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Grasshopper is everywhere

Original Article

Grasshopper is the place for Entrepreneurs to grow

Okay, so what in the world does a bug have to do with business and being an Entrepreneur?  Simply put, it’s a brand.  The guys at Grasshopper decided it was time to really set in stone their brand identity, and as co-founder and CEO, Siamak Taghaddos said, “We loved the name Grasshopper, we love the insect, and made the change.”  Their goal?  To make Grasshopper and entrepreneurship words and meanings that commingle for value and success.

Grasshopper comes from the minds of its co-founders, Taghaddos and business partner David Hauser.  These energetic entrepreneurs started their go-get-em spirits in high school when both owned businesses.  That moved into college, and when “the real world” came calling, they were right there with their next idea.  “We saw there was a huge need for this service,” says Taghaddos.

Started in 2003 as “gotvmail”, they have just recently changed their name to Grasshopper, serving businesses as a phone service operation.  The basic gist of it is, rather than you’re investing in a massive phone system, especially when you can’t afford it, you have your regular single line phone service.  Then through Grasshopper, expand that out to appear as though there are multiple extensions at your company, and in turn, your business appears larger.

So, you get yourself the phone number you want (if available), or even an
800 number nationwide, then Grasshopper provides for your monthly fee, numerous extensions.  Someone calls you, gets “the switchboard”, and chooses from say three, four, five different extensions.  They hit the one they want, and get you.  Another caller calls into the same number, chooses a different extension, and gets you.

Or maybe you do have multiple employees, maybe they work in the same place, or maybe they’re all over the nation: on cell phones, home offices, at the playground with the kids.  The caller calls that central number, gets the switchboard offering different extensions, and wherever that employee is, the call goes through.

Have a cell phone plus a landline at the home office, and want to switch between them?  No problem.  Hit a few keys on the computer and the line switches to where you want it.

Now your little one, two, three person operation appears on par with the big boys, and it’s all because of a bug.  In this case, the good kind.

Let’s say you live in a rural area that’s “professionally out of the way”.  You’re trying to play on the same game as the guys in big cities like Chicago, New York and Atlanta.  How can you do it?


Perhaps you wish to appear as through you have multiple offices nationwide to appear bigger.  You’ve got employees in those cities, so get them numbers there, and make your business look as though it has multiple offices.  Little does the client know, your assistant (administrative department) is in one place, your salesman (sales office) in another, your billing person (billing office) in another.  These aren’t separate offices, it just looks that way.

You can choose from phone numbers that are associated with those big cities, and no one is the wiser.  Think the prefix of a phone number doesn’t matter?  Think again.  Folks who think you’re out in a small town will sometimes look upon a small town business in a negative light.  Big city can equal big deal, and those phone numbers can make a difference.  Grasshopper gives you that flexibility and big deal appearance.

One of their best perks: free 24/7 support, right here in America.  No worries if you’re technologically disinclined, the technical support will be there when you need it to keep your business up and running.  That includes making the switch between cell phone and landline for you.  Now that’s help.

That’s what’s great about Grasshopper, they are there to make your business life easier.  If you’re the kind of person who isn’t all that technologically gifted, you have no worries.  They want to make this as easy for you as it is for any of their users.  Taghaddos puts it like this, “That’s why we decided to rebrand Grasshopper, change the way that you can log in and manage your account, because 99% of entrepreneurs out there don’t really need to know or know how technology and telecommunications works.  They know that they get an email and a blackberry and that’s all they care about.  Or they pick up the phone and make a phone call.”

There are several packages to chose from, offering a range of monthly options.  All plans include unlimited extensions, free 24/7 support, and only .06 for additional minutes.  Current packages run at $9.95 per month for 100 minutes and 1 Toll Free and/or Local Number.  For $49 per month, and in their most popular package, you’ll get 2000 minutes with 2 Toll Free and/or Local Numbers, 2 existing number transfers and unlimited extensions.  The Max plan for $199 per month brings you 3 Toll Free and/or Local numbers, unlimited existing number transfers, unlimited voice studio services and unlimited extensions.

What are the plans for Grasshoppers future?  Co-founder and CTO David Hauser tells me, “There’s a number of things we’re working on that’s what’s coming out of our new division, which is Grasshopper Labs.”  And as a small business themselves with just under 50 current employees, and that strong entrepreneurial spirit, Taghaddos and Hauser understand what it is that other entrepreneurs go through when they want to grow and expand.

Yet, they also listen to the clients they work with for their ideas.  Hauser adds, “What are those problems that we can solve that people will pay for?  We’ll be building those products out and marketing them to our current customers as well to those new customers.”

These guys are certainly about making money, but what drives them is the desire to help entrepreneurs.  They demonstrated their passion has carried them through, and their chosen task today is to demonstrate the immense importance of the entrepreneurial spirit and drive, and how such people make a true and honest difference in the world.

Don’t believe me?  Watch the YouTube they put together about being an entrepreneur.  (below)  or listen to the words of co-founder Hauser, “Go out there and do something.  Create the job you wanted, create the business you wanted, take that chance and take that risk.”

And Taghaddos final words?  “Grasshopper equals entrepreneurship.”