Did you know that the average annual cost for a full-time receptionist can be $30,000-$40,000 or more when you factor in benefits? Even a part-time receptionist, which many SMBs need because a single person can’t man the phones every second of the business day, can run you $10,000 or more a year.

Compare those costs with virtual reception service from EasyBee, which costs between $700 and $2,400 a year for any of our regular plans. What could your business do with a savings of $9,000 to $39,000 a year? Here are seven ways you might reinvest the savings.

1. Create a new product or service

Invest the savings in research and development, inventory, or machinery required to offer a new product or service. Expansion is a great way to grow your business and increase future revenues.

2. Put it away for lean times

Keep the money you save by using an answering service to cover expenses and payroll when cash flow isn’t as healthy. This is an especially wise tactic for seasonal businesses, which rely on excess cash flow in certain months to carry them through the entire year.

3. Invest in training

Splurge for some classes, workshops or certifications for yourself or your staff. Knowledge is power, and in the business world, it can often lead to better efficiencies and higher revenues. Covering some or all of staff education expenses also makes you a more competitive employer, letting you hire better quality applicants.

4. Offer some stellar staff rewards

Increase staff morale by hosting contests or rewarding high performers with more than a pat on the back or a free lunch. Send top sales people or field techs on a paid vacation or hold competitions for valuable prizes such as tablets or televisions. Remember to check with legal and accounting pros about how such prizes might impact your payroll requirements, though.

5. Share the savings with existing employees

If you saw big savings after switching to a virtual reception service, consider sharing some with your staff. It might be a good time to give everyone a small percentage pay increase or provide a bonus to loyal employees.

6. Upgrade equipment or location

Use the savings to cover the lease cost of a better location, which can drive more foot traffic. If you’d like to stay put, consider whether the location needs a remodel or paint job or whether equipment, such as printers, computers or copy machines, needs replacing.

7. Generate new clients and grow your business

Finally, you can use any savings you get from working with a virtual reception service by investing in marketing and branding efforts. With a quality answering service supporting you, you can afford to have the phone lines ringing even more.