The national unemployment rate declined by 1.4 percentage points during May 2020. Despite that glimmer of good news, personal income suffered a 4.2 percent hit as government relief programs dried up. At the same time, personal expenditures increased by 8.2 percent. Just as people dared to hope that everyday life might begin to bear some resemblance to a pre-quarantine world, a new spike in COVID cases is changing those plans.

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As ongoing turmoil and uncertainty further displaces the U.S. workforce, a new wave of innovation is bubbling on the horizon. Historically, severe economic downturns and pandemics have accelerated new business models. For instance, the Great Recession of 2008 gave rise to new “asset sharing” models such as Airbnb and Uber. And today, while both Instacart and Zoom existed before March 2020, it took coronavirus invading human anatomies en masse for each to become a household name.

As the country struggles to find its footing, and the door to millions of people’s 9-to-5s close, another door to a new opportunity may start to crack open. If the call of entrepreneurship beckons you now more than ever, these times demand it be done with great efficiency at a low cost. While that old, trusty, black handset on your office desk forever served as an artery of business communications, it’s not the only means of placing business calls — not by a longshot. The “softphone” existed well before COVID-19, but 2020 might very well be its moment. Now may finally be the time to untether yourself from convention, move that business line to your smartphone, and embrace that which has been a long time coming.

“Fake” it Until You Make It

There is no reason in the early stages of your startup to let on that you are a modest two- or three-man operation. This isn’t “faking it” in the sense that you are misleading the public about your product. This is how a business with a relatively small footprint optimizes its communications throughput to avoid zero-impact calls and prioritize those with the greatest upside. And when a real living, breathing receptionist might account for a third of your headcount and payroll, the virtual option makes complete sense.

By placing a business line on your smartphone, you can cut a ton of the rigamarole of traditional setups. First and foremost, only one box needs to ring when you receive a phone call of any kind, personal or business. That large touch screen on your smartphone allows you the immediacy of knowing which line is ringing and who is calling.

A fully featured business line will offer more than a set of new digits. While voicemail and texting are fairly standard, there are services out there, such as YouMail, that raises the ante.

A virtual receptionist can be set up with a caller-specific greetings and away messages. It can auto-reply to missed calls with a custom text or email. You can even have callers routed to other recipients. If you, the CEO, are otherwise tied up, have that important call routed to your vice president automatically.

The YouMail Sweet Spot

While other softphone providers charge hefty fees for multiple lines and limited features, YouMail keeps its offerings simple.

An “essential” plan from other providers may cover up to 20 users sharing one business line with minimal phone features starting at $20 per month per user and ballooning up to $50 per month per user.

Visual Voicemail

However, YouMail’s starter Solo plan offers 3 phone numbers and all of our advanced features for just $10.99 per month total. And whether you’re an entrepreneur who needs no more than those three lines, a burgeoning business that needs six numbers, or a thriving small business that could use 15 numbers, YouMail has a professional plan for you. And all YouMail professional plans include a virtual receptionist, voicemail forwarding, business hours, robocall and spam protection, local numbers, vanity numbers, custom greetings, and more.

2020 will go down as a year of great upheaval and transition for many of us. Make sure you’re in the best position possible to make history.


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