Small businesses are booming. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the number of small US businesses has risen by 49% since 1982. In fact, the 28 million currently in operation account for over half of all sales in the United States.That said, every single one had to start somewhere and work through the early teething challenges to establish itself and achieve growth. In fact, many SMEs are still fighting that battle every day - working to improve productivity and profitability, reduce costs and bring their own offering to the market.
Growth can be achieved in many ways, but in the modern age there are some proven methods for taking your small business to the next level.
Embrace the future
Almost every aspect of the business operations have been in some way impacted by the advent of digital technology and the internet, from the way you market you business to the business phone systems your employees use to communicate with each other and with customers. When it comes time to prepare your business for growth, it pays to keep an eye on the most modern innovations.
According to Deloitte research, an organisation's willingness to adopt cloud-based technology solutions can have a significant impact on growth. A survey carried out by the research firm found that SMEs using a higher than average number of cloud services became 21 per cent more profitable than those that didn't, and grew 26 per cent faster.
Much of this growth can likely be attributed to the greater freedom and productivity offered by faster, more reliable internet infrastructure, and the proliferation of smart devices that can access cloud services. Recent figures from the Pew Research Center show that Australia has the second-highest rate of smartphone ownership in the world, with 77 per cent of citizens having at least one of the devices.
Give your hardware a refresh
While the advent of the cloud has allowed many to take their work out of the office environment, many businesses still require some type of brick and mortar location to operate efficiently. Therefore, making sure you and your employees have the best equipment to get the job done is as important now as ever.
Nowadays it's possible to keep one foot on both sides of the digital divide, with the familiarity and reliability of a modern VoIP phone. This allows you to keep all the features you would expect out of a traditional office phone, but also taps into the best call quality and features the 21st century while saving some cash.
Don't want to spend money on buying or renting a traditional fax machine? Invest in electronic fax. Want to keep costs down on extra headcount? Go with a total cloud VoIP solution with complete installation to replace the hardware and need for a dedicated telecom employee. Chartering a private plane to chauffeur employees to meetings elsewhere not in your budget? Invest in video conferencing that supports large groups with crystal clear video and audio. Replacing your tired old communication devices now can be a terrific first step into the future.
Make sure you can handle the growth
There's possibly nothing worse for a business than needing to grow, but not having systems that are prepared to handle it. The beauty of cloud-based software such as a hosted phone system is that it is incredibly easy to scale up your service if and when you need to.
Much of the hardware requirements are handled by your provider, meaning adding more users or additional services is usually just a matter of adjusting your subscription plan. Gone are the days when your organisation would need to add its own IT infrastructure just to accommodate its growth. With a scalable solution in place, you can take the guesswork out of your future capacity needs.
To increase your ability to be a growing business, it makes sense to become a modern business. Check out our FREE eBook: A Look Into the Future: The Top 3 Predictions for the Future of Business Communications.