Cloud Telephony

Small Business Growing Pains: 5 Ways Cloud Communications Can Help

If your business is growing, you know that growth requires continual expansion, including more employees, and more office space. But growth can also require more sophisticated technology. For many small businesses trying to expand, their communications system becomes a stumbling block.

Here are five hurdles that owners of expanding businesses often face, and how cloud communications can help overcome them.

Problem #1: Business inefficiencies and productivity challenges

Solution: Cloud communications has made state-of-the-art features like extension dialing, auto attendant, email notification of voicemail, mobile apps, and corporate directories affordable even for very small businesses. More than just a convenience, these advanced features can have a dramatic and very positive impact on employee productivity and workflow efficiency.

For example, modern-day cloud communications integrate seamlessly with CRM and productivity tools, such as NetSuite, Salesforce, Zendesk, Outlook and more—making your team more efficient. With cloud communications, you’ll pay less for better phone service, and the rich new features will help you do more business.

Problem #2: Lack of flexibility for mobile and remote workers

Solution: Cloud communications can give mobile and remote workers access to the same phone service and features available in the office. Not only does this maximize their productivity, it also allows your business to present a unified, professional front to the world. With cloud communications, employees can easily work remotely while traveling or from home whenever the need arises.

They can also access your communications system using a variety of devices: laptop, tablet or smartphone. For many small and medium businesses, enabling employees to work anywhere, anytime lets them use all available talent. And if the office loses power or a storm strikes, it means that business can go on as usual.

Problem #3: Inadequate call coverage

Solution: Keeping the phones covered as your business grows can be a challenge. Adding more headcount just to cover phones is often impractical. Cloud communications offers a more streamlined way to handle incoming calls, with features like auto attendant and call routing to the appropriate employee or department. Some cloud communications solutions even provide more advanced capabilities that let companies manage their own call centres for sales operations or customer service.

An auto attendant also provides 24-hour call coverage, so that every incoming call is handled professionally. Callers to your main number hear a recorded menu of routing options, such as: “For sales, press 1; for the company directory, press 2, etc.” By pressing a key, callers can effectively route themselves to the right department or person, saving their time and your money.

Problem #4: Costs associated with the expansion of offices and traditional telephony systems

Solution: The cost of expansion goes down considerably with cloud communications compared to traditional telephone systems. The main financial advantage is that cloud communications scale easily. Based on your business needs, lines can be added or removed quickly.

"When we moved our offices, the idea of having to ‘start over’ with a new phone system was overwhelming, but the next morning, our phones arrived. We were ‘up and operating’ in a few minutes, and the ease and ability of customising our preferences online was unbelievable." — Dave Spetrino, President of Plantation Building Corp.

Problem #5: Worries over downtime during relocation to a larger office

Solution: The flexibility and mobility of cloud communications allow for easy relocation when more space is required. All you have to do is order and activate your new phones, which is much easier than installing new phone lines or upgrading PBX hardware.

And if their desktop phones aren’t available, your employees can still access cloud communications through their laptops, tablets and smartphones without missing a beat. Downtime is no longer an issue when you have this kind of flexibility. 

Overcome Small Business Growing Pains

Switching to cloud communications is easy, efficient, and cost-effective for your growing business. And by solving these 5 problems, it could be the catalyst that takes your growth to the next level!

Adapted from an eGuide originally published by 8x8.

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