The Most Attractive Place for Business
As usual The Queen’s Speech brought little surprise. Whilst much of the legislation listed within the speech has already been signalled via the budget or via government announcements the speech is an important signpost of the way on which legislation is predicted to flow through Parliament over the next twelve months.
With an election due in May 2015, it will be interesting to see which legislative elements are given the highest priority by the current government; particularly in view of the fact that Parliament had already been allotted an extended May recess. With summer holidays and time off for conferences later this year there is scant time for new laws.
One area within the Queen’s Speech which did catch our eye was the emphasis on helping business. Alongside infrastructure and planning changes to improve economic competitiveness sit proposals to improve access to finance for small business and to cut bureaucracy. The measures proposed are aimed at helping to “make the United Kingdom the most attractive place to start, finance and grow a business.”
But for every bit of legislation which aims at helping business, there is a lot which a business can do for itself. Choosing employees wisely, investing time in training and maximising marketing opportunities can all make a huge difference to the growth of a business. Even something as simple as investing time in telephone answering techniques can pay dividends in the long run.
Because we all use the telephone in our daily lives there is often an assumption that we need little or no training in telephone techniques. That is far from the case. Talking to customers, building rapport, listening and answering queries in a business setting is very different from chatting to our friends. Helping employees to manage telephone calls efficiently whilst at the same time promoting the image and culture of the company through the way in which they interact on the telephone can encourage repeat business and a strong customer relationship.
One other telephony area in which businesses need to choose wisely is in the type of phone number chosen.Take 03 numbers for example. A low cost and versatile alternative to 0800 numbers, 03 numbers have the added advantage of generally being far cheaper to call from mobiles. Seen as a national number, the use of 03 numbers adds a perception dimension to business advertising. 03 numbers are available as 0300 numbers for charities and non-profits and as 0333 numbers for other businesses. In both cases the numbers are charged at the same rate as a standard rate call and thus are often free for those with ‘minute bundles’.
The other advantage of 03 numbers is that they can easily be called from abroad by using the standard +44 prefix. This means that overseas customers and suppliers are far more likely to call, and with the numbers easily diverted to any nominated landline or mobile, it is simple to advertise an 03 number without having to set up a new phone line.
Simple, flexible and presenting a positive image; choosing an 03 number could help to enhance marketing and encourage customers to call.