Future-proof communication solutions for SMEs
The business world moves at a fast pace and for SMEs with tighter budgets and less resources than their larger counterparts, the speed of change can feel overwhelming and intimidating at times. However, with the increased need for flexibility and efficiency in regard to both the modern workforce and customer satisfaction, now is the time to ensure your small business is communicating as effectively as possible and gaining the competitive edge in a saturated market.
With this in mind, our tech experts have taken a look at a selection of future-proof communication solutions that are ideal for smaller businesses in terms of cost, reliability and scalability.
Switch over to VoIP
With the ISDN switch off taking place in the not-too-distant future, a VoIP system (Voice over Internet Protocol) really is the smart option for SMEs wanting to move to the next generation of business phone. Results from a recent survey of over 350 UK SMEs has shown that while 31% of small businesses are using landlines and 13% are relying on mobile phones, 57% are heavily considering moving over to a VoIP phone system. When asked why they were tempted to make the switch to VoIP, businesses stated that the lower cost, additional features and the ability to grow as they grow were the main reasons.
VoIP can truly allow smaller businesses to adopt a more flexible and remote way of working by allowing staff to work from any location, at any time without compromising the level of effective communication. VoIP also excels at the ability to scale up or down and can actually make a smaller organisation appear larger with features such as a virtual receptionist that ensures all calls are directed to the correct person. Plus, without the need for ISDN phone lines, expensive hardware, specialised engineers or on-site PBX systems, small businesses will see real savings with local calls typically seeing a 90% reduction in cost, and international calls seeing a saving of 40%.
Invest in fast, reliable broadband
If your business is the rocket, then fast and reliable broadband is the fuel that will launch it into the stratosphere! With faster broadband, small businesses can be more responsive to customers and increase their overall productivity and efficiency. Faster broadband also allows for a more flexible approach to working, which is ideal for those staff members that work from home or across multiple sites. With access to the company network via a VPN (Virtual Private Network), continuity of work is never an issue and in the long term, creates greater employee satisfaction, decreased travel and a reduction in costs. With fibre broadband, not only will small businesses experience a more resilient and reliable internet connection, they can also take advantage of VoIP systems and other hosted phone systems, without having to invest in costly, dedicated connectivity.
Collaborative working is also improved with faster broadband, by allowing instant access to shared digital workspaces and both the sharing and gathering of information becoming that much more efficient. Video conferencing tools, such as Skype and Zoom, can be used more effectively due to stronger and faster connection speeds, thus making it easier for people to work remotely and reducing the reliance on face-to-face meetings.
Make the move to the Cloud
From tech start-ups to independent retailers, more and more small businesses are moving over to the cloud – and with good reason. With real savings to be made, better collaboration, increased flexibility and greater integration, cloud systems offer small businesses the opportunity to redefine the way they do things. The simplified scalability of moving to the cloud means SMEs can pay for cloud services as they need them, thus removing the need to anticipate future growth and potentially paying for resources that they don’t need. This can be particularly useful for seasonal businesses whose needs change throughout the year.
With a large number of small businesses already recognising that the cloud provides an opportunity to refresh and improve upon existing procedures, embracing a move to the cloud now will create a better way of working for the future.
To discuss how we can help you to ensure your business is future ready, please call a member of our expert team today on 03333603723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org