Focal Point Newsletter – October 25, 2017

Who’s on first?

Baseball is becoming a hot topic as the playoffs approach and fans tend to pay a lot of attention to the upcoming lineup. Who will pitch and who will be on deck?

It’s not unlike the planning you do for your own business. If you have people on-call for after-hours emergencies, you create your own lineup. You send us a list, (either weekly or monthly) giving us the primary person to call, and the backup. As soon as you send that schedule there is bound to be a change; there is an injury, a game goes into extra innings, and now another pitcher is needed. Schedules almost NEVER stay as they were planned. That means notifying the answering service of the changes! If someone forgets, the wrong person is called; that’s a nightmare, for you and for us.

Did you know YOU can cost effectively change your own on-call any time you need to? You can change it from your computer, or your smartphone or tablet, and it‘s SO easy. Using our portal you dial directly into your personal screens here at Focus Telecommunications and make the correction on the fly – instantly and accurately, from anywhere, at any time. When you need to change the lineup, you tap a few keys, and it’s all taken care of. Ask us about changing your own on-call today – begin the season with a better way to know who’s on first!


Gotta Giggle

The closest someone ever comes to perfection is when they are filling out an application form.

 


Contingency or “Gig” Workers Now 40%of America’s Work Force

Less than two decades ago, more than 85% of American workers worked for a specific company. Today over 40% of us identify ourselves as free-lancers, self-employed, independent contractors, on-demand workers, or Gig-workers; these titles all refer to Contingency Workers. These are non-permanent workers who are hired by companies on a temporary basis to fill gaps. What’s more, both the contractors and the employers LOVE the arrangement. For the employer there is flexibility, lower fixed costs and better skills; all on an “as needed” basis.

For the contingency worker who also enjoys flexibility, this arrangement allows them to control their schedule, their rules, their income and their accountability. Currently the average business uses about 15% of their employee budget for contingency workers. Within five years that it is expected that four out of every 10 workers in a company will be contingency, or “gig” employees.

Knowing this trend is increasing will allow each of us to plan our company growth with more assurance. Telephone answering services will assist both. Employers will be using our services to fill in for, or even completely replace their phone staff. Gig workers find their answering service gives them uninterrupted work time and their own virtual assistant to help keep their company organized. Our ability to work within each company’s computer programs (through a controlled portal) increases that flexibility and cost savings for both business owners. Everyone wins.

You Need The Power Of A Person, call Focus today!


Life in 25 Words or Less

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

-Walt Disney


Get Recognized, Get Ranked, and Get Ready for Business with Citation Listings

Doing business online? Search engines are the gatekeepers, and they want to know that you actually exist. Citation listings can help confirm your legitimacy.

Citations include any mention of your business on websites that are not your own, and typically consist of your business’s name, address, and phone number (collectively known as NAP). If you are a brand new business, citation listings are integral to getting your footprint on the Internet. Even businesses that do not have a website can benefit, as long as they are operating from a physical location.

By validating your existence with complete, corroborative citations, you improve your company’s local search results. Best practices target higher authority – or structured – directories first, such as Google, Bing, and Facebook, followed by mentions on secondary, or unstructured, sites such as news and media outlets and local blogs.

In short, the more identical citations you have online, the more credibility you establish with search engines, and – by extension – the Internet community at large. Consistency is the key. Multiple listings that differ slightly can hurt your SEO. Your business benefits most from one, and only one, complete and accurate citation on each directory. That means weeding out duplicates and minor discrepancies (Avenue or Ave.) from site to site. Getting there can be a time-consuming and tedious process, but the effort will be worth it in the long run. Luckily, this task, too, can be outsourced to professionals who are experts in local search tactics.

Duane Carey is the President of IMPACT Marketing & PR in Columbia, MD 410-312-0081 or dcarey@impactmarketing.net.


Healthy

Yogurt, a sweet treat that won’t clog your arteries. In addition to reducing your risk of heart disease, when you eat low-fat yogurt, you also absorb powerful antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and probiotics that are beneficial to your overall health, digestion and well-being.


Wealthy

Don’t want to cook dinner tonight? Order in. Don’t feel like taking the bus? Hop in a Lyft. Too tired to stop by the grocery store? There’s an app for that. Services exist to make the minute details of our lives — from driving to cooking to cleaning — easier. But while convenient, it’s usually a budget-buster. Stop leasing cars, stop eating out, stop doing the things that’s wasting your money. Those little splurges and conveniences that seem minor in the moment do end up having a significant impact on your budget.


Wise

Running away from your problems is a race you will never win.


Dear Friends,

Part of

MY job is to try to stay on top of trends (business, communications and technical) that will influence YOUR business plans, and share them with you. The second article in this issue is one of those things worth knowing about. The “Gig” revolution began because of the poor economy over the past decade. People began working solo, or starting their own small companies, because they could not find jobs with traditional employers. They found that they liked their autonomy. Employers just couldn’t afford all the specialized employees they had in the past; and the economy dictated they had to cut back their work force. They have learned to run their businesses in a leaner way. It’s a matter of fact that

 

neither side is going to return to the old ways.

Eventually, our government is going to have to catch up and help independent workers obtain the benefits that traditional workers have always had; however, traditional employers will also need to find ways to allow their workers to take advantage of what else is available, because benefits are increasingly expensive. When you hire people like us, your answering service, to do more tasks within your company you will enjoy more savings, especially on benefits. We will be living with the changes caused by the recession for many years to come, but we will be here to assist!

Hugs,


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