Financing Your Small Businesses Needs
Inevitably most small businesses will encounter financing hardships, and this can come down to expensive business operations and perhaps the reliance on new infrastructure requirements. Researching how to finance your business will often give you the same answer over and over again, but I am here to offer you a new perspective, a solution that will without a doubt cut costs significantly; I am no financial expert adviser, however I do possess over 30 years experience managing and owning small businesses.
9 out of 10 conversations I have with people comes down to the fact that communication is the most important and most expensive thing a business utilises. People will often come to me to talk about how the phone system they bought has the same features as the old one, and it cost too much money. The thing is, small businesses need to grow, they need to innovate, and they need to save costs. The challenge is, how does a business advance while saving costs?
There are three obvious factors that need to be addressed, growth, innovation and savings!
Growth and running a successful business go hand in hand, generally speaking, a business will hire more employees to keep up with demand, and require more advanced communications. When growth occurs, management will normally have a couple of choices – at this stage, management will need to ask themselves, whose agenda is it anyway? Time and time again I hear stories about how a business purchased a new phone system, but all it brought to the business was the same features as the old one they had, and capacity for a few more users. This is something that would only hinder growth and financing. With this challenge, business owners need to ask themselves:
- how much can my business save;
- is what I am buying any different from the last; and,
- how far can I go with this new system?
Talking solutions. When buying a phone system for example, you want something that can give your business scalability, making availability for new users easy. Not all systems not the market today offer scalability, but a few do, in the event that your have twice as much employees as you did before, you can combine another new phone system unit onto the existing one. Here, your business is not having to replace its phone system, and in the long term this will save your business thousands of dollars. Seeking professional consultation about where your business is now, and where you anticipate your business is going can significantly reduce long term financial hardship.
Perhaps growth is not a key component that intertwines with a business challenge you have in mind. A lot of business owners, such as myself, want to make the most of the resources at the moment. Improving performance of employees and business processes can save a small business money when it comes to labour and having to hire more employees, and this comes under innovation. Phone systems today are vastly different from what they were 5 years ago; while some of the hardware may not have changed, the software has.
Avaya has developed a phone system where one size fits all, and does all. The IP 500 v2, or IP Office, small businesses still have a phone system they can depend on, while employees have software that can take them further. There are several applications that allow employees to take calls outside of the office via their office number; furthermore, this phone system enables communication applications to integrate with Microsoft, Salesforce and Google Apps.
If we combine scalability without expansion, and innovation that allows for better performance and efficiency, we see quite transparently there are smart savings. Additionally, businesses could also consider VoIP to reduce data costs, video conferencing to reduce travel and so on, but at the biggest concern with this all is initial cost. This segment has focused more on small businesses and their long term costs, and challenges that they are likely to encounter – it is my firm recommendation that if your business is likely to encounter growth and wants significant savings, then ask yourself if the phone system you want to purchase has the potential to save your business in the long run, is different from the last, and is flexible and adaptable compared to your last.