Small Business

Getting the Most Out Of Your Remote Employees

Whether your firm is adding to its remote workforce, or just beginning the process of incorporating remote workers into the company, there are numerous things to consider.

Whether you’re evaluating an existing employee as a remote worker, or interviewing a potential new hire for remote work, an individual’s skills and his/her ability to self-manage are obviously a necessary item. It’s important to establish and maintain a trust level with each remote worker. But beyond that, there are a number of additional items to keep in mind:
Provide the Necessary Equipment
With a remote workforce, it’s important to maximize communication through the use of technology that is meaningful for your particular industry. This may include the installation of a cloud-based or hybrid phone system. Additionally, you may want to evaluate allowing the remote employees to operate within a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy for their mobile devices.
Schedule Regular Meetings
Some organizations schedule weekly video conference calls across various geographic regions to accomodate the remote workforce. The participants include different levels of related management and remote workers. The exchange of information keeps everyone in the loop, discussing the strategies that are working for the business and those that are not. Any new techniques used or tested are shared and discussed.

Depending on the proximity between remote workers and management, occasional face-to-face meetings might also provide advantages in order to instill a sense of belonging within the organization.
Discuss Schedules
For many remote workers, one of the benefits of working remotely is a flexible schedule. …

What Makes Mitel a Good Fit for Small Business?

Small businesses today are all different and unique in their ways. When shopping for a new phone system, each element of the business’s communication process becomes a factor in that decision. There are so many things to consider – VoIP or POTS? Cloud, hosted, or hybrid? And what about mobile compatibility? It can seem overwhelming right from the start. The good news is, we’re the experts on Mitel in Grand Rapids, and we can help narrow down the options within the Mitel products to help you see how it can be a perfectly customizable solution.

So, what makes Mitel a good fit for many small businesses? Here are a few key elements:
Simplistic Design
With options from cloud, onsite, and hybrid solutions, the Mitel platforms are leading the industry in customer satisfaction and low cost of ownership, which is appealing to most busy and cost-conscious small business owners. These communication systems meet the highest standards with regard to reliability, application integration, mobility, collaboration offerings, and applications. The idea is to provide an easy-to-use tool that gives employees the power to work faster and more conveniently from any location and on any device.
Choices, Choices
With Mitel Connect, you can choose if you want to deploy your IP phone system onsite, in the cloud with the Mitel data center, or use a hybrid combination of both. Whatever the decision, the solutions are designed to scale, grow, and change as business needs shift. You can also buy or …

Why Invest in VoIP and a Small Business PBX System?

When making a business case for switching to a small business PBX system that works with the power of VoIP and the cloud, you may need some supportive evidence to convince the leaders of the company that it’ll be worth their time and the investment. The good news is, that there’s no shortage of information to showcase the enhanced productivity and ROI that switching to a small business PBX can provide. Here are five compelling figures:
1. Small businesses switching to a VoIP solution reduce the cost of their local calling expenses by up to 40%, and international calling savings averages 90%
Without VoIP, companies are required to use plain old telephone service (POTS) lines, which come with a hefty price tag for every minute spent on the phone. Those minutes add up quickly and typically result in a steep monthly bill, especially in the case of international calls. With VoIP, calls are made using the company’s internet connection, which removes the need for those costly POTS lines.
2. VoIP can cut startup costs for new businesses by up to 90%
With no need for phone lines and expensive and bulky traditional phone systems and hardware that can rapidly increase startup expenses, the cost savings are immediate.
3. Businesses see an average savings of 50-75% after switching to VoIP
Although this can vary depending on the organization, changing to a small business PBX system with VoIP provides an average cost saving of 50-75% on traditional …

The Basics of a Small Business WLAN

The way desktop computing is going, wireless communication is almost a natural assumption, but it still is really a leap forward from the typical office network administration. Fortunately, for small businesses, a wireless local area network or (WLAN) is both easier and cheaper to set up than traditional network administration, which makes it very tempting for bootstrap startups. Unfortunately, there are also key risks that need to be addressed as well (traffic management, security, data integrity in transit, bandwidth and speed).
Again, WLANs are a godsend to small businesses on a budget, just as much as cloud computing if not more. So, no surprise, many small companies have immediately adapted the idea, constructing their first computer networks on the backbone of wireless routers around the office and a few resource servers taking in and outputting everything through air signals versus Ethernet cabling. However, as soon as a few more than two or three heavy users hit the network the limitations become apparent; wireless routing can’t handle big throughput without serious bandwidth accommodations.

The addition of access points, new employees, more floors and distance and even physical building barriers all add to an increasing amount of signal resistance and slowing things down. Some of this can be circumvented for a while with configuration and placement of more routers and boosters, but after awhile it becomes a full-time job just trying to keep the ship running at every user node.
WLAN Controllers
A key piece of equipment every small business WLAN …