Here’s how – Paul Hobden, Head of Small Business @ MWEB Connect
Bigger is not always better; working with a small business has many benefits over working with a larger company. A small business is likely to be more responsive, more focused and specialised, they can adapt faster when needed and they tend to be more customer focused than a larger corporation.
“Bigger businesses have traditionally had more money to invest in keeping themselves top of mind; developing flashy websites, having large numbers of staff, investing in top of the line software and hardware,” says Paul Hobden, Head of Small Business @ MWEB Connect. “With the advances in Internet and technology, that has all changed and a one-man show can offer everything a conglomerate can.”
With affordable reliable Internet connectivity, hosting services and platforms, you can build yourself a slick professional website. The Internet also provides you with endless free resources to teach you how to develop and optimise your site to provide everything your customers could need.
Something small that many people do not take into account is the impression one gives with an email address. As internationally known as @gmail or @yahoo might be, it appears far more professional to have your own email address; [email protected] is far more impressive than [email protected] For a minimal monthly fee, you can get full hosting packages that will provide you with your own domain name which will apply to your website and your email.
Your Internet can provide you with cheap and sometimes even free telephone services in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It allows you to make inexpensive calls to landline and mobile numbers, and free calls to other numbers on the same network, via your Internet connection. You can also you’re your VoIP network to your cell phone, allowing you to be reachable wherever you are with your client never knowing the difference. Some providers will even set up free linked accounts for staff members. This allows you to stay in touch with your customers wherever they are without breaking the bank.
The one distinct advantage that big business previously had was the money to invest in well-known high quality software licences, which many smaller businesses could not afford. With the advent of Software-as-a-Service, anyone can get a monthly subscription over the Internet to only the items they need without the large up-front licence fees for all-in-one bundles per user that was the case in the past.
This is also the case with hardware, with the growth of Cloud Computing, a small business no longer has to invest in an expensive server to ensure their information, and that of their clients, is stored safely. Now you can use hosted servers that suit your needs exactly and receive all the high-level security, quality of service and redundancy that any corporate giant gets.
“The best thing is you can do this from anywhere,” says Hobden. “With your entire office online, you don’t need to spend loads of money on an expensive office space – you can provide every appearance and quality of service that the big boys do from your home and no-one would ever know.”
For more information on the products and services for small business, you can visit the MWEB website and for more information and advice for small business users, be sure to visit the Entrepreneur Zone.