Need to Cut Costs? Switch to a VoIP Solution

rows of VOIP office phones

VoIP, the shortened form of Voice over Internet Protocol, can be considered the latest and greatest in telecommunication, a far superior solution to traditional landlines. Some businesses have embraced this technology with open arms, whereas others still cling to their landlines as their lives depend on it. At the end of the day, relying on your landline when a VoIP solution exists is no different from throwing money away.

The numbers reported below are pulled from a guide put together by Harbor Networks. They show just how much the average small business can save by something as simple as a shift in telecommunications to a VoIP solution.

The Capital Savings Are No Joke

The first savings you might notice from VoIP are from the costs associated with traditional telephone communications. A report by Telzio states that businesses save up to 50% on monthly communication costs by switching to a VoIP service. It must also be noted that this 50% was separate from the additional cost savings that come from hosted VoIP’s lack of maintenance costs, which further drives the solution’s value. As if that weren’t enough, startup costs for hosted VoIP are low or nonexistent. Additional VoIP cost savings come from those cut from teleconferencing (30%) and local calls (40%).

Enhanced Productivity Leads to Additional Cost Savings

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adopt a more flexible stance on remote work, this trend was increasing long before. Businesses have been adopting VoIP for a while now to accommodate the increasing requests for remote work, and businesses that did saw a significant increase in productivity. Productivity then transforms into savings. Just imagine what your staff could achieve with a 20% boost to their productivity and an average savings of 40 minutes per workday. It can add up quickly!

Hosting Alleviates the Challenges of a VoIP Solution

One of the biggest challenges that come from a solution like VoIP is figuring out who will manage and maintain it. This is especially pertinent for small businesses that have limited resources at their disposal, particularly for IT. If your small business is already struggling to get by and has a limited budget, hosted VoIP offers significant savings that makes managing a VoIP system as easy as can be but much more affordable as a whole.

If you don’t have someone on-premises to manage your VoIP solution, a managed service provider can help to address this shortcoming. We can host your VoIP solution for you and manage and maintain it so that you can focus on making use of it. Only 14% of businesses without full-time IT staff have issues with VoIP, and we think it’s largely because of the existence of MSPs like 4 Corner IT that this number is as low as it is. We strive to make our services as accessible to small businesses as possible, especially those that do not have in-house IT resources.

The longer you wait to implement a solution like VoIP, the more savings you are missing out on. To get started today, reach out to 4 Corner IT at (954) 474-2204.

4 Options for Your Business’ Communication Infrastructure

overhead view of a wooden table with several hands holding laptops and phones and communications graphics overlaid

Businesses depend on their communications solution to work with clients, vendors, and their staff. Depending on the specific needs of the company, a business might implement any number of communication solutions, all of which have various strengths, weaknesses, and uses. We’ll walk you through some of the most common communication solutions, as well as why you might want them for your company.

We want to kick this off with a quick reminder that all of these solutions here are fully capable of being implemented in a cloud-based environment. This is important because it improves accessibility and allows your team to stay connected no matter where they are!

Now, let’s get into the details.

Email

You likely already have an email server for your business, but if not, then there’s no better time to talk about the benefits. Not only does it let you stay in touch with clients and give your company a professional presence, but it also gives you a way to communicate in-office with your coworkers and staff. It goes without saying how important email is, but you will want to make sure that your solution best suits your company’s needs. One of the big considerations you will have to make is whether you want to host your own or outsource the responsibility to a provider. As always, it depends on your company’s budget and technology management expertise.

Instant Messaging

For cases when emails are not urgent enough, you have instant messaging. Instant messaging allows you to instantaneously connect with people within your company for whatever you happen to need. IMs are particularly useful to get answers to quick questions or to get an immediate response. They can also be helpful for just chatting and staying in touch; group chats can be very effective at building camaraderie and establishing a good company culture.

Voice over IP

Email and instant messaging are more text-based methods of communication, so let’s discuss another method that relies on voice: VoIP, or Voice over IP. VoIP can effectively replace your company’s telephone solution with software for your desktop, laptop, or smartphone. It’s particularly great because it eliminates the need to work with your local telephone company by allowing you to use your Internet connection instead. Plus, VoIP has all of the features that your traditional telephone solution has, plus some.

Unified Communications Solutions

Perhaps one of the best ways to stay in touch with your company is with a unified communications solution that includes most, if not all of the above features. It provides a single centralized solution for all of your company’s communication needs. Think of the solutions like Slack and Microsoft Teams–these are great examples of unified communications solutions.

4Corner IT can equip you with all of the important tools you need to boost communications in the workplace. To learn more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

Strengths-Based Development Can Take Your Business to New Heights

red dumbbells pattern on teal background

Imagine that you are a kid again, and you get low marks on a test in school. The natural response from your parents and teachers is that you need to double down on studying for that subject, as it is clear that you struggle with it. The same can be said for any professional shortcomings, such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, and other performance-based skills. But what if we flipped this concept on its head and focused not on our deficits but instead where our strengths lie?

This concept is called “strengths-based development,” which has gained a lot of traction in recent years. A study reported by Gallup in 2018 found that businesses involved in the study who embraced this strengths-based approach enjoyed several benefits. This study examined 49,495 businesses, 1.2 million employees, and 22 organizations, all of which fell into seven industries across 45 countries. The participants were split into workgroups, one of which received strengths-based development interventions while the other acted as a control group.

As reported by Gallup, “Ninety percent of the workgroups studied had performance increases at or above the following ranges: 10 percent to 19 percent increased sales, 14 percent to 29 percent increased profit, 3 percent to 7 percent higher customer engagement, 6 percent to 16 percent lower turnover (low-turnover organizations), 26 percent to 72 percent lower turnover (high-turnover organizations), 9 percent to 15 percent increase in engaged employees, 22 percent to 59 percent fewer safety incidents.”

When you think about it, this makes sense. When people do what they are good at, it just feels good, and they are more likely to succeed and stick around to see the benefits of their work. Gallup expands on these numbers a bit by claiming that 67 percent of respondents who felt that managers focused on their strengths were much more engaged with their work. On the flip side of this statement, only two percent of employees who felt their strengths were not utilized were engaged with their work. You can see how strengths-based development can pay off in spades.

But what happens if you need a role fulfilled but do not have any internal talent to tap for it?

More organizations are outsourcing services to external talent than ever before. While it might not immediately feel great to admit that you do not have the talent to handle something, there is absolutely no shame in relying on trusted experts to handle certain aspects of your organization’s operations. One area that is often outsourced due to hiring a dedicated staff is IT management and maintenance. While you theoretically could have your employees manage their own technology, this can be counterproductive and frustrating for those who do not have strengths in this field.

On the other hand, managed IT is a great way to let your employees focus on their own personal strengths. Since they don’t have to worry about their technology solutions, they can instead focus on innovative new initiatives that they wouldn’t otherwise have time for. 4 Corner IT is happy to provide businesses like yours with managed IT services so that you can take a hands-off approach with your organization’s technology.

To learn more, reach out to us at (954) 474-2204.

How to Make the Most of Your Business’ Communications

team at work gathered around a table facing each other talking with papers and laptops on the table

Business communications have seen some significant changes, particularly with recent events being what they have been. Instead of your team members having the opportunity to simply turn to one another in the office, there are now added hoops that they must jump through. Let’s go into how your internal and external communication practices should adjust to meet these changes.

What Challenges Has the Hybridized Workplace Introduced?

Let’s consider the options that your team members had to communicate when they were all in the same centralized location, whether they were conversing with your clientele or within their own ranks. In addition to the digitized methods that first come to mind when discussing business communications, your team members could also take advantage of their proximity to one another to have face-to-face conversations.

Once remote work was so suddenly implemented en masse, this final approach was suddenly removed from the situation. This resulted in many companies struggling to pick up the slack with their other solutions.

Ultimately, communications suffered for many, but as time has passed, the situation has improved again. Let’s share a few best practices that have been successfully implemented by many in the attempt to reinforce their internal and external communications.

Internal Communication Practices

  • Lead by Example: When trying to encourage internal communication practices, a company’s leadership needs to walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. Getting your message across—in terms of the importance of consistent and comprehensive communication—will become much simpler if you set the precedent and encourage managers at all levels to do the same.
  • Personalization: Particularly while you’re communicating with your internal team, feel free to ditch the pomp, circumstance, and business-friendly language. In order for remote communications to have the effect they should between teammates, they need to be concise, to-the-point, and clear while also remaining relatable. Don’t be afraid to share details from your own life. Video conferencing helps to reintroduce the concept of in-person meetings and the casual nature that many meetings can take, and setting aside a channel for off-topic conversations can help too.
  • Switch It Up: Be honest… how many email threads have you subscribed to that you now just skim over, if not ignore entirely? While consistency is good in these kinds of messages, it can potentially also lead to messages being overlooked. Don’t be afraid to make use of all of your different tools and capabilities to keep your team primed and fresh.

External Communication Practices

  • Keep Your Contacts Updated: It’s one thing to have the capability to communicate with the members of your business’ audience and customer base. It’s quite another to utilize this capability. By prioritizing proactive communication with these tools, you can benefit from the improved awareness of your services that your customers will have after receiving your communications.
  • Emphasize With Current Issues: Regardless of your industry, your clientele are not a monolith—an issue that impacts one could very well have no influence on another. A key aspect of your interactions with them is to listen to these concerns and express that you hear them and are there to help.
  • Speak Directly Whenever Possible: If you’re trying to build up the trust that your clients and prospects have in you, it helps to communicate with them as directly as possible, so that they can hear your voice. With automation being implemented more and more, this kind of direct relationship makes an impact and helps to encourage greater communications.

4Corner IT is here to help you collaborate with your teammates and communicate with your business contacts through the IT solutions and services we provide. Find out more about what we have to offer by calling (954) 474-2204 today.