In our Women Grow Business community discussion last week, Kami Huyse helped us learn how to achieve more small business success by running them like large companies.
The question that got the most response was “How do you scale a small business to serve bigger clients?“
Toward the end of the chat, we discussed resources and tools that can help your small business be more polished and organized (or upscale), as well as those that can help you manage the demands that come with working with a larger company (i.e. scale).
We’ll be going over some of the additional tools we’ve gathered from community suggestions since the chat in these areas, by category, starting today with tools related to your business phone setup .
As always, be sure to do your own research before signing up.
Give a Grand Reception on a Modest Budgets
Not big enough to have a dedicated phone line, but too busy to man the phones yourself? If you aren’t yet ready to devote the resources to an onsite live receptionist, here are some alternatives.
If you’re looking to stand out from the crowd, having a live person answer your phones can differentiate you from the world of phone trees so many consumers can resent when they have a simple question.
Answer America is a pay as you go answering service with 24 hour live operator coverage. Forward your existing phone number or use the dedicated number they offer. Receive your messages via email or SMS.
If you need something a bit more complex, services like eVoice provide you with a business phone system, allowing for multiple lines, vanity numbers, and call routing.
In this world of email and desktop publishing, rare is the occasion when you need a fax machine these days. However, there are times, such as when your digital signature cannot replace a physical one, when you’ll need to scan and fax a document.
For an ongoing fax service, you can get an incoming fax number from eFax or MyFax. However, if you just need to send an occasional fax, there are free or low cost services such as FaxZero and PCFax, which allows you to send free faxes from your iPhone or IPod touch.
Over the next two weeks in the Scale and Upscale Your Business series, we’ll list tools that will help you:
Provide Better Customer Service
Find Elegant Local Office/Meeting Spaces
- Decide whether -and what – to outsource
- Where to find outsourcing help or virtual assistants
Increase Your Email Productivity
- Simplify Accounting
Flickr Image courtesy of Sean MacEntee