Small Business for Facing the Challenges of the Market

You have taken the step, no, the giant leap in your life – launching your own business. Now your dream is floating out there on the big bad sea of competitive business; dodging sharks, swimming in the space between the giant whales and gobbling what nourishment you can. It is a scary place to be but also exciting, can you make it in this jungle? Does your business have what it takes? Now is the time to remember one of life’s most important lessons. Never be too afraid to ask for help, small business help to be specific.

Let me introduce you to the concept of Small Business. I am talking about optimizing every aspect of your company, of boosting your performance from surviving to thriving. You need solutions tailored to the requirements and factors unique to your business.Among your most important resources is the human resource. Developing your staff and identifying future leaders and innovators is critical to the growth of your business. Get help to enable your employees to grow. Human Resource (HR) operations are essential to the smooth running of your company. The solutions can streamline these processes for you. Automate much of your HR operations, especially payroll. This will save time and resource on HR, which are better spent in other avenues to improve your business. Build loyalty and word-of-mouth publicity among customers by using Small Business to develop and advance your customer care service to new levels of excellence.

Use Information Technology (IT) to your advantage. Go online and connect your staff. It can integrate and adapt processes to maintain quick and easy communication between your employees, reducing risks and costs while improving efficiency. You could use small business help in finding the cheapest sources of the best supplies. Improve your procurement procedures by engaging in online bidding. Develop processes to ensure terms and conditions of your contract are being met.

There are solutions to accelerate your financial closes and customer to cash processes. Do not hesitate to get small business help in managing your cash resources and liquidity, carefully handling your sensitive assets and protecting your business from risk, all while staying within compliance standards.Small Business will revolutionize the way you operate. They will improve your company’s performance on every level, allowing you to make decisions and take up challenges with confidence.

There is always solution for any problem; just we have to find out that. But when problem arises we can’t think positively. That time consultancy shows the solution, a positive way to go ahead.

Small Business

When you start operating or own a small business, there will always be challenges along the way. These obstacles can catch you unawares and you may have a hard time overcoming them. The successful small business owner will always find a way to overcome these problems and goes onto thrive. Small Business are supposed to be quick and effective because the business cannot afford to have problems. Your business depends highly on running as smoothly as possible.

Majority of small companies run on a tight budget. A major hurdle small businesses face is promotion and marketing. It can be expensive to use print or electronic media for advertisements. So to counter this problem, you can use the Internet. It is a cost effective and effective way to reach your target market. Besides this, there is a variety of advertising techniques readily available online. You just need to simply select the advertising method that works best for you and your business.Small businesses normally encounter a high employee turnover. It makes operation of the business hectic because you are forced to deal with unreliable or incompetent employees. To curb this, ensure that you employ qualified and trustworthy employees whose loyalties are with you and the business. It is always better to surround yourself with like minded people who share the same vision of seeing your business grow. This way your customers will see that you are able to manage your business effectively since there is great team work and energy.

The technological aspect of any business cannot be without its problems. These obstacles could stem from the business computer to the Internet. Your computer can be attacked by a virus or you have an unreliable Internet service provider. This may be problem out of your control but always preventing them will save you a lot of headache in the future. Keep the system virus free by constantly updating your anti- virus. Also have a reliable and competent technician whose charges are affordable. It is essential to have Small Business so as to prevent big problems in the future.

Advertising in Regional Parenting and Family Magazines – An Ideal Small Business Solution

When it comes to advertising your products and services, regional parenting magazines may be one of the best kept secrets in town. They present the advertiser with an opportunity to speak directly to an attentive and targeted audience, while offering low-cost ad rates. No doubt, the perfect small business advertising alternative.

When you reach parents during their child rearing years, you are reaching a very motivated group of consumers who are at the highest acquisition stage of their lives. Large corporations are keenly aware of the purchasing power of this influential parenting market, which is why they place $90,000 display ads in the most popular mainstream parenting publications month-after-month.

However, they routinely ignore the regional parent and family magazines because these magazines don’t have large enough circulation. This creates a wonderful opportunity for a small business with a limited advertising budget, who can use these regional family-oriented publications to reach out to passionate parents across the country. And the best part, is that the advertising rates for these local regional publications are infinitesimally lower than any mainstream parent magazine.As consumers, parents and grandparents across the U.S. and Canada are demographically linked together by an imperative desire to do what’s right for their families, and to buy the best services and products for their children. Parenting magazine readers actually read the ads in these magazines. In fact, surveys conducted across the country have shown that 74% of these readers say they read the advertisements in the parenting publications most of the time or all of the time, and most of these readers use these ads to make their buying decisions.

You don’t need to be a marketing genius to figure out the potential here. The real question is, does your product or service fit this market? Let’s examine some of the readers’ characteristics and lifestyle. First of all, with the exception of some major magazines of nationwide distribution, regional parenting magazines are usually distributed for free to their readers. These readers make shopping decisions for their families and for themselves.

  • 78% are women (52% of them work full-time)
  • 75% are mothers, 20% are expecting mothers, and 33% are planning to have more children
  • 78% have children under the age of 6
  • 57% have children in grade school
  • 38% have at least one preteen or teenager at home
  • 32% have at least one parent who works at home
  • Average household income is $68,000 (national average)

These are busy, time-starved parents who are 80% either college graduates or have some college background. The type of products and services they have purchased in the past and plan to purchase in the future includes everything from vacation packages, financial investments and services, to children books and clothing, children toys, home furnishings, work from home opportunities, health services, recorded music, electronics, and much more.Circulation for these publications range anywhere from a few thousand to several hundred thousand per issue. You can target specific geographic regions of the U.S. and Canada, which is an ideal way to test your ads, or advertise at a nationwide level. And display advertising prices in some cases could start as low as $100, with many publications offering low-cost marketplace and classified ad sections.

In addition, most of these publications offer several theme-based supplemental editions throughout the year, giving the advertiser extra options to focus their message. Regional parenting and family magazines offer the small business a golden opportunity to reach a targeted market at affordable rates. It’s time you explore how it could work for you.

Comparing VoIP Providers For Small Business

It is no secret that communication is key to survival for small business. The advantage to small busineses of using a VoIP solution is that the market is very competitive. While there are relatively few companies from which to choose for normal phone service, many VoIP providers will gladly offer VoIP phone service at a very competitive rate and with unlimited long distance.

But….you need to do your homework first.

Phone service features indispensable to your business, such as voicemail, conferencing and call waiting, allow business to flow smoothly and efficiently. So….how do you decide if a VoIP solution is best for your business?

One of the first steps when analyzing your current service is to decide what features your business needs. Does it need multiple lines to accommodate the sales force? What about a toll free number for customer service? Make a list of all the features your office uses and think about others you might want to try.

The next step is to make an estimate of all intrastate (in- state), interstate (state-to-state) and international calls. An easy way to estimate these numbers is to view a recent phone bill. You might be surprised at how large or small your call volume actually is. If you rely heavily on fax machines, consider the number of incoming and outgoing faxes. As you review these numbers, remember to consult growth projections for the rest of the year.

Once you’ve done all this…you’re ready to go comparison shopping.

Here’s some resources to help you do that:

* VoIP Comparison Reviews

VoIPReview does a good job comparing feature sets from each of the providers. Its user reviews seem a bit skewed, but otherwise the site looks good.

* ZDNet Reviews

ZDNet usually has objective reviews. Read through its commentary on any of the providers you are considering.

* Broadband Reports

Broadband reports has a specific area for review by users…with a regularly updated scoring system. It’s often skewed with a tad bit of emotion….and reviews are mostly residential. But it does give you an idea for business use.* Google

I’m sure most of you already do this, but once you’ve figured out what you’re looking for, perform a search on companies on Google to see what others have said about it.

If you’re willing to do a bit more work, contact various providers and create your own comparison chart. You can begin your research by visiting voipreview.org. The site offers VoIP facts and reviews of various broadband phone service providers. Compare the business plans for different providers and research the various features offered with each plan. Also, make sure your current Internet connection can handle VoIP calls. The Web site testyourvoip.com [http://www.testyourvoip.com] will evaluate and score your Internet connection. You’ll know if it makes sense to run your phone traffic over your broadband connection.

Here is a list and description of the top ten (supposedly) VoIP providers (includes home plans for telecommuter staff).

– Axvoice

Axvoice has many plans for you to sign up. Unlimited call to USA/Canada plan costs $ 18.99 per month. Unlimited international & USA/Canada plan costs $29.99. Axvoice also has business plan starting from $ 39.99 per month.

– INVIVNI

INVIVNI has three plans, Residentials, Small Office, and Business. The Residential plan costs $24.95 per month. The Small Office plan costs $32.95 per month, and the Business plan costs is negotiable.

– VCInetwork

VCInetwork has three plans, Unlimited Long Distance :Home, Unlimited Long Distance: Business and 500 minutes to USA/Canada and Europe. Unlimited Long Distance : Home plan costs $28.95 per month. Unlimited Long Distance : Business plan costs $49.95 per month and 500 minutes to USA/Canada and Europe plan costs $14.50 per month.

– Skype

Skype is famous for their slogan, “The Whole World can Talk for Free”. Skype is a free download and users can make free calls via, Skype to Skype. For a fee, you can advance your Skype to Skype Out and make calls to landline phones. Skype In will let your choose your area code and phone number. This way, friends and relatives can call you locally, if you select the same area code. Skype is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Pocket Pc operating systems. Not really a good business solution.

– Vonage

Probably the most well known VoIP providers, you may be surprised to discover that Vonage is also one of the more expensive providers. Vonage offers two plans, residential and small business. Residential users may choose between the Basic 500 plan and Unlimited. The Basic 500 plan offers 500 minutes of talk time for $14.99 a month. The Premium Unlimited residential plan costs $24.99 per month.

The Small Business Basic plan costs $39.99 per month and allows 1500 minutes. The Small Business Unlimited plan costs $49.99 a month and provides unlimited calls throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

– Dialpad

Dialpad and Yahoo have merged services. Currently, Dialpad offers three plans- Dialpad Monthly 300, Dialpad Monthly 500, and Dialpad USA. The cost for Dialpad Monthly 300 is $7.50 per month, Dialpad Monthly 500 costs $9.99 per month, and Dialpad USA costs $11.99 per month.

– Broadvox Direct

Broadvox Direct offers residential and small business services. Their residential services include the Residential Choice Plus plan for $9.95 per month. The Residential Choice Plus plan includes 100 outbound minutes and unlimited incoming minutes. Their Residential Unlimited Plan costs $29.95 a month and includes unlimited calling anywhere in the US and Canada. The SoHo Small Business Regional Plan costs $34.95 per month and includes 1500 monthly minutes in the US and in Canada. The SoHo Small Business Unlimited Plan costs $44.95 per month and includes unlimited calls in the US and Canada and also includes a free fax line and Yellow Page listing.

– Galaxy Voice

Galaxy Voice offers two plans, Residential and Business. Their residential plan costs $19.95 a month and includes unlimited calling, Voicemail, Caller Id, Call Waiting, Call Return, Three Way Calling, and Call Forwarding. Their business plan costs $39.95 per month and includes unlimited calling, Free Voice Mail, Free Call Transfer, Free Call Forwarding, Free Repeat Dialing, and Free Caller ID block.

– Voice Pulse

Voice Pulse has three plans, America Unlimited, Local Unlimited +200, and Business Unlimited. The America Unlimited plan costs $24.99 per month. The Local Unlimited +200 costs $14.99 per month, and the Business Unlimited costs $45.99 per month.- VoIP American

VoIP American has three different plans. These are the VoIP American PBX plan, the VoIP American Voice plan and the VoIP American bVoice plan. The VoIP American PBX plan cost $19.99 a month for a private line and $44.99 a month for unlimited calling. The VoIP Voice Residential Basic plan costs $14.99 per month and the VoIP Voice Residential Unlimited plan costs $29.99 per month. The bVoice Business plan costs $34.99 per month.

– Packet 8

Packet 8 not only offers phone plans, but they also offer videophone plans. Their residential plans are the Freedom International and Freedom Unlimited. Both of these plans cost $19.99 per month. [note: currently they’re running a special for $9.95 per month for your 1st 3 months.] The Videophone plan is the Freedom Unlimited and that too is $19.99 per month. Their business plans consists of three different plans. These are the Virtual Office service plans, the Virtual Attendant Service plans, and the Business Phone Service plans. The Virtual office phone plan costs $39.95 per month, the Virtual Attendant service plan costs $14.95 per month, and the Business Attendant service plan costs $34.95 per month.

– Sun Rocket

Sun Rocket offers their signature service for either $24.95 per month or $199.00 per year.

– Speakeasy

Speakeasy offers many different plans ranging from Home Office, Small Office I, Small Office II, and Small Business. Their Home Office plan costs 79.90 per month, the Small Office I plan costs $560.00 per month, the Small Office II plan costs 1,039 per month and the Small Business plan costs $2,349 per month.

Analyzing phone service is often a real headache. However, unreliable line quality, which results in poor customer service and huge monthly bills are even worse. In the end, doing your research will pay dividends for your business. Personally, I have no reservations recommending Packet8 for your business VoIP solution right now. However, go through the above steps first for your own peace of mind…..you’ll likely reach the same conclusion.