Business Phone Systems

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So what are you going to do?
I get asked this question a lot lately and I do not have an answer. The telecom business as I know it is becoming a dinosaur much like my body has, sure there will be a few customers you still need to service due to the fact they will never upgrade or plan to close or sell the business before they need to upgrade.
I guess my question is has anyone found a different revenue source that works well with supporting you telecom clients? I thought about training to sell travel, but there are thousands of home based travel agents selling cruises and not making any money, it looks like the phone business all over again.
At 58 retirement isn't a option and I don't think I would be a good fit a McDonald's

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I'm now in the Security business working as a Sales Rep and it has been a fantastic move.

The company that bought my business was a mess. Initially their vaunted technical staff wouldn't work on my customer base because it was all ESI stuff and "beneath" them and there was no supervisor in that department to oversee things so I ended up servicing my customers. When I made a stink their answer was to hire a manager for that department. Since I was 6 months into it and many of my customers had disappeared or gotten annoyed I put in for and took the manager's job. That was fine until we signed a contract to provide first level phone support for the cutover and ongoing needs of another interconnect that was replacing the systems at every Goodyear store (almost 600 of them) in the country with IP Office systems (we didn't service IP Office systems and had ZERO experience with them). The company we were working for (Integration Partners) subbed out the installations (50 per week) to one company which hired subs as well, we handled the first level of support and they used Granite for telecom and wiring.

Turns out the IP Office is horrible with POTS lines and when they swapped out the Cisco UC540's that were working fine all of a sudden they had issues with static etc and we were overwhelmed with calls. The projected 3 calls per day turned into 25 a day and of course they never added any staff to handle the volume so I sucked it up and handled most of them. After 6 months they called me in and told me I was doing a horrible job as Manager and not leading my team. I walked in the next morning and resigned! .... and they lost the account within a month because no one would take the Goodyear tickets and there was no supervisor again.

We do Door Access Controls and Surveillance Systems and business is booming.

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Companies I have been working for added not just data cabling but full data room build-outs following TIA/EIA Standards...And then adding Fire Alarm, Audio/Video, Security, Nurse Call, System Controls...

It's the same as Telephone Installations: pulling wire, hanging devices and programming.


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I've been subcontracting jobs and really enjoy it. I found a few good nationals that pay well and have several accounts in my area. The nice part I get to pick what jobs I want and don't have to worry about the rest. Days off when I want and lots of new and different stuff to work with only boring time is waiting on hold for support, I just have to remind my self that I'm getting paid so wait it out.


Merritt

Business Telephones & Equipment + Commercial Audio/Video Products
Commercial Communications . . . Turner, Maine
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We are selling and installing Hosted, carrier services and Cloud.
Growing a very nice recurring monthly income and doing very well.

This is the next step in what we all do.

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Originally Posted by hitechcomm
We are selling and installing Hosted, carrier services and Cloud.
Growing a very nice recurring monthly income and doing very well.

This is the next step in what we all do.

The battle for us is every IT guy, every ISP and every Hosted Provider is doing the same thing down here. And $10 to $20 a month on a customer just doesn't cut it when we get the service calls of poor call quality. How are you getting around the Hosted Providers using a phone that's available on Amazon for almost nothing. The customers look up everything these days and find it on Amazon or eBay.

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I refuse to go down without a fight. Unfortunately, I'm working myself to death in the process. The number of us out there who understand how to troubleshoot basic tip and ring are dwindling and I'm taking advantage of it. The problem is that I'm doing it for three different companies. My primary job, which was supposed to be part-time, is easily 45-50 hours per week and could be more if I wanted it. That's the one that's a ten minute commute from home for me, with a company vehicle and flexible schedule. The pay is at the top-end of what people make around here. It's not forever, as this company told me from day one that they have no intentions of selling any new systems other than hosted. The beauty is that they have hundreds of customers all over the state with TDM systems that need support. Many of them are still under warranty. We just installed one that was pending from a few months ago yesterday. I've never been so busy in my life. Traveling about a 50 mile radius on a daily basis, meeting people, shaking hands and going to places I've never been. That's the fun part.

The other companies I'm supporting are one that I once owned and the other that Derrick owned. Both are in VA, about four hours from here. At first, I thought that I could provide plenty of technical support for them from home and live a life of semi-retirement. Initially, the money seemed good and the quest seemed manageable. It didn't take long to realize that there's no way in hell that a rookie is going to learn how to troubleshoot dial tone or paging speakers by assisting them over the phone. It also didn't take long to realize that I would have to be traveling up there to assist on a regular basis. Being stuck in the house and attached to a phone and computer started to take a toll on my sanity.

Now, I'm facing the proverbial case of 'be careful what you wish for'. Working a full-time job as a technician while juggling calls from two other companies' employees and customers is no joke. I come home exhausted, only to have to answer a full-day's worth of e-mails and writing proposals. It's killing me to the point where I'm going to have to consider cutting one or more of them and focus on what works best for me.

There was a time when I was convinced that the IT and hosted boys would soon be sending us out to pasture. That might be the case one day, but it sure isn't happening in the mid-Atlantic region of the US. How it will be a year from now is hard to say, but I'm confident that I'm going to be able to keep this sector of the business alive in my area.


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Originally Posted by SSPhone
Originally Posted by hitechcomm
We are selling and installing Hosted, carrier services and Cloud.
Growing a very nice recurring monthly income and doing very well.

This is the next step in what we all do.

The battle for us is every IT guy, every ISP and every Hosted Provider is doing the same thing down here. And $10 to $20 a month on a customer just doesn't cut it when we get the service calls of poor call quality. How are you getting around the Hosted Providers using a phone that's available on Amazon for almost nothing. The customers look up everything these days and find it on Amazon or eBay.


The Hosted provider provides the phones,

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Since we are in a private forum and I hear about the how good the recurring revenue is for hosted- how about some numbers? A business with 15 users in a cloud provided system is bringing how much to you in a monthly income? Curious for sure.


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Here goes:

15 Sets. @. 30. =. 450. 25%. Commission. =. $112
Circuit. $200. 15%. Commission =. $. 30

Total monthly recurring commission. =. $142.

1 month SPIFF. $450

Plus. Install $300

This is a average. The more phones the more MRR. Less phones less MRR
Keep in mind, if you don't sell your customers , in most cases someone else will.
Also the more you sell the more MRR you will receive. And also SPIFF can be much larger based on the number of sets .

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