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Starting a Business in Ohio

With a boom in start-ups and small businesses, Ohio is becoming a popular choice for new enterprises. Expanding to or starting a business in Ohio is an easy task. All you need is determination and the right documents and tools.

Starting a Businesses in Ohio, “the Heart of It All”

Located in the Midwest, Ohio has 88 counties and 247 cities and an estimated population of 11.72 million in 2019. The state is close to densely populated areas of the country like Detroit, Pittsburg, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. This makes the state a hub for transport, businesses, and trade.

Being the 7th largest economy in the U.S., Ohio is continuously expanding in areas of agriculture, aerospace, healthcare, education, research and development, and more. More recently, however, Ohio has also been paying attention to small businesses with 97.9% of Ohio’s companies being small businesses. Ohio’s local resources are encouraging small business growth in industries ranging from retail to clothing to hospitality to technology. The city of Columbus in Ohio created the first Small Business Concierge to assist small businesses with finances and more.

With the range of opportunities and governmental support available, Ohio is a good place to open a new enterprise. So, what do you need to keep in mind when starting a business in Ohio?

Starting a Business in Ohio
Source: – Lic#:2390363 ID#27446420

Step 1: Decide on a Business Name

The business name is your company’s first interaction with the customer. Therefore, you want it to be easy, memorable, and appropriate. Research to see if the name has already been used or may have any potential conflicts. Conduct a trademark search with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Finally, make sure that the name is available with the Ohio Secretary of State’s Business Filing Portal.

Step 2: Create A Business Plan

The next step to starting a business in Ohio is to create a business plan. A detailed business plan will outline:

  • How you plan to proceed with creating this company
  • What factors are necessary to consider for its success
  • Market research and projections to be considered
  • Equipment and software required
  • Expenses and costs (production costs, employee salaries, equipment costs, etc)

Step 3: Choose a Business Structure

Once you have your business plan, you will need to choose a business structure for your company:

  • Doing Business As (DBA): Using a different name than the business name.
  • Corporation: Separate entity that includes shareholders, partners, and directors. More complex than a DBA.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): Separate entity but doesn’t need directors or officers and provides easy management and taxation. Most popular business structure.

Step 4: Register the Business

It is important to register your new company with the Ohio Secretary of State by providing information and submitting the necessary forms. Also, you must register with the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Step 5: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to apply for and obtain an EIN number.

 Step 6: Open Company Bank Accounts

Once you receive your EIN, you can open bank accounts needed to run the business.

 Step 7: Obtain Necessary Licenses & Permits

The Ohio Business Gateway Licenses and Permits will provide you with a list of licenses and business permits. Make sure you obtain the appropriate licenses and documentation.

Step 8: Get a Business Phone Number

Once all of this is done, your company will be registered and open for business. This means it is time to start contacting and attracting customers or clients. To do so, you will need a business phone number. Whether you will be physically located in Ohio or plan on running your business remotely, having a local number will increase your chances of customer interactions. Customers prefer local numbers because they charge less to call. Additionally, consider getting a virtual toll free number because calls made to toll free numbers are charged to the receiver instead of the caller. This makes it even easier for customers to contact you. After getting a business number, market it on billboards, websites, paid ads, etc.

How Can Global Call Forwarding Help?

Global Call Forwarding can assist your efforts in starting a business in Ohio by providing you with a virtual or local business number. Since virtual numbers work over the internet, you can receive calls on any device in any location. These numbers come with additional benefits of call forwarding, which lets you forward calls to a number where it will definitely be answered. This ensures that no call goes missed. Sign up for a toll free number today and get your business on the road to success in Ohio!

Advanced Call Center Technologies for Sales and Support

As 2019 comes to an end, it is time to review and explore advanced call center technologies that are becoming more popular for sales and support. These technologies and tools help centers drive traffic and work through leads and calls effectively. Some companies have already started investing in advanced tech and more relevant features. Read on for the latest advanced call center tech many companies are considering.

Technologies Used by Call Centers

Call centers assist companies in telemarketing and sales efforts, tech and customer support, and making reservations and appointments. They, therefore, require different kinds of technology to support the work they do. These technologies help centers and employees sort through calls and information, keep and maintain records, and increase customer interaction. Often times, it is through call centers that customers interact with a company. Thus, it becomes important for these centers to utilize tech and tools to their advantage in order to improve customer relations. Let’s have a look at some of the advanced call center technologies available and understand why centers are gravitating towards them.

Virtual Offices With Cloud Communications

Remote call center agents and customer service agents are on the rise. Companies are hiring more and more remote agents in an effort to expand their business without increasing costs. These agents can work from across the world, making it easier for companies to tap into those consumer markets. Having remote agents and a virtual office enables seamless team communications and also ensures that customers can always reach your business.

Advanced Call Center Technologies for Sales and Support
Source: Lic#166648450 ID#92821256

How to Start Using Cloud Communication

The first step to adopting cloud communications is by getting a virtual phone number. This can be a local or international toll free number based on your requirements. Phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding can help you with a variety of virtual numbers. These include local and international virtual numbers, direct inward calling (DID) numbers, or international toll free service (ITFS) numbers. You can also benefit from additional features like rollover numbers, outbound calling, call forwarding, and so on.

Call Center Analytics

Companies are increasingly investing in various software and applications that provide call analytics and reports. These reports provide statistics about the number and types of calls made, what day/time is most preferred, etc. Likewise, such data provides insight into understanding customer preferences and the target demographic. They help predict customer engagement and improve call center quality assurance (QA). They are also used for evaluating agents’ performances by studying average speed to answer calls, hold times, customer satisfaction ratings, and call recordings. Then, if necessary, agents can be re-trained to help them perform better.

Multichannel Communication Lines

Opening more channels of communication — calls, emails, and text messages — between your business and its customers is essential. The more channels, the more likely customers will interact with your company. There seems to be a growing demand for texting or instant messaging services for call centers. Text message outreach makes it possible for agents to reach customers through yet another path. Most people prefer texting or emailing over phone calls and so, this feature will enable ease of communication on the customer’s part.

Other Innovative Features To Note

Besides the above-mentioned trends, some of the advanced call center technologies also include features and tools to improve customer service. These features help reduce agents’ workload as well as time that may be lost by prioritizing and distributing calls. Keep reading to learn more about these features and how they can be of benefit to your business.

Self-Serving Troubleshooting and Solutions: Today’s customers often want to resolve their customer service issues on their own. For this reason, many companies are looking into self-serving options such as displaying problem-solving information and FAQs on websites.

Callback Features: A new feature gaining attention is the Click to Call feature for customers to request callbacks. Global Call Forwarding has a similar feature called CallMe Click, a widget placed on the business’ website. Customers who visit your website can click on the button, fill in their contact information, and automatically receive a call from your company.

Predictive Dialing: Another popular feature, Predictive Dialing, is programmed to automatically dial a set list of numbers. When a call is answered, it is switched to a representative. These dialers can also screen for voicemails and busy signals and use statistics to predict the best call times.

Staying Up To Date

Now that you are up to speed about the advanced call center technologies available, it’s time to see what you can use for your company. Get your business a phone system that helps you conduct call center QA and also make you more accessible to your customers. Check out Global Call Forwarding’s rates and plans today. Invest in an easy-to-use phone service aimed at improving your customer relations. Happy customers make for a happy business!

FreedomVoice vs Grasshopper Phone Number Provider, Service, and Pricing

Phones in the business realm aren’t going away anytime soon; instead, more and more businesses are populating as a result. But, with all of these providers, choosing among them to fit all of your needs is difficult. Additionally, competitive pricing is very important. Two of the top-rated VoIP phone service providers in the nation include Grasshopper and FreedomVoice. But, what are the differences between these two companies? And, which should you choose for your business phone service needs?

Pros of FreedomVoice as a Business Phone Provider

The most notable and highly reviewed aspects of FreedomVoice’s business VoIP application is that it’s easy to use. Since it doesn’t require any additional software, you can purchase the service, install it, and have it running in just a few minutes. Plus, once it is set up, most reviews note that the software application is quite easy to use and operate. Furthermore, you can pick and choose from any additional features you may need. And, set these up before you make your first call, right from your smartphone device. Some of these features include customizable greetings, simultaneous ringing, and call transferring.

Cons of FreedomVoice as a Business Phone Provider

While FreedomVoice boasts ease of use, there are some cons to choosing this phone provider for a VoIP phone number. For starters, they don’t offer as many features as other competitors, including the virtual phone numbers from Global Call Forwarding. For example, you can’t send team messages or conduct conference calling from the VoIP numbers through FreedomVoice. Secondly, with this company, there is no ability to merge business VoIP lines with business software systems. These are systems that are used every day like your business CRM (Salesforce, Asana, etc.). Finally, with rates starting at $9.95 for one virtual phone number, there are certainly more inexpensive options available.

FreedomVoice vs Grasshopper Phone Number Provider
Source: O#S-4820344 ID#204678092

Pros of Grasshopper as a Business Phone Provider

Just like FreedomVoice, Grasshopper is a virtual number provider. Benefits of choosing this company include ease of set up and the ability to add features to business VoIP numbers. This organization also provides the option to include other, additional features. Some of which can make doing business much easier. This increases overall customer satisfaction when it comes to doing business over the phone.

Cons of Grasshopper as a Business Phone Provider

Unlike FreedomVoice, Grasshopper requires you to have an already established business phone system. A multi-line system or a physical VoIP unit are both examples. This means that choosing FreedomVoice for VoIP management could mean having to fork over money to pay for phone units. Would you rather have the ability to make calls from any device you want, including mobile devices? And, not have to purchase brand new equipment just to make these types of calls? If so, Grasshopper is not for you. Finally, with a starting price of $26 a month, even FreedomVoice is cheaper than this option. So, if money is an important issue for your business endeavors, it isn’t the best choice.

A Better Choice: Global Call Forwarding

Still not sure if either FreedomVoice or Grasshopper is right for your business? That’s because there is a better option available! Global Call Forwarding is more competitively priced than both of these competitors. And, it’s just as simple to set up and use and doesn’t require the purchase of additional equipment to start. Finally, it is competitively priced (with the lowest priced plan starting at $7.95 a month).

Choosing Global Call Forwarding for Your VoIP Number Needs

There is a more affordable way to conduct business with VoIP phone numbers without the headache. To purchase VoIP phone numbers for business with Global Call Forwarding, contact us today.


A review of Global Call Forwarding vs Avoxi

Accountability: Why Your Business Needs It

To effectively carry out a complex project or implement a strategic business plan, a culture of accountability must be developed throughout an organization. In order to achieve success, everyone within the organization needs to understand the organization’s strategy, their individual roles within the organization, and all specific tasks they are responsible for. Accountability is not limited to staff members within an organization. Managers and business leaders must also follow through on their promises and maintain a commitment to their organizational goals and to their individual performance.

How To Build Accountability in Business

When accountability is absent, the effects can snowball through an entire organization. Particularly when there is a large team with multiple people working in various roles on a project, this can pose issues. The result will be delays in project completion (if the project is completed at all) and negativity eroding attitudes of team members. A lack of trust could develop and both the performance and overall culture of an organization can suffer greatly.

If you want a high-performing team that is committed to taking ownership of their tasks and projects, read on. Here are some tips regarding accountability and why your business needs it.

1. Accountability means creating and nurturing an environment of trust and openness

When team members are behind or make mistakes, it is important that they feel comfortable enough to approach others on the team or a leader of the team for advice or help, with enough time to address and correct the issue. Asking for help can be very difficult, but it can also help to build trust, understanding, and autonomy, which leads to the development of strong teams that are very productive. This is just one tip, which highlights the importance of accountability and why your business needs it.

2. Understanding staff and what individually motivates them

Everyone has different motivations. Despite this, there are specific business culture traits that will lead to increased workplace satisfaction. When team members are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop in their roles, along with being made to feel that their contribution is essential, this is a plus for everyone. To help sustain a business culture that supports these values in conjunction with accountability and performance, business owners can avoid micromanagement, stay open to communicating, encourage collaboration, support employee education, and growth, and continue their own educations through conferences and workshops.

Accountability Why Your Business Needs It
Source: O#23559 ID#100050738501

3. Set clear goals that are actionable and provide metrics for success

When a team leaves a meeting or a conversation, it is important that they leave with a clear understanding of what their specific tasks and responsibilities are. This involves going over timelines and deadlines. By defining these aspects clearly, a team can leave a meeting with an understanding of what the next steps to take are, how much time they should spend on these tasks, and what the resulting product should be. Again, this is another critical step in establishing accountability.

4. Track and periodically review your progress, notice successes, and failures

In order for a team member to know when a project is completed and the level of quality that is expected of them, there has to be some form of tracking in place. This tracking method must have clearly defined definitions of success worked into it. Whether the progress is monitored on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, it is important to do this to figure out if the project is on track and within scope.

Even leaders need to remember that they need help in staying accountable. A leader may become too focused on day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the big picture or, in contrast, they may develop such a wide scope that they have a hard time understanding the more intricate aspects of the organization. On the short-term, this may not necessarily cause a problem, but if this continues, this could lead to great difficulty in maintaining accountability to the organizational strategy.

Working with a partner that helps with strategy from outside of the organization could assist in this area. A partner could help leaders to maintain an understanding of where the business is going, as well as to maintain momentum. This outside partner could also help in keeping the team motivated and aligned with the company vision and strategies.

When leaders are committed to their accountability, it can make a huge impact on their organization, which leads to alignment and the overall success of the organization.

Secrets of Using a Toll Free Number to Boost Your Business Calls

Do you have a toll free number for your business? If you do, then are you using it to its full potential? Toll-free numbers can benefit your business in numerous ways, and most importantly, they can boost your business calls.

Smartphones ended the era where we memorized phone numbers. If people are no longer memorizing phone numbers of loved ones, do you think that they will remember the phone numbers of businesses? Definitely not. A company that relies on phone calls to find new customers could suffer from these problems if they are not using a toll-free number in their marketing strategy.

The digital age had a very quick rise to the top, and many businesses shelled out a lot of cash to increase their search rankings or spent a lot of time trying to find followers on social media. Many companies realized that marketing online is not easy and have now turned back to traditional channels of marketing. Currently, there are more radio, print, and TV ads because they are secure means to measure ROI. Broadcast, print, and television can help to get your name out to potential customers, but if you’re looking for callers, then they need to get your phone number, too.

Making Your Business Number Memorable

So, how will a potential customer remember your phone number when they won’t even bother to memorize their mother’s phone number? The answer is with a vanity number!

A vanity number is the best way to get a customer to remember your phone number. Vanity numbers are toll-free numbers that use the letters that are placed on a phone’s keypad to spell out something related to your business. For example, if you are a baker, you might use 1-800-COOKIES. Vanity numbers stand out among the crowd and don’t look funny printed on an ad or spoken about on television. Many successful companies will attach a jingle to their vanity phone numbers when advertising on radio and television as a new way to help commit the phone number to people’s memories.

Using a Toll Free Number for Business
Source: O#23559 – ID#100211230098

Vanity Numbers Have Seen a Rise in Popularity

Vanity numbers are gaining popularity again because they are so simple to remember and can be used anywhere. If you’re driving past a billboard, you can memorize a vanity number, or if you’re listening to a radio ad, you can memorize a vanity number. Vanity numbers and toll-free phone numbers have always been an excellent choice for businesses, but the recent gain in popularity means that the best names are going fast, so don’t wait to secure the best vanity number for your business.

Make it Easy for Customers to Contact Your Company Using a Toll Free Number

Customers do not want to put in work to contact your business. And why should they? It is your job as an excellent company to make it easy for them to get into contact with your business. Your company should advertise its number in as many places as possible so that it is not hard for your customers to find it. It can be very frustrating for customers when they can’t find a way to contact a business. Once they find your number, make sure that you are available for their calls at any time of the day. Toll-free vanity numbers are also beneficial to customers because it does not cost them anything to call a company. A customer probably won’t choose your business if they have to pay to get in touch with you when they can call another business for free.
Vanity and toll-free numbers are also great for credibility. A customer will assume a company that uses a toll-free number is a large company or corporation, but in reality toll, free phone numbers are so affordable that any size business, whether it is a very small start-up or a large corporation, can afford to get one. If you are working from your kitchen table, you can still have the same credibility that a Fortune 500 company has, and that ability will give you the edge over your competition.

The Excitement of Starting a Business

Are you thinking about turning your business idea into a reality? While many business professionals caution that new entrepreneurs are in for a lot of hard work and suffering, the truth of the matter is that starting a business is exciting. In fact, starting your own business can be fun and empowering. It helps you achieve income and self-actualization that you never believed was possible.

Of course, starting a business on a good path requires the right tools. That’s why Global Call Forwarding is the right choice to keep your business growing and maintaining the positive vibe that can help get your business off the ground. In this article, we’ll cover a number of ways that Global Call Forwarding’s telecom services can help make your business as exciting as possible.

Being Professional

It needs to be said: being a professional gives you status. Having that status gives you a healthy ego boost; confidence counts for a whole lot and it certainly helps to have measurable personal goals that demonstrate your accomplishments. The truth about business is that you legitimize your idea when you offer it to customers and businesses, so the feeling of pride is hard-won and it results in personal achievement.

With Global Call Forwarding, you can help make your business more professional in a number of ways. First, your business can use toll-free numbers to create a geographically-agnostic appeal that shows that your business is ready to meet the demands of consumers across the nation. Furthermore, Global Call Forwarding offers toll-free numbers in other countries that have the same capabilities as domestic toll-free numbers. These numbers are known as ITFS numbers, or International Toll-Free Service numbers. By using and displaying these phone numbers throughout your marketing materials and advertising, you’ll convey to other people that your business is an entity that helps satisfy each customers’ needs.

Scaling Your Business with Global Call Forwarding

One of the most exciting experiences a business owner can encounter is the feeling of growth. When your business grows faster than you keep up with, measures will have to put into motion to handle the demand. In business-speak, this is called “scale.” And scaling your business to accommodate more customers with better service is the name of the game when it comes to doing business in our modern global economy.

Luckily, Global Call Forwarding offers services that can help your business achieve the potential that it deserves with virtual phone numbers, a cloud-based technology that enables your business to reach new markets instantaneously. With availability in over 140 countries around the world, you can gain the notoriety of a business that has established itself as a global enterprise. For instance, your business can be headquartered in one country but be able to create a presence in any target market around the world.

And for businesses that are just starting out, you should know that Global Call Forwarding has a number of payment plans that can accommodate large enterprises and small businesses, with the option to change service plans as your business grows. Best of all, the minutes that you don’t use can be saved as rollover minutes, meaning that the money you paid gets recycled at the start of each month.

Starting a Business Phone Man Dialing Keypad
Source: O#23559 – ID#100057913679

Add-ons and Functionalities that Transform Your Business Model

Business models shift over time, but the enthusiasm for running your business should always be positive. And the best way to maintain this positive energy when running your business model is by taking advantage of virtual phone number add-ons from Global Call Forwarding.

“Time of day routing,” one of the most popular add-ons for emerging businesses, enables your business to divert inbound calls to other locations, phone numbers, and voicemails depending on when the call is placed. By using time of day routing, your business can have a 24-hour, 7-days-per-week, 365 days/ year accessibility that elevates your business model to the next tier.
Using “failover forwarding” enables your business to practically guarantee that any inbound call is answered by a staff member. Essentially, when failover forwarding is enabled, instead of hearing a busy signal, the phone call will get routed to the next available phone number to ensure the call is answered without frustration for the caller.

Similarly, there is the add-on known as “simultaneous ringing” that can also guarantee that each customer that calls your business is handled as soon as possible. When a call is placed to your virtual phone number, all devices linked to that phone number will ring at the same time. This makes it much less likely that customers will not have the opportunity to speak with a company representative – or even worse, go in search of a competitor due to an inability to reach a representative. And, simultaneous ringing also has the benefit of bringing your team together, where employees feel connected to handle the volume of customers in a concerted effort.

Building a Business When You’re Broke

It has never been easier to build a business than now. However, starting a business when you have a lack of capital is as difficult as it has ever been. Or, is it? The truth is that businesses that may not have money on hand can substitute clever methods to their advantage. And one popular way that savvy entrepreneurs are doing this is by leveraging technology from Global Call Forwarding.
In this article, we will cover some of the many ways that cash-strapped entrepreneurs can take their business ideas into the real world and begin earning profits to jumpstart your endeavors with Global Call Forwarding.

Minimum Viable Product

With startups, there is the concept of developing something called the “minimum viable product,” or MVP. The MVP is a bare-bones product or service that consumers would be willing to pay for. Of course, it isn’t the finished product, but then again, there are relatively few products or services that don’t require periodic updates in design, pricing structure, and so forth.
The beauty of an MVP is that they don’t necessarily require a lot of upfront capital or hard work from the get-go. Simply putting up a beta version of your product can be good enough for a starting business. Of course, you will continue to work on your products and services in the meantime, but MVPs can bring in sources of revenue that can indicate which direction you need to build your business in order to meet market demand.

When you’re ready to put a product out to begin learning how it is received by the market, an MVP is crucial to hitting the ground running. However, the best way to receive feedback is over the phone. With Global Call Forwarding’s virtual phone numbers, available in over 140 countries around the world, you can gain valuable feedback in hyper-specific markets (with Local Access Numbers) or nationally (with Toll-Free Numbers, International Toll-Free Service Numbers, and Universal International Freephone Numbers). Customers who can tell you how to improve your MVP are your business’ built-in R&D department, offering clues to what customers actually want (not what you originally envisioned that would meet market demands).

Fake it ‘Til You Make it

In business, it is often emphasized that your business should pretend to be more experienced and competent than it actually might be. The reason for this is that most consumers are only interested in the final product; if you can deliver that, you’re in business.

One way businesses do this is by appearing larger and more professional than they actually are. It may seem deceptive, but the reality is that most businesses engage in some form of ambiguity. For instance, you may have noticed that when you contact your bank, the person on the other end of the line may be an outsourced employee that handles low-level transactions and provides advice that may be monotonous for key staff members.

Outsourcing isn’t relegated to just larger enterprises with cash to burn. In our modern times, virtual communication has made it accessible for nearly any person engaging in business. The best way to do this is through the use of virtual phone numbers from Global Call Forwarding, which can route inbound calls made to your phone number and have them answered in another location altogether. The service only costs pennies on the dollar, which can free up more of your time to work on value-building endeavors that can help you build your business. Best of all, when it comes time to really scale your business and actualize what you initially “faked,” you’ll have the valuable experience, protocols, and infrastructure already set up.

Opening Up Lines of Communication

Global Call Forwarding’s telecom services are powered through cloud computing technologies like VoIP. Because of the instantaneous communication that’s possible across countries and regions, your fledgling business can immediately access businesses and customers in any market that you want to. In the past, it was required that businesses had to invest in creating a brick & mortar presence in a new area – meaning that your business would have to pay for hiring new staff, leasing property, requisite fees, and taxes to other countries/states/municipalities, and so forth. All of that is potentially risky for new, cash-strapped businesses operating on minimal resources.

Building Your Business Communication Strategy Teamwork Meeting O#23559 – ID#100151403092

However, in our new global economy, this is no longer true, thanks to the advent of virtual offices and virtual locations. And one key element of a virtual office is enabling communication with your customers. Of course, calling abroad presents its own set of problems, namely blockages from service providers and exorbitant long distance fees.

That’s where virtual phone numbers come into the picture. Virtual phone numbers can be dialed like any domestic phone number, which means that you can avoid the aforementioned long-distance fees and service blockages – or even those that may not know how to dial outside of their home country. This means that your business can gain access to new customers around the world without having to build your business in the traditional way. Best of all, virtual phone numbers are significantly cheaper than building and maintaining a brick & mortar presence, which saves your business in overheads. If you are interested in subscribing to our virtual phone number service, chat with us online or call us at (888) 908 6171.

Small Business Marketing Trends for 2017

The year 2017 promises to be an exciting year for small businesses, and small business owners will need to prepare for changing marketing trends. This article discusses some marketing strategies that companies will use this year. Some of these may be perfect for your business.

Mobile Friendly Websites

In recent years, more people search and use websites on mobile devices than on desktops. Therefore, your websites should be mobile-centric, i.e. optimized for mobile use. Better yet, get a mobile app for your business. There are many available DIY app builders. Take a look at this list of the Best App Makers of 2017.With them, you can build an inexpensive mobile app. A Gallup poll reported that 75% of Americans check their mobiles hourly and use apps 90% of the time.

Consumers are becoming comfortable making mobile payments using mobile pay services. You may want to advertise and offer this service.

New marketing channels that are available to small businesses are mobile-only, downloaded apps such as Periscope, Instagram or Snapchat. These apps are not available on desktops, but they are very popular and have a wide audience.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is not a new trend. However, it continues to be one of the most effective techniques for getting and retaining customers. In a March 2016 survey of US SMB Retail Professionals, over 80% of respondents rated email over other marketing methods for acquisition and retention of customers. Furthermore, a 2014 Email Marketing Industry Census found that 68% of respondent companies rated email marketing over SEO (organic search), content marketing, paid search, offline direct marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, mobile marketing, and online display advertising.

Video Content

Consumers prefer to watch videos than to read text. Videos increase the reach and duration of marketing content, drive leads and sales and, as a result, contribute to the bottom line. In fact, predictions are that global mobile video traffic will increase exponentially from 3.6 million terabytes per month in 2016 to 23 million terabytes per month in 2019. Small business owners should consider increasing the video content on their web pages as well as adding videos to their social media.

Improvement of Blogs

SEO practices affect blog writing. However, if a blog is not useful or informative, readers are likely to leave the website. Therefore, this year is a good time to improve the content of your blogs. Use industry experts or professionals for writing and make sure the content is topical and on point. Your business will benefit from the changes.

International Call Forwarding Service

Global Call Forwarding (GCF) provides an international call forwarding service used by many successful global businesses, both big and small. We provide toll free numbers and local phone numbers to clients in over 150 countries and thousands of cities. We have an advanced network structure and provide customers with 24/7 technical support.

Using either local phone numbers or toll free numbers, your business will have a virtual office in your global marketplaces. The local phone numbers and toll free numbers portray a local presence to your customers. GCF forwards calls made to those numbers to specified destinations. It is a toll free call.

In addition to the many standard features that one expects, such as voice mail, customized greetings, and rollover minutes, GCF’s international call forwarding service provides service features that help small businesses manage call flows. These specialized features are Advanced Call Forwarding, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), and Auto-Attendant.

Advanced Call Forwarding

Incoming calls can be directed to standard landlines, mobile phones, or computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The destination can be anywhere in the world. Subscribers to the international call forwarding service can customize receiving phones based on time of day, day of the week, holiday schedules, etc. The combinations are unlimited. Calls from non-English speakers (such as Thai, Tagalog, Cantonese or Mandarin) can be routed to agents that speak those languages. Advanced call forwarding is a very useful tool for small businesses.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

The IVR is a computerized system that greets incoming callers and transfers their calls to the proper department or extension. You can program the IVR to meet your specific business needs. Customization includes greetings, announcements, prompts, extensions, and email destinations. A free PBX service is part of the IVR. This is what allows customers to establish a private telephone network, which connects incoming calls to the appropriate extension.


The auto-attendant answers incoming calls and gives a pre-recorded message. Users can program it based on their needs. Often, an auto-attendant gives the following options:

  • If you know the extension, dial it.
  • A list of departments and a number to dial to reach that department
  • Dial “0” for operator.
  • An option to repeat the above menu

Global Expansion

Through the use international call forwarding services and by subscribing to local phone numbers or toll free numbers, even a small business can maintain a global posture. Consider the possibilities of being able to tap into markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, or Thailand. If you own a business in those countries, provide local phone numbers or toll free number to your customers or prospects in North America, South America or Europe and then reap the benefits.

Perhaps 2017 will continue to be a year of growth for small businesses around the world. The Dow has already eclipsed 20,000 for the first time in history. Why not try some of the above marketing trends and supercharge your business.