Versatility. In the NBA, they refer to it as position-less basketball. That’s when all five players on the floor are skilled. Guards, forward, and centers alike are all capable shooters, passers, dribblers, and defenders. Gone are the days of Patrick Ewing specializing solely in the post, vulnerable to getting switched onto a smaller, faster guard or being rendered virtually useless on offense outside of 20 feet from the hoop. Nowadays, the league’s reigning MVP is a 7-footer who can shoot the three, lead a fast break, and pull off Magic Johnson–like passes — at 6-foot-9, Magic himself was a prototypical position-less hooper well before his time. In the 2020s, versatility wins championships both in the NBA and running a small business.

In this article, we cover:

Poor Ewing. He was an absolute beast. He was the face of some imposing 1980s Georgetown Hoyas and 1990s New York Knicks, which ultimately landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame. All that said, he’d likely struggle to be quite as effective in the modern NBA.

The same is true for traditional business phone systems.

Gone are the glory days of the business hotline. You know, the ones with those little glowing buttons and that handy shoulder rest. Even desk handsets of the last 20-or-so years have reached the end of their life. The last time we had one of those on our desk, it collected so much dust, you could see which buttons we last used because there was less dust on them.

Thanks to Steve Jobs, the world went and got mobile. Now there’s an app for everything, including your small business. Think about it, once upon a time, a small business owner would lock up the shop for the night and business was concluded for the day. Not only is the concept of keeping an actual physical location for your small business different, so too is manner in which we conduct our communications.

Thanks to email, text, and mobile technology, every single one of your small business communications can be routed through that supercomputer in your pocket. The only problem is that phone calls have lagged behind the rest. Despite the advent of visual voicemail, if you’re using the stock phone app that came with your device, it probably lacks next-gen features.

Thank goodness for app stores.

Apps allow us to develop and improve upon stock solutions. For the small business, a smarter form of visual voicemail can allow it to respond to customer needs quickly, expediting growth. With next-level visual voicemail and call forwarding, your team can stay on top of every issue and return every incoming call promptly. This kind of solution untethers voicemail from one device or handset, making it accessible from any device, tablets and desktop computers included.

Voicemail transcriptions on your stock phone app are nice. However, there’s not much else to them besides providing a preview of the voice message. Imagine if you had the power of email and text in your voicemail inbox? Instead of scouring a wasteland of old numbers and transcriptions, you could search your voicemail inbox for keywords. Heck, you could have your voicemail messages automatically transcribed and emailed or texted to those inboxes. That would allow you to search one inbox for all hits of that keyword, regardless of the source.

And though Slack, Teams, and Zoom are wonderful new communications tools, they certainly can muck up our ability to organize our information.

I know Dex told me about the special deal he cut on the Carothers billing account, but where? In a direct Slack message? On a group chat in Teams?? In email, text, or voicemail??? Where do I begin?!

Smarter visual voicemail is an excellent place to start.

Other Invaluable Small Business Phone Tools

What else you got? Glad you asked. Small business often run lean and mean. Secretary? Call center? Yeah, right. How about auto attendant? When you can’t spare the resources to pay a designated call answerer, an auto attendant can field incoming calls for you. That caller receives a professional greeting that offers smart routing options — hit 0 for your assistant, hit 4 for your personal line, etc. You’re on a lot of phone calls while the other line rings, so you get the idea.

A unified inbox makes it so all missed messages are deposited in one place for your entire staff to sort through and take action on. Automatic text replies, conference calling, virtual receptionist, the best robocall blocker in the biz, and more are all on the table with any YouMail professional plan. We have an option for everyone, no matter if you’re just starting out, in growth mode, or an established small business. It’s easy to get started, the cost is incredibly low, and hey, we’re trusted by more than 150,000 businesses of all sizes.

If you’re ready to dive right in, get started by choosing the YouMail professional plan that suits you


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