How Technology is Empowering Colorado Small Businesses
With the right mix of products and services, SMBs can work like the big guys
Small businesses represent 97 percent of all businesses in Colorado, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. And although the needs of those small businesses are unique, from a technology standpoint they are not radically different from large enterprises. SMBs need connectivity that enables more functionality for employees and clients; they need mobile solutions so business can be conducted at any time from any location; and they need access to cloud-based solutions to allow for work to be accomplished in real time.
However, SMBs require an individualized approach to the delivery of service and product offerings, based on unique factors and conditions. With limited resources, solutions must be easy to implement, cost effective and flexible to scale with company growth. Smaller businesses lack the time and staff required to manage complex technology and to provide necessary ongoing care.
Technology solutions designed specifically for the needs of small businesses are engineered to enable maximum impact and efficiency. Whether solutions are plug-and-play or bundled offerings, here are just a few ways technology, and how it’s delivered, improves the ability of small businesses in Colorado to thrive.
Today, connectivity to the internet drives so much of how a business runs. Higher broadband speeds enable more functionality – from home-based Wi-Fi services enabling seamless e-commerce for entrepreneurs, to advanced phone services like hosted VoIP and cloud-based file sharing for the 10-person creative agency that’s constantly on the move.
Small businesses benefit the most when they can bundle internet with other solutions such as phone services or Microsoft Office 365. Often these collections of services are available at a similar price point as standalone offerings, and can include additional functionality such as security or backup solutions that businesses may not normally seek out, but absolutely need.
One way to ensure your business gets the connectivity it needs is to look for a building that is already fiber-enabled. CenturyLink alone currently offers fiber-ready broadband connections at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) in more than 2,700 multi-tenant office buildings throughout Colorado.
Overall, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to service options, but businesses now have the ability to customize their speeds and services to their needs and budget.
Small businesses, by nature, must be flexible, and mobile technology can dramatically enhance that flexibility. Plus, it helps improve customer service, productivity and work-life benefits for staff. Increased mobility also enables professionals to visit client sites and provide their full range of services there, rather than having to work in their own offices, anchored to desktops. This flexibility can help increase workload capacity and, in turn, drive productivity. Investing in mobility tools, ranging from cloud document storage to a communications platform that makes it easier to stay connected on the go, can have an extremely positive impact on workflow.
Businesses must prepare for a more complex future with multi-channel and multi-device approaches, all while supporting cross-platform deployment. With the help of appropriate practices and systems, small businesses can ensure they minimize costs and maximize mobile efficiencies.
One thing to keep in mind: As your workforce relies on accessing business-critical information through mobile devices, security becomes even more critical. Therefore, it’s crucial to implement a system that provides strong security while enabling communication wherever and whenever your team needs it, particularly given the rise of remote workers.
Cost savings and mobility are key drivers behind small businesses’ transition to the cloud, and an organization’s willingness to adopt cloud-based technology solutions can pave the road to more and faster growth.
Why should your small business consider migrating to the cloud? It reduces the need for physical storage onsite and associated costs like space rental and the support staff that come with it. The cloud environment typically reduces costs to an operating expenditure, usually most manageable from a cost standpoint for small businesses.
You can also avoid implementation and upgrade hassles. With cloud technology businesses can roll out new applications quickly and seamlessly, and staff can focus on more value-added services and collaboration rather than working to keep their tech up and running. Employees can reap the benefits of collaboration – the ability to share ideas, leverage resources and expand even the smallest company far beyond traditional barriers. Plus, new employees can be onboarded with ease.
If you are fortunate enough to be a growing business, the cloud can help ensure your technology investments grow with you. You can quickly expand as much as needed, and you only pay for what you are using at any given time. Seasonal fluctuation issues become a thing of the past, as you are able to bump up or scale back capacity as you go.
Finally, small businesses often prioritize backing up files, so cloud storage services like data recovery and backup capabilities prove especially attractive.
With the right mix of products and services, small businesses can reap the rewards of increased efficiency, greater productivity and peace of mind – along with significant cost savings that enable future growth.