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Custom Toll Free® Blog

August 22nd, 2014

Small Business, Management, Toll Free NumbersToday, August 22nd, 2014 is Hug Your Boss Day. It is an important day for those who run small businesses. What is Hug Your Boss Day and more important, what does Hug Your Boss Day mean for small business owners and entrepreneurs?

What is Hug Your Boss Day?

Hug Your Boss Day promotes workplace relationships, especially the professional relationships established by employees and managers that include small business owners. “Hug Your Boss” represents more of a feeling than actually giving your boss a great, big bear hug, although that is welcome as well if that is the kind of relationship and rapport you have with him or her.

Hug Your Boss Day makes team members and employees think about their relationships with their bosses. Are they comfortable enough with you to give you a “hug”? Do you strive to encourage employees rather than “manage” them in the traditional form? Do you create an open, informal atmosphere that allows employees and team members to feel like they can talk to you about anything? Happy employees who possess high morale tend to outperform discontented employees who do not have the urge to hug their bosses. Happy employees translate into motivated employees, which enhance worker productivity and improve profit margins.

The Meaning of Hug Your Boss Day to Small Business Owners

Whether your employees send you a bottle of wine or take you out to lunch, you bask in the glow of appreciation that rarely manifests. The appreciation shows your hard work and unwavering leadership has created a cohesive team of customer service oriented professionals that have a stake in your small business. Your team simply does not go through the motions, but instead, puts out maximum effort because of the example and standards you have set for the small business.

Hug Your Boss Day means you are doing something right.

Self-doubt that leads to fear is a common feeling among small business owners, as making decisions and implementing strategies can put a small business owner in a lonely place. The special day for entrepreneurs should motivate them to develop innovative strategies to attract more customers to the small business. Have you started a content marketing plan? Does your small business website contain current product and service information? Have you considered acquiring toll free numbers for your small business?

Running a small business is one of the most difficult jobs out there. It feels good when one day out of the year, your team members show their appreciation for your efforts, even if the “hug” is figurative.

 

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Uncategorized |
August 19th, 2014

Small Business, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free NumbersToll free numbers have emerged as one of the most cost effective ways to increase brand recognition among a growing number of customers. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs who make these five common toll free number mistakes will see more harm than good. Avoid reaching toxic levels in your small business by ensuring you are using toll free numbers correctly.

Toxic Customer Service

Using your primary small business phone number to handle customer complaints is a recipe for disaster. Mass confusion caused by the bustle around you turns off customers faster than you think. Customers do not want to be put on hold, nor do they want to talk to someone who has no idea about your policies or products, or who can’t answer their questions. Dedicate toll free numbers with customer service professionals who have the ability to build your brand by deftly and proudly handle customer inquiries.

Promotion Poison

Another toxic attempt to run small business specials and promotions is using toll free numbers inconsistently, or without using them at all. By dedicating toll free numbers to promotions, you ensure your customers receive the necessary information they deserve that pertains to duration, prizes, discounts, and products involved in the promotions. Change your toll free numbers to match the theme of each promotion.

Getting Caught in the “Web”

Let’s face it: Most small business owners do not understand how to write engaging and unique content that provides value and solutions to customers. Customers search the web for answers. Your content should provide solutions to those answers in a unique way that not only defines your brand but makes you look like an expert. A toll free number can also have this same effect.

Most small business owners neglect to promote their toll free numbers on every page of their websites. One of the most tried and true ways to secure your brand with your toll free number is to accurately and prominently display your toll free number on your website.

Email Pollution

Email marketing is a successful method to entice prospective customers to buy from your small business. By encouraging prospective customers to receive your electronic newsletter, you provide them with information that builds an important level of trust. Email marketing is another important channel and opportunity to prominently display your toll free numbers. Toll free numbers provide your customers with instant access to one of your friendly and accommodating team members.

If you send out your weekly or monthly marketing email without your toll free number, then this is yet another toxic attempt at marketing that could cost you sales and even customer retention.

When Toll Free Attempts Turn Toxic…

What happens when your customers need to reach you before or after hours? Do you have a back up plan that allows your customers to receive prompt attention? Custom Toll Free offers call forwarding services that allow business who operate emergency types of services, such as plumbers and electricians, need to establish a call forwarding system that moves their small business toll free numbers to their personal phones.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs should be working to ensure that their toll free numbers are executed properly throughout all functional sales, marketing, and customer service teams. By recognizing and addressing these toll free concerns, small business owners and entrepreneurs have the power to turn toxic levels down so toll free numbers boost sales up.

 

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Toll Free Benefits, Vanity and Branding |
August 15th, 2014

Small Business, Fears, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Toll Free Benefits, EntrepreneurStarting a business and taking that step to embracing and becoming a true entrepreneur is scary. There’s no doubt about it. There is a lot at risk: time, resources, and money, just to name a few. Depending on the type of business an aspiring entrepreneur is looking to start, a significant amount of resources and money is needed in the beginning, which only increases the risk.

Regardless of what your business entails, whether it is a product or service and how much startup capital is needed, the very first step aspiring entrepreneurs need to conquer is their fears.

The Time is Now. They say “there’s no time like the present”, and in starting a business, this couldn’t be more true. The sad fact is that most aspiring entrepreneurs who talk about becoming an entrepreneur or share their ideas with family and friends usually will also list reasons why they don’t start a business. In most cases, these reasons are merely excuses, stemming from fear.

Jump in With Both Feet. But why does fear hold us back? It is mostly because we are afraid to fail. Think of starting a business like jumping into a pool. Before you jump into the pool you might think: “How deep is it?” “Is the water cold?” “What if I forgot how to swim?” But they say the best way to jump in is to just do it. Start your business by jumping in with both feet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail. We as human beings are by nature fear failure. Failure can mean many different things in the world of business: rejection, feeling passed over for a promotion, losing what you have, and taking big financial risks. Starting a business is one of them. Bu tin order to climb the ladder, you must be willing to accept the fact that you might fail and be okay with it. Embracing failure is one attribute of a strong entrepreneur. This could be you.

Don’t Do it Alone. After you’ve conquered your fears and you’ve decided to start a business and become an entrepreneur by jumping in with both feet, the next thing you should focus on is strategy. How do you get noticed? How do you get people in the door? How do you get your word and vision out? How do you reach people? Toll free numbers.

Toll free numbers are easy to acquire and are a cost effective approach to any marketing strategy. Acquiring a toll free number is a tried and true way to enhance brand recognition, establish a `reputation, and show people you are reputable and truly mean business.

 

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Toll Free Benefits |
August 14th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Smarketing, Online Marketing, Gap, Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll FreeRunning a small business can feel like you are at the helm of the Titanic. Small leaks in your small business boat often turning into large gaps that consume all of your time and energy. Small business owners and entrepreneurs should pay special attention to gaps that might exist in their online presence, marketing strategy, and toll free numbers.

Sales + Marketing = “Smarketing”

Too many small business owners believe sales and marketing are incongruous terms. They claim that marketing is the strategy of earning trust and credibility to attract new customers. According to small business owners, sales involve closing the deal and converting customers that walk into their stores into customers who purchase products and services.

The new buzz word "Smarketing" combines sales and marketing into a well-oiled revenue-generating machine. For example, the marketing team of your small business creates the promotional materials that the sales team uses during formal presentations or informal interactions with small business customers.

Content + Images = Value

Savvy small business owners understand the benefits of operating websites and establishing an online presence to attract customers, and how important this presence is today. Yet, far too many small business owners fail to understand that websites that while visual aids and images are great for any marketing strategy, especially since 77 percent of users view web pages on a mobile device, don’t forget about continuing to provide compelling content that ranks high in search engines. This will continue to provide more value than small business websites that are only replete with flashy images.

Content marketing has emerged as one of the most cost effective ways for small businesses to reach a large number of customers. Content that helps attract prospective customers to your small business website helps your audience to solve problems, which builds your credibility. Regular customers will also visit your small business website for promotional information.

Toll Free Numbers = Brand Recognition + Trust

Now that we have steadied the small business boat, it’s time to attract more customers to jump on board. Toll free numbers represent the best way to ensure your small business does not sink into the competitive waters. By creating memorable toll free numbers, you create brand recognition for your small business that sticks in the minds of your regular customers, who in turn pass along your catchy small business numbers to family and friends.

Toll free numbers also build the type of credibility that helps your small business establish trust with prospective customers. The easy to acquire vanity numbers provide the greatest return on your marketing investment, since they are such a cost effective marketing and branding tool, and can even provide immediate results.

 

© HieroGraphic - Fotolia.com

Vanity and Branding |
August 12th, 2014

Small Business, Toll Free Number, TacticsToll free numbers represent one of the most cost effective marketing strategies available to small business owners. Small businesses can better connect with your valued regular customers, as well and attract new customers to your small business. Toll free numbers also provide you with the benefits of stronger brand awareness and credibility that builds trust. The question is not whether to acquire toll free numbers, but rather choosing the toll free tactics that will make your week.

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

You want your small business name to roll off the tongue of regular customers. Name recognition translates into word-of-mouth advertising, increases customer counts, and bolsters your small business bank account. You do not have to spend hours hand wringing over choosing a tool free number vanity number. Simply create a name that matches your business. For example, a barber can utilize 1-800-HAIRCUT and a baker can create 1-800-PASTRIES, with only the first seven letters dialed by customers.

Match a Toll Free Number with a Promotion

Toll free numbers do not have to be permanent fixtures of your small business. One of the best toll free tactics that will make your week involves matching a toll free number with a store or online promotion. You dedicate catchy vanity numbers for a weeklong special or one-day only contest. Staff the phones with your best customer service professionals to provide customers with detailed information about the promotion. Small business promotions provide you with a great opportunity to describe your small business products and services.

What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You

Acquiring toll free numbers is only the start of your new marketing strategy. You also need to know where your small business calls originate in correspondence with each advertising campaign. Dynamic phone tracking is an online service that provides small business owners with detailed data that demonstrates the origin of each toll free call. You create a toll free number for an advertisement and use the origination data to set up similar future advertising campaigns. Dynamic phone tracking eliminates the shotgun approach to marketing and replaces it with targeted advertisements.

Selecting toll free tactics that will make your week does not require a lot of brain racking or financial resources. There are also enhanced services available with Custom Toll Free that can help change your marketing program into a veritable revenue-generating machine. Learn more about toll free numbers by contacting us online or by phone at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

 

© WavebreakmediaMicro - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
August 8th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Benefits, Small BusinessNow that you have acquired toll free numbers, the temptation may arise to simply walk away from the phone and hope customers call your small business with questions about your products and services. However, simply adding a few toll free numbers does not guarantee your small business sees an uptick in business. You need to optimize your new business phone numbers by employing a few tricks of the toll free vanity number trade.

Pay it Forward

What happens when a customer tries to reach your small business after hours? What happens when prospective customers listen to a recorded message during your lunch break? The answer is customers do not like listening to recorded message or leaving messages with an automated phone system. Call forwarding to your personal phone number ensures you assist customers outside of regular business hours, as well as whenever you leave to run an errand.

Make Toll Free Numbers Memorable

The key to enjoying the greatest benefits of toll free numbers is to create memorable vanity names that customers closely associate with your small business. For example, if your line of work involves ensuring patients have healthy teeth, you can acquire the vanity number 1-800-DENTIST. Catchy toll free numbers helps your small business establish a strong brand presence in the community.

Promotions and Specials

Small businesses that run frequent product and service promotions can get the word out by acquiring toll free numbers. This trick creates buzz for the promotions by establishing a connection with both regular and prospective customers. You can advertise the promotional toll free numbers in a variety of ways, from boldly displaying the numbers on a billboard to presenting the numbers on your small business website.

Split the Prefix

The low supply of available 800 numbers has prompted many small businesses to choose prefixes such as 866, 877, and 888. One of the best tricks to ensure your customers remember number prefixes is to split the prefix up, such as 1-8-66-444-9090. Although splitting the prefix appears to add complexity to your toll free numbers, you simplify the number by utilizing repeating digits. This trick works best for small businesses that worry about competitors trying to mimic their toll free numbers to take away customers.

Overdial is not Overkill

The popularity of toll free numbers has increased demand for the numbers. High demand may make it difficult for you to establish a vanity number that best represents your business. Overdial is a trick that extends the vanity number, but the customers still only dials the prefix and the first seven numbers. For example, a prescription eyeglass store can extend 1-800-EYEGLAS to 1-800-EYEGLASSES, with the last three letters not dialed.

Dynamic Phone Tracking

As an Internet-based service for small businesses, dynamic phone tracking enables business owners to learn the origins of every incoming call. You tie in toll free numbers with different advertisements and then monitor the ads to see which ones generate the most phone calls to your small business. Small business owners also learn which areas of the community produce the most toll free number calls.

 

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Toll Free Benefits |
August 5th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Work like a Dog, Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free BenefitsWork like a Dog Day has some entrepreneurs and small business owners confused. After all, every time we check on our beloved canines, there seems to be more dozing and less doing. However, August 5th is the day we honor the hardest working among us, and that includes entrepreneurs and small business owners who have to work extra hard to sustain their enterprises.

Let's look at how entrepreneurs pour their souls into running small businesses, including a glimpse at how toll free numbers can make running small businesses a bit easier.

Running a Small Business Website

Entrepreneurs must overcome obstacles to compete with large corporations that have the resources and expertise to sell products and services. Small business owners must promote their businesses online in order to compete with larger companies. Running a small business website requires entrepreneurs to implement Internet marketing strategies that include content, social media, and video marketing. Savvy small business owners write blogs that help their customers solve problems, as well as recruit guest bloggers to enhance content.

Entrepreneurs in the Trenches

Entrepreneurs work like dogs because they are involved in every facet of running their small businesses. The heroic like effort includes providing superior customer service, closely monitoring inventory, receiving products, and maintaining clean stores. Although the most successful small business owners understand how to delegate, they cannot avoid working side by side with their teams to ensure smooth operations. At the end of the day, entrepreneurs close daily transactions, balance the books, and respond to customer queries they received via email or their toll free numbers.

Work Less like a Dog with Toll Free Numbers

Acquiring toll free numbers reduces the amount of stress placed on small business owners. You can set up memorable toll free numbers to handle sales transactions and customer service issues. The benefits of acquiring toll free numbers go beyond reducing your workload. Toll free numbers also establish your brand in the marketplace by helping your small business create the type of credibility that produces customer trust. Best of all, acquiring a toll free number provides entrepreneurs with the greatest return on their marketing investment.

Get Started

Take a bow on August 6th to recognize your hard work. Then, learn about the enhanced services Custom Toll Free provides for small business customers. Working like a dog can get you noticed, but so does acquiring toll free numbers to reduce the amount of work you have to perform each day. Contact us online or by calling our catchy toll free number at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

 

© Okssi - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
August 1st, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Marketing, Management, Toll Free NumbersThose entrepreneurs and small businesses who have been in business and studying market trends know that the amount of entrepreneurs still continues to grow. The interesting fact behind growing small businesses and entrepreneurs is that they are showing up in all shapes, sizes, and…ages. Some are as young as eight years old and are becoming entrepreneurs by designing apps, creative footwear, and other trendy items growing in popularity across various age groups. However, the next wave of entrepreneurs seems to be those fifty years of age or old, also known as “seniorpreneurs”.

Many “seniorpreneurs” that we see emerging on the market have put on a spin on their retirement. It is more and more common for adults over the age of fifty who are approaching retirement or in amidst retirement to devote their extra time to running a small business. Some do it for the residual income, some do it as a way to keep their minds sharp with an established routine, and others do it because “they’ve always wanted to”.

Regardless of the reason for becoming a “seniorpreneur”, there are still some things they need to learn about “smarketing” in order to make it in today’s competitive small business market.

What is “Smarketing”?

“Smarketing” is a new buzz term that refers to the combination of “sales” and “marketing” so that both teams work together. Medium and large-sized businesses understand the frustration of the common miscommunications that often occur between the two teams. The marketing team puts their efforts into creating robust marketing materials for the sales to use during presentations and meetings, while the sales team is saying something different. As a result, leads are lost…which no one wants. Today’s business goals involve tying the two teams together to close the gap between sales and marketing and to close more efficient leads.

Content Marketing is One Answer…

One way small businesses and “seniorpreneurs” can integrate proper “smarketing” in their businesses is by really diving into content marketing and management. Sales and marketing teams should be working together to blast business announcements and messages through all effective marketing channels such as print brochures, social media, and toll free numbers.

Toll Free Numbers are the Other...

You guessed it. By incorporating a toll free number into all marketing mediums, this not only gives clients and potential clients an easy, flexible way to contact businesses, but also enhances brand recognition and trust. Toll free numbers are the other crucial way to close the gap and to create a “smarketing” synergy that really gives small businesses that extra edge and push.

 

© darkovujic - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
July 31st, 2014

Toll Free Number, Small Business, Toll Free BenefitsSmall business owners must possess superhero powers to stay on top of the responsibilities required to operate successful enterprises. From working extra-long hours to multitasking and wearing multiple “hats”, entrepreneurs often wish they had an elusive magic wand to help them get everything done accomplish all of their goals. The magic wand you need to run your small business is no longer elusive when you acquire a toll free number.

The Power of a Toll Free Number

Small business owners spend considerable time devising unique ways to get the word out about their products and services, and to stand apart from the competition. They employ the latest online marketing strategies that include social media and content marketing. However, acquiring a toll free number unleashes the power of your small business.

Word of Mouth Advertising

Small business owners often operate on razor thin budgets, which mean word of mouth advertising plays an important role in generating sales. A memorable toll free number creates instant recognition that customers pass along to their friends, family, and coworkers. Catchy toll free numbers increase repeat business by providing customers with a convenient form of communication and customer service.

Establish Instant Credibility

One of the greatest benefits of acquiring toll free numbers is that you establish credibility with prospective customers. Although it seems you need a magic wand to convert potential customers into lifelong patrons of your small business, you can convert those potential customers by simply creating a catchy toll free number. A toll free number helps build trust that creates customers for life.

Wave the Magic Wand to Earn Profits

Toll free numbers help small business owners increase sales that lead to a much stronger bottom line. You maximize your return on marketing dollars by spending very little to acquire and set up toll free numbers. The magic wand you wave by acquiring creative toll free numbers translates into higher customer response rates that lead to more sales. Instead of spending money on radio and television spots, which can be costly, wave the magic toll free number wand to build your small business.

Establish the Right Toll Free Number

Waving the magic toll free number wand means you have to find the right number that best captures your small business. Custom Toll Free helps small business owners find the right toll free numbers that roll off the tongue of customers. A toll free number can fit within any small business budget and accurately describe your small business in just a few compelling letters. Learn how a toll free number can be your magic wand by contacting us online or calling 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

 

 

© TAlex - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
July 29th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free BenefitsWhile many would agree that summer is their favorite time of year, it can also mean the slowest season of the year for small businesses. With families taking vacations to outdoor activities taking precedence, small business owners find they have a lot of free time on their hands…unless your business is a convenient beach resort, of course.

Instead of pacing back and forth waiting for customers to come into their stores or for the phone to ring, small business owners and entrepreneurs should take advantage of free time to devise strategies to increase sales. Starting with brainstorming toll free numbers, small business owners should consider these five ways to use summer downtime to prepare for the fall.

Brainstorm Toll Free Numbers

Gather your team together and sit down to brainstorm unique toll free number options. You want to create catchy toll free numbers that customers remember. For example, a pizzeria can create the toll free number 1-800-SAUSAGE to create a memorable number that their loyal customers pass on to friends and family members. Ask each team member to create five toll free numbers and discuss the merits of each number during meetings.

Develop Your Team

Summer downtime presents the perfect opportunity for professional development. From enhancing customer service interaction to describing the features of a new product, prepare your team to handle the increase in business during the fall and winter, especially during the holiday season. Remember that employee development is one of the leading reasons employees stay with their organizations. It makes employees feel valuable and boosts morale, which ultimately boosts productivity.

Devote Toll Free Numbers to Customer Service

Savvy small business operators understand the benefits of devoting toll free numbers to handle customer inquiries and complaints. Customer service toll free numbers allow your service-oriented team members to focus solely on customer concerns and questions. Once customers trust your professionalism, they are likely to stop by your store or visit your website to purchase or inquire about your products or services. Dedicated customer service numbers also provide you with a proven way to handle any customer concerns in a way they appreciate.

Write Content for the Small Business Blog

Successful content marketing programs include a monthly schedule of content creation. However, it’s more difficult for small business owners to follow the content schedule during the busier months of the year. Summer is an excellent time for you to catch up on website content creation. You can write about timeless topics that you upload any time during the year. If you run an automotive maintenance shop, you can create timeless content that describes how to rotate tires. Content is king for strong Internet marketing strategies.

Most Importantly…Take an Overdue Break

Small business owners work crazy schedules that turn them into entrepreneur zombies. They often put in twelve-plus hours per day, seven days a week. When things slow down during the summer months, small business owners should consider taking a much-needed break to rejuvenate the mental and physical juices. Place your small business in the hands of trusted associates and take a vacation far away from the grind of running a small business. This will also help small business owners and entrepreneurs gear up and prep for the busier months in the fall.

 

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Toll Free Benefits |
 
 
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