Cost Effective Communication Options For Start-up Businesses

Starting up a new business is always an invigorating challenge. One of the biggest hurdles to jump is finding a useful, yet cost-effective communication system.

In today’s modern era, a business cannot survive without being linked into the digital age.

In this article, we will look at some of the options small businesses have for their start-up communication options.

Don’t underestimate Microsoft or Google!

Two simple, yet incredibly effective communication options are Microsoft’s Skype and Google Hangouts. These applications let one communicate by voice or video chat from home, the office or anywhere in the world with a broadband or mobile connection. The apps themselves are free (yes, there are some pay features offered by Skype) and both are relatively intuitive, simple to use programs not requiring an extensive IT department. Google Hangouts is also linked through its interface to Gmail and Google’s Voice app (only available in the US currently) which makes it a handy application to manage contacts, email and even make outgoing calls.

You can always use more Viber!

Viber is another option which allows users to make and receive calls to any country in the world for free.  Available for virtually every platform from Mac to PC and most mobile operating systems, Viber is another solid option for startup companies. The one downside is that it is not free to call non-Viber users at this time. Your contacts and messages will also continually synchronize between a mobile phone and PC which is helpful for those always on the go.

Takes two to Tango

Another option gaining popularity through Android and IOS devices is the application Tango. Much like the previously mentioned apps, Tango offers free calling and messaging services through mobile networks. It also appears to tie in social networking better than other applications, which probably explains its rising popularity. Free international messaging and calling is also worth mentioning. With the importance of marketing through social sites like Twitter and Facebook, this could be a good one to look at.

Heavy-duty systems

If the above options aren’t quite capable of handling the workload your business has one can definitely think about a VOIP PBX system. These are available with relatively low initial costs. A high speed internet connection is a must, but VOIP PBX systems are more advanced than the previously mentioned options. These automated systems are capable of handling multiple extensions, and if they include an interactive voice response (IVR) system can actually handle hundreds of callers 24 hours a day without having any actual human staffing. PBX systems do not use normal switched networks such as the landlines we are accustomed to, rather all voice and data is transferred through the internet. This eliminates the need for installing expensive phone lines with extensive wiring throughout an entire building. Once set up, modern VOIP PBX phone systems can essentially run themselves with little updating or maintenance.

Keep track of the customers!

Here’s an easy to overlook problem while starting up a company – how to manage all of your clients and remember exactly what you told them. This can be daunting if there a large stream of clients on a daily basis. A customer relationship management system like Zoho can do the trick. These nifty systems can keep track of those important clients, organize what was said and sold to each of them while aiding in targeted marketing specific to each customer.

Check the wireless carriers

Depending on your business needs, many wireless carriers (Verizon, Centurylink, Vonage etc) offer startup communication packages for small businesses. These package deals could fit your budget and offer services such as:

  • High speed internet
  • Web-design with online storage capacity
  • E-mail server
  • Cost effective phone plans for businesses making long distance calls

Summing things up

Whatever your business needs, there are plenty of options available to meet your important communication needs. With a little creativity, a small business could get by using primarily free applications, such as those mentioned in this article. If the business requires a more high-tech system like VOIP PBX, one has plenty of options without breaking the bank. Technology has made life easier for everyone in the communication sector. With a little research and planning, setting up the right system that meets your needs should be a fun challenge and not the headache of years past. If your business is using any of these ideas, or you have found different applications, share your setup in the comments!

This is a guest post by Kate Simmons, a freelance tech writer who enjoys sharing advices about tech solutions.

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