Small Business, Voip, Voipo, Startup

The Best Cities to Start a Business In for 2016 (Part One)

If you are thinking of starting a new business and have the luxury of choosing your startup location this list is for you.  These are the first few cities in our series of top cities to start a small business in 2016.

  1. Nashville, TN

    Nashville is known to many as ‘The Home of Country Music’ but it is also one of the best places to consider for your next venture.  The state of Tennessee does not have a general state income tax and Fitch Ratings stated that they also have the lowest debt ratio of any state in the US.  Nashville itself is home to a metro population of 1.5 million people and nearly 1/3 of these residents hold some sort of secondary education degree.  That comes at no surprise when you Nashville, Small Business, Voipconsider that Nashville is home to top Universities including Vanderbilt and Tennessee State University.  That means that finding potential new employees for your business won’t be hard.  Nashville is also home to some very well established businesses including Nissan North America, HCA Holdings, INC, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc, GM, UPS and Amazon.  It’s not all about work either.  The Home of Country Music has more than 120 live music venues and a major sports presence that goes year-round.

  2. Austin, TX

    If your small business is looking for a tech hotbed the Texas State capital may be your best bet.  Austin has seen a massive influx of high-tech companies and small businesses prompting residents to dub the city ‘The Silicon Hills.’  The tech boom can be in part attributed to an easily accessible workforce of young and talented graduates from nearby universities.  The University of Texas and St. Edward’s University lie within the city limits.  Baylor and Texas State University are both a short drive from the city as well.  Austin is also famously home to the South by South West Conference which saw more than 84,000 registered guests in 2015.  The city is also a haven for creatives and the perfect place to network and grow your business.  Austin has seen massive growth in the last decade with some estimating 110 new residents moving in each day.  The metropolitan area is now home to more than 2 million residents.  Although the cost of living is on the rise, the pros of starting your small business off in Austin may outweigh the rising costs.

  3. Raleigh, NC

    Raleigh, North Carolina ranked No. 2 on Forbes Best Places for Business and Careers in 2013 & 2015 and has consistently been in the top ten locations for the last decade.  The metropolitan area has 1.2 million residents.  According to Forbes, 42% of the adult population holds a college degree.  Population growth is also on the rise with more people moving into the metro area to take advantage of a below average cost of living and access to an economy which produced $61.3 billion in gross metro product in 2012.  Starting a new business is easy as the city was ranked 3rd in 2014 for regulatory efficiency by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  Your new business can reap the rewards of some awesome tax benefits as well as access to Research Triangle Park which is hailed as the largest research park in the United States.

Don’t see your city on the list?  Leave us a comment and maybe we will review your city in the next edition.

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tools, apps, application, software, small business

4 Great Apps for your Small Business

Technology has done a lot to make our lives easier.  With so many options at our disposal deciding which programs to use may seem daunting.  When it comes to small business, selecting the best tools to fit your needs is a top priority.  We are here to help.  These are some of the most popular applications used by small and large businesses alike.

Finance & Accouting:

Wave is your go-to cloud accounting and invoicing tool if you are on a tight budget.  They’ve been featured all over INC., The New York Times and Forbes and have served more than 1.5 million customers.  So here’s the deal, Wave is mostly free to use.  You get to use a whole gambit of awesome tools including accounting and invoicing reports, recurring invoices, receipt tracking, and mobile invoicing for free.  The only catch is that you will have to put up with some sponsored offers within the software.   If you want to add features like payroll or premium customer support you are looking at less than $20 a month.  This is a small price to pay considering the rest is 100% free.

FreshBooks is a great paid alternative for your small business.  You gain a multitude of additional features without the disruption of offers from sponsored companies, however it will cost you.  Plans start at $12 and go up to $40.

Communication:

Slack has blown up in the last year as a fully integrated messaging application for your business.  Slack launched in 2013 and the company is now valued at $3.8 billion dollars. So why?  Integrate your entire small business on one platform with tons of different features for an extremely reasonable price.  Slack allows you to create “channels,” direct message and private message individuals, share documents by dragging and dropping them directly in the platform, and even integrates with your third-party apps like DropBox and Soundcloud.   This may just be the email killer that your small business needs to become more effective.  Slack is free to use with limited features for small businesses or “teams” and less than $7 a month per active user to get just about all the features.

Organization:

Saying the Evernote is an extension of your brain may seem like a bit of a boast, but the more you use it the more it becomes just that.  Evernote is an amazing cloud-based note-taking application.  It allows you to create notes and notebooks from just about any device.  You can add tags, upload images and files, and even create shared notebooks with other Evernote users.  It’s also great for creating checklists.

If you need to message someone you have a shared notebook with, you can do it seamlessly in the application with their messaging feature.  The Google Chrome extension also allows you to clip simplified versions of web articles, posts and pictures directly into your Evernote.  You can also record voice files and attach them to notes which sync automatically allowing you to access them from anywhere.  Evernote is Free for the basics (which suits most individuals) and they also have plans ranging from $35 – $60 annually for additional features, devices and memory.

 

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softphone, voip, voipo, small business

Benefits of Using Your VoIP Service On Your Smartphone

VoIP is a great way to keep more money in your wallet while getting an awesome phone service.  Technology has helped drastically drop telecommunications costs without sacrificing features.  Now you can even carry your VoIP service with you by using a softphone application on a compatible mobile phone.  A softphone is simply a term used to describe software that allows you to make and receive phone calls using a device with an internet connection like your smartphone.  This allows you to easily enable VoIP services on the go.  While every VoIP provider is a bit different, you will generally be able to access a wide array of features on your mobile softphone. The VOIPo softphone app is free and exclusive to VOIPo customers and offers some amazing features like:
  • Caller ID
  • 3 Way Calling
  • Caller waiting
  • Voicemail to email
  • Custom contact lists
  • Quick dial
Softphones are ideal for:
  • Travelers and heavy commuters
  • Telecommuters
  • Small businesses with remote employees
  • Anyone looking to utilize VoIP on their smart phone
  • Someone who plans on making frequent long-distance calls
In order to use VoIP on your device all you need is a softphone client.  For VOIPo users, it is extremely easy to setup your VoIP soft phone for free on your iPhone or Android device.  All you need to do is go to your respective mobile application store and search for the “VOIPo” app.  Once downloaded simply log into your Vpanel from another device.  Click on the tab labeled “Beta” and then click “Mobile Softphone.”  You will be prompted to enable “Softphone/ BYOD.” Once done simply capture the QR code by using your smartphone device and voila.
Check out a full list of our VoIP features here.

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VoIP, small business

Why Your Small Business Should be Using VoIP

VoIP services have become increasingly popular over the last decade, especially among small businesses.  Small business owners are no longer limited to choosing between a handful of service providers for their business phones.  Today VoIP and PBX services have disrupted the telecommunications industry by offering a unique offering for business owners at an affordable price point.  It is important to educate yourself on what VoIP has to offer for your small business.  Here are the main advantages of VoIP and Hosted PBX services.

Flexibility & Ease of Use

VoIP and Hosted PBX services are incredibly mobile.  Unlike traditional phones which take time and money to setup and move, VoIP and Hosted PBX users will find it easy to transfer. In part, this is due to the fact that users can customize their setup.  All you need is a broadband connection strong enough to support audio streaming.  VoIP and hosted PBX services give you the ability to make calls directly from your computer using a microphone and soft phone application.  Of course you can always take the more traditional route and choose from a large selection of SIP phones to use with your system.

For small businesses that require one dedicated phone line, a basic VoIP setup is extremely easy to install without much technical know-how. Simply plug your phone into a VoIP adapter and plug the adapter into your router or modem.  It’s that easy.   Hosted PBX services cater to larger businesses that may be looking for multiple dedicated lines and extensions along with a host of other features like call menus, hold music and call waiting.  The old method of PBX required you to self-host your system which can be complicated and risky for your business.  If you don’t have an IT department, self-hosted PBX can quickly become a mess.  Today, hosted PBX provides larger businesses with an easy solution. Your PBX becomes effectively hosted in the cloud meaning less hassle for your business and less strain on your wallet.

Cost Savings

Saving money is important and extremely easy to do by choosing a VoIP or Hosted PBX service for your small business.  You can get your business phone system up and running for a fraction of the cost of a traditional line.  Since VoIP and Hosted PBX use mostly preexisting systems and are largely hosted on the web, infrastructure and maintenance costs are minimal in comparison to traditional lines.  As a small business owner you can expect to save money on:
  • Setup costs.
  • Monthly service fees.
  • Usage fees.
  • Cost for additional features.
  • Cost for adding additional phone numbers.

 More Features and More Value

Saving money does not mean that you will sacrifice call quality.  In fact, with advancements in technology and internet speed over the last few years, VoIP services have become increasingly more reliable and attractive.  VoIP services include standard features like caller ID, call waiting and 3 way calls supported.  Today you can also take advantage of the newest features to save you time and make you and your business more efficient.  Here are a few of the advanced features you can unlock with VoIP or hosted PBX, or for a complete list of features click HERE.
  • Online Call History
  • Online Voicemail
  • Call Blocking
  • Unlimited Speed Dial
  • Voicemail SMS and Email Notifications
  • Network Failover Forwarding
  • Simultaneous Ring
To see which service fits your needs best click HERE.

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