TotalStart

Lifestyle Business & Passive Income Talk With A Side Of Travel And Gadgets

Date archives April 2013

Online Marketing

Increase Your Sales With A Phone Number

If your company sells a product or service and doesn’t have a phone number on the website you’re leaving money on the table, easy as that. These days competition is tight and with this one little trick you can boost your bottom line with a few minutes of work. Whether you’re selling a product on an e-commerce site, offering a SaaS, or even a design shop offering web & graphic design; this will work for you.

Increase Sales With A Phone Number

Route your calls to any phone number you want.

The reason behind the effectiveness is because it makes your company look more legit. If a potential customer is about to whip out their credit card to pay for something; seeing that phone number gives them a sense of security that they can easily get a hold of someone if there’s a problem or issue. Most of the people who order won’t ever call but just by seeing the phone number they’ll feel much more comfortable doing business with you.

Of course the downside is that now you’re going to have people calling into your business that you’ll need to reply to. If you’re like me, when I first started I spent a lot of time on the computer and rarely if ever interacted with customers aside from an email here and there. The good news is it’s really not that bad, I swear. It’s actually kind of nice to hear from your customers, don’t be afraid to ask them questions about your business and if there are any suggestions they have to make it better. You get jaded after looking at your own website over and over so these people provide invaluable feedback that you can use to evolve your business. We had a suggestion from a customer on an older business of mine that completely pivoted the entire business growing our revenues exponentially, but more on that another time.

So now that you’re ready to get your phone number up and running here’s how to do it…. You are ready right?

Services like RingCentral or Grasshopper are only around 15 bucks a month and will give you everything you need. You’ll be able to decide between a local number or a toll free number. I’ve always used toll free if the company was nationwide, it makes the company appear larger which is good for most businesses like that. If the company is hyper focused on a specific geographic location I pick a local phone number with an area code of that area; it’ll give potential customers that warm fuzzy feeling of down home small time business.

Once you’ve got your phone number picked out you can setup where you want it to forward to. You can send it to your cell, skype line, voip, or landline. The nice thing is when a call is forwarded to you; when you answer you’ll get a message asking whether or not you want to answer the call. So if you’re out at happy hour slamming a couple back you might want to let it slide to voicemail.

You can also setup your business hours of when you want the calls forwarded or to voicemail and all that fun stuff. For your recordings do yourself a favor and go over to Fiverr.com and pay someone 5 bucks to record some nice professional sounding recordings for you. Not only will they sound better, but it’ll make your company seem bigger so it’s not you on the recording & answering the phone.

Adding the phone number will be a huge step in the right direction for your business. You don’t even need to ever answer the phone, but you need to be vigilante about spending some time and returning those calls every day. As your business grows or if you currently have the capital to do so you can hrie someone to do it. However I’d highly recommend still answering the phone every now and then to get in touch with your customer base.

We have full time customer support people now but I still have the phone ringing into my office on occasion just to chat with customers and get a feel for how they are liking the service. It’s pretty awesome deal if you think about it; your customers provide you with advice and ideas while paying you at the same time. Now go get a phone number up on your site!

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The 10 Minute WalMart Stand Up Desk

For the past few months I’ve heard a lot about going with a stand up desk but with a price tag of $300 – $800+ for a decent desk I want to really make sure it’s something I’ll like before dropping that kind of cash on it.   So instead of having an 800 dollar  unused desk in my office, I wanted to put together a cheapy version to try out for a couple weeks before making the jump.   I saw the plans for an IKEA version online but since there are no IKEAs around here so ended up strolling over to Wal-Mart to see what the IKEA-Less people can do out there.

After perusing the aisles for a half hour trying to find everything, here’s what I was able to come up with.   The good news is it’s only 3 items you need to buy (4 if you don’t own a phillips head screwdriver).

Item #1 – Parson End Table ($18.00)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Parsons-End-Table-Black/16451428
You can see the table above, it comes in 3 different colors, I grabbed the black one.   You can find it in the furniture section by all the desk, chairs, and assorted goodness.

Item #2 – ClosetMaid  2pc Shelf Kit ($18.97)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/ClosetMaid-2pc-Single-Slot-Shelf-Kit-Alder/16821257
All you’ll be using out of here is one of the shelves, I found them over in a home goods section with some other types of plastic shelving.  There’s a 2nd shelf included so if you want to talk a friend into chipping in for one of his own stand up desks you guys can split this item.

Item #3 – 4-Inc Corner Braces (4.95)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Corner-Braces/17474016
This package comes with 4 braces, it’s found in the hardware section.  It’s all they had, so again you’ll have 2 extra braces if you want to build a second desk.   Maybe you could make one for your co-worker so you don’t look like the odd man out standing up in your office all day.

I got home grabbed my screwdriver and went to work.  The good news it takes all of about 5 minutes to put the whole thing together.  First thing you do is simply screw the legs into the table.  After that hold one of the shelves up to the legs of the table and mark where you want to mount the brackets.  Go ahead and screw the brackets into the shelving at the marked spots.

Now go put the table on your desk and then measure out how high you want to put the shelf.  You’ll want the shelf to be high enough so your arms are at a 90 degree angle when typing.     After that screw the shelf with the brackets into the legs of the table at the proper height for you.

stand up desk bracket

Brackets used for making your own stand up desk

 

Wha-lah!  Stand up desk ready to rock and roll!   I’ve only used it for a day so far and it’s a pretty big change.  Keep in mind I’ve been working 8 – 12 hour days sitting in a chair for the past 10 years so this is going to take a little getting used to.  I’ll definitely make another post in a couple weeks with a full update on everything.

standup desk up on table

standup desk up on table

If any of you end up making the WalMart standup desk I’d love to hear your thoughts and input on it.  Also if anyone out there uses or has used a stand up desk in the past and have some tips on how best to transition over to the stand up world please post them!