Despitewhat many pundits will say, it can be challenging to be a small business. Many small companies deal with limited resources while having to work extremely hard to attract and retain customers, maintain margins and keep costs under control all while competing against both peers and larger companies. There’s constant pressure to improve sales, enhance service delivery and reduce costs. Growing the business? Well, the challenges are many.
There are some solid options for small businesses who want and need to grow, and you have the opportunity to provide one of those extremely helpful solutions: cloud communications.
The Role of Voice Communications
Trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) can make integration with multiple mobile device and platforms critical.
Regardless of size, just about every company relies heavily on voice communications. From customer support and inbound and outbound sales calls, to ordering supplies and having conference calls, voice communications play a critical role in how business is conducted.
While a small company’s phone needs may be quite simple early on, those needs grow and can become more complex. It’s not just a matter of needing more advanced features and functions. Trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) can make integration with multiple mobile device and platforms critical. Things such as service disruptions can cause lost sales and a damaged reputation that can spin a small business into a crisis.
The Disadvantages of Traditional Systems
Voice communications are critical to small businesses, but phone systems to enable those communications aren’t cheap. Buying a new one is a major investment, and represents a sizable capital expense.
Traditional on-premise systems also aren’t easily scalable. When purchasing a new system, growing businesses run the risk of over specifying and paying too much for capabilities that may be needed down the road, or under specifying and outgrowing what was purchased far too quickly.
Small businesses also don’t typically have the in-house technical staff to research, install and maintain advanced phone systems. Even flexible systems marketed as “user-unfriendly” or anything but for employees whose jobs have nothing to do with sorting out programming and menu options.
Reduce the need for IT support. Because your customers purchase cloud communications from you as a service billed on a monthly basis, there is no hardware and software to buy, install and manage, backup and fix. As such, there’s no need to hire IT professionals or consultants to install or maintain the system. You, or the service provider for whom you’re reselling the service, handle that.
Reduce capital expenses. Because your customers are purchasing a service instead of hardware and software, capital expenses are replaced by predictable monthly operating expenses. This makes it more affordable, especially when budgets are tight.
Align costs to actual usage. Cloud communications are provided on a “pay as you use” basis so if a company’s headcount increases, it can easily support more people. But if the count falls, the company doesn’t have to pay for unneeded equipment and software. Likewise, small businesses don’t have to pay for capacity and features they may need only during peak periods, and companies in high-growth mode can spin-up capabilities to support their business imperatives.
Increase productivity. With cloud communications,productivity increases. For example, calls can be routed to employees in any location, providing they have a working phone and a computer with an internet connection. This makes it very easy to support employees that travel, and flexible work schedules. Some systems also work with mobile devices, supporting the BYOD trend.
Support multiple locations. The inherent flexibility in cloud communications systems make it easier to work from multiple, geographically disparate locations, a well as to move offices without disrupting customer service.
Improved reliability. Traditional on-premise phone systems are at risk for downtime due to hardware and software problems, natural disasters as well as “man-made disasters” such as power line cuts and theft. Cloud communications are more resistant to these kinds of incidents by virtue of being in the “cloud.” Most services are also backed by guarantees for high level reliability and availability.
Finally, there are all the benefits that come with outsourcing, including access to efficiencies of scale and technical expertise, that typically aren’t available to small companies. This levels the playing field for small businesses competing against larger companies because they have access to the same advanced voice communications as their larger counterparts.
What’s In It For You?
Providing your small business customers with cloud communications services isn’t just a way of supporting their business growth. There are significant benefits for your organization as well. Because you provide the service “as a service,” you get the benefit of recurring revenue. Find out morehere.