Forbes 7 Habits of Great Small Business Owners
Here at A Courteous Communications, we like to write helpful articles that guide entrepreneurs and business owners in the right direction for growing a successful business. Since opening our doors in 1986, we have always said that our success depends on our clients’ success. Our virtual receptionist team wanted to share this very interesting Forbes’ article, 7 habits of great small business owners, while giving you additional advice for your small service business.
Habits of Great Business Owners
1. They take care of themselves.
As the Forbes article referenced states, “Smart small business owners recognize that having a sharp mind requires having a healthy body. Attention is paid to eating healthy and making time for physical exercise.” As an entrepreneur with a small business, we understand the time commitments required for you to run your service business 24 hours a day. You have to constantly be attached to your business telephone line and aren’t able to keep regular workout routines or have the capability to prevent distractions at your family dinner table.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of taking care of your well-being.
Our award winning virtual receptionist team is trained on your customized account. We will answer your after-hour service caller inquiries to your exact specifications. You can go ahead and get that gym membership knowing that you can take care of your mind and body with no frivolous distractions. If you are receiving a call that disrupts your task at hand, you know that you are receiving an actual service request and not answering frequently asked questions that can be handled by your new telephone support team. Never step away from quality time with your family with a standard telephone inquiry.
Trust in our elite 24 hour call center to handle your calls; schedule your appointments; dispatch services to on-call technicians and confirm that the job has been taken care of. We are professionals in the telecommunications and customer service industry that will handle some of the time-consuming pressures you are faced with, leaving you more time to take care of yourself and your family.
2. They have lives outside their business.
We agree with Forbes when they recommend to, “give your work brain the rest it needs to be focused.” Here at A Courteous Answering Service, we work 24 hours a day, day and night, to ensure that your business is running smoothly. Does your service business include after-hour emergency on-call services? If it does, who is answering those telephone inquiries from potential customers in desperate need of an emergency technician after normal business hours? If you answered that last question with, “me,” you are definitely not giving your brain the rest it needs to operate and function properly.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of having a life outside of your business.
In order to prevent burning out quickly, allow us to answer and screen your after-hour calls for you. If the calling potential customer has questions about your pricing, services or warranties, allow us to inform the caller and turn a lead into a customer for you. We have the ability to sync up to your calendar and schedule service calls during specific times you pre-approve.
Imagine going to bed and getting a full night’s sleep and awakening to two new service calls on your real time calendar; sent via email and text. We allow you to have down time by taking care of the administrative aspects of your business and providing elite customer service to your potential, new and existing customers. A custom service that might also interest our over worked and under slept service technicians and business owners is a delightful wakeup call every morning to discuss your agenda and make certain you are out of bed and ready to start your day.
3. They look forward.
Forbes shared, “The best small business managers are pioneers, even in small ways, and always keep their eyes open for new ways to accomplish things.” I think you may agree, but being a business owner in the 21st century means that just because you have a business answering machine, doesn’t mean you should ever use it. To be a forward thinker in today’s society, a successful business owner realizes that we live in a 24 hour world. Thanks to the success of the internet and real time information sharing, you have customers out there looking for your services 24 hours a day. Your leads are so used to getting answers on their timetable, a savvy forward thinking business owner would know the pressures that modern society places on immediate attention these days.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of looking forward.
Consider some of these questions we present to you: Who answers your business line when a potential customer finds your website on the internet at 2 o’clock in the morning with an emergency? Who is the backup contact person should the on-call technician not answer that lead’s call? What is your current procedure for receiving and dispatching a service call to a technician? Who answers the service calls when you are ill, away on vacation or unavailable due to an emergency of your own?
If you are going through these questions posed above and fumbling for answers and creating impromptu procedures, you are not at the head of the curve as a business owner and need to start thinking about the structure of your business policies. Our 24 hour service call center can help you look forward with technologies that will help your business grow and stay at the forefront of your field and industry. Let us suggest that you personally phone your competitors, other after-hour service professionals in your area, after business hours. See how their potential customers are greeted and how their calls are handled.
Chances are, your competitors have already come to terms with the fact that answering machines just don’t cut it anymore. By the time you retrieve that message and call the potential customer back, they most likely have already contacted and been serviced by your competitor (who answered the phone on the first ring). Let us help your small service business move forward with times by allowing us to be your professional first point of contact for your client inquiries, day and night.
4. They are organized.
Our virtual receptionist services perk up with the next habit Forbes’ recommends, “Keeping your meetings, deadlines, and business plan on a highly organized schedule, and sticking to it, will be what sets you apart from other small businesses that fumble in disorganization.” If you run your own small service business, you are most likely a one person show, or have little to no administrative support to help you achieve your business goals. You may be a professional when it comes to inspecting, repairing, installing and maintaining household and commercial service professional work, but we are the professionals when it comes to telephone services such as: call handling, service dispatching, messaging, customer service and maintaining a highly organized real-time database of calendars and appointments.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of being organized.
Here at A Courteous Answering Service’s headquarters in Orlando, we have virtual receptionists, programmers and customer service supervisor leads in-house at all times. Our telecommunications team is ready to assist your business with our virtual receptionist services day or night. We streamline your administrative tasks and even though we are physically in a different location than you and your business, our state of the art technology and software can sync up to your calendars and offer real-time looks at all of your service calls, consultations, inspections and appointments.
Not only do we schedule your service calls and other maintenance appointments, we also can confirm your daily calendars and send you an email with your daily agenda. By having your new virtual receptionist team attend to making sure your customers are reminded of their appointments and providing you with any updates to the service calls, your calendar runs smoothly and effortlessly.
Some of our service technician accounts also enjoy our monthly reports containing all phone numbers received throughout the month. This data includes call times and days. With this information, you can better schedule your team and improve response time on busy days. If you notice that you receive no calls on Mondays but are ringing off the hook on Saturdays, you may want to adjust your schedule around those likely high volume call blocks of time.
5. They nurture relationships.
Forbes asks you to remember, “The importance of taking time to stay in touch and have thoughtful, generous interactions with clients and professional associates cannot be undervalued.” Our 24 hour service call center has been in business since opening doors in 1986 and in those nearly 30 years, we have won countless customer service awards and have been recognized as a leader in our industry. You cannot nurture a calling customer or calling lead with a robotic answering machine asking them to leave their message after the beep. #GetReal, #GetHuman is a motto that we use often here at A Courteous Communications.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of nurturing your business relationships.
Research shows that more and more consumers are reaching out to businesses with questions about their services and products electronically these days. What does this lack of general human interaction mean for your plumbing business? It means that each and every single time your business receives a human actually calling for more information, you should take these calls seriously and provide a friendly voice to answer. You should see each ring of your business telephone as a potential dollar sign and opportunity to gain another customer and increase your business’s profit line.
By providing you with a call handling team of virtual receptionists, we are providing you with the ability to nurture and maintain the relationships your business has with your customers. Your customers will remain loyal to your business because they know you appreciate them enough to provide 24 hour customer service to them.
Want to reach out to your customer database during special times of the year? Your answering service account can be customized to actually have your virtual receptionists reach out and call past and existing customers to inquire if they are in need of anything. Maybe you have a low season and would like to be proactive with keeping in contact and nurture past clients by reaching out to them. Allow our professional telephone customer service agents to make those calls on your behalf and act as an extension of your business. Or, give us your client database to reach out to with new and exciting deals or company news. Let’s keep in touch with your happy customers and be proactive in turning them into repeat customers.
6. They make decisions.
We are in total agreement with Forbes when they state small business owners must be decisive. They take it even a step further and advise, “If the particular decision on the table involves a part of your business that you aren’t a total expert about, deciding to consult someone more informed is still a valid decision.” Don’t be afraid to reach out and speak with us regarding any of your telecommunications issues, problems or questions. Let us be the expert in telephone handling and customer service while you are an expert in your service industry.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of making business decisions.
When you retain A Courteous Answering Service to handle your calls, calendars and customer service inquiries, you are making a decision to grow your service business (even while you sleep). By trusting in our telecommunications expertise and experience, you are outsourcing a portion of your business that you aren’t an expert in and allowing us to take that pressure off of your shoulders.
Since your account can be 100% customized by you, during our initial consultation, we can discuss procedures, policies and programs that you may have never considered implementing. With thirty years of experience in the business answering service industry, we have come across all kinds of techniques that are proven and can assist you in moving forward with the growth of your business. Our virtual receptionists keep you informed in real-time; allowing you to make the best possible business decisions as the need arises.
7. They cut the fat.
Saving the best for last, Forbes shares insight with all entrepreneurs looking to grow a successful business, “Knowing how your company’s time, man power, and financial resources are distributed – and paying steady attention to keeping that distribution as efficient as possible – is how small business owners keep their company thriving ahead of the competition.” We aren’t suggesting you downsize any in-house administrative or reception staff you already have in place, that is, unless your business would run more efficiently and cost effectively. But, we are suggesting that you review your payroll expenses to confirm that your business needs match the staff you pay on a salary basis. A large portion of our clients keep their in-house receptionist but outsource high call volumes, after-hour calls and specific call forward times when their in-house staff is unavailable or working on a project. We can work as little or as much as you need us and you only pay for the calls we answer on your behalf.
How our virtual receptionists help you with the habit of cutting the fat.
If deciphering the difference between paying a full-time receptionist and hiring a 24 hour virtual receptionist is keeping you from making any monetary staffing decisions, we suggest you read our latest article: The Power of a Virtual Receptionist and Telephone Answering Service. In this article, we dig deep into helping you decide what makes most business “cents” for your company when it comes to having your calls handled professionally, efficiently and with genuine friendliness. Go ahead and view the costs associated with hiring a 40-hour work week receptionist vs. a 24 hour call center team of virtual receptionists.
Keep up with our blog for more habits of great small business owners!
If you are ready to start making money while you sleep and having your callers attended to 24 hours a day, click here to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss how we can help your company with all of their telephone handling needs.
Here at A Courteous Communications, we strive to help business owners grow their business. If this article was helpful, we would suggest this next article for continued education: How to Never Miss a Weekend of After-Hour Potential Client Again.