I acquired a new client yesterday. He owns a small business owner and is a frequent road warrior as he meets with customers. His list of frustrations from his last service provider was a long one:
- When he was away from Wifi, he needed to use his cell phone as a hot spot to download documents to his laptop computer during meetings–and needed a large data package at considerable expense to do this.
- With some remote clients in very rural areas, there isn’t even cell coverage. In these cases, he has to download his documents to his device before leaving the office, or draft them on the spot and then try merging them with his cloud hosted files when he gets back to the office. Until he gets around to this, he has files in a ProjectX folder, newer files in a ProjectX-v1 folder, still newer files in a ProjectX-v2 folder, and, well, you get the idea.
- He wants all his corporate documents to be synchronized across the three of his corporate machines. When a document gets updated on one machine, why can’t the update be available to everyone?
- Because he uses an Outlook client for his email so his contact list, his calendar, and his tasks are only stored in the Outlook profile on his own laptop machine. His staff can’t see when he’s busy or free. When he sits down at an office desktop machine, his contact list and calendar doesn’t show up because they’re on his laptop.
These aren’t just isolated pain points; and they are more than simple frustrations. Many small and medium businesses have these same challenges. Somehow, we just all accept them as the cost of doing business. And they are more than irritants; they affect a company’s productivity as well as its ability to communicate, provide customer service, plan and execute projects, and be profitable.
In a few hours after our first meeting:
- All the company’s documents were successfully stored in the cloud and available to any workstation;
- The most commonly used directories required for offline access were downloaded to his laptop but also set up to automatically synchronize with the cloud when the laptop was again connected to a network;
- All contacts, mail, task and calendar items were uploaded to the cloud email system so they could be used from any corporate computer or by any employee. And the best part is that they would all appear in Outlook just like he’s used to.
So why do small businesses put up with these frustrations and challenges? There’s probably a few reasons.
As people, we get used to our environment instead of questioning it. Many of us step over shoes every time we come into our homes instead of finding a way to put the shoes away. Similarly, we end up figuring out workarounds to manage our tech pains rather than make the pain go away once and for all.
To add to this, some small business owners are so focused on cost-containment that they don’t want to spend money that isn’t tied to an actual revenue stream.
The truth is that the solution to this client’s problems will probably be less than 5 hours of consulting (there’s still a bit more to do), and an ongoing cost for the solution of about $15-20 per month per employee. How can that break anyone’s bank?
If you or a business you know have these same challenges and are tired of putting up with them, why not invite Atlas Solutions to help you out too?