When Is It Time To Install A Business Phone System?

When Is It Time To Install A Business Phone System?

Many small businesses have been enjoying years of unprecedented expansion which has enabled them to bring on new team members, which have necessarily brought about new challenges for small business owners to grapple with. One of the most common questions besetting entrepreneurs and successful business owners right now is whether they should install a business phone system.

When is the right time to install a business phone system, and how should you go about doing it effectively in a way that doesn’t break the bank? Here’s everything you need to know about adopting a business phone system for your business in the 21st century.

Editor's note: Looking for a business phone system? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

Recognize the signs that you need a phone system

Business owners who are overseeing the expansion of their business can’t do everything themselves, and sometimes you need to delegate. This is where a phone system steps in; you’ll know it’s the right time to install a business phone system when you yourself become incapable of single-handedly managing all of your business’ phone inquiries. Any entrepreneur who’s made it to the big leagues understands that you eventually reach a point where if you picked up the phone every time it rang, you’d be on it constantly, oftentimes to the detriment of your business.

If you’re ready to delegate so that your business can achieve more, it’s time to invest in a business phone system. The question still remains, which phone system is the right one for the job?

You need a game plan for the 21st century

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you need a game plan to keep adapting to the tumultuous nature of the 21st century, where new technological developments seem to sweep us off our feet every few days. This is why it’s essential to at least consider employing smartphones for your business phone system; while this option can be incredibly costly compared to traditional business phone systems, it’s vastly more efficient and can open up new worlds of productivity and communication for your company.

There are pros and cons of giving every employee a smartphone that you need to review before making a final decision. Besides considering just the cost, you should also be thinking about how you can bolster your employee’s productivity by giving them the tech they don’t just want, but really need, to survive and thrive in this day and age.

Traditional options can still be reliable

The fact that smartphones are so ubiquitous doesn’t meant that you have to bend over backwards and give one to everyone, however. Traditional options can still be reliable; upgrading your phone system as your company grows is a task familiar to countless generations by now, and a few key considerations have consistently sprung up whenever entrepreneurs begin discussing a new phone system.

Besides factoring in the cost of an upgrade, expansion, or just the first establishment of your business’ phone system, you should also consider how it will expedite internal communications and help your employees narrow their response time when it comes to getting back to one another. The right phone system, such as signing up for 800 number services, can produce a serious productivity boom for your company, but only if your workers know how to leverage it properly.

There are plenty of reasons to think that traditional phone systems are just so cost effective that the very idea of equipping everyone with an expensive smartphone sounds ludicrous, too. At the end of the day, it will ultimately come down to the unique situation facing your business; some entrepreneurs have more cash to throw at their problems than others, so analyzing how much you’re willing to invest in any sort of business phone system should be a high priority.

Consider how it impacts your brand

It may seem silly, but far too many entrepreneurs are refusing to consider how adding a business phone system to their operations will impact their brand. There’s a certain level of professionalism associated with classic, office-style business phone systems, after all, and your business many be able to tap into that aura to bolster its brand.

Before making any final decision about a business phone system, consider the future of your company and where you want to lead it in the days to come. Having an integrated, modern business begins with having a thorough and reliable communications system, and it’s likely that embracing a business phone system is the next step for you on the route to success.

If the Government Shutdown Has Delayed Your SBA Loan, Do These 3 Things

Small business owners hoping to close U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Program loans have been hit hard by the government shutdown.  The SBA has been closed since Dec. 22, leaving many business owners in limbo while hoping to finalize commercial real estate deals with impending deadlines. 

Many entrepreneurs have put down non-refundable deposits, paid for appraisals and spent various funds on their deals, which will fall apart if not finalized soon.  The shutdown has paralyzed many deals and delayed more than $2 billion in SBA lending, according to Moody's Analytics.

If you've unfortunately been put in limbo as a result of the government shutdown, here are three options to help see you through until the SBA reopens its doors.

1. Delay as much you can.

Commercial real estate is a competitive business, and many borrowers are feeling the squeeze from now impatient sellers.  The fear of lost deposits and other costs is real. The first and best option is to do whatever you can to delay your closing until the government reopens, hopefully soon.  The seller and your lender will have to agree to this as well. 

While this is the best way forward for the borrower, the seller may feel otherwise – and this is what's causing all the anxiety in the marketplace.  If the property has been on the market for a long time or the seller finds that other suitors might have the same SBA problem you do, then perhaps delaying the closing for several weeks might work out for both parties.  It can't hurt to ask, and I imagine that many borrowers have had or will have this conversation soon.

2. Put more "skin in the game."

Unless you have a very sympathetic seller, you will likely have to put some additional money into the transaction – or commit more of your deposit before closing.  While not ideal, it's likely better than losing the deal altogether. 

The sad reality is that sellers have no obligation to wait for the government to reopen, and many may see it as an opportunity to find another buyer who can close sooner.  We all know that money talks, so one way to keep your deal alive is to put more cash in the seller's hands while coping with the shutdown. 

3. Look for interim financing from another source.

The last and possibly most pragmatic option is to find interim financing from another source.  As someone who has been in the SBA loan world for nearly 20 years, we have been reviewing many deals during the shutdown and helping borrowers secure interim loans that enable them to close on their properties.

SBA loan experts should be able to quickly determine whether or not the SBA will authorize and fund an SBA 504 loan.  For one of our borrowers who was purchasing a building in Oregon, we funded the SBA portion of the loan because we are confident that the SBA will approve it once the government is reopened.  We offered an interim financing package to our borrower that, in the long run, is far better than losing out on their dream property. 

While the best outcome is a quick end to the government shutdown, small business borrowers do have some options to save their real estate deals.

Editor's note: Need financing for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.


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