4 Technology Solutions Every Growing Business Needs to Consider

4 Technology Solutions Every Growing Business Needs to Consider
Image credit: Shutterstock

Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide

Let the business resources in our guide inspire you and help you achieve your goals in 2021.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer
Former Journalist, Current PR Guy (wielding an MBA)
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Every start-up needs an idea. That’s a given. A few other table stakes for growing your include drive, commitment, smarts and start-up funds.

At a minimum there are also basic technology needs such as a mobile device, a data plan, broadband connectivity and an online presence of some kind. However, and success may require a few more technological upgrades.

That’s according to Trey Smith, president and CEO of OneStream Networks, a next-generation company and consultancy that specializes in both domestic and international unified communications solutions for the enterprise using a cloud-based environment.

“It’s a great time to launch a business because of the incredible functionality and scale that Internet-based solutions and software provide to cost-conscious entrepreneurs at a fraction of the price from just a few years ago,” said Smith.

1. Laptop-based softphone software.

One option that Smith recommends for small-to-medium sized businesses that have more than one location, is software that’s loaded onto a laptop that works as a traditional phone, which is known as a softphone application.

He says this type of virtual solution replaces pricey, multi-line telephone units while providing the same functionality at low or no cost.

“This is a great way for growing organizations, which are already deploying laptops to employees, to also deploy the softphone application on those computers as well. This allows for fast scaling of the business with an elegant solution that combines both voice and data for employees.”

One popular softphone option is Zopier, which can be downloaded for free.

Related: Tired of Useless Meetings? 9 Ways to Make Them More Effective. (Infographic)

2. Automated call attendant.

While a mobile device or smart phone is a mandatory tool for success, Smith suggests using an automated call attendant to provide greater customer service if your start-up is growing but understaffed.

“When a mobile device is dialed it’s either answered or the call goes to . However, a busy business owner or entrepreneur may choose to answer calls with an auto attendant or software that automatically offers a variety of choices to the caller. This cost-effective option provides understaffed start-ups with efficient call flow handling as well as a perception of scale,” said Smith.

Related: 7 Small-Business Owners Share Their Best Productivity Tips (Infographic)

3. Toll-free dialing to your mobile phone.

He goes on to suggest that another relatively easy and inexpensive technology to implement is offering customers a toll-free number that connects directly to your mobile phone.

“New business owners rarely consider toll-free numbers that dial directly to their mobile device as an option. However, it’s a great way to create a positive first impression, while offering enhanced value and service to potential customers.”

Related: 5 Productivity Tips I Learned From Uber and Other Silicon Valley Superstars

4. for Business.

For owners who prefer video conferencing, Smith says one of the best low-cost options is Skype for Business. It's basically the familiar Skype app on steroids, on your desktop.

“Because Skype is a Microsoft product it's automatically integrated with the MS Office Suite as well as its Outlook email product. So when a meeting is set up via Skype for Business, recipients get a hyperlink that’s fully-enabled for voice, video and desktop sharing. It’s powerful, inexpensive and simple to use.”

Smith’s company works with organizations that range from start-ups to S&P 500 companies, and he acknowledges that while it’s good to know what tech solutions can scale a business it’s more important to know when to scale up.

“There’s no entrepreneurial handbook with a growth timetable. However, we’ve found that a reliable benchmark that suggests it’s time for a small business to think about ramping up its technology platform is if it has a minimum of five employees who have mobile devices, laptops or whom require Internet access. That’s a pretty good rule of thumb.”

Related: 6 Breezy Steps to a Productive Meeting

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription.
Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more.

Latest on Entrepreneur