End of the weekend Update
I had a pretty productive week, but I didn’t get everything I wanted to do done, unfortunately. Here is what I have done:
- Finished registering with the state, and now have a Sellers ID Number (don’t know what exactly it is called).
- The development site is pretty much perfect for launch – I need to do more tweaking to the site until it is perfect, but I can do that after launch. I have it set up so that I can change the colors easily for the other two sites.
- Setup payments through Stripe
- Hooked up MailChimp, and Mandrill
- I tested pretty much everything — I bought an item, I did a review, I signed up for the newsletter
- I have registered two more domain names for the other two sites.
- Registered 3 new DIDs (phone numbers) and set up an IP phone. – (More on this below)
- Sent 10 articles to a writer I use on Textbroker for the blog on the first site
Todos for this week (4/20/15)
- Populate the first site with 25 – 35 products so that I can show suppliers
- Build the slider on the homepage
- Build the two images that are on the homepage – these show off a product and have a shop button
I plan to start calling suppliers next week (4/27/15)
VoIP, Google Voice, Phones and Phone Numbers
I have some experience with VoIP. So, I thought I would share some experiences for anyone who needs some guidance.
First, my preference would be to use Google Voice. It is free, and sounds great. I also prefer to have a physical phone rather than a softphone. If you are in the same boat, here are some tips:
Try using the Obihai Obi200. It requires an Ethernet link, and a normal (Analog) phone. The Obihai is easy to setup and works great with Google Voice. For my job I use this along with a AT&T ML17929 corded phone. This works really well, so well in fact I ported/forwarded my cell-phone, Skype, and work number to Google Voice. When anyone dials any of those numbers they expect to reach me, so I can answer all the same way. Now, if I were only adding one new number I would have switched out the OBi200 for an OBi302 and hooked up the second output to the second line on the phone. Then hooked up the new business number to the second line. I could then answer appropriately when someone called the business number.
This won’t work for my current situation as I am adding three new numbers under three different company names. I don’t want to answer generically, or incorrectly, when someone calls, so I have to know which number/company they are trying to reach before I answer. I also want to do this as cheaply as possible. So this is what I did…
I signed up for voip.ms, they require a prepaid account balance with the minimum of $25. So I deposited $25 and ordered three DIDs, this came to $0.85/Number/Month ($0.009/minute) with a $0.40 setup fee. For three numbers this totaled about $4 ($21 something still in the account). To connect the new numbers I setup an IP phone (polycom IP 550) that I had. If I didn’t already have the phone, I would have bought the Grandstream GS-GXP2160, which can be setup with 6 lines.