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Category: Work

5 Important Digital Tools for Small Businesses

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Starting a small business is daunting to say the least.

Picture this: a great idea for a business pops into your head one day. 

Ready to launch now? Absolutely yes. 

After months of hard work, you finally launch your business in high spirits. Then as your business grows, you are hit with an ever-growing mountain of things to do; from managing your employees to finances and every little detail in between. You are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you will ever get on top of this mountain. 

No worries, we’ve got you. 

We know you’re extremely busy running your business so here are 5 of the most useful digital tools you can take advantage of: 

 

Communication tools:

Communication is the key to any successful relationship whether that be with your employees or your customers. To help with this you could get… 

 

  • Devyce – 2 numbers, 1 phone

Devyce is a cost-effective and sustainable digital solution to the work phone. 

It allows you to have an additional phone number on your phone to use for work communications. On average phones are replaced every two years [1] and each phone during its lifetime can create up to 110kg of CO2 per year [2]. Eliminate the use of a second phone and get Devyce. 

Another great feature of Devyce is the team management portal for you to monitor and manage your employee call activity and quickly access call logs. 

 

We know what you’re thinking, having your work communications operating on your personal phone might disrupt your personal life (or vice versa) however Devyce also has a handy ‘do not disturb’ feature where you can turn off work notifications to keep a healthy work life balance.

All these features make Devyce a great telecommunications tool for your small business! 

  • FreshDesk – A customer service software for your website 

Maintaining an open line of communication with your customers can be harder than it seems. 

Customers will reach out to customer support through multiple channels. This can become difficult to keep track of so let FreshDesk ‘delight your customers with effortless customer service’. 

 

Financing tools:

One of the top reasons why startups/small businesses fail is a lack of cash or failure to raise new capital. [3] Sounds pretty obvious right? However, many business owners struggle to manage their finances and budgeting. 

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a financial expert to be able to start your own business (even accountants struggle with the papers sometimes). There are many digital tools to assist you. Spendesk being one of them. 

  • Spendesk – A 7-in-1 spend management tool 

Spendesk encourages smarter spending decisions by providing:

  • A management platform where you can view and manage spending from company cards 
  • Review and pay invoices
  • Track expenses
  • Generate financial reports
  • Automate accounting
  • Create and optimise budget plans for your business

Make smarter money decisions, budget better and stay on top of your finances with Spendesk. 

 

Marketing tools:

Developing a solid marketing plan and creating great content for it is one of the key reasons for success for many businesses. 

  • BuzzSumo – an all in one content marketing tool 

BuzzSumo is a hub platform where you can:

  • Discover and research new content ideas
  • Find relevant influencers to work with 
  • Industry trend updates
  • Develop your content strategy and create compelling content
  • Analytics for content engagement

This all inclusive platform is great for industry trend research, allowing you to create and optimise your content marketing strategy. 

 

  • Buffer – social media management tool 

Buffer is a great tool for starting out with social media management as it offers a clear and easy to navigate platform for:

  • Creating and scheduling social media posts
  • Accessing all your social media messages across all platforms in one inbox
  • Social media analytics 

All of these features are great for effective communication with your audience, learning more about their preferences in regard to your business and utilising new insights to optimise your services and marketing plan. 

So, will you be using any of these digital tools? Feel free to head to our socials to share your business story and what digital tools you’re currently using! 

 

References:

[1]

https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation.

[2]

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europe2019s-consumption-in-a-circular/benefits-of-longer-lasting-electronics

[3]

https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/

5 Unexpected ways businesses could be more sustainable

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Small businesses have a greater impact on the environment than you might imagine.

Sustainability is an increasingly important aspect for businesses of any size to consider as the environmentally led decisions owners make can be a deciding factor for consumers.

Consumer wallets are becoming increasingly green with 1 in 3 consumers stating they’d prefer eco-friendly product options in a survey. Over 35% of these respondents revealed they would buy an environmentally friendly product over a cheaper option [1].

Not only will adopting sustainable practices in your business benefit our planet, the figures show eco-consciousness is key to staying competitive in the market.

Take a look at some of these unexpected ways you could make your business more sustainable:

 

1. Eliminate the work phone
Smartphones are small devices with a surprisingly mighty impact on the environment.
Its life cycle impacts the environment greatly – with 80% of the carbon footprint coming from the manufacturing process [2]. Greenhouse emissions from smartphone manufacturing are forecasted to be 146 million tonnes of CO2 in 2022 [3].

62.3 million people in the UK used smartphones [2] and approximately 32.7 million people in the UK were employed [4] in 2021. Potentially 32.7 working adults use a second phone at work meaning doubled impact of using smartphones on the environment.
Eliminating the use of a “work phone” can reduce the environmental impact your business has. A sustainable alternative to consider is Devyce.

The innovative VoIP service provides your employees with a second work phone number on their phone with a great do not disturb feature that enables seamless transition between work and personal life. It also includes a team management portal allowing business owners to keep track of employees’ calls.

Getting Devyce for your business is not only sustainable but also a cost effective measure!

 

2. Sustainable storage
Storage of products is an often overlooked aspect of small business sustainability.

Some storage considerations for your business are:

  • Ensure electrical appliances eg. freezers, have green energy ratings
  • Opt for eco-friendly facilities eg. warehouses making use of solar panels
  • Reducing usage of pollutive plastic containers
  • Track inventory and reduce your storage need ie. consider donating or recycling items you no longer use

3. Limit paper usage
It’s a common misconception that paper doesn’t negatively impact the environment due to its biodegradable nature. In fact, paper can remain legible and intact for decades with 75% of our paper entering waste streams [5].

The average UK employee uses up to 10000 sheets of paper in the workplace each year – most people in the UK use up to 4.5 trees worth of paper each year. That’s a whole lot of trees!

Work towards:

  • Digitising processes where possible (also reduces your storage space!)
  • Using sustainably sourced recycled paper
  • Repurposing paper waste
  • Offsetting environmental impact through charity programs eg. replant trees

4. Switch to green web hosting services
Believe it or not, running a website also impacts the environment. The servers hosting your website and data centers are constantly running, using vast amounts of energy.

Some things to consider to decrease the environmental impact of your website:

  • Opt for host platforms using renewable energy sources
  • Offset your internet carbon footprint through sustainability schemes

5. Make your physical spaces greener
Whether you have an office or physical stores, there are many measures you can take to be more eco-friendly:

  • Choose spaces with plenty of natural lighting to reduce energy usage
  • Reduce single-use items eg. paper coffee cups
  • Improve air quality by bringing plants into your spaces
  • Switch to LED lighting
  • Limit cooling/heating of the space
  • Encourage composting of waste
  • Use green cleaning products/services
  • Incentivise eco-friendly commuting from staff

Making even a few of these changes to your small business can have a great impact on helping your business grow towards a more sustainable future.
Which of these changes will you be making for your small business? Head to our socials to share your business’ sustainability journey!

References:
[1] https://www.surveymonkey.com/curiosity/more-consumers-are-opening-their-wallets-for-eco-friendly-products/

[2] https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/environment/the-hidden-environmental-toll-of-smartphones/#:~:text=Smartphones%20generate%20more%20greenhouse%20gases,the%20energy%20sector%20and%20transportation

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/insights/industry/technology/technology-media-and-telecom-predictions/2022/environmental-impact-smartphones.html

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/281998/employment-figures-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

[5] https://www.lancashirebusinessview.co.uk/latest-news-and-features/why-do-we-still-use-paper-in-2021

How the pandemic affected work communications and how to navigate the new ways of communication

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When we were hit with the pandemic in 2020, almost everyone had to adopt remote working. Now as we ease back into living post pandemic, fundamental changes have happened to our ways of living – one of the most prominently affected being work communications. 

Navigating the new ways of communication can be hard so here are some ways you can overcome these challenges:

 

More digital communication = changing how we communicate face to face 

 

Companies quickly utilised digital communication tools like Zoom or Teams to facilitate video conferencing alongside various other softwares. Even now as we return to offices, digital communication is the new norm for many people. 

 

46% of workers found it more challenging to communicate with one another as a result of the pandemic [1]. 

 

Digital communication tools have blurred communication boundaries and taken the “human” aspect out, impacting how we interact with one another. To overcome this you could:

  • Ensure phone calls with clients are quickly handled and directed to the right people within the company by using an integrated phone system like Devyce. 

Teams Plan – Devyce

  • Create clear communication guidelines for video conferencing eg. blurred background customary 
  • Be considerate of time zone differences when setting up meetings 

 

Less face to face interaction = feeling less connected 

Many companies have adopted a hybrid working model and remote working is still widely practised. With 45% of professionals noting they see their colleagues less than pre-pandemic, it comes as no surprise that many find it hard to stay connected. 

To help employees combat this, companies can:

  • Provide incentives for employees to come into office regularly eg. bring your pet to work day
  • Create comfortable working environments that they’d enjoy coming in to eg. create a dedicated area for short breaks 
  • Set up regular external team events to encourage team building 
  • Create welcoming onboarding experiences for new hires to seamlessly integrate them into teams

 

Colleagues are sharing less personal information with each other

We don’t always want to know what our colleague had for dinner last night, however it can be healthy for colleagues to have open dialogue on topics like mental health. 14.7% of people experience mental health problems in the workplace [2] and many do not reach out for help. 

Helping employees feel more able to talk to each other about workplace wellbeing helps to create a sense of community and improve team engagement. To do this you can:

  • Encourage open dialogue at the workplace about mental health
  • Create a safe environment for employees to talk to one another eg. have a designated space they can go to for privacy
  • Ensure you regularly check in with colleagues about their workplace wellbeing 
  • Invest in education for employees eg. seminars on diversity and inclusion, mental health etc

 

With the abundance of digital communications tools at hand, workplace communications have become more complex – requiring continual development of new working models. 

 

We can help you better navigate this! – Head over to our socials to find out more 

 

References:

[1] https://www.grammarly.com/blog/pandemic-work-communication-trends/

[2] https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/mental-health-work-statistics

How To Set Up Your Team With Devyce

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Have a read to discover why your team needs Devyce and how easy it is to set up!

Why Devyce?

Devyce is the ideal way to communicate with colleagues, clients and customers. Devyce can support businesses with a hybrid working model, remote working model or in office model, maintaining communication wherever employees are in the world.

Devyce works as a VoIP system, which means it works over the internet, so all you need is an internet connection and nothing more. VoIP systems digitise your voice into online data and send it to your phone provider via the internet, which is then passed on to the receiver.

Small businesses all over the world are using VoIP phone systems and seeing great results. In a study conducted by CISCO, it was reported that small businesses who switched to VoIP systems saw a 77% increase in productivity due to the unique features VoIP phone systems offer that landlines do not.

Some of the most significant advantages of using a VoIP phone system for your small business, like Devyce, are:

✅ Cost effective

✅ Call from anywhere

✅ Scalability 

✅ Better customer support

✅ Simple equipment

Learn more about VoIP systems for businesses here: https://devyce.com/2022/01/26/how-voip-systems-work-and-how-it-will-improve-your-small-business/ 

 

Devyce For Teams

Devyce has been specially designed for small businesses and startups, in order to offer an efficient, cost effective and simple communication solution, that also helps uphold the professionalism of your business. 

We know what a small business needs in terms of communication, and Devyce deliver. Devyce offer a special Teams Package tailored to small businesses at only £15.99 a month per user. Devyce provides an easy, cheap and efficient VoIP phone system that optimises your small businesses communication and, with customer support available 24/7, supports you every step of the way.

Devyce Features for Teams:

 

✅Personal Account Manager

✅Team Management Portal

✅Instant Number Allocation and Deallocation

✅Call Forwarding

✅Call Recording

✅Full Call and Text Reporting and Analytics

CRM Integrations

 

Step By Step Guide

An easy guide on how to get Devyce for your team: 

 

1️⃣Purchase Your Team Devyce Plan Here: https://devyce.com/pricing/

2️⃣Log In To Your Devyce Account And Access The Portal Here: https://login.devyce.io/u/login?state=hKFo2SBKMW8tSk1pd0dUd2NHSXoxN3FJZ3NNb29LdnE2Ukdtd6Fur3VuaXZlcnNhbC1sb2dpbqN0aWTZIEMwLWFWNGM4YUVsVS0tejZNRGgwbzJwLWZaNldKUHo5o2NpZNkgN0NxRk41bDlWV3FSalR6UXE2MHdOaWdJV1NGTjdTMGg 

3️⃣Add Amount of Numbers Needed

4️⃣Allocate Numbers To Employees

5️⃣Employees Download Devyce App 

6️⃣ Monitor Team Communication via The Portal

 

Read more on the process here: 

https://devyce.com/resources/onboarding-portal/

 

Or, watch our ‘How To’ videos here: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFQWC_U2cT6JHyj0tBu7dJQ/videos

 

To Get Started: 

https://devyce.com/pricing/ 

Learn More: 

https://devyce.com/product/features/

Why You Need A Second Phone Number For Your Business And Team

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As the pandemic forced us all to work remotely, digital communication has never been so important. Improve your team’s communication by getting a virtual second phone number for your business and stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers. 

As we deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, we have entered 2022 in a more digitally advanced space than ever before. Workspaces have become more digitised, in order to keep colleagues, clients and customers connected despite them being scattered around the globe unable to connect in real life. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that companies digitally accelerated up to five years, in 8 weeks due to the pandemic. Businesses were forced to embrace new digital technology in order to maintain communication within their team and with their customers. Internal communication apps, such as Slack, grew 30% during the pandemic, as team members looked for new ways to communicate with each other without being in the office.

This digital trend of new communication is not ending as the pandemic does, if anything it has revolutionised the way companies use technology, enhancing their communication by making it more efficient, cost effective and wireless. 

Having a digital communication system for your team is the new trend in business. Giving employees a second phone number for work, all on the same system, instead of a second mobile phone or office phone, benefits both the business and the employee, allowing companies to maintain professionalism and employees to stay connected no matter where they are. 

What Is A Digital Communication System? 

Adopting a digital communication system is essentially getting a VoIP phone system, which stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. You can get a virtual number for yourself and/or for your team, either a solo package or a system package. Having a virtual phone number, or a virtual office, allows you to access your work number anywhere in the world, with no fuss or extra costs.

Why You Need A Second Phone Number

There are many advantages of using a virtual number system for your team, especially for small businesses. In such a digital world, businesses cannot function without a secure, effective and professional communication system to strengthen the businesses internally and externally.

Have a read of the advantages of using a digital communication system for your team. 

✅ Easy Setup 

Setting up a second phone number on your personal phone is easy as pie. Most VoIP systems work through a phone app and can be downloaded and running within minutes with a smartphone. No need to spend extra hours installing complicated technology. 

✅ Cost Effective

Unlike the traditional landline, having a second phone number through a digital communication system doesn’t cost a bomb. The costs of running a business, big or small, are immense; especially installing and maintaining technology. Without the need for any hardware equipment or maintenance, having a virtual phone system can save companies thousands. Also, the more digital a business is, the more it can cater to remote working, which also cuts down costs on office bills. 

✅ Work Life Separation 

Having a second phone number for work also aids your work life balance. Having a digital number means you can customise the times that the number is active, maintaining office hours and drawing a line between work and home life. This is especially important for those of us working from home, as any clear boundary between work and home can help maintain a healthy work/life balance.

✅ Enhances Communication

Just because people are not in the office, does not mean company communication has to break down. It can be difficult to stay connected to customers and colleagues when working from home, however. 

A virtual number makes you accessible wherever you are, enhancing team collaboration by making it easy and simple to send and receive messages and important information, no matter if a team member is in the office, at home or the other side of the world. Having a solid communication system that supports your employees’ lifestyle of remote or hybrid working, can build morale and keep them motivated despite communication limits created by the pandemic. 

✅ Extra Features

Using a digital communication system for your business gives you a plethora of features not accessible when using traditional phone lines, both benefiting you, your team and your customers and clients. 

Such features are:

  • Customisable Voicemail 
  • Digital Receptionist
  • Call Forwarding 
  • Call Recording 
  • Full Report and Analytics

✅ No Second Phone

A great advantage of using a second phone number  is not having to carry around a second work phone. Not only is this a hassle for team members, it also makes life more complicated and less organised. A business number is supposed to make life easier for the person using it, not complicated it further. Having a second number, instead of a second phone, simplifies but maintains work communications for employees. Also, giving out second phones for work greatly contributes to e-waste, as many of them end up in landfill when someone is done with it; with a virtual number, you simply reassign the number to a different employee when someone is done with it. 

✅ Professionalism

Lastly, having a second phone number allows you to stay connected with colleagues, clients and customers while still maintaining professionalism. Whether you are part of, or running, a small business, working for yourself, or a freelancer, having a professional phone number can go a long way in gaining customers’ trust and confidence in you and your business. Giving out your personal number is not only ideal for you, but also not comfortable for the customer. Virtual phone numbers allow you to have an online landline number, if you chose, for your business to maintain professionalism and privacy. 

How To Get A Second Phone Number 

As mentioned above, all you need is an app and internet connection to use a second phone number for work. 

You simply purchase a plan, Teams or Solo, and download the app! 

By purchasing a Teams package for your business, you gain access to the Devyce Portal where you can assign and deassign numbers to your employees. All they need to do is download the app to activate their number and that’s it! 

The best thing is that you can track your team’s phone usage and get all the data on where calls are coming from, how long they are and who is answering them to get a clear understanding of your business’ communications. 

Switch to a digital communication system for your business and improve communications by giving your employees a second phone number. 

Devyce Plans: https://devyce.com/pricing/ 

Sources

https://www.techstrange.com/second-phone-number-app-for-business/

https://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2019/12/01/why-have-a-different-phone-number-for-business/

https://www.grammarly.com/business/learn/digital-communication-strategies/?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=search1gbnbstyleguidedsa&utm_targetid=dsa-1296364243343&gclid=CjwKCAjw8sCRBhA6EiwA6_IF4XLPe0nJsgPPCguig9KGXqbwu-Xfj7R7pyul_Fia3eBvqjZ2TMYN4hoC7hMQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

https://www.ukpostbox.com/blog/how-to-digitise-your-business-comms

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8955-virtual-phone-numbers.html

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