As a small business owner, you’ve certainly incorporated new technology and digital solutions into your day-to-day operations – applications and systems that have resulted in savings, valuable time, and helped you improve your business. But if you’re like most businesses, there is one essential operation where you still lag in adopting the latest technology – online faxing.
Contrary to what you think, more and more businesses are retiring their traditional fax machines and opting for cloud-based, paperless faxing services. Online faxing requires no on-site equipment or hardware, is easy to use as email, enhances the security and regulatory compliance of your business faxes, and can save you a lot of money over your current fax infrastructure.
If you’re thinking of transitioning from traditional fax to online faxing that integrates perfectly with your business needs, you’re not alone. Over 80% of businesses across various market segments still use fax in one way or the other. In this guide, we provide some insights into helping your small business transition to online fax smoothly.
Why Make the Switch?
Faxing is a tool that small businesses in sectors like financing, real estate, insurance, law, healthcare, and agencies rely on to transmit confidential documents, legally binding paperwork, and other documents while conforming with established processes and a wide range of different reasons. However, as more people move to convenient technologies with instant results, standing over a physical fax machine seems less and less appealing to those who fax.
So, if you’re still wondering whether to switch or not, you should know that online faxing has been around for some time now. And it’s easier more than ever to find reliable service providers who provide robust cloud-faxing applications that can meet all your needs. Switching to online faxing comes with several benefits, as highlighted below.
- Significantly lowers the total cost of ownership for businesses.
- It can enhance your document security.
- Offers easy porting of existing business fax numbers.
- Easily scalable to fit your small business needs.
- It can work seamlessly with your multi-function devices.
- As easy to use as email.
- Enterprise-level solutions at small business prices.
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What do you Need to Transition and How to do it?
“To transition to online faxing, you’ll need an internet connection, an email account, and a subscription to online fax service. With this setup, you can now easily send and receive incoming faxes from your customers or clients. You no longer need to own or maintain that physical fax machine in your office, fax servers, a special fax modem, or get additional software.” – as mentioned by eFax in one of their recent blog posts.
Regarding the number for your fax service, you can keep your existing number and port it into the online fax service once you’ve signed up. Make sure to ask the service provider whether they offer the porting service. You’ll also need a good quality document scanner so you can fax files easily online in a breeze.
When choosing a reliable online fax service, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind:
- How many pages of faxes do you intend to send and receive per month? This is critical, as most plans are based on the number of pages faxed and received. Determine this so you can choose the right plan for your small business.
- How many people will be using the online faxing service or accessing the account? The more people are accessing the account, the more features you may need, such as e-Signing, smartphone apps, and others, so you can make access convenient for everyone.
- What other features do they offer apart from sending and receiving faxes by email? Look out for features such as electronic signatures, online file sharing, enhanced security, free mobile apps, large file sharing, unlimited online storage, toll-free numbers, local phone numbers, multiple email accounts, address book, and fax search.
Planning for the Transition
Paper-saving technology like online faxing is a great investment when it’s executed properly. That’s why it’s vital for small businesses to devise a plan with scheduled targets and a clear objective. This will help them secure a steady transition from fax machines or servers to cloud-based fax services. Proper planning in advance ensures a smooth transition in a short time.
It’s crucial to conduct a simple training program where your staff can learn about the fundamentals of online faxing and how to use it correctly with the essential supporting tools and equipment, such as PCs, internet, and printers. This is critical so that everyone in your small business can understand why your business is transitioning.
Prioritize Your Goals
As soon as you’ve laid out the groundwork for the transition, specify which goals should be the top priority for all your workers. Organizing your goals by importance will help you achieve them with ease. This will also make the transition from traditional fax to online faxing more streamlined and easier for your small business to adapt to.
Consider that most people in your business are not accustomed to using cloud-based fax services. So, prioritize this task first. Allow your staff to understand all the basics required in the initial stages of the transition. This can either be done through training sessions or creating a comprehensive guidebook with useful information, such as sending and receiving faxes.
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Track Your Goals in the Transition Process
Once you have your priorities set, the next step is to create a daily, weekly, and monthly plan to see if your staff or team is developing an understanding of the new technology. By tracking the progress made in using cloud-faxing and productivity across your operations, you can identify problems when they arise and know how best to handle them.
Adjusting to new changes in a business setting can be challenging for businesses. But, transitioning to online faxing shouldn’t be much of a challenge. That’s because the technology is pretty much straightforward to use. So long as you’re tracking progress and reporting on changes, your small business is on the right path to enjoy the full benefits of cloud fax services.
Organize Your Small Business Space
As your small business welcomes digital paperless technology, you must take measured steps to ensure that the transition process doesn’t disrupt your workplace culture. For instance, you’ll want to ensure that the office organization is efficient. Encourage employees to get rid of crammed file cabinets and ensure proper coordination of cloud-based storage of all files.
As part of transitioning to paperless solutions like online faxing, consider choosing a cloud-based fax program that offers a document archiving and storage system with reliable data encryption to keep your old documents safe and well organized. A cloud fax service can store a vast range of both sent and received files that you can access from multiple devices.
Online Faxing Options for Your Small Business
As a small business owner, you know that daily operations can take up most of your working time. Sometimes, finding the time to sit in front of your computer to read emails can be a challenge. That means that even sending and receiving faxes via email can sometimes not be possible. Luckily, most online fax services provide other options to send and receive faxes.
Mobile apps, along with powerful online fax tools, make sending and receiving faxes as convenient as possible. You can use an online account provided by the service provider, a mobile app, an online fax messenger app, or your email on any device in a few easy steps. What matters most is understanding what options your cloud fax service offers.
Why Partnering with the Right Online Faxing Service Matters?
Partnering with the right cloud fax service effectively outsources all your faxing functions. It eliminates the need for upfront capital, on-going hardware support, and maintenance. If you look at your current fax functions, you should be in a position to determine whether your small business is benefiting in terms of capability, cost, and scalability.
The right online fax service should excel in these three areas. They should be able to deliver a reliable and scalable solution that suits your small business needs. Additionally, an in-depth training program is critical so that you and your staff can learn how to use the service. This ensures a smooth transition. On-going support is also vital, so you don’t get stuck when you need help.
Working with a reputable online fax provider gives you peace of mind. You can be sure that they have the right product and support knowledge to handle the transition effectively. This will enable your small business to continue providing a high level of service to your customers.
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As a business owner committed to excellent customer service and client relations. It’s crucial to ensure that mission-critical faxing is not interrupted. Especially, if you’re in business operations that deal with a lot of document sharing. Switching from traditional faxing to online fax is one of the best strategic decisions you can make when it comes to going paperless.
Of course, before you choose an online fax service, you’ll want to compare different providers. Check the features they offered, and read customer reviews. A reliable online fax service should be easy to use every day for both personal and professional purposes. It should also be quick, offer the enhanced security you need for your faxes, be convenient, and cost-effective.