Small businesses are busy, businesses. While usually light on staff, small firms must at the same time compete with much larger companies—especially on the global stage.
Technology and the efficiencies it can bring therefore play an important role in the operations of many small firms. And a new study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority bears that out.
“The connected SME uses a combination of communications services in its daily business, and engages in the digital economy via a broadband internet connection,” the report notes.
“Internet connectivity has facilitated growth in customer demand for the products and services of SMEs outside the normal geographically confined marketplace. The digital economy is enabling SMEs to engage with both national and global markets.”
The study also found that the average small business uses two devices online each day, and half of all those surveyed performed seven or more types of activity online.
Roughly 18 percent have developed mobile-optimized websites, 26 percent use social networking channels for marketing, 39 percent promote a flexible workforce by allowing staff to telecommute, and almost half use cloud services.
One technology can help smaller firms compete with larger competitors is mobile VoIP services.
Mobile VoIP enables employees at companies of any size to take the office with them when they telecommute or work from outside the office, starting the day with calls at the office, continuing the day’s calls while on the go from a smartphone, and ending the business day from a home office.
For the small business, however, mobile VoIP is even more crucial because it can ill afford to miss client calls or appear unreachable, even if the business is run by only a handful of people. With mobile VoIP, no call need go missed since the business phone can follow the employee throughout a day.
Mobile VoIP also helps a business project large by delivering a comparable calling experience as that at big firms, even if the small business does not have the resources.
VoIP in general also saves money, as it often delivers a flat rate for domestic calling and cheaper rates for international calls. With added features usually far beyond what is offered with standard non-VoIP solutions, including call hunting and interactive voice response, businesses also save by not needing to pay for as many service add-ons.
For these reasons, mobile VoIP is a particularly important technology for small firms.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi