VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) is replacing traditional landline-based business communications at an astonishing rate, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses that are looking to cut costs on their most critical services―electric, broadband and telephone. In fact, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, IBISWorld and Inc. 500 all named the unprecedented VoIP revolution as the fastest growing market for the years 2011 through 2020, one that is estimated at some 25 billion dollars and counting.
Sounds like a great time to get in on the action, right? And it is. But where do you start?
Ambitious, entrepreneurially driven individuals who want to explore this exciting and explosive industry and all that it has to offer owe it to themselves to read on and learn more…
Steven G. Stemkowski is the Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the The VoIP Co, LLC, a nationwide hosted PBX (telephone systems) and SIP trunk (Internet telephone lines) provider. The company specializes in maintaining a local presence in major cities to support VoIP systems where remote support does not meet the objective. Its software constitutes a complete business-in-a-box for those who want to start their own VoIP business. The company offers several business opportunity options, including an entry level program for those who want to enter the business without breaking their bank.
Steven recently took some time out of his busy schedule to provide us with some brief answers to BusinessOpportunity.com’s most commonly asked Entrepreneur Exchange questions, and here they are:
How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business? Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why.
They likely have an internal engine that allows them to think and create profit. They need to be creative. Ask yourself the basic questions: Do you want long hours? (You need passion!) Can you accept not getting paid? Are you ready to fail? It’s hard to accept, but most of the time your first business will fail. Here’s the good news…those contacts, that pain and those struggles help you make the next business a success, so it’s really not a failure.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your first six months in business? How did you meet that challenge?
Capital―You need to borrow and save.
Clients―Find them before you start. For example, we incorporated while working and did our first projects on the side.
Surprises―Avoid them. Insurance, licenses, whatever it may be…you must prepare ahead of time, do your research and try not to learn the hard way.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing business owners today and why? Any suggestions for how to address those challenges?
I’d have to say it’s the decrease in sales that comes as a result of an overall decline in marketplace profits. Lack of growth means it’s best to stay small, and make sure you are in a business that sets you up to realize reoccurring revenue. If you don’t have these elements in place, you may not survive. Create reoccurring revenue wherever you can…there is a way in most every business.
What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves?
As I’ve just stated, it’s very important to get into a business that provides reoccurring revenue.
What would you say is the one thing that new business owners forget about or overlook when they’re just planning/starting out?
They don’t think about how they are going to pay for all the services they need to operate. They need to do their research and be creative in this regard.
What marketing strategies have you found to be most successful in growing your business?
We access networking organizations and educational organizations, and it’s all free of charge.
What is it about the business/industry you are in that made it so attractive to you?
I always enjoyed the technical side of things.
What on-line, software or other resources have helped you the most in managing all aspects of your company? Why and how have they been helpful?
Have you ever tried to find the end of the Internet? There is some awesome stuff out there!
I can tell you our software is all-in-one. It needs no additional outside pieces. You would be smart of buy/license a closed system.
What did you do before you decided to become your own boss, and how have those skills helped you in your current business?
Get employed at large organizations with massive resources, find contacts and take care of them!
If you own more than one business, how have you integrated your businesses to juggle it all successfully? Any suggestions?
Stay focused. When you start another venture, make sure it is done slowly and carefully. Don’t take from the first business.
If you bought into an already existing business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or small franchise, how and why did you make that choice?
It’s always a great idea to buy into a solid and proven business model that you can follow….just don’t forget to follow it!
What is/are your favorite motto and/or quote when it comes to business? Any final words of encouragement and/or inspiration for the budding entrepreneur?
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem!