Internet Fax Helps Small Business Enhance Efficiency

Small businesses thrive on efficiency. Tied to that is how they handle communication and information without compromising service to customers and clients. Juggling customer service and efficiency can be challenging when competition is as aggressive as it is now. For small businesses to compete effectively, they need the most current tools available to help augment business processes. The Internet fax is one of these tools small businesses cannot afford to be without. This technology enables small businesses to accelerate their communication and information management processes, better serve their clients, and save time and money by freeing up their physical resources.

As technology becomes more complicated, the need for Internet faxes to handle communication and information becomes apparent. While traditional faxes require space, access to a landline phone service, equipment (including paper, ink, parts) and maintenance, Internet faxes take away the need for any of these components. Internet faxes are not tied down to a specific room or space because everything they need is online. This frees up limited and valuable office space. In addition, with the acquisition of an Internet fax, small businesses eliminate time and money spent on maintenance because there are no physical components to wear down and malfunction. Because of these capabilities, the overhead cost of faxing over the Internet is much more affordable than a traditional fax over a longer period. If a small business is sending multiple faxes per day, the savings in time with an Internet fax can add up to a significant amount very quickly. This technology provides unparalleled flexibility, as faxes can be sent or received in a batch without having to wait to send or receive one fax at a time. This allows small businesses to stay competitive without being limited by technological hurdles or limitations.

Faxing over the Internet not only un-jam business processes, but they are also much more versatile in manipulating, managing, organizing and handling information. The information contained within faxes can be repurposed because faxes are stored in files, either on the company’s server or on local machines. The files can be accessed by multiple users at the same time, and can be stored securely to protect privacy and sensitive information. In addition, faxes can be easily organized and managed by routing faxes to appropriate personnel. That means that small businesses do not have to worry about missed opportunities because time-sensitive faxes are left at the machine or lost at the bottom of large piles of paper. Instead, faxes are sent immediately to employees that can respond to them in real-time. Once employees receive the fax, they can then increase their productivity by repurposing the content into other material, searching past and present faxes.

Small businesses committed to future growth by implementing new modes of operating and business efficiencies embrace innovative technology and processes in order to achieve new and better results. The implementation of Internet faxes not only symbolizes the success and planning of a small business, but organically builds a new thought process as to how information, communication and business should be executed. In the end, small businesses demonstrate their passion for serving their clients by meeting goals in an efficient and professional manner. Internet faxes make it easier to do this by streamlining communication and adding value to every fax that is sent or received. A fax is not just a piece of paper with information on it anymore; instead, it is information that can be repurposed, managed, organized and acted upon in batch and in real-time. That strong competitive advantage cannot be underestimated by any small business.

As new technology forces businesses to re-evaluate their processes and workflows on a constant basis, the Internet fax is one tool that small businesses can harness to bring immediate impact on their efficiency and productivity. Not only does the Internet fax offer versatility and time and money saving benefits, it also enables small businesses to act on information more quickly. Information can be a powerful asset when harnessed, enabling small businesses to repurpose content and manage their information cleaner and more securely. But at the heart of small businesses, service to its customers and clients remains an important advantage that is not compromised with new technology. Instead, the Internet fax facilitates effective communication and better management, enabling them to meet goals and assure clients that they are committed to growing and achieving success.

 

Small Business CRM Is Here To Stay

If you ask most small business owners what priority CRM has in their short-term business plans, chances are you’ll get more than one blank stare. The fact is that most small business owners don’t even know what CRM is not to mention how significantly it can benefit their growing company. This prevailing ignorance of small business CRM (customer relationship management) usually stems from just a few basic causes.

Excuses not to invest in small business CRM

The first and most common reason for disinterest in small business CRM is the very nature of small business. With limited financial and personnel resources at their disposal, business owners believe they can’t afford the money or time that a small business CRM system would require to show a significant ROI. Often times the chief concern is just staying afloat long enough to sign that big contract or receive a large product order.

Still other owners of new businesses believe that they can build and maintain quality customer relations simply by the virtue of the their cordial personality or particular market niche. They see small business CRM as an unessential luxury to be enjoyed exclusively by their larger competitors. What these owners often find is that without sufficient small business CRM support their business will never expand beyond the number of customer names they can remember. The problem is compounded when the company expands into internet sales (an essential move by any growing company) and suddenly finds its present customer tracking system overwhelmed by the sheer amount of incoming customer information.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line, as all successful small business owners have learned, is that it takes more than one good idea to build long-term business growth and stability. You may be great at attracting new customers to your business, but if you fail to care for, track, and understand your customer base, not only will you hemorrhage your hard-won clientele, you will also fail to capitalize on future opportunities by not anticipating future market trends.

The Solution

The good news about small business CRM is that there is an increasing number of automated systems available at prices that most smaller companies can afford without too much difficulty, usually around $2000 a year. Some CRM companies, effectively eliminating the need for small business owners to micromanage their CRM system, largely manage newer small business CRM systems. Now small business owners can reap the benefits of a smooth running CRM system with a minimal time/financial investment.

Features to look for in a small business CRM system
There are many features available to small business CRM users designed to not only track sales, but also cause sales. Here are some features to look for.

· Power Dialing-This feature allows your outbound sales agents to place 300%-400% as many sales calls, effectively quadrupling your workforce.

· Voice Messaging System-Allows you to automatically record and send sales calls designed to elicit a customer call back.

· Custom Fax and Email-Following up on leads with timely fax and email can mean the difference between closing sales and missing out on potential revenue.

Other ‘must-have’ features include:

· Calendaring

· Marketing management

· Sales management

· Order and quote management

· Service management

With the ability to outsource these business functions, small business owners can concentrate on implementing strategies that they’ve had to hold off on due to lack of customer information and/or time.

 

Small Business Lead Generation – Why Spamming and Cold Calling Does Not Work

Every small business is the proverbial Needle in the Haystack, so small business lead generation is critical to an entrepreneur’s survival and the growth of his/her small business. The thing that most entrepreneurs forget, though, is that it is a lot easier to turn a prospect or lead into a customer if the lead calls you versus when you call them. It cracks me up when I hear titles of articles, seminars, or books about how to “Make Effective Cold Calls” or how to “Warm Up Cold Calls”. In the past decade (through two recessions, mind you,) I’ve built a total of four multi-million dollar businesses from scratch, and none of that revenue was ever generated from any “cold call”. In fact, I’ve had over 405 of the Fortune 500 companies become clients, and they have all called or emailed my companies. They searched my companies out when they had a problem instead of us trying to find people within these companies that were facing the specific problems that we could solve. These are a few of the secrets that we have uncovered to help small businesses generate more leads (and more quality leads).

Cold Calls do not Work at All in a Digital Age

Cold calls, email spam, blast faxes, pop-up windows, forced “opt-in” subscribers and the like just don’t work in this digital age (I’m not sure any of them ever worked very well for very long). The ones that crack me up the most are the companies that send out blast email spam guaranteeing us that they can get our website to the top of Google in 48 hours. Seriously? Do you think that if they could actually do this that they would be wasting their time spamming millions of people trying to beg someone to buy their service? Last month, there were 165,000 people who went to Google and searched for the term “Google search optimization”. If they could get to the top of Google with just that one term, they would have about two million people potential leads coming to them every year. So why would they need to spam people? If you are so good at what you do, why are you spamming me? Why are you cold calling me? Why are you trying to force me to subscribe to your newsletter? The truth is that cold calling and spamming people shows desperation, not success.

Get Potential Leads to Call You to Turn more Leads into Customers

The internet is the great equalizer for small businesses. Big businesses have websites, but their bureaucracy forces them to move very slowly in implementing new technology and captivating on new opportunities. However, nimble small businesses can capitalize on these opportunities immediately. It is actually very easy to get to the top of a Google search result. It is very difficult, however, to stay there. In fact, it is a fulltime job. But it is a very lucrative fulltime job. Logically, this is why this is your most important goal for your small business. When someone has a question, where do they go for an answer now? In decades past, if you had a challenge or a question, you might ask a friend or coworker or if it was a really big problem, you might go to the library and search for an answer. Today, though, people go immediately to Google. The listings at the top of the first page have a lot more credibility than the ones on the second, third, or four-hundredth.

If your small business is listed at the top of the results when they enter their question, and then they click through to your website and get the answer to that question, your small business is now at the top of their short-list for solution providers. If they call you or email you, you automatically have about a 25% chance or so of turning that lead into a client. In contrast, if your small business is listed at the top of page two on Google, in order to have someone contact you, they will have already looked at listings from at least 10 other competitors. Most potential customers will not be that thorough, so you will generate fewer leads, and now, since you are competing with at least ten other competitors, your percentage of closing drops to below 10%.

Get Leads to Call You by Giving Away Something that They Need or Want

What is common knowledge to you is uncommon to most people. Remember that your expertise and knowledge is extremely valuable to people who are searching on Google for answers as in the previous example. So if you can help them answer the question – and really help them in the process – they are more likely to share with you their contact information. Once they do, you now know two things about them. First, you know that they have (or had) a specific problem that you can help them solve. Second, you know that they already know who you are and trust has started to develop from them that you are an expert in your industry.

What you give away doesn’t have to be costly, but it must be valuable. Costly means that it doesn’t have to cost you anything to give it away. For instance, if you have a lot of informational content on your blog, then you might ask people to register in order to conduct a search of your blog for specific topics. Or, you might give away a special report or access to a video or audio file with information that a prospect might need. For example, if you are a dentist, you might offer a video about how to teach a three-year-old to brush properly. Anyone who requests the free information will likely have a young child and be concerned about the child’s oral health. Whatever the gift, just make sure that your costs are low and the value of the item is high from the customer’s perspective.

So forget the cold calls and spam, use your website to get more leads to call you, and then use a high-valued free gift to encourage prospects to contact you, and you will generate great success through small business lead generation.