way to do this is to always have items in stock, hire employees that are easy to communicate with, and have the right technology set in place. Some businesses rely on their phone system heavily, which makes VoIP phone systems a no brainer! Between call waiting, call forwarding, call tracking, etc., your customers will have the best over-the-phone experience possible.

Building customer loyalty takes a combination of hard work AND having the right pieces set in place. When it’s time for your business to switch to 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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Friday, October 6, 2017

Why You Need to Reduce Your Overhead Costs

As a small business owner, increasing your profit is the ultimate goal in order to help your business grow. In order to expand and grow, you need to have the capital on hand. Other than taking out a business or personal loan, the easiest way to generate capital — reduce costs.

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What Are Overhead Costs?
Overhead costs are business expenses that are relevant to the day-to-day operations. No matter if the business is making money or not, these expenses must always be paid. Common overhead costs include building leases/rent, payroll, utilities, insurance, marketing, etc. Things such as raw materials and inventory are not classified as overhead costs.

Overhead Costs to Cut Down
  • Rent - Some properties can have rent that is sky high, which can really cut into your profits. In order to cut down on how much you pay for rent, see if you can renegotiate the payments to a lower price. A landlord that is happy with you as a tenant might be willing to, especially if you sign a longer lease.
  • Utilities - Electricity, water, and gas bills can only be cut down by switching to a different provider or by simply using less. Every business should strive to be more eco-friendly. For other expenses like he phone bill, switch from a traditional phone system to a VoIP phone system. Not only does it have more features and benefits, but it’s usually half the cost!
  • Payroll - Cutting payroll is never a good thing because it usually means people are going to be let go or wages are going to be cut. However, this is sometimes necessary if a business is currently failing or in a downturn. Choosing to lower all wages by a little in order to save the jobs of everyone can be seen as a positive within the company morale.
  • Supplies - While raw materials and final products do not count as overhead costs, other items like office supplies or equipment repair costs do count. To lower these costs, simply use less of these items by relying on virtual documents and upgrade to more efficient models of equipment that require less maintenance.

By reducing your overhead costs, you’ll have more capital in order to help your business grow and expand. For those looking to make the switch to 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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