VoIP SAQ: Questions You Should Ask Before Getting VoIP

Are you thinking about making the switch to VoIP for your small business?  Make sure that you are getting the most from your new provider by asking the right questions.  There are a large number of Voice Over IP companies offering a broad variety of packages and features.  Sometimes it can be tough to make comparisons and get the information you need to make a decision.  Finding transparency with your current or future provider is important.  Here are a few ‘Should Ask Questions’ to help you make the right choice on VoIP providers for your small business.

What Internet Speed Is Needed?

While VoIP creates a relatively small footprint on your bandwidth, it is still important to find out what the recommended internet speeds are for a smooth connection.  This will vary depending on what else you are doing with your business internet connection and how many users you intend to have on the phone simultaneously.  For example a small business that is going to be streaming video content while having 10 concurrent calls will need a much more robust bandwidth than the business making just 2 concurrent calls with minimal streaming needs.  

A good guideline is to assume that each user will require 100 Kbps up and down while using their line.  Factor that in with your other internet requirements to get an accurate idea of your needs.   It’s also a good idea to talk to your ISP to make sure your connection will support VoIP.  For small businesses that plan on having less than 10 users making concurrent calls 5-10 MBps Up and Down should keep your service functioning smoothly. 

What Are The Features That Are Included With Each Package?

Every business has different needs and every VoIP provider has different ways of meeting them.  Make sure you make a quick list of the most important features to your small business.   Then when you are ready find out what is actually included in the packages you are being offered.  It’s important to find out if additional features mean additional costs.  Failing to find out how much additional features cost could run up a big tab as you scale up your workforce.  

At VOIPo we make things easy by offering 40+ standard features for small business accounts with no additional or hidden fees. 

How Many SIP Extensions Are Included?  What Is the Additional Cost To Add Extensions/ Users?

Does the provider you are considering charge additional fees for added users or extensions?  If you shop around you may find that many companies on the market charge on either a usage basis or a user basis.  It’s important for you to not only consider how much it costs today with the number of SIP extensions you need but to consider the future.  As you grow, what are the additional costs associated with adding new users?

Is There A Contract?

Contracts have their pros and cons.  While they may lock in your prices they also prevent flexibility and may have hidden costs to break them.  If your potential VoIP provider does require a contract make sure you find out what the cost is to break that agreement.  Sometimes providers may require you to pay additional fees for any equipment you leased from them for early termination.  

Are IP Phones Provided And What Are The Associated Costs?

One of the major benefits of Voice Over IP is it’s versatility.  There are numerous ways to put VoIP to work for your small business whether you wish to use a standard IP Phone or a Softphone.  Make sure you map out what you want your telecommunications setup to look like.  Equipment can require a larger upfront investment or be leased into your monthly agreement depending on your needs and your budget.  

How Many Minutes Are Included?

We offer unlimited calling for your small business within the United States and Canada.  And with low international rates, you are sure to get exactly what you need.

 

Still haven’t found the company that meets all of your expectations?  Give VOIPo a call today to find out why we are “The Likeable Phone Company.”  We offer a number of transparent packages to suit your needs at prices that won’t break your budget.  With a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee you’ve got nothing to lose.  Call us at 877-99-VOIPO to get started today.

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The 9 Must Have Small Business Tools You Can’t Live Without

So maybe that small business you started isn’t so small any more.  Or maybe you are just about to launch your new endeavor and want to make sure you don’t miss a beat.  

Here at VOIPo we have helped countless small business owners and teams save costs and improve their thriving businesses.  It’s no secret that it takes a lot to make your creation come to life.  Our goal is to make that process easier for you.  Unfortunately we can’t build your business for you but we can give you the tools to help! This is a list of the 9 small business tools that you won’t be able to live without.  Don’t just take it from us!  Try these tools out for yourself and drop us a comment of your favorite tool.  

  1. Slack (Messaging/ Communication)

In the early and late 90’s AOL Instant Messenger was the communication platform of choice among teens and young professionals while email prevailed in the work place.  Slack brought business communications into the 21st century by taking what we loved about Instant Messenger, cleaning it up, and giving it a professional spin.  Email will probably have it’s place in the business world for decades to come but in just a few short years Slack has become the go to source for small business text communications.  The service offers extremely affordable and easily scalable cloud or app based messaging and tools for you growing small business.  Do everything in one place.  Upload and share files, send individual or team messages, tag users, easily search archived messages and integrate your communications with a whole host of 3rd party applications.

2. Google Suite (Everything)

Google may have a plan to rule the entire world but you can start by using their GSuite to rule your small business domain.  The Google GSuite offers their entire list of services for your business.  From gmail to google docs, nowadays its tough to do much without using Google.  Check out the full list of features and pricing options here.

3. Freshbooks (Accounting)

Freshbooks is the “Small Business Accounting Software that makes Billing Painless.”  Ahhh technology.  If there is one thing technology has given us that we can all be grateful for it would have to be cloud accounting software.  If you are anything like a large portion of business owners who favor doing anything but accounting, then Freshbooks is worth a look.  They have taken all the headaches out of doing small business accounting and dropped it in one easy-to-use cloud based software.  That’s right invoicing, expenses, payments, time keeping, and reporting all at your fingertips.  

4. Evernote (Organization)

If you ever feel like you need a second brain to process everything you have going on Evernote is small business tool must have.  This is every note taker’s dream program.  Create notes, organize them into notebooks, add tags, upload images and audio, and even instantly clip text or full articles from the web.  If your entire team uses Evernote you can even invite them to collaborate on notes or notebooks with you and message them directly from the platform.  While they do over an extremely robust free account, you can opt into the premium account for a nominal fee.  The software is available in a cloud-based or app-based format with a mobile app and google chrome extension for increased accessibility.  

5. Trello (Project Management)

Trello is a great small business tool for visually inclined project management teams. Create projects, add members, labels and due dates and boom you have easy project management.  Once you have created your projects Trello seamlessly integrates with Evernote, Slack and Google’s GSuite.  The company started in 2011 and within a year had reached more than 500,000 members.  Today it is trusted by companies like Adobe, Pixar and National Geographic.

6. Kayako (Customer Support)

Customers are at the core of every business but when you are running a small business you can’t afford missing a single interaction.  Kayako keeps all of your customer interactions in one place.  Kayako allows users and support staff to open, close and manage tickets with due times and archived ticket history.  With a sleek interface and live chat as an add-on feature, make sure your team is winning every customer communication.  Kayako integrates with your small business email, social media, billing and even third party softwares like Zapier and Slack.  They also make it easy to add an ‘Help Yourself’ FAQ section to your site to give your customers accessibility to the things that matter.

7. Proposify (Sales)

Sales is the lifeblood of every business and when it comes to selling, eliminating friction points is critical.  Proposify helps your sales team generate professional proposal documentation using online templates that look amazing.  Using their online platform you can review and send proposals to prospects and even see when the prospect has received and opened the proposal. Accept online integrations and even connect your Proposify account to stripe so you don’t have to chase down your new clients.  They host everything in the cloud so you can access your proposals on the go and even use analytics to see how your business is doing.

8. Hubspot (CRM)

As your small business grows so will your relationship base.  Hubspot helps you manage that asset.  Heralded for their incredible marketing and award-winning CRM platform Hubspot makes relationship management a breeze.  They offer a free tool and more advanced Sales and Marketing add-ons for a fee.  The best part about Hubspot is the ability to archive your emails, calls, meetings and notes in one place.  

9. Zapier (Bridging Software & Service)

Alright, so now you have all the premier small business tools but how do ensure you are getting the most out of them?  Zapier has the answer.  Software integrations are great, but they don’t always work just right.  Sensing an opportunity in the market Zapier set out to build a service that could bridge gaps between programs and automate your workflow.  The company gained more than 600,000 users in three years and today supports more than 750 apps.  So how does it work?  Create a trigger, specify an action, add filters.  For example say you get new product orders via multiple gmail accounts with the heading ‘New Order.’  Instead of constantly checking each of the inbound email channels you create a new workflow with Zapier.  Each time you get an email with the title being ‘New Order’ automatically send a slack message to your fulfillment team.  See what Zapier can do for you! 

10. BONUS: VOIPo

Still need telecommunications for your small business?  We’ve got you covered.  Our small business packages include 40+ features out of the box.  Get unlimited calls to the US and Canada for less than $8 month.  Switch over to the Likeable Phone Company to start saving today! Get started HERE.

Let us know what your favorite tool is in the comments below.  

 

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