These 7 Mistakes Could Hurt a Growing Business

Every business has multiple moving parts, and like plates spinning in the air, failure to pay attention to any one of those parts could spell disaster. Some business mistakes can be fatal, while others will impede business growth. Common business mistakes are the result of erroneous assumptions...

October 10, 2017

Is Google Voice a Complete Telephony Solution?

In the wake of the internet revolution, many businesses were able to start up and even run without an actual business phone system. Smartphones and apps changed everything and allowed people to truly go cordless.

People ditched their landlines, using their smartphones and tablets instead, and...

October 10, 2017

How To Cut the Cord and Go Completely Mobile in 2018

Are you wondering if a business phone system is still a worthwhile investment? With a mobile phone (or two or three) in every pocket, is there really any need for a fixed line phone? 

Can you cut the cord and go completely mobile while still running a professional business?

The answer is an...

October 6, 2017

Winning Communication Tips for New Founders

There are a lot of reasons why people decide to start their own business, but a common thread runs though many stories about the entrepreneurial journey. Entrepreneurs are often fiercely independent, self-driven and self-reliant individuals. Because of this, communication can be a challenge. You...

October 2, 2017

What Is the Best Mobile Phone for Business?

Better business tools promote better business efficiency, so it’s important to choose the right tools, especially the right mobile business phone. Productivity relies on access to people and information when and where you need it, and your mobile phone is the lifeline that keeps you connected...

September 28, 2017

How Do You Make Your Own Luck in Business?

It’s not fair.

It's possible, even common, to work hard on your small business without any result, then see a break open up for someone else who hasn’t put in the sweat equity you have.

It can be discouraging to struggle while others seem to get lucky. It can even make you doubt whether hard...

September 26, 2017

A Fresh Approach to Small Business Budgeting for 2018

For many small business owners, Budgeting Season and Halloween go hand in hand as the most terrifying time of year.

September 19, 2017

Seven Common Barriers to Small Business Growth

There are many challenges to small business growth, some of which are unique to a specific business model or market, but many of which are universal. As the owner of a small to medium-sized business (SMB), your job is to identify the specific issues that are impeding the growth of your company...

September 19, 2017

12 of 2017's Best Business Growth Articles

Building a business of any size is never easy. Growth doesn’t just happen. It takes perseverance, hard work, and most of all a well thought-out business growth strategy. You need to have a firm understanding of your business’s strengths and weaknesses, identify market opportunities that will...

September 15, 2017

The Top Obstacles to Small Business Growth & Solutions to Get Past Them

What held you back last year?  Which of the biggest obstacles to growth are still standing in your way? Despite the wide variety of businesses and business models out there, small businesses all across the country are facing many of the same problems. 

In a study of more than a thousand small...

September 14, 2017

Should Your Small Business Cut the Cord and Go Completely Mobile?

Phone systems have been a necessary but painful component of any viable business for over century now. At the heart of communication, customer service and sales, the business phone was crucial to getting deals done, providing service to customers, and communicating internally. For the most part,...

September 12, 2017

How to Create a Step-by-Step Action Plan for Business Growth

If your business isn’t expanding, it’s failing. Business stagnation means you are falling behind the competition and losing market momentum, so no growth is really negative growth. Every business needs to have an expansion strategy, and the best way to ensure success is by creating an action...

September 12, 2017

How Much Money Can a Virtual Phone System Save Your Business?

The short answer to the question in the title is "Up to 88%." For details, read on. 

In the past, two of the biggest expenses for in starting a small business used to be the office lease and the phone system. These were assumed to be the backbone of the business and it was hard to imagine...

September 9, 2017

Growing Your Business: From 0 to Small Business in 8 Steps

How hard is it to start a business? Too many people are putting off living a more authentic life as a business owner because they:

  • Don’t know where to start
  • Don’t know who to ask for advice
  • Worry that they don’t have the time/money to file the necessary paperwork
  • Have misconceptions on what it...
September 7, 2017

Why Are Business Phone Companies Ignoring Small Businesses?

Small businesses are the engines of the US economy. In 2017, there are more than 30 million small businesses (under 500 employees) in the US.  

September 5, 2017

10 Businesses You Could Start with a Few Hundred Dollars

What is preventing you from starting a new business? Are you waiting until you have more money, more time or a good idea?

September 4, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Small Business Owner: Managing Everything from Your Phone

How much time and money would you save if you started managing everything from your phone? At the first Code Conference in 2014, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced:

"I run my business entirely on my phone. I believe this is the future."

That future has arrived. Business owners all over the...

September 1, 2017

Is Your SMB Ready to Survive Digital Transformation?

Digital disruption continues to shake the business world, and this megatrend is only accelerating. A study from Constellation Research analyzed the rate of churn for corporations entering and exiting the S&P from 1958 to 2011. If the rate remains constant, three-quarters of enterprises on the...

August 28, 2017

Tech Trends That Small Business Owners Should Ignore

If you run a small business or you in the early stages of starting one, there’s a good chance you are drowning in conflicting advice. Some of it is clueless, some of it is well-intentioned, and most of it is designed to entice you into a sales funnel.

The one piece of advice that may be in short...

August 28, 2017

Is a Coworking Space Right For Your Small Business?

Coworking spaces are springing up around the country, and not just in downtown business districts. From lofty industrial spaces to cozier dens tucked into smaller towns as well as urban neighborhoods, you can find everything from pool tables and urban gardens to meditation rooms and rooftop...

August 25, 2017

Five Small Business Expenses To Cut And One NOT To Cut

There are two paths that small businesses can take to profitability – revenue growth and cost containment.

August 25, 2017

What Is VUCA And How Can a Small Business Survive It?

It’s hard out here for an SMB. Changing conditions, unexpected events, uncertainty and confusion are a matter of course in an economy that, despite lackluster growth, manages to be full of surprises. In other words, VUCA.

What is VUCA? Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Coined by...

August 24, 2017

The Top 9 Social Sellers to Follow for Small Business Growth

Growth-oriented small businesses can’t really afford to experiment with sales. They need a reliable way to open up wider pipelines of leads and shorten their sales cycles. Those are both areas where social selling techniques tend to excel.

August 23, 2017

Using Open Talent Markets to Scale Your Small Business

Branding matters, even for small companies. In the digital age, your storefront is online, and a professional presence can make all the difference to consumers who are clicking, typing and tapping their way to your business through a noisy digital marketplace.

How can you stand out?

August 22, 2017

6 Small Business Trends You Should Know About in 2017

Following a tempestuous election year, 2017 has proven to be a positive year for business, with a booming stock market and increased confidence among small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that the economy is strong. In fact, SMBs are continuing to grow at a record rate, and 99.7 percent of all...

August 22, 2017

3 Easy Steps for Dealing with Difficult Customers

Dealing with difficult customers is probably one of the most frustrating tasks a small business faces. It’s easy to get defensive, because difficult customers can be a real threat to your business.

They can end up using more resources then they bring back into the business, and drain you of...

August 21, 2017

5 Essential Tools for Social Selling And How to Use Them

Great news! Old selling techniques don’t work anymore. The latest sales statistics on customer sentiment reveal that:

  • 97% of cold calls just don’t go anywhere
  • 48% of buyers are irritated by aggressive sales tactics
  • 39% of buyers can see right through scripted sales pitches and hate them
August 21, 2017

SMB Apps to Launch Your Business in a Matter of Minutes

2017 is a great year to launch a business. If you want to start a business, but you haven’t yet, take a moment right now and list the obstacles that are stopping you. There's a good chance that you have the ability to break through those barriers with the right knowledge.

August 18, 2017

Tips for Growing a Small Business with Technology

When you start a small to medium-sized business (SMB), startup costs are always a concern. Where is the best place to invest capital to ensure yours is a winning SMB? Do you put more cash toward inventory, marketing, staff? One area where every SMB can make a smart investment is technology....

August 18, 2017

What Your Internal Communication Structure Reveals About Your Future

Picture managing a team in space. You can't get any more remote than that. How confident would you be? Confidence in your team can be deadly if it’s not based on a solid foundation of honest communication.

August 15, 2017

Which Is Worse: Too Many Emails Or Too Little Voice Communication?

Email overload and conversation avoidance aren’t two problems. They are only one -- seen from different angles. The problem is inefficient communication that arises from using the wrong channel, and the all too human impulse to resort to the path of least resistance. 

August 14, 2017

5 New SMB Technologies That IT Leaders Can Deploy to Fight Churn

There are two types of churn that SMBs need to contain: talent churn and customer churn. These are not just problems for SMB owners, HR managers, or customer service. Everyone in a small business has a role to play in reducing churn because this is critical to business survival.

On the bright...

August 11, 2017

What Does a Winning SMB Look Like?

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are driving the U.S. economy.

August 10, 2017

Six Tools for Startups Your SMB Can't Be Without

Today’s economy is fueled by startups that grow into small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). In every industry, there are entrepreneurs using new technology and new business strategies to start something innovative, and no matter what their market, these fledgling businesses adopt the same...

August 8, 2017

Is it Time to Bring Your PBX Online?

How can you have a business phone line if you don’t have a physical phone system?  

Apps and mobile technology have solved that. Business phone systems no longer live in bulky hardware and desk phones. They can be virtualized to function across your mobile phone infrastructure, offering all the...

July 27, 2017

8 Old School Marketing Tactics That You Should Remember

Did you forget something? In all the excitement of running a business, it’s a dead certainty that something will slip your mind. Otherwise there wouldn’t be such an enormous market for reminders, to-dos, and automated task apps.

July 19, 2017

5 SMB Technologies That Can't Work Without Social Selling

Technology should be giving you more hours in the day, not frustrating you and eating into your most precious, non-renewable resource: time. 

Having the right tools is not the same as knowing the best way to use them. Here are five incredibly valuable SMB technologies along with the social...

July 18, 2017

High-growth SMB Technology: How Do You Stack Up?

Did you know that 99% of private employer firms are medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees, and 89% are small companies with 20 or less employees?

Small businesses are the true drivers of innovation and growth in America today.

July 10, 2017

Spotlight on Small Business Technology Trends from the WEF

Some technologies like app-enabled smartphones seem to appear and change the entire business landscape overnight. Although phones connected to the web had been around for years, it was the iPhone’s rich app ecosystem the kicked off the mobile revolution 10 years ago. 

June 30, 2017

4 Ways to Avoid an IT Budget Cut with Pain-Free Technology Deployment

Imagine a world where IT is seen as a strategic investment, not as a discretionary expenditure, and imagine that your foundational technology involves pain-free deployment. Companies such as Amazon, Google, eBay, and iTunes have redrawn the lines. It’s hard to tell where business ends and IT...

June 27, 2017

Customer Experience: A Customer-Focused Approach to Business Communication

Customer experience is the new gold standard for business. Forbes listed user experience as one of the top trends for digital transformation in 2017. But user experience isn’t merely a feature of design and UX. While designers are tasked with creating a friction-free software experience for the...

June 27, 2017

Warming Up the Cold Call: a Social Approach to Business Communication

Business communication involves more than just sales, but sales is the lifeblood of business, so it deserves a bit of special attention.

You may have read that cold calling is dead. That’s what headlines will tell you on many sites across the web. You probably also heard that cold calling is...

June 26, 2017

Phone Systems and the New Habits of How People Communicate

A good friend of mine used to joke around saying, “I LOVE change. You go first!” Humans are creatures of habit. Although many homo sapiens are seen touting about how much they love gadgets and new toys, when it comes to asking them to edit a habit, it’s incredibly difficult to make that happen....

June 22, 2017

Growth in a 0 Growth Economy: Business Growth Strategies

Trust your instincts. The economy really is stalled and you may need to revisit your  strategy for  business growth.

June 20, 2017

What is your Business Communication IQ?

 

Do you ever feel like you’re lost in a communication desert? You have all the tools you could possibly need to communicate with anyone, anywhere; and yet you still can’t seem to get your point across. Your message is driven hither and thither by powerful winds, like the sands of the time, and...

May 17, 2017

7 Business Communication Skills That Great Leaders Continuously Improve

Great leaders are great communicators, and, although they may have very distinct styles and methods, they share some common traits. It’s a mistake, though, to think that these traits are just natural gifts. Great leaders work continuously to improve their communication skills, and they develop...

April 13, 2017

How to Turn Employee Phones Into a Smart Business Phone System

People are turning employee phones into a smart business phone system in 3 minutes or less. 

We’re pretty excited about the next big thing over here at Spoke. Check out this short video and get a glimpse of the shift that’s taking place.  We’re changing how business thinks about phones.

April 11, 2017

10 Steps to Rocking the Business Phone Call

When it comes down to it, despite seemingly daily advances in communication technology, the telephone is still the primary means of conducting meaningful business. It’s fast, efficient, and cost-effective. It’s also more personal and allows you to forge a closer bond with the party on the other...

March 16, 2017

Five Risks of Relying Solely on an Online PBX

More small businesses are migrating to cloud computing services, including for their telephone services. Hosted PBX and hosted VoIP systems seem attractive, because they are inexpensive to set up, scalable, and inexpensive to operate compared to on-premises PBX (private branch exchange) systems....

March 14, 2017

Why Hosted Business Phone Systems Are Stuck in the Dark Ages

Technology has always been an enabler for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Advances such as the personal computer, mobile card readers, and e-commerce have created new possibilities for business. However, in many ways, the business phone system is still a remnant from the past.

January 30, 2017

How to Improve Communication Within an Expanding Small Business

Effective communication is a key component of any size business—or any relationship for that matter. The day runs more smoothly and less time is wasted trying to track someone down when coworkers and customers can easily communicate with the right people in your company.

January 27, 2017