The top 5 mistakes startups make....

.... with their telecoms.

There are some common mistakes startups make with their telecoms which can be avoided and in turn lead to increased business and improved efficiency.

1. Only having a mobile phone number

They say that you tell a lot about a business from spending 10 seconds in their reception. Similarly you can tell a lot about a business by their phone number.

Do they just use a mobile number on their business card or web site? Research shows 30% of people do not trust it and therefore will not contact them. This is even higher if the business is offering professional services such as accountancy, financial advice or consultancy.

Think BIG. Large companies usually have a city based phone number and every small business should too. Numbers are easy to obtain and manage and can even be diverted to a mobile phone even if you are a 'one man' startup. Business is always about first impressions - your phone number counts!

2. Using your home phone number for business

Some businesses are tempted to use their home phone number but this has the disadvantage that you don’t know whether your aunt or an important prospect is calling.

It also means you can’t turn your business off when you want; in the evening, at weekends or when on holiday.

There is limited functionality for handling a second call or personalising voicemails and if you move house you may move to another telephone exchange and not be able to take the phone number with you.

Worse still, you have to be permanently stuck close to your home phone, for fear of missing an important call.

Using a mobile phone gives you all the flexibility and mobility you could need with you able to make and receive calls and messages anywhere.

3. Using an answering service

Many small businesses wonder if they should use a telephone answering or virtual PA service for when they are not available.

The key question is, what do you want them to do? If it is to just take a message you need to ask yourself what value is that adding. If they can handle certain queries then that can enhance the offering, but the inflexibility of deciding which calls to answer directly, and the underlying cost are an issue.

Switchboard services allow users to answer the calls they want or can, and pass the rest to any desired; person, service or voicemail. So using an answering service is not necessarily a bad thing but putting a service between you and the answering service is important.

4. Signing up to long contracts

There is a great pressure for all new businesses to manage their costs at the outset whilst revenues are low. Offers of free installation of sparkling new phone systems, if you sign 3 or 5 year contracts, can on the surface appear very tempting, but there are downsides.

Firstly your business may expand and / or you may move the business and you could find yourself facing penalties for cancelling the contract. Secondly you are locking yourself into prices for a long term in an environment where prices usually go down. The cost of calling mobiles has fallen by 50% in the past 4 years alone, for example.

More importantly is the inflexibility and cost of a desk phone based service, from being tied to your desk, to poor quality VoIP mobile diverts. Basically, you will be buying outdated technology you neither need or actually desire and when you factor in; cabling, internet, handset maintenance, you will be paying over 40% more than a mobile based solution.

5. Serviced offices

Many start-ups consider using serviced offices when starting out which can make sense as it avoids long term commitment that usually comes with renting your own space.

But if considering this route ensure you check if they will expect you to use their telecoms services. This can create issues.

Firstly, the costs can be very expensive compared to organising yourself, and secondly, they may not release the number to you should you move out at some point in the future.

If you have invested in promoting that phone number it could damage your business if you have to get a new number.

Thirdly, telecoms is usually set around using a shared desk phone which is neither practical or hygienic.

Simply make sure the agreement does not tie you in to their telecoms and simply use your mobile phone.

Final Thoughts: There are thousands of VoIP solutions in the market place, these offer a lot of great features and functionality, but fail to deliver 100% of the time due to internet/WiFi connectivity issues. You need to choose a service that is built on top of the cellular voice network and does not use internet/WiFi connections.

Whilst free VoIP calling is fine for personal use it should not be used for business. You need HD quality calling, instant connectivity and the benefit of cellular mast hopping, which means no dropped calls whilst on the move!

In Summary look for:

  • HD quality cellular call service
  • Multi-phone number dialling
  • Inbound call identity
  • Switchboard integration
  • Free installation
  • Low monthly cost
  • No contract or lock in

If you are struggling to find a supplier, http://www.riptec.net are happy to assist :)

This is like CHEATING

It has finally happened; a client called and said "I want my personal SIM number ported away so my secretary gets all my calls and I want a new phone number!"

After years of dishing out his mobile phone number to everyone who asked, the realisation that this is actually counter productive to getting things done and being successful has materialised. The final straw an aggressive cold call pensions campaign that wouldn't stop calling.

We no longer give out our personal email addresses to everyone and if like most, you probably have several, including personal and work addresses. On top of that you have email tools which can sift out spam and separate the important from the not so.

Phone calls can actually be dealt with in a similar manner, using multiple numbers and clever tactics to filter out the unwanted and allow the important.

By separating your life with different contact numbers you get to control when you are available and who you respond to, very much like the email controls you use today.

A recent example was with my Son, who wanted to register with estate agents whilst property hunting. What he didn't want was to give the agents his personal mobile number and risk being contacted for ever in a day, even after he had found something. The answer was to use a new phone number which he put under a profile he called 'Prop Search'.

 The solution was ideal as he could identify a property search call when his phone rang and choose whether it was convenient to take it or not. If not he simply let it go to voicemail. By using voicemail and 'do no disturb', he could equally tell agents he had found something and to take him off their lists, without even having to pick up the phone. 

All of this is possible with a new patented service from Riptec, called Tizyo, the service allows you to have multiple different profiles and phone numbers on your personal mobile phone and cleverly manage calls and messages via each, whilst keeping your personal mobile number private.

Multi-number services are gaining traction, some services allow you to have one extra number and others a few dedicated mobile numbers, whilst the Tizyo service actually allows you to add any numbers; existing or new, landline or mobile, national or international.

The service is really simple to use. Once you have downloaded the application and registered your SIM number, you just add a phone number and give it a profile name. You can use an existing number or choose to buy a new number from any city in over 52 countries within the App. The benefit of buying a number is you get all the voicemail and added call control features, as part of the service.

Next, simply select a contact to call, press their phone number and from the call options screen choose which profile to use, and place the call. The service cleverly dials the recipient who sees your profile phone number, keeping your personal mobile number private. Calls are placed over the mobile cellular network, giving you the highest HD quality, and allowing you to continue calls on the move without dropping.

So back to our frustrated client, he now has a new mobile SIM number which only his closest family and friends have been given and he is happily dialing everyone else from a couple of additional profile numbers which when he doesn't answer get forwarded to his secretary. He is now in perfect control of his communications and a little less stressed.

Like your email accounts, phone numbers can be used for any part of your life; selling on-line, social activities, dating, hobbies and of course work. So start cheating and get your communications under control.

Branded Community Phones the Next Tupperware?

If you think that Tupperware parties went out with the 1980s, think again. They’re alive and well, but now have a new face in the form of brands creating communities and upselling all things own-branded into it.

 

Social media is fuelling the rise of branded communities as is the growing trend towards lifestyle segmentation where like-minded people come together in communities.

 

So, instead of selling Tupperware products into communities 1980s-style, the best modern day equivalent for a brand to make more money could well be offering an own-label branded mobile service to them with all the benefits of low cost calling and Instant Messaging.

 

It ticks all the boxes. Enhances my brand? Tick. Makes me money? Tick. No effort? Tick. No support? Tick. All you need do is feed the community with products like this. Your brand becomes digital Tupperware.

 

There’s a little bit of Tupperware thinking in the offering of a start up called RIPTec. It’s offer is being hyped as the world’s easiest smartphone service for brands to make money from their communities. It’s a vanilla product, or more precisely a network service and app called RIPDialer, that brands can customise with their logo and identity colours and offer their communities a lifestyle optimized mobile service with worldwide coverage and the possibility to rent virtual phone numbers in 62 countries.

 

The end-user pricing model couldn’t be simpler: pay a fixed monthly fee for a phone number and unlimited domestic calls, fixed and mobile, are included in the price. In the UK for example the first phone number costs £9.95 per month and all subsequent numbers £2.95. International calls are charged per minute according to the very affordable rates provided by RIPTec. The branded service provider then earns a share of the total revenue generated by the community members.

 

 

Every time someone in your community signs up for your branded service and communicates using your service or rents phone numbers, they use your brand and make you money.

 

So, what sets this communications app apart from the pack? For the first time, every member of your community can segment their mobile lifestyle. The RIPDialer app has a unique way to combine mobile and Internet communication services with multiple phone numbers so that it perfectly adapts to the communication needs of any lifestyle. Often communities unite in a homogeneous segment of people with a specific lifestyle that the mainstream one-size-for-all mobile services fail to address.

 

As example, if a user’s lifestyle involves travelling and moving from one country to another, RIPDialer provides affordable rates worldwide, free internet calls and local numbers in 62 countries for extra convenience.

 

For an entrepreneurial lifestyle, RIPDialer puts all the business numbers into the same smartphone, allows making and receiving calls on any of them on a call-to-call basis, and even splits private and business bills to make managing businesses easier.

 

Users with multiple numbers - home, summerhouse, overseas home, office - easily port all their existing numbers into the RIPDialer app and eventually handle all the communication on those numbers on the one smartphone. This makes organizing their busy lives easier, and saves costs. Gone are the days when you pay a monthly rental for a landline.

 

When you travel, you add a local virtual number so any calls you make locally on the ski slopes are at local call rates. Same for football fans when travelling to a Europa League match – they add a local number when in France to call locally.

 

“Brand communities are popping up all over the world ... football clubs, online dating, retailers ... and they need feeding,” says Mark Trowbridge, RIPTec’s CEO.  “Brands now have the opportunity to offer their communities their own network service and profit from it every minute of the day.”

 

RIPTec’s revenue share business model makes it a risk-free opportunity for brands and communities. As the network, RIPTec’s technical operation team and the vanilla app are already in place, setup is fast and needs no technical investments from the brand. The service bearing the customer’s brand and identity can be launched in just a few days.

 

 

The licensee earns its share of revenue directly from end-users’ spending on rented virtual numbers and international calls. The revenue opportunity becomes quickly lucrative as the number of members grows. One with 10,000 members with an average monthly spend of £9.95 generates the branded service provider almost £200,000 as annual incomes from the revenue share, and 30,000 members crosses the £500,000 income milestone. The larger the customer base and higher the consumption, the more profitable the service becomes for the brand.

 

So, if you want to launch your own branded network service and make recurring revenues without much effort, just click here (http://riptec.net/community.php).

 

Ends

 

About the Author

Mark Trowbridge is CEO, RIPTec and a visionary who embraces technology and innovation to develop products, services, or mechanisms to enhance business and end user capabilities. He is an international speaker and a successful business owner and entrepreneur with over 26 year’s high end telecommunications and software development experience.

 

About RIPTec 

RIPTec is an international communications specialist based in London. With a proven track record of delivering communications systems to blue chips and government agencies alike, the company’s unified communications app RIPDialer has the potential to become a game changer in the way small and medium businesses communicate internally and externally with their various audiences. Visit www.riptec.com.

 

As Published in:

http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/2017/03/103375/

http://www.themarketingblog.co.uk/?p=103375

We Love Startups

Maybe it's because we are one ourselves and share an affinity, or maybe its because startups are so in touch with their mobile phones that using anything else is totally alien and that we get that, but we love startups.

The great news for startups is you don't need to worry about using any other form of technology for your business communications - your mobile phone is perfect!

However, there are some common mistakes startups make which can be avoided and lead to increased business and better overall communications.

1. Only having a mobile phone number

They say that you tell a lot about a business from spending 10 seconds in their reception. Similarly you can tell a lot about a business by their phone number.

Do they just use a mobile number on their business card or web site? Research shows 30% of people do not trust it and therefore will not contact them. This is even higher if the business is offering professional services such as accountancy, financial advice or consultancy.

Not an issue: We can supply any city based phone number in over 52 countries, and users can make and receive calls using the new numbers on their personal mobile phone.

2. Using your home phone number for business

Some businesses are tempted to use their home phone number but this has the disadvantage you don’t know if your aunt is calling or is it that important new customer.

It also means you can’t turn your business off if you want in the evening or at weekends. There is limited functionality as well for handling a second call and personalising voicemails. Also if you move house you may move to another telephone exchange and not be able to take the phone number you have been marketing for years.

Not an issue: We can port home phone numbers in to our service and from there a user can know who is calling and on what line, set up work voicemail, and utilse Do Not Disturb, all from their personal mobile phone.

3. Using an answering service

Many small businesses wonder if they should use a telephone answering or virtual PA service for when they are not available.

The key question is, what do you want them to do. If it is to just take a message you need to ask yourself what value is that adding. If they can handle certain queries then that can enhance the offering, but the inflexibility of deciding which calls to answer directly, and cost are an issue.

Not an issue: Our enhanced services allow users to answer the calls they want or can, and pass the rest to any desired; person, service or voicemail.

4. Signing up to long contracts

There is a great pressure for all new businesses to manage their costs at the outset whilst revenues are low. Offers of free installation of sparkling new phone systems, if you sign 3 or 5 year contracts, can on the surface appear very tempting, but there are downsides.

Firstly your business may expand and / or you may move the business and you could find yourself facing penalties for cancelling the contract. Secondly you are locking yourself into prices for a long term in an environment where prices usually go down. The cost of calling mobiles has fallen by 50% in the past 4 years for example.

At the same time many business owners forget to read the small print in the contracts and forget to check the basics such as length, notice periods and penalty clauses. They then get caught when they want to make changes.

But most importantly you will be buying outdated technology you neither need or actually desire.

Not an issue: We don't require contracts or lock-ins, clients already have the equipment they need in their personal mobile phones, and are able to cease using the service at any time.

5. Serviced offices

Many start-ups consider using serviced offices when starting out which can make sense as it avoids long term commitment that usually comes with renting your own space.

But if considering this route ensure you check if they will expect you to use their telecoms services. This can create issues.

Firstly, the costs can be very expensive compared to organising yourself, and secondly, they may not release the number to you should you move out at some point in the future.

If you have invested in promoting that phone number it could damage your business if you have to get a new number.

Thirdly, telecoms is usually set around using a shared desk phone which is neither practical or hygienic.

Not an issue: Make sure the agreement does not tie you in to their telecoms and simply use your mobile phone.

Final Thought: There are thousands of VoIP solutions in the market place, these offer a lot of great features and functionality, but fail to deliver 100% of the time due to internet/WiFi connectivity issues. Our service is built on top of the cellular voice network and does not use internet/WiFi connections for the call. It offers HD quality calling, instant connectivity and the benefit of cellular mast hopping, whilst on the move, which means no dropped calls! Any additional phone numbers can be added to the service; existing or new, mobile or landline, national or international.

Special Startup offer: From just £9.95 for a phone number and all UK calls.

Talk to us today: http://www.tizyo.com

Download Now:

 

Why I got rid of my Call Button!

 
Two of the most used icons are missing from my iPhone home screen...  the call button and contacts button.
 
The reason is that I just don't use them so rather than have them taking up valuable real estate, I've dumped them. 
 
You'd be forgiven for thinking that I don't use my phone for phone calls but it's quite the contrary at last check I'd made over 4800 phone calls from this device alone.
 
What's going on here is that I simply use a service we developed called RIPDialer because it has a really cool interface for managing my contacts, groups, favorites and recent's and I simply don't need anything else.
 
With its multi profile feature, RIPDialer has always been great for allowing me to call using any of my work or personal phone numbers meaning I don't have to carry multiple phones around with me or be tied to my desk. In fact many who know me will often find me handling important phone calls at my favourite cafe. Whilst I use five different phone numbers excluding my mobile sim number I actually know of a client with 14 international phone numbers that he regularly uses. 
 
Since the latest release a few weeks ago I have not once used either the call or the contacts button and so i simply demoted them.
 
As I mentioned, RIPDialer is profile based meaning you can add a phone number; existing or new, mobile or landline, national or international and set that number against a profile which could be for; personal or business, selling online, social media, dating, gaming or literally anything that reflects your personal lifestyle.
 
The original core purpose of RIPDialer was to save you from carrying more than one phone, helping the environment, saving you money and obviously increasing your efficiency. It was also designed to free you from your 'dumb' desk phone if you had one, by allowing you to make and receive calls at any time but more importantly anywhere and even whilst on the move by being non VoIP and using the mobile voice network instead of WiFi. In addition, many of the core desk phone functions have been added to the service, including; call transfer, extension to extension dialing, voicemail and Do Not Disturb.
 
By putting any phone number on your personal mobile for any purpose gives endless possibilities not simply restricted to the obvious; work phone, personal phone, combination.
 
The new interface is incredibly intuitive but also has a few hidden tricks. For example long pressing on a selected contact will give you options to add to favourites and having selected a phone number to call from long pressing it will give you an option to add this as a speed dial number so next time you choose to call that contact it will automatically select the respective number. One of the biggest reasons I no longer require the IOS Call button is due to the bypass option which simply calls my selected contact via the SIM. I can select bypass on the fly or add contacts or groups like family to a bypass list
 
 
RIPDialer has traditionally been an HD quality multi number dialer but the next release due out in a few weeks will have instant messaging and shortly after SMS all centered around your personal profiles. A new portal will bring all your conversations together in one place including call logs, IM, SMS, email, video calls, conference calls and web chat and later your social media. An intuitive filter system will give you fingertip control over what you receive and a revolutionary 'Do Not Disturb' system will allow you to control as to when people can contact you via each of your profiles.
 
RIPDialer is available in several forms depending on your needs either in prepay or post pay modes and with full pbx switchboard integration if required bringing enhanced desk phone features to the mobile. Each enhancement is controlled remotely with the application simply morphing into the desired form without any end user interaction 
 
RIPDialer is a joy to use, seamlessly interconnecting me with all my contacts past , present and new. It is already way ahead of the curve, and with AI integration replacing phone switchboard functions shortly to be beta tested, it has the capability to change the world of communication.
 
RIPDialer is available as a branded white label solution available from various worldwide distributors.
 
Two sales models are available to any companies wishing to sell our technology, either wholesale which is best suited to existing telecoms players or our new Community Reseller Model which is perfect for communities or companies with a large customer base wishing to add value and create brand nirvana, as no telecoms experience is needed and everything is managed and maintained.
 
 
Give RIPDialer a whirl and see if you can live without your Call Button.
 
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