Today we’d like to bring you two interesting family businesses that are using RingCentral to help them achieve their entrepreneurial goals. Both stories highlight the importance of community, a commitment to customer service and true dedication to keeping business a family affair.
With nearly 90% of all the businesses in the U.S. owned or controlled by families, enterprises such as these are a vital part of our economy. At RingCentral, we salute the efforts of family businesses and hope you’ll enjoy the following stories.
The Quilt Bear
Founded by Mary Jo and Matthew Blohm of Wauseon, Ohio, The Quilt Bear, an online quilt supply business, was established after a major sewage backup in the Blohms’ basement forced them to remodel. With newly added room to store fabrics, they launched an online quilt shop that sells fabric, supplies, books, patterns and gifts worldwide. The Blohms also hold quilt club meetings at their local church, maintain an active Facebook page and give 10% of sales to a variety of charities, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Mary Jo and Matthew use RingCentral to enable their customers to call with questions or to place orders. They route calls to their cell phones and strive to “always stay on top of their business.” Among their daily challenges are purchasing inventory, advertising and keeping shipping costs low. But, thanks to RingCentral, they are able to almost always ship orders the same day and even provide free shipping to their customers throughout the United States. Their advice to anyone who is thinking of starting an online business is to “find a good website designer and follow your dreams!”
Jody Cranford and Family – IMNatural
Jody Cranford launched IMNatural, a natural supplement and products business, shortly after her daughter Nicole underwent an emergency liver transplant in 2007 as a result of undiagnosed Wilson’s Disease. Thanks to organ donation, she survived and is alive and well today.
When Nicole came home from the hospital on 16 different medications, the co-pays alone were a financial burden for her family. This is when Jody began searching for ways to generate extra income. She began selling a small range of natural products online to help others remain healthy and cover her daughter’s medical costs. Now, four years later, IMNatural offers more than 300 different products and encourages customers to become organ donors.
RingCentral plays an important part in the success of IMNatural. As its only phone system, RingCentral gives Jody’s business the ability to appear like a larger organization and helps build credibility and trust from the start of each call. Jody and her family take calls throughout the day and evening and even answered customers while on vacation in Puerto Rico last year! Call forwarding is one of their favorite features, as well as the ability to create their own on-hold messages to promote products.
Jody stresses that she uses RingCentral as a tool to up-sell and manage call flow, but always has live, knowledgeable, caring people to answer the phones. A combination of a strong online presence and phone-ordering capabilities, she says, has truly been the key to her success!