Do you want to take control of your own work environment? Are you ready to take the plunge and start running your own business? Here’s how 08 Direct can improve your home-based office.
It is hard to begin a business especially in competitive markets and with recession resting on the shoulders of many. A lot of small businesses start up in a home-based office environment which can provide advantages for the owner in terms of flexibility, part-time hours and the obvious cost reduction in terms of overheads.
Home-based offices do however mean, especially if working alone, that a marketing strategy may be harder to implement. Customers need to come to you and they need an incentive to do this. If you are working on a tight budget this is an even harder avenue to venture down.
So What Options Are Available For Your Home-Based Office?
Home-Based Office – Non Geographical Number
A non geographical number is a cheap and effective way of instantly forging your company into a consumer market. Being a non static number they are not fixed to any location meaning that you are not advertising the fact that you work from a home-based office. Large corporations use non geographic numbers and consumers associate them as such. Your business instantly seems larger, more established and experienced.
Home-Based Office – Welcome Message
By incorporating a welcome message, you can greet your customers in a professional and polite manner. This would be particularly beneficial if you are busy on another call and would provide customers with information as to when their call will be answered. It is also a great way to market your products and services, remind customers while they are on hold what offers are available and how they can benefit from being your customer.
Home-Based Office – Voicemail
If for any reason a call cannot be taken, a dead line, engaged tone or constant ring makes a customer feel as though they are not valued. By incorporating a voicemail into your home-based office telephone structure, it allows customers to leave details for a call back. It provides them with an outlet for their queries or dissatisfaction. It shows that you care about their opinions and means you can call them back knowing the situation without being caught off guard.
Home-Based Office – Call Whisper
If you host your non geographical number through your billed landline number it may be difficult to distinguish between business and personal calls. There is no need to have an additional home-based office phone line fitted which can be an expensive and messy installation process. With call whisper an automated service alerts you to the source/destination of the call, allowing you to answer the call in the relevant manner.
Home-Based Office – Freephone Number
There are several number ranges you can choose from when selecting a non geographic number. By advertising your business with a freephone number, not only will the image of your company improve with national presence but it will encourage customers to call you. A freephone number increases response rates and sales. Customers will be more likely to contact you than a competitor who does not have a freephone number and calls can be turned into sales.
Home-Based Office – Call Forwarding
Just because you have a home-based office it doesn’t mean that is where you have to stay. This is a simple but effective tool when first setting up a business, especially with low staff numbers. If an errand needs undertaking it may be necessary to leave your office/home and could lead to missed calls and missed business. Call forwarding allows the incoming call to be transferred to your mobile or any additional phone line after a pre-set number of rings. You can answer calls on the go being available for your customers 24/7.
Home-Based Office – Fax to Email
Don’t invest in expensive equipment unnecessarily. With a fax number to email you can receive faxes straight to your designated inbox. It is a secure way to receive customer information whilst saving costs in regard to paper, ink and the rental lines for fax machines.
Home-Based Office – Auto Attendant
As your business begins to grow and you expand out of your home-based office, you will experience high call volumes. An auto attendant allows calls to be directed to specific lines. It is usually implemented when companies have different staff members with differing specialist knowledge or when diverting to a relevant department.
Home-Based Office – Number Ranges Available
There are several non geographic numbers available. Here is a quick overview of the market leaders.
0800/0808 – They are free to call which means they can improve response rates by 150%. They cost the company rather than the caller but the revenue gain should be sufficient to justify the cost.
0844 – Leading companies are already using the 0844 number range, charged at 5 pence per minute with no connection fee.
0845 – Charged as a local rate number they are the most popular non geographic number.
0871 – Charged at national rate so no matter what time or day your customer calls, they will be charged a fixed rate.
0872 – Work on the same principle as 0871 numbers, being charged at national rate