No one likes being put on hold. And listening to bad music while waiting for customer service is truly like adding insult to injury. A few minutes of being assaulted with elevator-music versions of easy-listening hits from a bygone era can get on the nerves of even your best customers. Your choice of On Hold Music should communicate the values of your business and let callers know that their business is important to you. Just as important is adding custom messages to your call holding system, as they allow you to speak directly to your callers and promote the products and services you offer. Messages also provide an opportunity to inform callers of upcoming sales or company news and

Holding meetings via telephone can seem a bit daunting to the uninitiated, but conference calls deliver real savings on time and travel. From team meetings and training sessions to communicating with telecommuters and customers, conference calls are definitely becoming a commonplace component of doing business. Despite all their upsides, though, they can still be problematic if participants don't have a grasp on basic conference call etiquette. The good news is that conference calls can be highly successful. Here are the basics of minding your conference call Ps and Qs. Confirm the Time, Date and Time Zone There's nothing worse than dialing into a meeting at 2:00 PST when the meeting was at 2:00 EST! Make Sure You Have an Appropriate Phone Voice quality

Business Owners Need Vacation Too – 5 Smart Strategies for Taking Time Off
For most business owners, downtime is a commodity in short supply. A two-week family vacation (or even a weekend getaway) can seem almost impossible when competition is fierce, clients are demanding and deadlines are never-ending. No one would dispute that running a small operation is difficult and definitely not for the faint of heart. To be successful, particularly in a shaky economy, business ownership requires determination, tenacity and the ability to work way more than 40 hours a week. Yet even the most dedicated and hard-working business owner needs a break from time to time. Too many days of burning the candle at both ends will eventually lead to exhaustion and possibly even long-term burnout. Recharging the proverbial batteries is an essential

For every business, molding and honing an image to appeal to prospects and customers is essential. When you have a start-up or small business, image-building is even more important. Without an image that communicates professionalism, potential customers are likely to think of your business as either amateurish or simply a sideline activity. In other words, they won't be taking you seriously. Even if you're the most talented entrepreneur out there, you could be turning off customers if your image is too rough around the edges. Answer the following questions and find out if your business is as professional as it should be. Is the address on your business card a post office box? Not having a published street address on your card is


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