2 Ways to Reduce Office Costs

  1. Ink and Toner – Use laser printers instead of inkjet. The overall per page cost is much lower. Also always print whenever you can in toner save mode. I like to have the toner save monochrome mode as default. Decide if the document you’re printing is for interoffice, just for you or is this something important you are handing to a customer. If it’s just for office use toner save monochrome should be sufficient in most cases.Also consider buying laser toner from other suppliers, rather than the manufacturers brand. Make sure you check reviews and buy from a reputable source. We buy a lot of our toner cartridges from ebay at much less than half the cost of the manufacturers brand. We’ve had good luck finding good suppliers, but be careful, they don’t always print as well. Test before ordering in quantity.
  2. Get rid of your fax machine and fax line – With virtual fax there is no real need for a fax machine anymore. Save your paper, toner, fax machine and fax line costs by switching to something like a Fax2Mail service. You can also port your existing fax number over so that all faxes are received as an email attachment. Because of the savings associated with going to a service like Fax2Mail, you can also justify having additional fax lines for your key employees. This helps in time savings as faxes come directly to the persons email inbox. Learn more about Fax2Mail here.

 

How to Avoid Background Noise on a Conference Call

Conference Call SignHave you ever been on a conference call and had to listen to traffic noise, dogs bark or on-hold music because a participant put a call on hold? Here are some tips and ideas on how to avoid all these distracting background noises that take away from your important meeting.

It all starts with the moderator or the main presenter.

Turn off all other distractions – Make sure the moderator or key presenter is in a quiet place. Put your other phones on vibrate or silent. Disable call alert if you have it on the phone you’re using. Shut down and computer calendar reminders, messengers (unless you’re using it as part of your call) or any other distractions.

Use a good phone or headset – Cell phones can break up or drop calls sometime, so if it’s important and you have the choice, use a landline for reliability. Headsets are helpful as they leave your hands free and you can set the microphone a consistent distance from your mouth to get clearer and more consistent sound.

At the beginning of the call – Use the mute all callers key command or web based command. Announce to the callers that you have muted everyone and if they would like to speak let them know the command to unmute and mute again. Ask the participants to make note of the commands. This gives the moderator a little more control and eliminates unnecessary background noise. You can announce the commands again during the call for instance when it’s question and answer time.

Some of the suggestions will vary due to the type of call. Here’s to a productive conference call.

 

How to Manage a Global Audio Conference

Audio conferences have many advantages, especially when a business needs to interact with clients or employees in countries with poor internet connections. In these cases, audio conferencing is truly the only option. If your business finds itself in this situation, keep these things in mind to ensure your conference is fruitful.

  1. Speak carefully: The odds are that while one person is speaking, listeners are multitasking. This is one of the advantages of an audio conference. So it is critical that participants slow down their rate of speech just a bit so that messages are received clearly. Further, since the odds are there are people from all over the world for whom English may not be their first language, slowing the pace of speech down shows courtesy and respect. Lastly, most audio conferences are recorded, so clarity is important since many people may listen later on.
  2. Appoint a Troubleshooter: Businesses with experience in audio conferencing know that there often are technical issues. A troubleshooter is one person who is invited to the conference call, but who may arrive a bit early to ensure that connection with service support is made and that all participants know what to do. This adds a personal touch besides the conference call service support that shows your business cares and is serious about the success of the meeting.
  3. Be Careful of Humor: Remember that an audio conference is just that, audio. Since participants cannot see each other’s faces, certain comments that are funny in person, bomb in audio-only mode. No one wants anyone to be offended. Be careful to set jokes up clearly, so that there are no misunderstandings.

Audio conferences are cost effective ways to communicate. In spite of the popularity of video conferencing, there are times when it is just not feasible or even preferred. Make good use of the advantages of audio conference calls by keeping in mind these three simple tips.

How to Reduce Travel Costs

Not only is traveling a big pain these days, but it’s expensive. Most people don’t want to spend half their day in security lineups and travel delays when you can reduce that time to be more productive.

Airport TravelMany things you can do today in person, you can also do online.

For example: a web conference is an effective way to present your material as you can use screen sharing and PowerPoint presentations.

You can easily speak to and see your client as if they were in the same room via video and audio.
You can also connect with various different people in worldwide locations simultaneously.

You can use just toll-free audio conferencing as an effective way to reduce travel costs if you don’t need to show them something.

Next time you think about taking a business trip think about whether you can reduce your travel costs being and be more productive by doing a video conference, web conference or an audio conference.

Double your teleconferencing results

Did you know that we only retain 20% of what we hear? Kind of disappointing when you think of the kind of money, time and effort that you can put into organizing and conducting a conference call. Not only your valuable time, but the valuable time of your customers, prospects or employees.

Also we only retain about 20% of what we see. But when we see and hear something together our retention level increases to over 50% retention. If you want to increase retention levels even further simply add participation or interaction into this equation. Now you have retention levels well above 50%.

webinar servicesBy adding Web conferencing or collaboration to your regular teleconference calls you can over double the results you currently get. Try adding some polling questions in your Web conference or ask one of your participants to show you what they mean on a white board or by sharing out their desktop. With the conference polls it becomes quite easy to see who is really paying attention because you as the moderator can see who’s answering the polls or not.

If you’re already using teleconferencing it may well be worth a test to see if you can improve your desired results. these results will vary depending on who your audience is and what your subject might be. Now it’s just a matter of finding out the right Web conferencing or collaboration tool that’ll work for you and your participants.

The Virtual Fax Service, Fax2Mail

There’s still a lot of businesses that rely on fax. The great thing about using a virtual fax service is that it can decrease operational costs associated with in-house fax systems or dedicated fax lines. It’s also easy to scale up or down your fax lines and meet and comply with security requirements.

If any of you are familiar with administering an in-house fax server you’ll know that it can be a big pain, not to mention costly.

Hmmm… Okay let’s talk some more about the benefits of using a hosted solution, because really there are a lot of them.

No Capital Outlay — With no additional hardware to acquire, capital expenditures are reduced and depreciation schedules eliminated. The risks associated with installing 3rd party software on your network are eliminated as well.

Utilization of Existing Infrastructure – Because outsourced fax services leverage existing email client and infrastructure, getting started is quick and seamless. Another great benefit of an outsourced solution is that you don’t have to hire or train additional staff to run the system.

Scalable and Flexible – With a hosted solution, companies are not constrained by their number of outbound telephone lines or system capacity. Hosted solutions are designed to be highly scalable to handle either rapid growth or reduced volume, based on market trends and patterns.

Self-Administering – The outsourced fax provider performs any required system maintenance and monitoring, upgrading and adding new features as they become available, freeing up your IT resources to focus on your core business.

How Fax2Mail Works

Desktop users can send, receive, save, forward and track electronic faxes in seconds – right from their desktops. Documents no longer sit on the fax machine for everyone to see, and you’ll never experience the frustration of missing another important document because the fax number is busy. Work is accomplished faster, with total reliability and added security.

Fax2Mail allows you to turn your desktop into a document handling center for all inbound faxes. Receiving faxes as attachments means you can treat paper documents like electronic files by viewing, printing, forwarding or deleting them. Additionally, you can rename the file and save it to your computer for easy document storage. Tracking inbound and outbound faxes can be next to impossible with traditional fax machines. However, Fax2Mail gives you complete control of all your e-fax and email documents via online administration tools. Using our secure SSL Web interface, you can control user registration, edit account profiles, and customize settings and options such as coversheet/email design, billing and delivery reports. And you can choose your own local or toll-free fax numbers.

How much does it cost?  Call us for pricing on the Corporate plans.

Oh… Did I mention that your faxes come to you in either a adobe acrobat .pdf file or a .tif file. Nice!

Make a Meeting Agenda

I used to have a manager at another company I worked for. He used to have weekly meeting that were … I’ll just call them painful. His meeting were long, filled with ramblings, never had a clear cut agenda or desired result. They often started late and as a sales person, I just wanted to get back to work and make some money.

Business Meeting

I was not the only one that felt this way, most of the other staff were always trying to come up with excuses to get out of these meetings. Scheduling client meetings and calls deliberately during our team meetings as way to get out of suffering through another confusing meeting.

When you schedule a meeting, audio conference call, web meeting or whatever, make sure you …

  • Have a clear agenda
  • Start on time
  • End on time
  • Moderate and control the meeting
  • If someone is speaking, limit their time and time them. Cut them off if you need to.
  • Stay on topic
  • Summarize the points and what the result or solution is.
  • Document the meeting and send out the summary via email to the attendees.

Have a great meeting.

Dave