Congratulations! You've put in the hard work to grow your business to the point that you're opening a new office. Now it's time to make the smart decisions to ensure this new location is just as successful. The most important decision you make is selecting the technology that fits your needs, budget, and future plans.
You can attribute your success to keeping your unique business needs in mind for every decision you make. This one is no different. By answering the four following questions, you can determine the best setup as you start a new office:
1. How Will Your Offices Communicate with Each Other?
While the offices may be physically separate, customers expect the two locations to operate as one. This means you must have the right business communication systems to make collaboration as easy as possible. By using a cloud phone system, your provider can add your new location to the system virtually, or you may be able to add it yourself via an admin portal. This can save you considerable time and money over a traditional phone system, which requires physical infrastructure and cabling for each new office and line. All your new office needs is high-speed internet, and you can connect your employees with a few clicks.
2. What About Your Business Continuity Plan?
You most likely had a business continuity plan for a single office, but you need to revisit this issue now that you have a second location. Significant downtime at a single office is costly and can be financially catastrophic when multiplied by two. You can also reduce the impact of a single office being down by using the second office's employees, location, and services to cover for the downtime.
Additionally, by using cloud-based applications for business and a cloud-based system for communication, your employees have business phone access from anywhere. If the power, internet, or air conditioning are out at an office, your employees can access critical information and communicate with customers from wherever they're working — including home or the second location. A business communication system with a call continuity feature can automatically reroute calls in case of emergency so customers' needs are still met.
The most important decision you make when opening a new office is selecting the technology that fits your needs.
3. Do You Really Need a Receptionist When You're Opening a New Office?
You may think the line item in your budget for a receptionist is a must-have. Who is going to answer and transfer the phone otherwise? However, with a business communication system that offers a virtual receptionist, your calls are automatically answered and routed to the correct person. You can even change the messages remotely for the personal touch. A virtual receptionist can be a temporary solution until you have the budget or a permanent solution to keep head count low.
4. How Will Your Remote Employees Be Available for Customers?
You can save significant dollars on office space and increase employee satisfaction by letting your staff work remotely. Additionally, you can hire the best employee for each position — even if that person lives across the country or halfway around the world. However, managing virtual teams takes effort and the right technology.
Cloud-based phone systems are key to making telework programs successful for you and your employees. Cloud systems are "plug-and-play," which means employees can actually take their office phones home, plug them into the internet, and use the phone systems the same way they do back at the office. Your employees can also access calls through a mobile app that give employees seamless access to the office phone system on the go. Even more importantly, no matter which devices your employees use to answer their calls, their caller ID profiles will show up as your business to give a professional impression — even if an employee is taking calls on the sideline of a soccer field.
By taking the time to carefully plan out your communication and infrastructure needs when you're opening a new office, you can save money by buying technology that grows with your business. Technology can't be an afterthought — it needs to be the center of your new office.
Are you opening a new office? Contact a Vonage Business consultant to find out how cloud communication tools can help.