Running a small business is not easy. I know. I’m not just an employee; I’m also a small business owner.
As a small business owner, I know that there never is enough time. What could be done to improve the business is not limited to my imagination; it is limited by the time I have to implement my great ideas. Because if there is one thing that just about all small businesses share, it is a lack of time.
Choosing the right tasks to focus on is crucial for many small businesses, as a result. So coming into 2014, a good question to ask is what adjustments can deliver the largest return for my business? What’s most important?
While your answer probably will be unique to your business, there are at least three technologies that every small business should consider in 2014 when they approach that question of what to focus on. There are bleeding edge technologies that are cool but unproven. There are nice technologies that help a little bit. Then there are emerging technologies that are both proven and powerful, and, most importantly for the small business, easy to implement.
So going into 2014, here are three technologies that every small business should consider this year.
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First, there’s voice-over-IP (VoIP). The days of the traditional business phone system are almost past. It just doesn’t make economic or business sense to still have a landline in an office given the smartphones in our pockets and the mobility that the Internet has given businesses of all sizes.
The solution is VoIP. It delivers a higher call quality than existing phones but comes at a greatly reduced price point because it travels over the Internet to reach its destination (but unlike Skype (News - Alert), it connects with regular phones, not just others who use VoIP). It also can be routed to the office, home, a cell phone, or both at once, and gives a number of features that traditional phones don’t have.
The second technology small businesses should adopt in 2014 is fax-over-IP (FoIP). Much like VoIP, FoIP technology is fax gone digital. What digital fax delivers is the ability to route faxes automatically to an intended recipient, capture and analyze faxes based on the text they contain, and both send and receive faxes no matter where the worker is located. With devices such as AudioCodes’ (News - Alert) fax ATA solution, small businesses don’t even need to buy new fax equipment.
The third technology small businesses must adopt if they are not using it already is cloud storage. We’re talking Dropbox (News - Alert), Google Drive or a cloud storage solution that is developed for business.
The reason cloud storage is so essential in 2014 is that it protects the digital data of a business better than homegrown or on-premise solutions that are subject to configuration errors, hardware errors and natural disaster. Data is just safer. At the same time, cloud storage also delivers mobility and search in a way that on-premise solutions find hard to match.
There are many adjustments small business owners can make to improve their business. But these three are both easy and will make a noticeable difference.