Though they don’t boast the same number of employees, payroll, or prestige that enterprise organizations do, small businesses can allow for greater autonomy, increased flexibility, and improved client relations. And we're not just talking about self-employed individuals—while there are several definitions of "SMB," many businesses with up to 500 employees participate in United States Small Business Administration programs.
Yet for all the advantages that having a small business can offer, they're by no means exempt from their own operational challenges. And while they don’t face the same quandary of deploying 20,000-extension systems, they do face a slew of communications decisions to make that can make or break productivity, revenue, and ultimately the vitality of the business.
That’s why small businesses have a significant amount to gain from unified communications. With all of the same features that large organizations enjoy, they can reap the same benefits—increased productivity, lower costs, and improved reliability. Some businesses are SMBs by design, but the flexibility is vital for start-ups that have long-term visions of becoming public companies. Regardless of long-term vision, SMBs don't have to worry about replacing their entire infrastructure if they decide to change their organizational structure.
Here are seven stats that illustrate the importance of efficient, reliable communication in a small business environment.
1. The importance of disaster recovery doesn't just apply to enterprises—of the 60,000+ small businesses touched by Superstorm Sandy, 30 percent failed. (ASB Council) (Tweet this)
2. Cloud-based solutions can help organizations of all sizes reduce their IT overhead costs by 15 percent per user. And in businesses with smaller budgets, that 15 percent can prove significant. (Computer Economics) (Tweet this)
3. As the following stat will illustrate, there’s a significant business connectivity gap with SMBs—just nine percent of small business employees have a single number for all of their work lines. (Software Advice) (Tweet this)
4. But the aforementioned lack of single-number identity isn't for a lack of effort: over one-quarter of SMB owners value it as the most important component of a unified communications system, suggesting that the deficit is due to a lack of awareness. (Software Advice) (Tweet this)
5. 77 percent of SMB owners and 76 percent of their workers utilize their own mobile device for job-related tasks. (Solar Communications) (Tweet this)
6. 62 percent of small business employees lack presence information—which can greatly hamper productivity. (Software Advice) (Tweet this)
7. The value is clear: 23 percent of small business owners see increased efficiency (less missed calls, voicemails, and emails) as a boon originating from unified communications. (Software Advice) (Tweet this)