Are you experiencing technology pain points with your small business’ current technology setup, or worse yet, completely lack a technology setup altogether? Many small companies proclaim they do not have the time, resources or finances to correct these issues, so they “deal” with them as part of their day-to-day course of business.
The great big elephant in the room is that in many cases, these issues are what are CAUSING the lack of time and finances. These so-called “pain points” in your ability to smoothly run your business are doing just what the name insinuates… causing your business pain in some way, shape or form.
Below we address several common technology-related pain points for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as some very effective solutions to combat them.
We’ve all been there at one time or another. You go to pull a file for Mr. & Mrs. Smith that hasn’t been touched in 3 years and lo and behold, IT’S GONE! You search your entire desk, personal filing cabinet, the storage closet, your assistant’s desk, the back seat of your car, under the cushion on your couch, but it’s nowhere to be found. You are having a meltdown because the file contains all of their confidential information and the consequences of it falling into the wrong hands could be quite damaging. But what if that hypothetical physical file disappeared into the cloud and became accessible at the click of a button? Does this scenario sound incredibly exciting, but when you think about the thousands of files that span more than two decades, it’s just too overwhelming to think about?
Consider enlisting the services of a company that provides a document management solution. These companies provide technology that combines file scanning and state-of-the-art software to digitally organize, store and back-up all of your important hard files. In layman’s terms, they will save your business time (no more searching for hours for that lost file of Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and money (they provide secure access for your business’ confidential information and avoid untold amounts of money in fines and legal fees associated with jeopardizing that information). While there is a cost associated with these services, the provider typically incurs the labor costs associated with scanning and organizing the files.
While I.T. for Dummies or Google may provide answers to some of your basic IT questions, there are many circumstances that arise that require an expert, such as damaging viruses, malware or fatal errors, just to name a few. Because most small businesses cannot afford to keep an IT professional on staff, they find themselves “winging” it with regard to these types of issues and jeopardize their critical data that could cause irreversible financial damage to their business.
Outsource your IT needs with a company that hires people who actually went to school for this stuff! For a reasonable monthly fee that is far less than the cost of hiring a full-time employee, these services provide an IT expert that will be at your beck and call for whatever issue arises. The extent of their services can vary greatly from simple help desk support to network monitoring, but there will most definitely be peace of mind in the knowledge that a cure for your virus is just a phone call away. While there is an additional cost for these services, ultimately you will save yourself valuable time that will allow you to focus on growing your business, and in the end, provide you with more money in your pocket.
Despite popular belief, office phone systems are not a thing of the past. Some individuals prefer to keep their work and personal lives separate, thus avoiding the use of their mobile device during working hours. And then there are others who are just inclined to try contacting someone on their office phone first to avoid that potentially embarrassing “wrong place, wrong time” scenario that will forever be associated with them. That being said, the convenience of mobile devices has probably meant that you have ignored your current, outdated phone system. What you may or may not realize is that some of the more common issues with older phone systems could be costing your business money and lost revenue.
With growing and expanding small businesses, additional offices and locations are sometimes needed which can pose a problem with an outdated analog phone system. In some cases, transferring a customer call from one location to another is not possible. The customer must hang up and personally call the other location causing a customer service nightmare. In other cases, the limitations of old systems to be able to incorporate new technology can push a customer to your competitor who currently offers these additional services. These types of situations, coupled with the expense of a traditional phone bill, may be pain points that you didn’t even know you had. But you know now!
A Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network solution uses the internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls and enables you to have access to more functionality than just the traditional three-way calling and caller ID. Video chat, instant messaging, presence, voicemail to email, call recording, and call analytics are all features available with VoIP that enhance productivity and customer service. These systems also provide valuable reporting tools that are not available with traditional phone systems. Couple these capabilities with the potential to save up to 70% on your phone bill each and every month and we would most definitely say… I can hear you now.