Guide to Building and Expanding Your Small Business With Zoom

Get tips for reaching new customers, expanding your team, and communicating with ease, connected by a communications platform that evolves with your business.


As a founder, owner, and maybe even a sole proprietor, you know all about the importance of communication. Staying connected with customers, employees, partners, investors, suppliers, and vendors can help you build trust, grow your brand, and establish meaningful relationships with the people that matter most to your small business.


This guide offers a few ways to help you enhance your customer service, improve collaboration, and support your growing remote or hybrid team, all with a single communications platform. When you have your communications dialed in, you can spend less time worrying about technology and more time doing what you love.


Are you looking for unified communications or best-of-breed?


Small businesses building their processes typically choose to consolidate communications with a single platform or go with a best-of-breed approach.

woman and rocket ship

Unified communications

Unified communications refers to a single platform that offers phone, chat, and video conferencing together. This provides a seamless, one-app experience for employees, and simpler management without having to deal with different providers and contracts.

best in breed


Best-of-breed means choosing several different vendors to provide your technology needs — one for messaging, another for phone, and yet another for video calls. While this approach allows you to customize your tech stack, it can be more expensive and difficult to manage over time without the right resources.

If you have a lean IT team, or you wear the “IT director” hat (along with marketing, accounting, business development, and sales hats), a unified communications solution can help streamline IT management and give you more time to focus on what you’re more passionate about — like growing your business.

I like the ease of use and cost-effectiveness of [Zoom]. Instead of four different things, I have one platform that incorporates them all. There are fewer bills to pay and fewer contracts to understand. It’s made things a lot easier.

Judi Willetts, Pike Creek Psychological Center

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For the growth-oriented entrepreneur

woman and rocket shuip

Whether you’re taking your side hustle full-time, turning your passion project into an income stream, or building your big idea into a thriving startup, the first few years of starting your business are critical to your success.


How you communicate and engage with your customers, employees, vendors, suppliers, and future partners during this time will help lay the foundation for growth.


That’s why you’re looking for peace of mind in your communications platform: the confidence in knowing that your solution will perform in any situation, whether you’re meeting one on one with a valuable customer or delivering a webinar to an audience of 500. Of course, cost and customization are important, too. You want to be able to pay for the services you need, not the fluff you don’t use — and you don’t want any surprise fees or overage charges when the bill comes.


Learn how your communications platform can help you build customer connections, enable employee collaboration, and develop a strong company culture to support your thriving team.

Connecting with customers

No matter what line of business you’re in, you want to meet your customers’ needs at every point in their journey. Today’s consumers want brands to be available for instant communications on a broad range of channels — not just phone and email, but text message, social media, live chat, and even video. 


Here are some tips for connecting with customers on the Zoom platform:


Communicate anywhere, on any device


Even when you’re constantly on the go, you want to be there when your customers need you. Zoom works on a globally available suite of hardware solutions for offices, homes, workspaces, and mobile devices, and lets you move seamlessly from place to place. When you download the Zoom desktop client and mobile app, you can receive Zoom Phone calls, send a text, or join a Zoom Meetings from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You don’t have to be tied to your desk or risk missing opportunities when you leave it. 


Zoom Phone allows you to choose which number you call or text customers from, whether it’s a main business line or your own direct business number. Either way, you won’t have to use your personal number to reach customers anymore.


Respond faster with call queues


While you may have once been the sole person answering calls for your business, your growing team can help make sure your customers aren’t kept waiting too long. Setting up a call queue routes incoming calls to a designated group of users, like your entire sales team, leading to shorter wait times for customers.

Pro tip: SMS call queue
Pro tip: SMS call queue

You can have an entire team helping to support text message response. When your customer texts a number associated with the call queue, it will be sent to a group of users for the first available rep to respond, cutting down on customer wait times.

Engage your customers with video


Embrace the advantages of video to reach new customers and offer virtual services. Features like screen sharing and annotation help build a dialogue with your customer during a consultation or allow you to deliver an engaging product demo. You can also create virtual touchpoints like a weekly office drop-in, or establish new revenue streams from virtual classes and events. 


Read the blog: Rethinking the Customer Experience in the Video Age

Pro tip: Instant branding with your personal meeting link
Pro tip: Instant branding with your personal meeting link

Did you know that you can set up your own customizable personal meeting link with your company name so people can connect with you for quick, ad-hoc video calls? You can keep your custom link in your email signature for easy access.


Anyone with your personal meeting link will be able to join your meeting, even if you haven’t specifically invited them. To secure your meeting and prevent unexpected visitors from joining, you can enable the Waiting Room feature to admit participants individually, or lock your meeting room while in use

Enabling employee collaboration

For small businesses, investing in a physical office space can be hard to justify, especially when so much of the world is hybrid. If your employees are remote and distributed, a communications platform becomes even more important for enabling effective collaboration from afar.


Quickly see who’s available


Zoom Team Chat enables you to have quick, real-time conversations with employees without scheduling a full-on meeting. Think of it as the equivalent of stopping by a colleague’s desk to ask a question. You can see whether an employee is available, in a meeting, away from their desk, or on vacation, giving you a better idea of when you can expect a response.



Create chat channels for different projects


With Zoom Team Chat, you can easily communicate with people one on one or in groups. You can create different channels for different groups of people — one for the sales department, another for marketing, and another for leadership. You can also pull together people from different departments into a channel for a specific product launch or project to have discussions, share images or files, and provide feedback.


Move from one method of communication on to another


When you’re collaborating with a colleague over chat, you may realize that a phone call or video conference would be easier for getting the message across. The Zoom platform enables you to easily move from a chat to a phone call or video meeting with the click of a button. You can also pull other collaborators into a phone call or Zoom Meetings as needed.


Integrate or leverage your critical applications


Use integrations to launch important work tools from within the Zoom client for even more effective collaboration. Leverage Miro’s collaborative whiteboard during your next virtual brainstorming session, project manage in meetings with the Asana app, and streamline notetaking with Notejoy


Integrate or leverage your critical applications

Support accessibility for all employees


Give employees the solutions they need to communicate and collaborate effectively. Enable auto-generated captions (also known as live transcription) for all users in your account and make sure your employees know about the accessibility features they can customize in their Zoom settings.

Building culture among growing teams

As your team grows, it’s important to build your internal culture so employees feel welcome, build trust, and get to know each other. Without long hours spent together in the office, you can use the Zoom platform as a hub for social connection and culture building. Here’s how:


Create social chat channels


Zoom Team Chat channels offer a space for groups with similar interests to connect, but those interests don’t have to be work-related. Encourage employees to create channels for their personal interests and hobbies. From dog lovers to book readers to sports fans, your employees will find common interests to connect over, and a devoted place to talk about them.


Read the blog: Ways to Maintain Your Company Culture with a Hybrid Workforce via Zoom Team Chat


Hold virtual all-hands meetings


While your company’s day-to-day collaboration might happen in teams, getting everyone together regularly is important for disseminating business news and information, hearing from leadership, and engaging employees. This is helpful whether you’re a team of 10 or 100. You can make your all-hands meetings as casual and interactive as you want, including virtual icebreakers and games or even inviting guest speakers to educate and inspire.


Celebrate & recognize employees


When employees have completed a project or scored a big sales win, send an announcement on Zoom Team Chat to publicly celebrate their efforts. Don’t forget about birthdays, promotions, work anniversaries, and other milestones — acknowledging them on Zoom Team Chat allows others to chime in and share their congratulations, too. 


Find out more about the solutions in this section

For the established & expanding small business

couple at whiteboard

Building a business from the ground up is no easy feat — according to the Chamber of Commerce, only 50% of small businesses survive past the five-year mark. 


If you’ve nurtured your company past the startup stage, congrats! Now it’s time to focus on the next phase of expansion, which may require more communications capabilities to help support your evolving needs.


As an established business, you probably have more IT support and budget to spend on technology than you did as a startup. What you’re looking for in a communications solution may have shifted, too — you want a high-quality, feature-rich platform that will help take your business to the next level. But, you still want it to be intuitive, reliable, and easy to manage. 


Read on for tips on how to optimize communications, elevate your operations, and let you get back to the work you prefer — honing your craft and serving your customers.

Making global connections


In a digitally connected world, you can build a global customer base and an international team faster than ever before. See how Zoom enables you to expand to new markets and stay connected with customers and employees.


Global phone services


Your team may be selling or providing customer service in new places. Zoom Phone has expanded global coverage to more than 45 countries and territories and provides flexible BYOC options that extend your geographic reach even further.


Global phone services


Virtual troubleshooting & support


You don’t need to limit your business operations based on who’s available in a specific location — with Zoom, your team members can conduct business all over the world. A customer service rep in Europe can jump on a video call to provide support to a customer in Asia. An equipment technician based in South America can help troubleshoot issues at a manufacturing plant in the U.S., all over Zoom.


Host international events


When you’re planning your next product launch or customer conference, you can open your event up to a global audience with our Zoom Events solution. Live language interpretation for Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars enables you to designate interpreters for different languages. And starting in 2022, we’re building out automated transcription for 30 languages and live translation for 12 languages to help you reduce more language barriers and reach more people.


Optimizing workspaces & workflows

As your business grows, identifying efficiencies will help you scale your operations. Optimizing where and how you work can help drive productivity and make you and your team more effective.


Integrate with existing technology


Over the past few years, you’ve probably adopted some technology tools that have become ingrained in your business operations. When you choose Zoom, you can integrate with hundreds of business applications like SalesforceZendeskMicrosoft Teams, and Google Workspace. Integrations enable you to create seamless workflows without toggling between multiple applications. 

Create an intuitive hybrid workspace


If you have physical offices, video-enabling your meeting spaces will help your hybrid workforce connect more efficiently without IT’s help. With Zoom Rooms, your employees will be able to effortlessly join a video conference with one click, and share content wirelessly without worrying about cables and connections. Plus, features like Smart Gallery help you create a more equitable meeting experience between remote and in-person employees.

When you actually see Zoom Rooms in action, you think it’s so simple, it’s impossible. You walk into a room and press a button and you’re connected. … It’s so easy in a sense that you don’t really need dedicated or specialized IT support, and for a small business, that’s a big thing.

Tom Szauer, RF Binder

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Make it even easier to connect from home

By optimizing your own home office space, you can collaborate more efficiently and boost productivity. Set up Zoom for Home on a personal collaboration device like the DTEN ME or Lenovo ThinkSmart View to access your calendar, make and receive phone calls, or join a video meeting with one touch.

Supporting your growing team

Many small businesses experience growing pains as they expand, welcome new employees, and build scalable processes to serve their customers. Here’s how you can leverage modern communications technology to help support and equip your hybrid team with what they need to work smarter, not harder.


Set business hours for better work-life balance


Nurturing a positive company culture that respects employees’ time and boundaries will help you recruit and retain a high-performing workforce. Help your employees with reducing burnout and stress by encouraging them to set Do Not Disturb hours on their Zoom client and business hours on their Zoom Phone settings. After hours, inbound calls can be automatically routed to voicemail or an after-hours call queue so your employees don’t have to worry about being “always on.”


Enable flexible working for on-the-go employees


Today’s employees expect flexibility in where and when they work. With the Zoom platform, you can easily take your meeting on the go by switching from your laptop to a mobile device without leaving the session. You can also make and receive phone calls from any internet-connected device, meaning you don’t have to be tied to a desk phone to connect with colleagues or customers. 


Customize for your needs


You can customize Zoom to meet your business needs, whatever they may be — now and into the future:

  • If your business handles a high volume of phone calls, add on the Zoom Phone Power Pack to make it easy to transfer calls, manage call queues, and view real-time call analytics. 
  • If you need to record and store your Zoom video calls for training or compliance purposes, add on more cloud storage.
  • Want to host up to 1,000 interactive participants on a Zoom video meeting? Add on a large meeting license whenever you need it, and go back down to your regular plan the following month.
  • If you have team members around the world, you can get local phone service in 45+ different countries through our Global Select plan. 
  • Need to embed video into your services or solutions? The Zoom Developer Platform enables you to build custom integrations. 
  • If hardware investments aren’t in your budget, Zoom’s Hardware as a Service lets you get the solutions you need at an affordable monthly price. You can easily add and upgrade as your business grows.

With flexible plans and add-ons, you’ll always be able to find a solution that fits your situation — even if your needs are constantly evolving.


Find out more about the solutions in this section

For wherever your small business is headed

Your business needs are different at different stages. Technology like Zoom will be your trusted communications partner through all of them.


With more than half a million organizations of all sizes choosing Zoom, you’ll get the same “big business” benefits as a global enterprise with the flexibility your small business needs. See how we can support your most critical communications at every point in your journey.