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The Benefits of Asterisk Phone Systems

Asterisk phone systems are an excellent, fully integrated VOIP PBX solution for businesses of all sizes. The set up eliminates the tremendous cost of setting up a traditional PBX system. This high cost often eliminates the possibility of using PBX for small businesses, but with Asterisk, even the smallest business can have all of the benefits of PBX in their office without spending money they do not have.

What Is Asterisk?

Asterisk is an open source software PBX that can be used by businesses and individuals alike. It is designed to run on Linux, but it can run on other platforms as well, including Windows. Asterisk was developed by Digium, Inc., who also sells the hardware necessary to set up Asterisk phone systems. Compared to other PBX options, Asterisk is incredibly affordable and has many features that are hard to find elsewhere.

Benefits of Asterisk in the Office

Besides the fact that it costs thousands of dollars less than a traditional PBX system, Asterisk provides its users with numerous other benefits. Since Asterisk phone systems are VOIP PBX systems, they use broadband connections to connect the telephone network to the traditional global telephony network. Calls can still be made and received in the same manner that they are with a traditional PBX system. Additionally, because the connection is made through the Internet and not the phone line, employees that work remotely can be connected directly to the office PBX through their Internet connections. When someone calls your office and chooses extension 10, that extension could actually be your home-based worker, and the customer would be none the wiser.

For large businesses that have locations in several geographical areas, using asterisk will allow the various offices to connect over the network. This can eliminate much of the expense of conference calls a company spread over several states usually faces. Additionally, employees who must travel frequently can stay connected to the office PBX system as long as they have an Internet connection.

Asterisk phone systems allow every extension to have its own voicemail box. These voicemail boxes are connected to the employee's email accounts, so no one will ever miss a message again.

If you should ever have a problem with your Asterisk system, you can easily get help directly from Digium. They have friendly Asterisk consulting professionals that will help you get the system up and running as quickly as possible. You can call to ask questions about bugs that you find, and they are happy to help, as this type of feedback helps them improve the software for future users.

Asterisk supports a variety of VOIP protocols. Among the protocols it accepts are MGCP, H.323, and SIP. The program can connect IP phones to the traditional phone line easily. This flexibility makes the system easy to integrate into established businesses.

If needed, Asterisk phone systems can interface with traditional telephone lines. The product comes with several high-end features, such as voice recognition system integration, call data record, and text-to-speech system integration. All of these features make it one of the best PBX products available.

Benefits of Asterisk for Customers

Your employees are not the only ones who benefit from Asterisk phone systems. Your customers will benefit as well, both directly and indirectly, when you implement this system. It has features that are found in the most expensive products on the market, such as on-hold music that supports both MP3 and streaming media. Customers will have shorter wait times because the call queues allow agents to monitor the queue while they take the incoming calls, so they can shorten the calls if needed.

Asterisk phone systems offer the best of both worlds to their users. They provide a plethora of features to the business at a fraction of the cost of their traditional competition. There are other VOIP PBX options out there, but Asterisk is the oldest and most well established, making it the preferred choice among many business owners.


Why Your Business Card Should Be An Integral Part Of Your Business Plan

Whenever you leave your house and you are a business man you should always have a couple of your business cards with you. It is always good to have a few on you so if you meet someone that wants to do business you will have a way for them to get in touch with you. If you have to stop and write your number down on a torn piece of paper or something like that it's not very professional.

Even though having your business cards are with you all the time it may not be enough. These little cards are things that will help market you and get your name out there. If you make your business cards to stick out then people will remember they have them and might give you a call if something pops up. The main things your business cards should have on them is your name phone numbers and address. It might also include a business logo or your email address. You will also need to have a punch line or slogan on your business cards to catch the eyes of people.

The other way to make your card stand out is to make them on good paper material. The cards should turn out thick and shiny. If you are choosing to get a colorful card then you need to be sure that it will stand out among other cards. Be sure to tell what you do on the card as in what your profession is.

Even though you may not have room on the front for everything you need about yourself on the card you can still use the back just be sure to have everything of importance on the front of the card. Every business card should be able to fit in a wallet or purse to be able to carry around and have handy.

The more business cards you hand out the more business you are likely to receive. Hanging on to all those business cards makes no point in having them if you are not going to give them out. So you should give out multiples to hope that they will get moved on by others. Also ask for referrals maybe someone else needs your help too.

You should also include business cards when you send mail to someone even if it's a bill to them just be sure to add your business card to everything. Even though the person receiving the mail may not need your card someone else might.

Handing out business cards can be boring but in order to get your name out there it's what has to be done.


It Services: Saving Money With Outside Consultants

When the owner of a small business goes out of town, whether for the holidays, for a business meeting or just for the weekend, they want to know that their technology infrastructure is secure, maintained and working. But how many such owners have that peace of mind? More and more business owners are outsourcing this task to qualified network management individuals or companies that can save them time and money.

Ascensha has outlined some key reasons they are finding small business owners are seeking out qualified IT service consulting firms and why they think that move is so advantageous.

Hiring Third-Party IT Services
There are four key reasons why small businesses are hiring third-party IT service providers right now.

1. Cost-Savings

Hiring outside IT services is often much less expensive than hiring a full-time IT staff member. With outside service providers you get to choose exactly what IT programs your company size and workload needs. That means you can decide whether you want to pay for network management, help desk support, systems security elements, server support and on-going maintenance or just a subset of these. With an IT consulting firm you get what you need when you need it and can avoid the high overhead cost of paying an employee.

2. High-Quality Service

Professional IT providers often offer a much higher quality of work than a single IT employee. A good IT consulting firm hires fully trained IT professions that are able to design and implement competitive IT systems, analyze server, desktop, and network vulnerability, and provide desktop and network support. This kind of comprehensive analysis is often more than a entry level IT manager can handle.

3. Improved Network Security

By hiring an outside IT service provider, small businesses can utilize the critical and objective assessment of an unbiased, diligent professional. Outside IT providers are often asked to thoroughly examine threats that exist outside the company and implement technologies that help protect the business from these threats. These companies' main objective is to stay on top of the latest network and system threats to make sure they are on top of securing the systems. That takes time and work that most business owners don't have on their own.

4. Peace of Mind

Probably the most honest and simplest reason small business owners are seeking out outside IT service providers is the peace of mind it can bring. An IT service provider with years of proven experience in the field and access to state-of-the-art tools will undoubtedly do a better job than an employee with a basic knowledge of internet trends and technologies. Knowing that the IT components are taken care of allows small businesses with limited resources to focus their energy on sales, customer service, project management and other income generating work.

Small business owners in any industry can find value in researching IT services for their company. It is not vital that they understand all the components for a secure and functioning server and systems network. It is important for them to take time to find someone who does. There are professional services out there willing to help cut costs and save you time.


List Building and Twitter

When you join an online opportunity and become an entrepreneur you need customers and sign-ups. To get them you need an email list. This is why there are so many articles on the Internet about list building and why safe lists were once so popular.

First, it is important to get your message in front of a lot of people and with that comes how often your message is seen by them. So your reach and the frequency is paramount to your success as an online marketer. You can reach many people at Twitter.

When you setup your Twitter account you can brand yourself by using the name of your business as your I.D. While setting it up, check the options to be notified when you receive a direct message and when a person starts following you. In your bio describe your business and something about you. For example, give the name of your business and ask the reader to follow you to get a free widget. In other words, to get whatever free item you offer.

You have a welcome message option, which you should setup as a direct message. Use it to thank people for following you and repeat your free offer. You can also click the automatically follow new people that follow you option. Your Twitter email account should have the ability to aid you in forwarding all notices of recent followers from Twitter to that email account.

You have the option to set this up so your new followers automatically receive a message to join your list. You use your TweetLater account to get this going. It lets you organize your tweets ahead of time in intervals of weeks, days, hours or minutes. It is a good idea to do some tweets beyond the ones you schedule. These might be tips and advice concerning how your followers can promote their business or blog. It could be something a little more personal about you such as what your struggles and triumphs in your marketing efforts have been like or maybe some tweets about your other interests or something about your vacation.

Twitter people like the personal touch and talking about something besides your business sometimes gives them a chance to see you as a person. If they feel they know some good things about your personality and a little about your struggles it helps build the trust and familiarity that makes people respond better to your offers.

Another good thing about the TweetLater account is that it will drop those followers that stop following you. Hey, if they aren't really interested, they aren't targeted followers that are interested in your tweets, then they won't help you in your endeavor. This way you gain a list of people that have an interest in what you tweet about and it can help you make more money.

Now that you have signed up for Twitter and have setup a TweetLater account, the best strategy is to advertise your Twitter account quite a bit.


How is VoIP Different From Regular Phone Service?

VoIP, or voice over internet protocol, is rapidly gaining in popularity and soon may pick up enough steam to be a strong rival to regular phone service providers.

Though in theory and in use, both the public switched telephone network and VoIP are strikingly similar, how the end result is actually achieved and the features available with each couldn't be more different than they are.

For you to make an educated decision on which type of phone service may be the most appropriate for your situation, let's go over some of the biggest differences between the two.

The Cost

VoIP generally has a big advantage in the area of price. Most VoIP services offer unlimited calling to both local and long distance numbers for one, often pretty low, flat fee. In many cases with VoIP, you get more than just the calling plan too - additional features like caller ID and call waiting often come free with a VoIP service plan.

PSTN (public switched telephone network)) often charges a monthly fee that is greater than what VoIP providers charge, then you are usually billed in addition for your long distance calls with either another flat rate or with a per minute charge. Extra features like caller ID and call waiting are available but will often cost you more as well.


This point goes to the regular phone service providers. In the event of a power outage, which can happen with some regularity depending upon where you live, a hardwired phone line will remain unaffected in most cases.

With VoIP service, unless you've got a back up generator, your phone service will be out when your power is out. This could potentially be a big problem if you've got an emergency along with your power outage.

Ease of Upgrading

Virtually all VoIP upgrades require only a simple download of the latest software to be completed - a few clicks of your mouse and your upgrades are finished.

Any kind of regular telephone service upgrade could potentially require you to shell out quite a bit of money on some form of new equipment and may, in addition, require a lengthy visit from a service tech that happens to be paid by the hour.

Emergency Service

If a 911 emergency call is placed from a regular, land phone line the address can be traced, and therefore located by police or other emergency personnel.

A 911 call placed through a VoIP service provider has no way of being traced, so unless enough of the phone call can be completed to identify the caller's location, help may not be able to be dispatched.

Both methods of connecting with others certainly have their advantages and both most definitely have their disadvantages. If money is the foremost issue at hand, VoIP service is probably a better option, as it can allow you to make all the calls you want or need and gives you a slew of useful features all for one low price.

If stability and security are more important to you, and cost isn't an inherent worry, then you may see fit to stick with your current phone service provider.

As technology improves and further advancements are made with VoIP service, it's likely that the issues that currently stand will be addressed and taken care of. Ways to make calls during power outages and special amendments that allow the traceability of calls placed to emergency numbers may surface in the not too distant future.

As things stand right now, VoIP is already becoming a serious force for regular phone service providers to contend with and as new advancements are made it will only become easier for the average person to justify making the switch from their current phone service over to VoIP.


How To Make Your Business Run Smoother With Autoresponders

In your world or just the business world in general autoresponders may be just the thing that you need to get your business under control. These types of autobots will make responding to emails and others things easier than having to write them yourself. These are great to have and are good to have if you are running a business and can't afford to stop and type to a single person or customer.

As the years have passed autoresponders have become more and more popular to use in businesses. The best feature they are known for is to be able to respond to emails and messages quickly so people will think you are talking to them. If you use one of these then you wont have to spend time answering emails for hours ever again it will do it for you. You will be able to live free and not have to respond to all those emails.

To set your business to auto respond all you need to do is get what is being talked about and get the autoresponder to be able to respond to it. After your autoresponder knows what to answer then your customers will receive what they need right away without any hassle. These autoresponders are very quick and all the people who need to get in touch with you will get what they need through these.

Autoresponders will also help send out all kinds of things you need done. All you do is preset what you need answered and it is done. They will do everything that you need to be done.

These autoresponders can be set up to answer anything you want. You can make personal messages so that when that specific person talks with the autoresponder the sutoresponder will message them exactly what you would have. They will also follow up on things and make sure you make a sale if you need to. The quality autoresponders will actually let you know when someone is requesting info about you.

Another thing you can do is change your messages that are being sent anytime you want. You are going to get new products so you are going to have to change your messages so they are not the same and people don't figure out what's going on. So when you are running a business its good to keep your customers informed. So by informing them you customers will be able to know what your latest products are and other items as well.

If you are trying to run a business these days without autoresponders it will be hard. If you get an autoresponder you will be able to get and receive info you need all the time 24/7. Autoresponders are probably one of the most important things when it comes to running a small business. I couldn't function without them.


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