The business world has changed dramatically in recent years, with copiers and fax machines sitting idle while mobile devices take center stage. Whether a business owner is working alone from home or starting a small business in an office suite, there are a few devices that are required to run operations each day. These devices can keep workers connected wherever they are, provide easy printing throughout the office.
Devices Small Business Needs
1. Hybrid Laptop
As much as we’ve heard about the prevalence of tablets in business today, there are some things that still require a laptop. Yet when
you’re on the road, it’s helpful to have access to all of your files and applications. A hybrid laptop with a removable screen offers businesses the best of both worlds.
When workers need the power of a full keyboard, the laptop can be set up to operate in traditional mode. But the monitor can be removed to take on the road, operating as a full tablet. The challenge is in finding a hybrid that has both a tablet that’s light and portable and a laptop that’s sturdy and high performing.
Businesses owners should test out the keyboard and try the detachable monitor before making a final decision. A webcam is also a “must,” since many small businesses are regularly required to use videoconferencing to communicate with clients.
Some experts say a landline is still necessary for a business, but many others have found that they can operate completely from smartphones. This is especially true when those smartphones are combined with the power of a cloud-based phone system.
The one major caveat with a cell phone-based business is that these phones can be subject to occasional outages, especially when connected to less reliable networks. If you plan to operate your business from a smartphone, invest in a highly-reviewed phone on a top cellular network.
Then splurge for a cloud-based solution that gives the full menu and directory options found at a landline-based business. Solutions like My Receptionist provide a live attendant who can answer calls, provide basic information, and direct calls to employee smartphones based on a business’s instructions.
Printing, copying, and faxing may have diminished, but businesses still need the ability to at least occasionally do all three. Additionally, document scanning is more important than ever in a world that still includes paper files.
A multi-function printer (MFP) combines all of these features into one device, saving money on maintenance and electricity while also consuming less office space. Businesses should search for an MFP with wireless and mobile-to-printer technology included to ensure compatibility well into the future.
When coupled with the latest cloud technology, these three devices should be sufficient to run any small business as it grows. All three can be sourced affordably and workers can also be encouraged to use their own devices to further save money. If this is the option a business chooses, mobile and wireless print capabilities will be more important than ever.
Article by Kirill Bensonoff, principal at ComputerSupport, a managed services firm that provides IT support to businesses of all sizes.