With a recent survey revealing that ‘managing growth and change’ is the second biggest concern for SMEs, it’s clear that, while this issue is top of the agenda for smaller businesses, many have concerns about making it happen.
And it’s hardly surprising. From securing funding to practical measures like finding new premises, a lot of complicated strategising goes into growing a business, and SMEs can have limited resource to achieve this with. As a result, they often need to find ways to do more with less. But this shouldn’t be a case of trying to overstretch staff – a better approach is to address the tools available to work with, like their communications platforms.
Hosted telecoms are one solution that can be invaluable for businesses looking to grow. Here’s why:
Small, growing businesses need to always be available to their customers, whether via mobile, landline or desktop. That’s why many SMEs are increasingly relying on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for the reliability it offers. In comparison to traditional phone lines, VoIP is less open to network breakdowns, meaning it’s a solution business can really depend on.
But VoIP (not to mention an increasing array of other critical business platforms) can only work effectively with robust data services in place to back it up. Which means a hosted voice and data solution from a single supplier could be the most reliable solution for your business – and with a single SLA in place, problems can be resolved quickly should anything go wrong.
SMEs have a lot to juggle. Marketing, chasing clients, sealing deals, providing great service – and all with limited time and budget. When you add implementing a growth strategy into the mix, resources can be seriously drained. That’s why SMEs need telecoms solutions that are easy to manage and simple to maintain, leaving staff free to focus on other business priorities. This is exactly what hosted telecoms can provide. Only dealing with one provider (and one SLA) for various services is simpler and less time consuming.
A hosted service can also help to reduce costs, and not just by removing expensive, inefficient legacy infrastructure. Working with a single provider means reducing the cost of managing separate networks, helping your business to make valuable savings that can be reinvested elsewhere.
Flexibility is one of the key advantages smaller businesses hold over their larger competitors – and maintaining this agility is vital to growth. To expand, SMEs need to be able to adapt quickly. Hosted telecoms can help with this on several fronts, such as supporting a mobile workforce. Smaller teams often can’t afford to be glued to their desks, so you may need hosted telecoms your staff can access from anywhere.
A hosted service is also flexible enough to scale as needed. Investing in more infrastructure is often vital for growth, but when budgets are tight, it can be difficult to commit – especially if you only want to trial the extra capacity, or just need it for a limited busy period. A hosted package can be scaled up and down in response to your needs. Meaning, whichever way the wind blows for your business, you can increase your capacity or reduce your spending as needed.
Expanding your business carries an inherent risk, so managing growth and change will always be a business concern for SMEs. But while growth brings challenges in its wake, hosted telecoms is one way of making business operations smoother and simpler, so it’s worth exploring this as part of your expansion strategy. With the time and money saved from working with a single supplier, not to mention the improved reliability and flexibility of the service, SMEs could see a real difference in their business performance – making growth less of a concern, and more of an exciting opportunity to be chased.