Listen Up! Here’s How to Read Your Voicemail Messages…with a Virtual Phone Number


When you rely on a traditional phone number (as opposed to a virtual phone number) for your business communications, voice mail messages can pile up while you’re out of the office or away from your phone. This can create stress, because, since  the messages are often from important clients or customers, responding becomes an urgent item on your constantly growing “to do” list.

For a small business, every call is important. You can’t afford to miss a single voice mail message, because, as Murphy’s Law holds, the one call you miss may be that big deal you’ve been waiting for.

When you listen to a voice mail message, you generally get an idea of what the caller needs or wants. This context is important because it prepares you for your response. After listening to the voice mail message, you can be ready to give a sales pitch, explain certain aspects of your service, provide quality consulting, or answer relevant questions. This makes understanding the message, and its context, very important.

But what if the voice mail is garbled, or a long winded soliloquy? Even more problematic — what do you do when you can’t access voicemail because you are traveling or because the battery of your cell phone goes dead? Or, what if the voicemail relates to an urgent matter, but you aren’t able to access it for at least few hours after it was sent?

For these reasons, and more, you need to be able to do more than simply listen to the voicemails you receive. This might sound odd, or even impossible, but there is actually a simple solution: Get a virtual phone number with a voice mail service that transcribes and sends all of your voicemails to you as an email and/or text message. The process is know as Voice-to-Text and is a standard feature with most call forwarding services.

With a virtual phone number like Global Call Forwarding, your voicemails are transcribed and sent as a text message or email to make sure that you stay in touch with your business. Voicemails sent as text messages account for the times when you can’t answer your cell or mobile device but could take a quick look at the screen.

Voicemails sent as emails ensure that you receive those important messages when you don’t have access to your phone due to unexpected circumstances like battery failure, a lost phone, power off, or are in “Do Not Disturb” mode.

When you have a virtual phone number, as long as you are connected to the Internet, you will receive your voicemails. And, with the growing availability of wi-fi on planes now, wouldn’t it be great to be able to “read” your voicemails, and reply via email, all from 30,000 feet? Talk about hitting the ground running!

Having messages sent as text is also a good way to document and archive all of your communications with clients, and gives you the opportunity to quickly respond with a text message or email when you can’t call.

Experience the benefits of receiving transcribed voicemails as a text messages or email.

Toll Free Forwarding Numbers Meet Consumer Demands



Small businesses with toll free forwarding numbers meet needs of current and prospective clients

In a world where virtually everything can be ordered online, and customers are used to getting fast service no matter where they are, then it makes sense that toll free phone numbers are a way to cater to customers. Toll free numbers are free and easy for the on-the-go consumers that are your customers. But there are many other benefits that reflect the growing number of toll free numbers for businesses.

One of the most useful tools that can be easily incorporated into building your business is a 1 800 call forwarding service.

A toll free number is a basic, easy way to build your business by greatly improving its appearance as well as organizing your calls.

Here are just a few of the upsides to having a toll free number:

  • They help your company create a national presence.
  • They allow you flexibility when it comes to reporting and routing that local numbers don’t have.
  • They have become affordable to even the smallest of businesses.
  • It’s easy to obtain a toll free number, and it’s just as easy to make it a vanity phone number to fit your business perfectly.
  • They give small businesses portability, and can meet the needs you have today, or the needs you might have tomorrow, as your business grows.
  • You can compete with larger companies by appearing to be just as capable to provide customer needs.
  • You can expand your marketing efforts to areas outside your local community.
  • You can choose payment plans that fit the needs of your business.
  • You will meet the ever-increasing demands of a convenience-based market.
  • Your response rate to advertising efforts will increase.
  • You will be easily available to not only current customers, but for inquiries or other business ventures.

Having a toll free forwarding number is rapidly becoming the norm for small businesses. From a business perspective, it just makes sense.

Business Professionals Suffer From Computer Vision Syndrome


Computer and monitor users can experience health risks from continued use
We all used to be warned to not read books without adequate lighting. Whether it was true or not, most of us still keep that in mind when squinting at words late at night. So what about today’s version of eye strain? Are warnings warranted when it comes to the high use of computer screens and monitors?

According to health reports, the answer is yes. Apparently any of us who spend long hours playing videos, surfing the net and doing our business can suffer from a condition called computer vision syndrome. Do you think you might be a sufferer? Here are some of the symptoms to look for:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain and aches inside the eyes
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Temporary inability to focus at a distance

Although computer vision syndrome isn’t a diagnosed disease, the term is used by professionals to communicate to patients what they are experiencing. You may remember back in the mid ‘80s, when computers began making their way into classrooms and households, and these issues were raised as a concern. Now these symptoms are as prevalent as ever.

So what do you do if you are experiencing some of these symptoms? Here are some answers:

See your eye doctor. Let them know your symptoms, as well as the time you spend on laptops, handheld devices and such. You may actually have astigmatism or other conditions that can be corrected to help your problem.

Consider visual aids. You may need to think about wearing special occupational or computer glasses. You might even need a second pair of glasses that accommodates focusing for all distances.

Basically, eye care professionals recommend that if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, seek help, be open and clear about your needs, and find a solution. If you take care of your vision now, you’ll save serious damage in the future.

Small Business Management Tips: Time For A Company Checkup


July is a good time for small business owners to take stock of company health

Summer is a time for pool parties, vacations and down time, right? For small business owners, it can mean a chance to evaluate your business and assess your mid-year status.

Financial experts often suggest that summer is an excellent time to sit down and examine if your company is meeting its goals, and whether you have enough cash to cover tax payments. This is also a good time to make an equipment inventory, in order to determine if you’ll be making future purchases, and other capital spending for the second half of the year.

Here are some other small business management tips to consider during the summer months:

  • Find out if you are making or losing money. If you are on the losing end this time of year, recognize it and begin making changes now.
  • Realize that as a self-employed company owner, you may not be paying enough estimated tax. You don’t want to overpay or underpay. If you don’t pay enough estimated tax, you’ll be faced with a whopper of a bill next April.
  • Reexamine what you hope your company achieves in the upcoming months, and reevaulate your strategic planning strategies.
  • When you evaluate your capital spending, especially when it comes to purchasing new equipment, consult with your accountant regarding any opportunities to save on taxes. Small businesses can save by claiming certain expenses, like computers, vehicles and office furniture, by the Section 179 deduction. This allows small businesses to deduct upfront $125,000 in equipment bought and put into service during 2007 rather than depreciate it over a period of years.
  • Consider retirement plans. Speak with your financial professional now about this topic. Experts say that you have until Oct. 1 to develop a SIMPLE plan, which is a Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees. Or you can have a Simplified Employee Pensions (SEPs) plan.
  • Consider your software and whether you need upgrades or completely different ones. This is a good time to adopt new programs if you so choose.
  • Environmental changes. If you are considering redesigning, rebuilding or adjusting your office space, summer is also a good time to do this. While employees are on vacation, you can renovate without too much disturbance or decrease in productivity.

Summer is a great time to rejuvenate your body, in the form of vacations, and to rejuvenate your business, in the form of evaluations and assessments.