Maybe it’s because we are one ourselves and share an affinity, or maybe its because startups are so in touch with their mobile phones that using anything else is totally alien and that we get that, but we love startups.
The great news for startups is you don’t need to worry about using any other form of technology for your business communications – your mobile phone is perfect!
However, there are some common mistakes startups make which can be avoided and lead to increased business and better overall communications.
1. Only having a mobile phone number
They say that you tell a lot about a business from spending 10 seconds in their reception. Similarly you can tell a lot about a business by their phone number.
Do they just use a mobile number on their business card or web site?
Research shows 30% of people do not trust it and therefore will not contact them. This is even higher if the business is offering professional services such as accountancy, financial advice or consultancy.
Not an issue: We can supply any city based phone number in over 52 countries, and users can make and receive calls using the new numbers on their personal mobile phone.
2. Using your home phone number for business
Some businesses are tempted to use their home phone number but this has the disadvantage you don’t know if your aunt is calling or is it that important new customer.
It also means you can’t turn your business off if you want in the evening or at weekends. There is limited functionality as well for handling a second call and personalising voicemails. Also if you move house you may move to another telephone exchange and not be able to take the phone number you have been marketing for years.
Not an issue: We can port home phone numbers in to our service and from there a user can know who is calling and on what line, set up work voicemail, and utilse Do Not Disturb, all from their personal mobile phone.
3. Using an answering service
Many small businesses wonder if they should use a telephone answering or virtual PA service for when they are not available.
The key question is, what do you want them to do. If it is to just take a message you need to ask yourself what value is that adding. If they can handle certain queries then that can enhance the offering, but the inflexibility of deciding which calls to answer directly, and cost are an issue.
Not an issue: Our enhanced services allow users to answer the calls they want or can, and pass the rest to any desired; person, service or voicemail.
4. Signing up to long contracts
There is a great pressure for all new businesses to manage their costs at the outset whilst revenues are low. Offers of free installation of sparkling new phone systems, if you sign 3 or 5 year contracts, can on the surface appear very tempting, but there are downsides.
Firstly your business may expand and / or you may move the business and you could find yourself facing penalties for cancelling the contract. Secondly you are locking yourself into prices for a long term in an environment where prices usually go down. The cost of calling mobiles has fallen by 50% in the past 4 years for example.
At the same time many business owners forget to read the small print in the contracts and forget to check the basics such as length, notice periods and penalty clauses. They then get caught when they want to make changes.
But most importantly you will be buying outdated technology you neither need or actually desire.
Not an issue: We don’t require contracts or lock-ins, clients already have the equipment they need in their personal mobile phones, and are able to cease using the service at any time.
5. Serviced offices
Many start-ups consider using serviced offices when starting out which can make sense as it avoids long term commitment that usually comes with renting your own space.
But if considering this route ensure you check if they will expect you to use their telecoms services. This can create issues.
Firstly, the costs can be very expensive compared to organising yourself, and secondly, they may not release the number to you should you move out at some point in the future.
If you have invested in promoting that phone number it could damage your business if you have to get a new number.
Thirdly, telecoms is usually set around using a shared desk phone which is neither practical or hygienic.
Not an issue: Make sure the agreement does not tie you in to their telecoms and simply use your mobile phone.
Final Thought: There are thousands of VoIP solutions in the market place, these offer a lot of great features and functionality, but fail to deliver 100% of the time due to internet/WiFi connectivity issues.
Our service is built on top of the cellular voice network and does not use internet/WiFi connections for the call. It offers HD quality calling, instant connectivity and the benefit of cellular mast hopping, whilst on the move, which means no dropped calls!
Any phone numbers can be added to the service; existing or new, mobile or landline, national or international.
Special Startup offer: From just £9.95 for a phone number and unlimited call forwarding to a mobile.