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Custom Toll Free® Blog

October 4th, 2013

Considering the wide availability and affordability of a toll free number, it’s silly to overlook this key marketing and branding item for your business (even for sole proprietors who may run their business from home). With a variety of options and plans to choose from, it’s not just an economical consideration, but it could also mean the difference in the number of sales or an increase in overall business growth and development.

 

Measuring Up to Competition

Take a look at your competitors. How many of them offer toll free numbers? If you find that the majority do, why don’t you offer one too? Imagine if you were able to take a vanity slogan and implement it into an easy to remember phone number for your customers. What do you think that could do as far as branding and attracting more clients?

 

Example of Toll Free Number Effectiveness

The effectiveness of a toll free number and branding is well known. The two operate hand in hand. Studies show that customers more easily identify a brand when associated with a vanity number. In addition, it's been proven that vanity numbers actually increase callbacks from printed ads substantially, mostly because callers associated a direct brand to the number, and were therefore influenced by it.

 

Delivering Customer Expectations

Customers expect several things from businesses today. Your branding should include a top of the line website customers can interact with, social media presence they can join and follow, and a toll free number that they can reach you at. If your small business delivers on these three customer expectations, then you can certainly expect to see an increase in business growth and development just by boosting and delivering your brand.

 

Spreading Brand Awareness

A vanity number also helps you to increase brand awareness and recognition. This is because one customer has the ability to begat many more. As they tell their friends, family members, and coworkers about your business, you will surely want them to have an easy to recall phone number to help you ensure that callback from the most powerful leads money is simply unable to buy.

Toll Free Benefits |
October 3rd, 2013

When most people think of branding, they think about a product they might buy at the store. They also associate a brand name with a particular product, inclusive of a logo and a slogan. But branding goes much deeper than just this; it’s an all-encompassing aspect that starts with the brand itself and stems deep into the branches of the marketing tree. Branding is incremental in the very existence of your small business. In addition to your brand, your marketing strategy should also include a small business toll free number, and here are a few reasons why.

 

Make Your Business More Recognizable

Small businesses are faced with incredibly daunting odds today. Many fail within the first five years of operation. Some are put out of business by big box competitors that offer products at lower prices with national reach. This is why it is more important than ever for small businesses to take every measure possible to increase reach, target audience, and stand out in the minds of customers.

 

Instill Your Brand in Printed Mediums

 

Printed mediums are still an effective form of advertising, albeit one that is slowly being replaced by digital and inbound marketing. However, many small businesses still incorporate print ads into their marketing strategy. With a small business toll free number, you can increase the callbacks from your ads by a substantial proportion.

 

Offer More Convenient Customer Service Options

Aside from the shift to digital marketing, customer service is still a crucial element to small business success. Customers still desire that face to face interaction or the option to speak with a person directly via a phone call.  A toll free number tells customers that you care about customer service and about them and their business. As a result, this should be integral aspect to your branding.

 

Increase Brand Awareness with a Vanity Number

Brand awareness is another important aspect. After all, the more people who know about your brand, the better your business recognition will be. When approaching the topic of branding for your business, it’s important that you think of all angles. This includes considering a small business toll free number to ensure that your branding is fully complete.

Vanity and Branding |
October 2nd, 2013

Small Business, Business Growth, Business Technology, InnovationInnovation is one of the main reasons why we still see Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and other popular companies on the business industry. This is also the stepping stone for small businesses looking to climb the corporate ladder. A small business without any room or interest for innovation will be left behind in today’s fast-moving market. Unfortunately, there are still many businesses that fail to really embrace the opportunities that innovation can present to them. Here are some things that are holding small business back, and what they should avoid.

Fear of Failing

This is probably the biggest reason. And why not? The fear of failure is just human nature. It’s tough to get around. We all fear of making mistakes and having to admit failure, and this fear is heightened even more so when talking about small business. The fear of failing prevents small business owners from taking risks and moving forward. This often involves capturing business technology and new innovative small business ideas.

It is true that your business is safe while you are playing it safe, but do you really want your business to stay in the safe zone? Your business will not grow and develop if you do not take risks from time to time.

Too Much Innovation

Like anything there should be a balance. Innovation isn’t solely about new product development, but about paying attention to customer needs and wants. There should be a balance between innovating, improving, and further developing your products and services, and focusing on your customers. Always remember to make innovation visible in each area of your small business, but don’t overlook the small details along the way.

Considering Innovation as “Optional”

Innovation is not optional. Period. Make innovation apparent in your small business. Your efforts will not go unrecognized. Innovation does not exist for when business think they might need it. Innovation, creativity, and thinking outside the box promote small business growth and will help to secure your position in the market.

Innovation might mean trying out new ideas and strategies to improve business processes, and might even mean taking some risks here and there. But you don’t have to do it alone. Toll free numbers are a perfect example of small business innovation. These phone numbers have evolved from simple, standard numbers and tools into a proven and effective form of advertising, and are one of the best ways to boost small business brands.

Uncategorized |
October 1st, 2013

There are numerous benefits to the vanity toll free number that are commonly overlooked. Most people assume that it’s a fancy way of spelling out a phone number while being inclusive to your overall slogan, but there’s a lot more to it than that.

 

Associating Brand with Phone Numbers

People associate brands with images and with words, hence why a brand requires a logo and a motto or slogan. It’s this vital imagery and poetry in motion that also helps them better remember your brand by associating the mental continence of it with an image and a short thought. A vanity toll free number also helps procure this by adding the invaluable telephonic brand to the mix.

 

Expanding Overall Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is, and should be, a constant for your business. The more people are aware of your brand, the more you can expect for your brand to actually influence them. With a vanity number, you can ensure that your brand is memorable from all facets; from your ads, your logo, your slogan, your website and, yes, even your phone number.

 

Increasing Inbound Phone Calls

When the phones ring, we all know that the cash machine is hard at work. No business that will fret over an increase in inbound phone calls, because inbound phone calls most often come from prospective or existing customers who wish to do business with your entity. According to numerous studies, a vanity toll free number actually can increase your inbound phone calls by more than 50 percent or greater. 

 

 

 

The Importance of Securing Your Telephonic Brand

When approaching the subject matter of branding, it’s a multifarious aspect. Branding is a top to bottom element, and one that needs to be prevalent inside of your marketing approach. That means that you need not only just focus on the forward aspects of branding, such as your approach, public relations strategy, online marketing focus or printed and advertised mediums, but also on your telephonic brand. With a vanity toll free number, you can also secure your brand and ensure that the necessary top to bottom method has been implemented. 

Vanity and Branding |
September 30th, 2013

Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Business TechnologyIt seems like achieving small business success is almost an impossible feat considering how much an entrepreneur needs to consider. So how do elite entrepreneurs find the extra time to actually achieve success?

It’s crazy how entrepreneurs seem to achieve success again and again almost effortlessly. Meanwhile, you feel like there are only half the hours in the day you need to barely keep your head above water, much less have time to think up a ground breaking play that will concrete your spot at the top of your industry.

So what’s the key to success for busy entrepreneurs? Check out the following eight step guide:

1. Go to Bed Later

Most time management and success tips and books talk about the importance of getting up early. Ironically G-Code Magazine’s recent report on decoding the secrets of the most successful billionaires quotes research proves one of the four habits of the smartest includes going to bed later!

Obviously, this doesn’t mean burning yourself out. Like any intelligent bodybuilder knows; pushing yourself to hard can be counterproductive in the end. Sleep advocate, Arianna Huffington with the Huffington Post claims the solution is napping.

2. Time to Think

From Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs, it’s pretty clear that massive success isn’t reliant on the number of hours you put in working like a mad person, but rather the time you spend clocked out, thinking.

Most busy entrepreneurs could never comprehend taking an exorbitant amount of time off—if any at all—but you can carve out a weekend a month just to brainstorm or spend an hour a day practicing yoga at home or even in the office during your lunch break.

3. Productivity Apps

Your smartphones and tablets are gold, and can put thousands of productivity apps right at your fingertips. Use them!

4. Know When to Switch Your Device Off

If you are going on vacation, then actually vacation. Don’t feel obligated to return phone calls or emails after hours or on weekends and maybe you’ll help instill a trend that gives you more free time in the long run. At night make sure you literally unplug devices and banish your phone from the nightstand in order to get sound sleep when you do finally hit the sheets.

5. Use Call Forwarding, but…

Leveraging call forwarding for your business phone lines so that you never miss a call on the go and can stay mobile is great. Smarter entrepreneurs use call forwarding to send inbound calls to virtual assistant and call centers that provide 24/7 customer service for them. This frees you up to only work on the most important items while actually delivering far better customer service than 99% of your competitors.

6. Recognize there are Few Rewards for Sprinters

It’s important to recognize that achieving success is a marathon, not a sprint. There are times to pick up the pace, but greedy and short sighted sprints can sabotage the long game.

7. Focus on the Right Figures

The number one reason that entrepreneurs are so frazzled and time starved today is that they are completely focused on the wrong figures. They are allowing others (that are often not nearly as profitable as believed) to dictate their schedules. There are new metrics small business owners are told that they need to catch up on every day. Behind those metrics are often ridiculous numbers of hours of non-income producing work. Unit volume, online traffic, Facebook likes, and even revenues can all be an illusion which takes entrepreneurs further from where they really want to be. Always ask the impact on the bottom line and real net profits. If it doesn’t help, then it probably hurts.

8. Set the Right Goals and Share Them

Perhaps most importantly, one of the biggest differences in those that achieve the upper echelons of success and become ingrained in history books is that they have different goals. They aren’t just brainstorming where they can make the next quick buck the fastest. They are working on providing big solutions, often before most people really realize that there is a problem.

No one cared much about ‘needing’ electricity before it was invented. Space travel was likely thought a foolish venture by many even though you can rack in a quarter of a million a ticket to provide an extremely brief visit out of our atmosphere today. And who envisioned that individuals all over the planet would become inseparable from their iPhones?

So is it time for you to re-write your goals? In addition to reading, one of the ‘4 Habits of the Super-Smart’ is not just having written goals, but sharing them with friends for accountability too…

Uncategorized |
September 26th, 2013

Women Entrepreneurs, Small BusinessWomen entrepreneurs are becoming more and more common in today’s corporate world. In fact, even “stay at home moms” are finding creative ways to utilize their skills to make a living. You can find a professional woman behind the success of large, big name companies and businesses around the globe. So for those aspiring female entrepreneurs, here are some creative business ideas for you to get started.

As mentioned above, there are many more exciting and promising opportunities today for female entrepreneurs to earn a living and excel in the field of business and management even while staying at home. Below are some of the small business ideas and possible careers for women to consider:

Put Your Creativity, Culinary Skills, and Management into Use:

It may seem ironic with today’s focus on eating healthy, but baked goods are very in right now. Cupcakes, cake pops, dainty cakes, and other unique and creative pastries, homemade beverages, and other baked favors are extremely popular. So why not put your creativity, culinary skills, and management knowledge to the test? Your baked items can be made from creative recipes such as gluten-free cupcakes, no flour cakes, and other baked goods that may have healthy substitutes or are sensitive for those with food allergies. You can create a website featuring and advertising your items via social media networks.

Turn Your Creative DNA into Business:

Women are incredibly creative by nature. So why not put your creative DNA into business? You can start a business by creating and selling simple and affordable accessories such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or even scarves. You should focus on creativity, uniqueness, and affordability and bring out the most attractive elements of the accessories. Similar to selling baked items and other goods online, you can also advertise and sell your accessories online and via social media networks.

Start Your Own Blog:

After selling tangible items, let’s talk about selling information and experience. You aren’t going to make any sales by asking people to buy your items. You need to arm your audience and target market with information and calls-to-action. So how do you do this? Start by creating your own blog about something you are passionate about, something that could be useful to someone else, or something that you feel experienced or qualified. You can earn from this by applying it on sponsored ads and affiliate marketing.

Offer Event Planning Services:

In addition to creativity, most women are also very organized by nature. Many female entrepreneurs entered the event planning and consulting business for this very reason. Planning events can be as small or as big as you make it. You can plan and organize family reunions, parties, baby showers, wedding showers, etc. Then, perhaps with time and experience, you can turn your business into planning and consulting weddings, corporate events, and retreats. Start small, create some business cards and hand them out to guests at the parties you’ve hosted or organized, design and market a website, and watch your business grow.

If starting your own home-based business still seems like a scary feat, you can always start by attending seminars, trainings, and other events for beginner entrepreneurs just like yourself. This will give you a head start on the things that you need to do when considering starting your own small business. Start by taking on small projects before tackling larger projects, clients, and accounts.

Any aspiring female entrepreneur knows that there are a lot of small business opportunities available to women, especially today. Begin by finding your strengths and weaknesses and talents and turn your creativity and organizational ability into starting your own business and becoming an entrepreneur.

Uncategorized |
September 25th, 2013

If you have struggled in the past with effectively branding your business, there is some good news in store. In the very short and foreseeable future, the 844 number will become available to businesses of all scopes and sizes. December 7th, 2013 is the official release date for the new 844 toll free prefix. And for those eager businesses looking to improve their marketing strategy or brand recognition, the release of the new toll free number will make branding for your business a breeze.

 

Custom Vanity Options

Gone are the days of frustration when businesses spend hours of researching vanity numbers only to find out they aren’t available and were acquired by another business or competitor. From now until the release, businesses will have an opportunity at securing that perfect vanity 844 number.. Now you can acquire the number that best embraces your brand and services. Proven time and time again to boost customer communication and brand perception, a vanity number practically advertises itself.

 

For more information on the advantage of having a toll free vanity number, check out the infographic below.

 

 

 

Newest Prefix Since 2010

The last time that the FCC approved a new prefix variation was the 855 prefix in 2010. Before this was the 866 prefix in 2000. Now, small businesses are anxiously awaiting the 844 prefix scheduled to be released by the end of 2013.

 

7.7 Million Possible Combinations

The FCC typically allows approximately 7 million possible combinations. This means that there is limited supply and drastic demand. With a variety of combinations that will become available, this presents the perfect time for businesses to secure the perfect number. No more spending valuable time and money brainstorming or researching available numbers. 

News and Announcements |
September 23rd, 2013

Social Media, Small Business, EntrepreneursThe issue of posting and mixing personal and business material on social media websites is difficult to determine. There have been countless instances of big names in various industries who have lost their jobs or have been publicly called out for posting inappropriate posts or other content on social media sites. Some argue that people, regardless of status or profession, have the freedom to post and say what we feel. This is one of the main reasons why social media exists. However, with great power comes great responsibility. People and small businesses need to think twice about what to say or share, or how it may be conceived in another person’s eyes, or if someone may consider it offensive. So as a small business, what should you and shouldn’t you post or share through social media?

Based on a survey from 2012, market researcher Domo and CEO.com found that only 3.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs use a personal Twitter account. Compared with Facebook, only 7.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs actively use personal accounts, and virtually none use Pinterest. The flip side to this is that most marketers consider social media marketing as one of the best ways to market your products and services. Business technology has evolved in great levels so they focus on more advance marketing strategies…but as we’ve seen, taking social media usage one step too far can have great consequences.

The issue and argument between personal accounts and business-related accounts has deep roots. Here are some things to keep in mind when determining whether or not to post something professional or personal via social media and how it could impact your small business.

Think of your Small Business Reputation – It is no secret that sharing and posting thoughts, opinions, or content can greatly impact a small business’s reputation either positively or negatively. How far is too far? They say that even negative publicity is still publicity, but can your small business afford it? Remember that even if a post is something you might find amusing or enjoy, that doesn’t mean you should share it with the world, especially under your business name or brand. Your small business’s credibility is at stake here!

Consider Audience Reactions – As you can see, reactions from other can be very dangerous and will surely sink your credibility and damage your image in an instant. Before you share or post something, ask yourself these questions: Is what I’m sharing or posting relevant? Is what I’m saying or sharing clear or is there room for misinterpretation? Is what I’m sharing or posting offensive? How will my post make others feel or respond?

Using a Single Social Media Account for Personal and Business Purposes – It’s difficult and a lot of work to upkeep two different social media accounts for both personal and professional purposes, but it may be the best road for your small business. If you choose to use one single account for both, remember that all eyes are on you and your small business. There isn’t any privacy between personal and business. However, using a single account can have its positive affects, as long as you handle it properly and responsibly and think about what you share or post before you do.

All in all, while social media seems easy to handle, especially since it has become such a vital part of our society and has made our world smaller. It is just understood that social media is used and is just something everyone uses. However, it is still something that must be taken seriously and given careful consideration, especially when small businesses use it for online marketing purposes. Using one or multiple personal or business social media accounts isn’t really right or wrong, as long as you as the CEO or small business owner set specific guidelines on how they are to be used and managed.

Affiliate |
September 20th, 2013

Affiliate Marketing, Small BusinessAffiliate marketing has proven to be one of the best and the most effective ways of earning a considerable amount of money online. This type of marketing is tied into performance and the amount of traffic and visitors hit your website.

Internet marketers nowadays tend to focus on affiliate marketing, but by working with different affiliate partners. The three most important elements of affiliate marketing to consider include: the merchant, network, and customer. So how can you improve your Internet marketing scheme to tailor your affiliate marketing approach to better focus on and incorporate these three elements? Here are some tips should consider in order to achieve success with their affiliate marketing scheme.

Get Rid of Affiliate Programs that Are Not Profitable - Some small businesses believe that a particular product has great potential, but if you are already spending a lot of time advertising a specific product, but maybe you aren’t getting any benefit in return, it might be best to consider other opportunities. Remember how precious and valuable your time is as an entrepreneur and small business. Put your time and effort in an area that will benefit you in return whether that is in sales or opportunities.

Choose your Affiliate Program Wisely - You can tell a good affiliate program from one that may be underdeveloped. If a particular affiliate develops new products on a regular basis, they are probably a sure bet. This is because if you prefer to work with a solid and reputable company, it is better if the affiliate company offers various products that you can have the luxury of advertising.

Think about your Target Market - Before you select a product to advertise, think about the audience you will be targeting. By understanding your target market, you will surely think of new ways to market products effectively. Knowing your target market beforehand can help to increase traffic and open up communication with your potential customers.

Never Select a Trendy Product - Some small businesses make the mistake of advertising a trendy product and that this is easier because users are buying it. However, although this is true, a trendy product also means there are a number of other affiliates trying to sell the products too, just like you. The competition is too great and will not be beneficial to affiliate marketers.

Look for Companies that Provide Resources to Marketers - Look for companies that are willing to share affiliate marketing resources with their affiliates. Remember that affiliate marketing is not only about the marketers, but also the merchants. Sharing this information will greatly benefit both parties.

Being successful through affiliate marketing isn’t always as easy as affiliate marketers and small businesses think, but the benefits and opportunities can be great. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above to get the most out of your affiliate marketing campaign. 

Affiliate |
September 18th, 2013

Small Business, Entrepreneurs, Business TrendsBusiness and consumer trends demand companies to become more eco-friendly. Here are five ways you can make your business more environmentally friendly and save money now...

 

Before digging in or hitting the back button, it’s critical that small business owners recognize that this is more than about trends or fads, or even deeply caring about the planet. Becoming more eco-friendly is essential for building a sustainable organization, boosting revenues, and the bottom line!

 

Having an eco-friendly brand can be great for increasing visibility and feeling good about what you are doing. However, beyond this and being a responsibility of all business owners today, incorporating more green elements throughout your operations can really help to ensure it survives for the long run.

 

On top of this, macro business trends are not only causing and making consumers to feel better about shopping eco-friendly brands, but this also means that many desirable strategic partners and business customers have no other choice. Shareholders and regulations forbid it. If you aren’t green that means instantly barring your enterprise from millions in potential income before you even launch.

 

So how can you give your company a greener tint without it costing you more money?

 

1. Unplug

According to a post on the Intuit blog, between 5 to 20 percent of business power bills are wasted on appliances and chargers still plugged in on standby mode. So unplug them, and get programmable lighting and thermostats for regulate power usage off hours.

 

2. Energy Efficient Shopping

Everything a company purchases, even if it is an independent entrepreneur working from home, has the ability to impact the environment for better or worse. This should be ingrained in the basic business plan and philosophy of the entity. Everything from driving routes, to company cars, bathroom tissue, coffee cups, coffee, water, office space chosen and appliances all make a difference and it can add up fast. There may even be cash rebates or tax benefits for businesses that really embrace this.

 

3. Shred Paper – Upgrade to the Cloud

Paper is one of the biggest environment and money killers. According to a new report on cost saving strategies, which have saved companies millions from G-Code Magazine, the average worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper a year. It also remarks that one of the best indicators of an eco-conscious enterprise is one which promotes being green even in their email signatures with lines such as “think before you print and protect the environment".

 

Today so much can be done in the cloud from opting to receive electronic phone bills and settling accounts online versus by mail and check, to environmentally friendly marketing that is either online, over the phone via toll free numbers, or at least on paper from sustainable and responsibly maintained forests to document storage. This isn’t just good for the planet either; it saves companies a ton of cash and makes them more operationally efficient too.

 

4. Eat Better

Even if you couldn’t care less about diet or losing weight the vending machines you install in your office, restaurants you frequent with clients, and caterers used for meetings all speak volumes about your brand. Organic, environmentally friendly food sources help eliminate awkward moments for more conscious clients and can increase employee productivity.

 

5. Recycle More

Empowering workers to recycle is just good business. According to Earth 911 this now not only includes plastic and paper but even cigarette butts.

 

The flip side of this is new office design and business marketing trends that use recycled materials. Think recycled pens, desktop organizers, and custom branded bottles of water.

 

Being this easy, affordable and profitable there is no excuse for any business not to be integrating more eco-friendly factors throughout their organizations. What will you do? Business and consumer trends demand companies to become more eco-friendly. Here are five ways you can make your business more environmentally friendly and save money now...

Uncategorized |
 
 
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