Getting Started for Entrepreneurs (1-2 Employees)
From VoIP.ms Wiki
This guide has been made for entrepreneurs running a business on their own or businesses only with a few employees. Note that if your business has grown beyond this stage, we suggest you use our Getting Started for Small Businesses guide.
Below you will find a complete setup guide for your business phone system including:
- A few recommendations for a desk phone and a softphone to place and receive calls,
- A custom toll-free number,
- A voicemail greeting for your business,
- Call flow time conditions to forward calls during and after your business hours,
- Sending and receiving faxes through a virtual fax and SMS text messages through your e-mail, and
- Recording phone calls for your records
The phone features listed in this guide are interdependent. We recommend following the setup steps in the order they are presented.
Setting Up Your VoIP.ms Account and Devices
Understanding VoIP.ms Pay-as-You-Go Pricing
You may be scared by the Pay-as-You-Go model, but it allows you to actually make significant savings and is much more flexible than traditional phone providers. Let's walk through VoIP.ms pricing together:
First, you will need one (or many) phone numbers.
Say that you are a Canadian-based business, a toll-free number will cost you $1.25 per month.
Second, you get to pay per minute, thus you will pay $0.027 per minute for incoming and outgoing is free for toll-free numbers.
Say that in a given week, you speak on the phone 2 hours per day (making outbound calls to generate sales!) and receive calls 4 hours per day. That is 6 hours per day, 20 business days in a given month, that is 2,400 minutes incoming (billable) and 4,800 minutes outgoing (free).
Total? Your monthly recurring bill will be $1.25 for your toll-free number and $64.80 for all your business calls during the month with a fully hosted phone system, which yields $66.05 for 120 hours over the phone.
Ready to get started? Keep on reading.
Phone Numbers (DIDs)
Here you have a few choices, you will either get toll-free or local DID(s), or transfer your current one(s).
1) To get DID(s), you may get a vanity number which consists of a custom toll-free number (e.g. 1-800-DENTIST) or a regular toll-free number. You may also order a simple local DID if you wish to do so.
2) You may also transfer your DID(s) from your current provider with our portability tool. This process usually takes up to 5 business days, so one way to work around this is to ask your current provider to do a call forwarding to your new VoIP.ms DIDs.
Once you have your phone number(s), the next logical step is to choose your device(s). VoIP.ms has a Bring Your Own Device policy, thus you may either already have something handy or may decide to buy a new device.
In order to set up your devices, you will need to create sub-accounts. Sub-accounts allow you to register your devices as well as to create internal extensions once you have a few employees.
With your DID(s), your device(s) and your sub-account(s). You are now ready to build a cloud phone system tailored to your specific needs.
Building a Tailored Cloud Phone System
First of, you will need a voicemail to make sure you are not missing any leads. Here are some tips (missing!!!) from the VoIP.ms team to have the perfect voicemail prompt. We strongly advise you to take the full benefit of our voicemail system and activate the voicemail to email feature where all voicemail messages are forwarded to your email address as an MP3 attachment.
You may be at the office, at home, or on-the-go, but you should always benefit from unified communications and therefore to increase the likelihood of getting all your calls, you should activate the Call Forwarding feature. If you do not pick up your desk phone within a specific delay, the incoming call will be redirected to a number where you have more chance to answer (e.g. your mobile number).
While it is highly likely that as an entrepreneur you are working more than regular business hours, you can establish your own call flow with time conditions where you can decide to send your calls outside business hours and on weekends
Congratulations! After following this guide, you’re ready to do business using VoIP.ms.
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