Many companies are utilizing cloud-based communication solutions to augment their digital transformation. However, small businesses tend to stick with traditional communication methods such as legacy telephones, face-to-face conferencing or print media because they are comfortable and familiar. According to Salesforces’s 2016 Connected Small Business Report, 35% of small businesses say they simply don’t have enough time in the day; so, often, going through the time-intensive process of implementing new communication methods falls to the bottom of the priority list. As a result, many of these business owners stick to outdated and expensive communication technology, claiming, “it’s just the cost of doing business.” In so doing, they overlook the potential of cloud-based communication to cut costs and improve overall business efficiency. To streamline communication — which has a direct impact on the bottom line — small business owners need to adjust their “cost of doing business” mentality.
Making Do Without IT
The 2016 Connected Small Business Report highlights that 83% of small businesses don’t have a dedicated IT team. Trying to justify hiring more employees on a tight budget is a tough and stressful situation. Luckily, with new network and communications technology emerging, like cloud phones and unified communications (UC) solutions, small businesses can reap the benefits of easy-to-use, feature-rich cloud services without having to hire an entire team of IT professionals. Many cloud solutions are built for the end-user, meaning interfaces and navigating applications are simple to learn. One of the major benefits of cloud-based applications is how easy they are to deploy and maintain.
Small Businesses Spend Big on Legacy Communication Tech
Despite the promise of cloud-based solutions, many small businesses are slow to adopt them. The 2016 Connected Small Business Report finds that small businesses are allocating more than half of their budgets to legacy mobile solutions, telecommunications or Internet hosting. In many cases, they are paying different vendors for each, separately. On the other hand, the report also emphasizes that only 6% of small businesses are using cloud-based services. The report goes on to state that “while the majority of small business owners (62%) say they trust the cloud, fewer are actually using cloud-based technology services to their full potential.” By aggregating network and communications technology services that leverage the cloud, small businesses can significantly reduce costs. For example, many cloud phone systems come prepackaged with email, chat and calendars. Instead of using four different systems, businesses can pay for one service and receive a variety of features that streamline communication.
Leveraging a Third-Party UC Resource
A major factor preventing small businesses from shifting to cloud solutions is the lack of UC resources. Without an expert-level resource, navigating UC investments can be daunting. It’s important to choose the right solution suite based solely on its ability to solve real-world business problems, and by trying to go it alone, many businesses get cornered into sub-optimal contracts. This makes third-party resources, like Select Communications, invaluable because they can offer unbiased, vendor-agnostic insight into cloud-based communications. With the right consultation on a wide array of UC technology, small businesses can knit together the best solutions to address their specific business needs, while dramatically reducing the overall “cost of doing business.”
Want to see real-world examples of the benefits a third-party UC resource can provide? Explore how this small marketing company reduced their UC bill by half.