Entrepreneur Woman Working with her Mobile Phone

Few business owners start off with a sleek corporate office and a full bank account (dreams don’t count). For most entrepreneurs, every hour is dedicated to growing their company and every dollar earned is reinvested. To survive, there’s no room for wasted time or expensive resources. That’s why small business owners everywhere are turning to virtual phone systems in order to stay relevant in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.

Here are six ways a virtual phone system will make your life easier:

1. Productivity on the move.

With a virtual phone system, you can work from anywhere. There’s no need to wait at your desk for that important phone call or fax. Calls are instantly routed to your mobile phone; voicemails are delivered to your inbox as an MP3 or text; and faxes are forwarded to your e-mail as PDF attachments. This unsurpassed flexibility allows you to go on sales calls or meet with vendors, while still being connected to your business.

2. Easily redirect calls.

Call screening keeps you from being bombarded with calls when you are out of the office. Simply answer the phone and choose one of the screening prompts: answer the call, send the caller to voicemail, or hear the caller’s phone number. This feature allows you to avoid the pressure of a lengthy conversation when you can’t afford it. Callers remain on hold and won’t know the difference when they end up in your voicemail.

If you do receive an important phone call, Grasshopper’s phone system provides immediate and seamless call transfers. Critical conversations don’t have to wait. You can directly connect the caller to one of your employees and take care of business right away.

When you absolutely cannot be bothered, use the away greeting feature. Callers will be notified that you can't answer, and they will be given alternate ways of contacting your business. This can’t-miss feature works for specified times each day, like a lunch hour, or for longer time periods, such as a vacation or holiday break.

3. Providing a professional appearance.

Start-up companies and small businesses can be chaotic. Business operations aren’t always flawless (yet), but you don’t want your customers to know that. Grasshopper is the perfect solution for entrepreneurs working out of non-traditional offices spaces because it gives you a professional image, regardless of whether you’re working from a desk or the kitchen table. With Grasshopper you get full access to toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, and local numbers. You also have the capability to set a customizable main greeting. Record your business' greeting yourself or use our voice studio to create a professional-sounding introduction for your callers. After the greeting, you can give callers the option to search a company-wide name directory. You can even set music or custom commercials to play while customers are on hold.

4. Growing with your business.

You’re starting your business with the goal of big-time success, so why be limited by your phone system? As your business grows, so should your phone system. With Grasshopper you can have unlimited extensions so if you need another extension, simply add it to your account. It's that easy! Each employee can also customize his or her own call forwarding, voicemail, and message delivery settings.

5. Superior service for employees and clients.

Business revenue relies on employee productivity and customer service. Virtual phone systems, like Grasshopper, serve both of these purposes with first-class connectivity. Employees can work anytime, anywhere because they always have access to business and customer calls. If  you want to join all your employees together, use the built-in conference calling features.

To keep customer service at its best, Grasshopper also provides unlimited call handling. This means callers will never hear a busy signal. No matter how many people call, they can all be on hold and transferred when an employee becomes available.

LessAccounting.com experienced this benefit first hand when they added one of our 1 800 numbers in November.   “We purchased the phone number from Grasshopper.com, a virtual pbx application. [Before using Grasshopper,] I personally did all the phone support for the past three months which ranged from five to twenty calls a day. [With Grasshopper,] all calls went straight to voicemail, and I'd call them back at either 10am or 3pm. I could even return the missed calls... Plus, having a phone number on our site raised our conversions +1.8%.”  For customers who only need basic information about your company, you can set up an informational extension. You can load this message with store directions, product descriptions, or your hours of operation. Callers don’t have to wait, and they still get the details they need.

6. Maximizing cost savings.

The most remarkable feature of a virtual phone system is that it conserves your most precious resources: time and money. Something we can all appreciate! With Grasshopper, everything you need is all online and in the cloud. There’s no expensive hardware or software to purchase and your capital expenses are zero. You'll sound like a fortune 500 company but for much, much less than they pay! What's not to love?

Carolyn Appleton is a volunteer with Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and helps other nonprofits improve their efficiency. She discovered the incredible cost savings on a recent project while organizing a private dinner for a donor.

“While event logistics were fairly easy to arrange, I quickly realized that taking RSVPs from some 500 potential guests would be a daunting task for a ‘one person’ shop like mine. So, I took to the Internet, and happily discovered Grasshopper. I secured a toll-free response line that anyone could call, 24-7 from any location, free of charge (very convenient for our potential guests, who lived all over the state). At that time, this ended up costing the organization approximately $100, from start to finish. Considering what we gained from using Grasshopper, that was an incredibly reasonable price.”

Technology offers great resources for entrepreneurs, so why not take advantage of them? Grasshopper’s virtual phone system is easy to integrate with the way you work and could truly transform how you communicate with business partners and customers. With so many benefits at such a low cost, making the switch to a virtual phone system could be just what you need to put your new business on the path to success.

Time to fess up: How do these benefits compare with your current phone system?