Great Reasons for Virtual Non-Geographic and Geographic Numbers

A virtual number is what is being referred to here is vital for some businesses, and many have lots of goodies attached.

Popular types:

0800, 0844, 0845, 0870 and 0871.

These are called Non Geographic Numbers or NGNs.

There are also a range of virtual geographic numbers too.

So my take:

1) Female working from home – you need one to provide a level of protection is this day and age.

2) Any business based at home with family – you need one to create a degree of professionalism, to stop kids answering, when you really don’t want them to.

3) Any business based at home – provides an ability to turn off from your business. I know some have garden offices or separate rooms

4) Provide flexbility – when you move, the number comes with you.

5) Provides additional features – some smart numbers can be programmed to deliver calls to lots of different locations, like a virtual switchboard.

6) Some of these numbers can be included in callers minutes, so zero charge for them to call you – the exception is 0843 numbers. Rarely included.

7) In the case of 0844, 0845, 0870 it provides a filter and ensures a better quality of call coming through. Less time wasters.

0800 numbers will come back into fashion when all mobile operaters include them in their minutes again – due to happen soon accoridng to OFCOM.

8) Virtual geographic numbers are becoming more and more popular, but the range is running out. You may find your local one has run out.

9) If you are using a phone answering service, then a virtual number is a great way of measuring the cost effectiveness of the service, since you can see how many minutes are being used.

10) Disaster recovery – just like you all do backups on your computer, this is like a backup too. For example, if you are unable to work from your premises or home for whatever reason, the number will keep working, which is why mobile phones have become very popular.

I have two case studies, where I kept businesses running after a flood and a fire respectively.

However, having just a mobile phone number could make you look a one person band. Not good when pitching for larger contracts.

And yes, I have been supplying all the above for 17 years.

To find our more, please call 0844 826 1730 or drop an email to info@combyne.co.uk

Also please visit www.go-fast.co.uk and click on For Business to see the range on offer.

Separately, if you are a regular caller to NGNs and find your costs on calls from your landline or mobile is high, please ask about our inclusive minutes deals for calls from a home landline, and equally the typical 50% reduction in call charges from a mobile, since many operators charge at 40p per minute as such a call is outside the bundle – our deal is 20p per minute.

Facebook are pulling the plug on free advertising

well not quite, but certainly has reduced the effectiveness of Pages Reach from 16% to less than 2%.

For many businesses that is quite a hammering.

Facebook being Facebook have offered a solution of paid advertising to replace this lost traffic and now many experts are suggesting businesses flood LI groups to continue their free advertising fix.

You can read more here:

http://topdogsocialmedia.com/facebook-organic-reach-dead/

I manage a number of LI groups and many are dead, a number of group owners will see this extra traffic as a boon, however, the challenge is this flood will look like a lot of spam.

I wonder how many other Group Owners and Managers are ready for this influx of unwanted traffic?

Separately, if you run a Facebook page, how will you counter this lost reach?

So what is your plan?

Blind Advertising versus Open Advertising

Blind Advertising versus Open Advertising.

Blind Advertising – no mention of company name
Open Advertising – company name is mentioned

I first started spending money on recruitment advertising in 1988, and that with a company called Encyclopaedia Britannica.

My budget was £100,000 per annum, so pretty decent amount to spend. I eventually moved to head office and my budget jumped to in excess of £2 million per annum.

One of the things I learnt were the benefits of both forms of advertising.

Open Adverts produced small numbers of responses, and the quality of the candidates were pretty fair. The number of responses though were just 10% of Blind Adverts.

Blind Adverts produced massive numbers of responses, and therefore our position became one of selection, sometimes self selection by putting people through training.

With lots of split testing, some 40 approved adverts of both types were approved, and they all created a ready stream of candidates.

I still split test today using various online media across different platforms and some work and some don’t. My lastest split test has so far produced seven responses in just under 10 minutes, at this rate, this is going to be one of my best tests for quite a while.

Ideal Client?

It is a question that comes  up again and again ………

Should this be fixed, or flexible depending on the financial climate?

Or perhaps you seek a niche and stick with that, come what may?

Decisions, decisions.

So what has been decided is that there will be a number of different scenarios; all created as A4 documents, maybe a PDF. These will be available for download soon to satisfy a demand, I am not convinced is there – we shall see.

TWC – 10th Birthday Celebration – Tuesday 19th June 2012

Just Do It Conference and Gala Dinner – Tuesday 19 June 2012


How would you celebrate your 10th year of business?

A big party and invite all your friends, or perhaps a conference too and celebrate successful business women.

Well why not combine the two, throw in some excellent speakers, raise money for a charity that is doing some amazing work, plus a venue, which provides some of the best cuisine in London and has done for a number of years?

It seems that is what Jackie Groundsell of The Womens Company is doing on Tuesday 19 June 2012 at Quaglinos in Bury Street, London.

There is an array of talent, speaking during the day plus experts to give one-to-one guidance, two master classes, an expo too, for those wish to parade their wares, then in the evening a gala dinner with entertainment and Andy Lopata will be speaking as well, no doubt with a mention or two of Charlton Athletic following their Championship winning season and promotion.

It gets better, since I have also been able to arrange a 10% discount as well – but you will need to drop me an email to find out how. Please send to info@combyne.co.uk together with your name, business name and contact number.

and the charity, Ovacome. Jackie tells me: ‘For the past 5 years 1230 TWC has been proud to support Ovacome the support network supporting those affected by ovarian cancer. This year we are supporting them with a Fabulous Raffle.’

Just Do It!” is an exciting and powerful Conference for Today’s Business Women, whilst the Gala Dinner in the evening see the guys n gals welcome in their finery.

Full details and booking can be found here: http://www.1230jdi.co.uk/ – don’t forget your email, if you would like to secure your 10% discount before ordering.

Double Dip Recession – land of opportunities

The headlines screamed out this week that the UK economy had re-entered recession after two negative quarters back to back.

There are many of us who believe the economy has been in recession constantly since early 2008.

It does however, throw up marvellous opportunities for those of us with large databases of customers and contacts built over previous years.

The key to any business success is keeping ahead of the game, and being aware of what is out there ……. newsletter subscriptions are a great way of learning more, and there are plenty of people offering them! Choose carefully.

Also why not consider Joint Ventures? There are loads of non-competing businesses, who would like to do so. Even Combyne Group do Joint Ventures.

Or how about adding an income stream by selling new services or products to your database of clients? Please do ask, since we have a scheme, which will do exactly that.

Or create a Plan B as an extra income stream over and above your salary, where you have not seen a pay rise in three years? Here is an example of one that works – please click here It is an award winning business, with full training and support, and five hours a week will be a great starting point. And it can be offered to existing customers too.

Your present customers and contacts already ….. Know, Like and Trust You, so why go through the hassle of finding new customers, when you already have them?

Many experts talk about re-inventing yourself and your business as a marketing ploy – you do not have to go that far, certainly freshen up your image, and keep your website (& blogs) updated, use all the tools to hand including twitter and other social media, plus regularly produce a newsletter, both as a thank you for customers and as a way of opening up new dialogue.

And even better, why not ask your customers, what they want to buy, and then source it for them? A simple survey via say surveymonkey will do the trick.

Both Jonathan Jay and Robert Craven promote this as a profitable way forward. What have you got to lose by trying this out at minimal risk?

Of course your systems are in place already to ensure you can handle the extra business. They are, aren’t they? If not, please address this issue, which is often the real cause of failure before progressing. Combyne Group provides UK based call handling solutions on a part time, some time or full time basis.

So here are a few ideas to help you grow your business, and I am happy to chew over others as and when.

Who has got my non geographic number?

Non Geographic numbers are hugely popular:

a great way of monitoring response to a campaign
a great way of controlling the number of calls received
a great way of distributing calls to multiple sites
a great way of making a one person business (or small company) look bigger

However, often the supplier of the number leaves the trade and at some point in the future the user is going to need to repoint that number ……… um, argh, how do I do that?

Quick check on Google – one million searches later, the business owner is still scratching their head and none the wiser.

Step in Combyne Group, since we have been providing the solution to this little challenge for many years.

Here’s the deal:

For single numbers the charge is £15

For up to four numbers the charge is £27.50

For five numbers and up to ten £40

More than ten numbers £50

If a result cannot be delivered, there is no charge.

Combyne Group is also able to supply new numbers in the range: 0800/0808/ 0844. 0845, 0870 and 0871 – please ask for details. Plus a number of other services too.

Combyne Group have become quite expert at tracking down these numbers.

You will be asked to pay on invoice and once payment has been received, the search will start.

Once successful you will receive an email with the details.

When contacting Combyne Group for this service, please supply the following:

Company or Individual Name
Address
Email Address
Contact Number (mobile or landline)
Non Geographic number(s) being searched for

So first port of call is to send an email to laurence.lowne@combyne.co.uk with the details above, please? You will then be sent full details about how this works, the charges and the timescale to be expected.

Thanks

Laurence

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