Government Shutdown: Was Your Small Business Prepared?

As the government shutdown enters its’ second month, the impact of the agency closures is being felt by small businesses around the country.

The most notable closure is the SBA, the Small Business Administration. The SBA is responsible for small business loans. If you were counting on an SBA loan to fund your small business, you may be stuck in limbo until the government reopens. And even then, some experts are expecting there will be a backlog of applications and other paperwork, causing additional delays in financing.

Other agency closures are impacting small businesses, too. For example, CNBC reported that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade bureau is closed, halting alcohol and tobacco licenses. Small businesses in this industry may not be able to operate until the bureau reopens and licenses can be issued.

Forbes reported that the IRS closure could impact small business owners as well. Even though the IRS announced that it will still be paying refunds during the shutdown, Forbes expects delays. Business owners counting on large refunds or entrepreneurs needing tax documents for financing could be affected.

If you are a small business hurt by the government shutdown, Fox Business has a list of tips to help weather this shutdown and prepare for them in the future.

Clearly, the consequences of the government shutdown are far-reaching. And CNN reports that there is still no end in sight. Has your business been affected?

Categories: News

5 Phone Features Every Entrepreneur Needs

If you’re an entrepreneur – whether it’s a side hustle or a small business – you know how important your mobile phone is. It’s what keeps you connected with your business, no matter where you are.

But your phone can be more than a place to check work email. All businesses, even the smallest ones, can benefit from a business phone system on their smartphone.

A mobile business phone system combines the features of an advanced business phone system with the convenience of your personal smartphone. There are tons of entrepreneur apps available, but here are five features entrepreneurs need from a business phone system that make the biggest impact:

1. Second number for mobile

Stop handing out your personal cell number to clients, customers, employees, and vendors! It’s hard enough for entrepreneurs to keep their work life separate from their personal life. Every entrepreneur needs a second number exclusively for business on their smartphone.

2. Business texting

More and more people are communicating via text message, even for business. But having business texts in the same spot as your personal texts is not ideal – especially if you have overlap between friends and business contacts. Your second phone number should have text messaging capabilities, so you can simplify and separate your business communications.

3. Extensions

Maybe you’re a solopreneur right now, but if you ever want to add partners or hire employees, a business phone system that can accommodate extensions is critical. It makes life simpler for all inbound callers. They don’t have to have different numbers for different people on your team and can reach the right person easily.

4. Auto Attendant

For entrepreneurs with inbound customer calls, an auto attendant is a must-have feature. It’s a professional greeting that allows callers to direct their call to the correct extension via keypad inputs. It greatly enhances the professionalism of your business phone system as well as improves the user experience for callers.

5. Conference calls

No entrepreneur works entirely alone. Whether it’s with vendors, contract workers, freelancers, employees, clients, or customers, the time will come when you need a conference call. And you better have a business phone system that supports it! Nothing will undermine your appearance faster to new clients than struggling to coordinate a conference call.

If you’re looking for a phone system for your smartphone, check out NetLines – the entrepreneur’s business phone system. With all the features listed above, plus dozens more, NetLines will help you keep your sanity while you advance your business. 

Categories: Small Business

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