Monday, November 5, 2012

Thinking About VOIP For Your Business

The main advantage of VoIP is that it bypasses traditional circuit switched networks, thereby avoiding the costs of traditional telephone communications. The results of a 2004 survey conducted by the Small Business Administration, provides a reference point for the use of VoIP by small businesses. Of 418 small businesses, 3.3% said that they do use VoIP service in their business. This does not mean that these small businesses have eliminated traditional voice service, but it does mean that VoIP is beginning to find its way into small businesses and, if it continues to grow, it may soon become a significant competitive threat to traditional telephony providers.
Perhaps as a result of this, recently, major companies have reported increases in quality of VOIP technology and announced their intention to provide these services to the mass market. (Matt Stump MSOs, AT&T Set Table For VoIP Roll outs, Multichannel News, Dec. 15, 2003; and Ben Charny Cox Communications Dives into VoIP, CNET, Dec. 15, 2003.) This means that you can now get VOIP service from many of the companies that you already know and trust.
How Does it Work?
You pick up the phone and dial any number just as you would do with the regular phone service. The signal from your phone is being sent to the VoIP adapter where it's being converted to a digital signal, then sent to your router, then your high-speed modem and finally, to the internet network, where it will be routed to the traditional telephone network, and finally, to the destination number you dialed. As far as the service quality, in most cases you will barely notice any difference.
In the past, the technique was to try to make data look like voice communications. This would allow data to be sent using the same circuitry. This would explain the annoying sound you would get when using your favorite dial up service. This was referred to as circuit switching.
Today's approach is to try to make voice look like data. Both voice and data can now reside in packetized form on the same network. This technique is referred to as packet switching.
These changes allow telecommunication companies to take advantage of the idle spaces in voice communication. It is estimated that only about 10-25% of the circuit is actually utilized to carry the voice during a typical phone conversation. The rest of the time is taken up with listening for a response, thinking of a response or just breathing between words. This idle capacity encouraged companies to compress voice transmissions, thus using less of the circuit. We know that this approach is more efficient because we have been using it for years with our data networks.
The use of packet switching technology allows us to interleave voice data and even video packets wherever idle spaces occur. This allows for a more efficient and cost effective use of bandwidth. It is this reduced cost and increased efficiency that has driven the VOIP market.
It has been estimated that carriers can get an 11 fold increase of traffic, not to mention revenues, from the lines already existing in their network. This has resulted in a number of companies rushing to market this service to the consumer. The increased competition and reduced cost have resulted in a perfect storm of sorts. In the past few years we have seen long distance rates drop from $.50-$.60 a minute a few years ago to $.05-$.07 today.
So, how do you take advantage of the VOIP phenomena? It's fairly simple. Basically, if you have high-speed internet, you can save a lot of money on your local and long distance telephone service by simply ordering the broadband phone. In most cases, it's an adapter that you need to plug into your high-speed modem, and then plug your phone into that adapter and you should be ready to go (of course, you need to have a monthly service subscription). Many of the features for which your local company charges you extra, such as caller ID, call waiting, voice mail, etc., come at no additional charge with broadband phone.
The above option is great for the very small business person. The firm that has 1-3 employees will find the above option to be adequate. For those firms that have a larger work force this type of service may not adequately fulfill your needs.
Many Business Voice Over IP Providers typically need a minimum of 24 voice channels, which calls for a full T1. Your total monthly price will be the cost of the loop ($500 - $1000 depending on distance from the POP) and LDU (Long Distance Usage). Intrastate, interstate, and international rates vary according to carrier, length of contract, and average call volume. The guidelines below are those that we use at to determine just what type of high speed internet connection is needed to support VOIP applications for a small business. These can be used as a general reference point for your particular application.
For Small Office Calling with less than 8 lines, we recommend you stay with regular switched telephone lines. Though you'll pay your local telephone company $15 to $25 per line, you won't realize any savings using a T1 unless you have 8 lines or more, as T1 loop (fixed) monthly charges are never less than $600/month. This is where the plug and play type of system, in conjunction with a good DSL Service, may best benefit your business.
For Small Offices with 8 to 18 lines, we recommend you install a T1 and use it for BOTH your telephone lines (local and long distance) and your high-speed internet connection. With integrated T1 service, you can mix and match between 24 56k channels, dedicating some of them to handle your voice traffic and the remaining channels for your internet connection.
For Small Offices with 18 to 24 lines, we recommend you install a T1 and use it for your telephone lines only. With a Full-T1 Voice line, you'll be able to support 24 simultaneous phone conversations at once. When considering how many possible extensions a Full-T1 can support, a typical rule of thumb is 4 extensions per channel, yielding 104 possible extensions.
Typically, once a phone system is set up with more than two or three lines, it will require some type of switching system. Traditionally small businesses have used either a PBX or keyed system to perform this function. When it comes to VOIP phone systems, the system that would perform this type of function is the IP PBX or internet protocol PBX. This is a PBX system that is designed to specifically deal with the voice over internet protocol application.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Headline News and Other Topics of Interest

The news every day is compelling.  There is a tragedy, event, disaster, opinion, etc. that we hear about and keep up to date with on the television, newspapers, and internet.  It is good for everybody to express their thoughts, reactions, feelings, opinions, advise, guidance about the news of the day.  Posting on online forums is a great way to share with others.
You can discuss news with people all over the world.  From people where the news is happening to people that want more information, forums discussions about news keeps you informed and gives you an outlet to discuss the topics.
Ever feel like the news that your watch and read about are reported incorrectly, inappropriately, biased or apathetically?  Get a chance to express yourself online to others with the same concerns or different perspectives.  Sign up on a news forum and express yourself.
Signing up and posting are free most of the time so if you have time and want to express yourself about the news that you just read about or watch on television to begin your day, sign in and enter a response.
You can also respond to others that post on the forum.  Remember to be respectable and keep your responses focused around the topic that is being discussions.  Reading other's opinions on news of the day is also helpful in getting different points of view about the topics, helps with focusing your own opinions about the news and give you different ideas that help with clarifying your interpretations about the news.
Remember to find a news forum or forums to post on and express yourself on them.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Market and Stock Market News

A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock (shares) and derivatives at an agreed price. The stocks are listed and traded on stock exchanges which are entities of a corporation or mutual organization specialized in the business of bringing buyers and sellers of the organizations to a listing of stocks and securities together. Participants in the stock market include individual retail investors, institutional investors such as mutual funds, banks, insurance companies and hedge funds, and also publicly traded corporations trading in their own shares. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order of buying or selling.
The purpose of a stock exchange is to facilitate the exchange of securities between buyers and sellers, thus providing a marketplace (virtual or real). The exchanges provide real-time trading information on the listed securities, facilitating price discovery. Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor, by a method known as open outcry. This type of auction is used in stock exchanges and commodity exchanges where traders may enter verbal bids and offers simultaneously. The other type of stock exchange is a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers where trades are made electronically via traders. Actual trades are based on an auction market model where a potential buyer bids a specific price for a stock and a potential seller asks a specific price for the stock. When the bid and ask prices match, a sale takes place, on a first-come-first-served basis if there are multiple bidders or askers at a given price.
A few decades ago, worldwide, buyers and sellers were individual investors, such as wealthy businessmen, usually with long family histories to particular corporations. Over time, institutions such as pension funds, insurance companies, and mutual funds have become the major players in the stock market. The rise of the institutional investor has brought with it some improvements in market operations. One improvement is that fees have been markedly reduced for the 'small' investor.
Stock markets provide a considerable amount of information daily. And the rise of small investors in the stock market has led to an increased demand for the News. The news analysis consists of the tracking, recording, analysis, and interpretation of the flux and change of it. Such analysis could include the performance of well-known and not-so-well-known companies. This form of journalism can also cover news and features articles about the people, places and issues related to the stock market in particular and the financial industry in general.
Stock market news is disseminated in a variety of ways. Most newspapers, magazines, radio, and television news shows carry a segment dedicated to the trends of the trading day. However, the internet has fast become the medium of choice for a considerable number of stock market news watchers. On the internet, such persons can get not only up-to-the-minute reports on trading, but also detailed and in depth financial journalism.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Space News in Cyberspace

The subject of Space - interplanetary space; outer space; satellites, spacecraft; space missions, is Big Business! Space and related subjects, is therefore one of the biggest news topics after perhaps general politics and world economy, but no longer is this just true of newspapers and television channels. Space news is just as pervasive on the Internet or in cyberspace, if not more so. The Internet and the news industry were made for each other, it is little wonder then that news related websites account for approximately 60-65% of all Internet traffic and that space news related sites account for approximately 30% of this, according to various estimates.
With one technological milestone after the other being breached and broken; especially in computing and telecommunications, space related activity in general has proliferated over recent years, and with it the space news business. The most obvious sources of space related news on the Internet, are websites of the various national/regional space administration bodies, such as NASA; CNES; ESA; ISRO; JAXA; CNSA; BIS; DLR; and ASRI.
However, news items on these sites are sometimes, and understandably so, biased towards their own particular sphere of activity; not always, but in general. As a result, hundreds of independent space news related sites, have sprung up over recent years in an effort to provide more even coverage of space related activity and events, such as Space Daily;; Sky & Telescope; Aon Space, which is to do with space finance; and others. These are truly professional and well thought out sites, with easy to follow page layout schemes and interesting and informative articles that will appeal to most readers. The space enthusiast is truly spoilt for choice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

News Photography Business

We now live in a world where people choose to get their news from their iPhones, Blackberrys and online, the newspapers taking big financial losses. Newspaper subscriptions and advertising revenues are way down and some newspaper are even closing up shop altogether. For those newspaper that are still operational upper level management are cutting back staff at a remarkable rate. Many professional photojournalists, editors and reporters are being laid off or forced to do twice the amount of work they were originally hired to do. However the demand for quality news photos and videos remains high. With reduced amount of staff photographers newspapers must still provide photos for their newspaper daily, but it isn't always that easy.
As newspapers continue to struggle to provide the best news coverage with their reduced staff they often turn to freelance photographers also known as Stringers to fill the pages with breaking news photos as well as video clips for their website. These newspaper Stringers earn anywhere from $75-200 per photo and sometimes even more for video content that is used on a national television show.
Breaking into the news photo business isn't as hard as it may sound and you can actually get started today if you have the proper equipment and motivation.
What are some of the things you will need to get started?
  1. Digital SLR camera
  2. Police Scanner
  3. Cellphone
  4. Laptop with wireless access
  5. Reliable vehicle
  6. Long zoom lens 70-200mm is fine
As a Stringer you will be spending a majority of your time monitoring your police scanner and listening for major car crashes, fires, shootings, SWAT stand offs and even severe weather such as brush fires and tornadoes happening in your town.
The objective is to get to the scene and make dramatic photos of the scene before newspaper or television photographers get there. The best time to hunt for news is late at night from 12am-4am as this is when most of the news staff is off, meaning no competition for you. It is possible to get exclusive content during the day but is usually more difficult because of the increased competition and traffic.
A reliable stringer with proven results can also accept photo assignments from newspapers, magazines and TV stations around the world adding to the money you make nightly chasing spot news.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Business Articles Can Help You Grow Your Company

Whether you already own a business or anticipate launching a business, it pays to do your research and stay abreast of issues that could affect your company. In the past, understanding business management and trends may have required an MBA degree or attending expensive seminars. Today, however, the Internet provides a wealth of information completely free of charge. By regularly reading business articles, you can gain insight into a variety of issues affecting companies like yours.
Taking a Cue from the Experts
Experts, business owners, and consultants routinely post valuable information on a wide range of topics to article content hubs, also known as article directories. For example, you can find dozens of articles about customer service, with topics ranging from how to effectively resolve customer complaints to using customer service to build customer loyalty to the pros and cons of using retail greeters. If you're getting ready to launch a business, you can find step-by-step guides to writing a business plan, how to incorporate flexibility into your strategic plan, and how to diversify your revenue streams.
Similarly, you can keep abreast of the specific issues affecting your business by reading business news articles and business ethics articles. Likewise, small business articles can help you avoid many of the pitfalls that besiege owners of small companies, and prompt you to adopt best practices for your industry.
Valuable Marketing Tips
It's always a challenge to stay a step ahead of the game and market your business in a way that gives you a competitive edge. This is especially true when it comes to Internet marketing, since cutting edge strategies quickly and fluidly changes in response to the needs of the marketplace. An article content directory that emphasizes business articles can provide a wealth of information on topics ranging from email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, traffic building, Web design and development, and copywriting.
Scouting for Business Opportunities
Whether you're ready to launch a new business or simply wish to diversify your revenue streams, a business-oriented article content directory will showcase new business opportunities. It will also contain business articles that will help you evaluate opportunities and provide benchmarks to determine whether or not you are achieving your goals. Other articles will help to motivate you by giving you pointers on setting goals, visualizing success, and convincing those around you to buy into your dream.
Sharing Your Knowledge
If you have experience in business issues - whether on general business topics or in a narrow specialty - consider using an article content directory to share your knowledge. Your advice, tips, and roadmap to success are certain to help others who are seeking guidance. When you do, you have the added benefit of being able to promote your business or website by including a hyperlink in the resource box of your article.
Expanding Your Website
Your company's website serves to both create brand awareness and to provide visitors with valuable information that will encourage them to return often. Article content directories often allow website owners to reprint articles on their own sites, as long as proper attribution is given and the author's resource box remains intact. Reprinting business articles and other articles on topics of interest to your visitors can help you add high-value content to your website and expand its reach.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Marketing Your New Home Business on a Budget

The hardest part of a new home business is letting everyone know who you are, what you offer and how they can contact you. There are many secrets to marketing your business and understanding which ones work for your business model is the key.
The problem with most people is that when they start their home business, they expect a profit within the first month. They start by jumping in and signing up for every type of advertising and they find themselves broke before they make their first sale. Most people who experience this blame their small business and do not take responsibility for their own mistakes. Take your time. It takes 6 months to a year to be profitable in a business. Spend just a little time each day marketing your business. Limit yourself to $20 to $50 per month for advertising. You can spend more, but you may not see any improvement in results. You can spend a lot less and get just as much in return. You decide.
There are many types of media that you can advertise in such as internet, radio, newspaper, magazines, etc. Many people will try to use all the methods of advertising at once. The problem is you will not be able to determine what advertising method is working for you and which one is wasting your money. Only 10% of people will tell you how they found your business, so don't rely on asking them. Another statistic is that it takes people three times to hear or read an ad before they consider purchasing something. Keep your advertising on long enough to make a difference.
Roll out your advertising and marketing in blocks. Select one method and focus your marketing dollars. Then after a period of time, depending on whether it has been successful or not, change your advertising method again. Many businesses call these "campaigns". Keep track of your campaigns and the money generated from them.
Here are some low cost methods of advertising for you to consider for you campaigns...
WORD OF MOUTH - This is the cheapest kind of advertising on the planet and the most powerful. It works based on a customer having an enjoyable experience with the service and/or products you have provided. Because of their great experience, they will spread the word to the family, friends and co workers without even having to ask them. We have all experienced this when our friends talk about a great restaurant or how much they enjoy their vehicle.
BUSINESS CARDS - You can usually pick up 500 business cards for about $20. When you do, hand them out. Do not give more than a couple of cards to each person. If they need more cards from you, they will ask. Other suggestions are to leave them in areas such as taxis, car washes, restaurant lobbies, phone booths, etc.
Some people are known to network with others on a regular basis. Some of these people are also known to be always looking for an extra few bucks. With these people, you can suggest to them that if they write their name on the back of one of your business cards and the card is presented to you, then you will pay a referral fee to them. You do not have to offer much --- sometimes one dollar is enough. Look at your home business and your offerings and decide how much would be a good referral fee.
PRESS RELEASES - Press Releases are a good source for generating news about your home business. The business editor at your local newspaper is always on the lookout for a good business story to fill the business news section of the newspaper.
Ensure you do your research on how to write a press release. There is a right way and a wrong way. Once complete, forward your release to a business editor or reporter. They will be more inclined to run your story if you buy some advertising, but may still print your release for free in a special events and openings section.
NON-PRIMETIME ADS ON RADIO AND TELEVISION - Ever been up late and notice all the infomercials on TV. They have selected this time because it is a money making time. Non-primetime ads do not have to fight with all the major brands that have millions worth advertising set aside. Television primetime is 7pm to 10pm and radio is 8am to 5pm.
Non Prime time radio and TV can offer you the best rate of return for your dollar. If it can keep the infomercial companies profitable, it certainly can help your business too.
From Chris Slaviks' experience, one of the best ways to attain everything is to start a home business. Having a home business allows ordinary people to attain a lifestyle they didn't believe possible---especially following such a difficult economic time. Now, through his website, [], Chris is giving people the free information and inspiration they need to be as successful as they've dreamed. Sign up for a free 360 page ebook called Dotcomology that will help you start a new home business or tune your existing one.