Small business stats speak for themselves. Most businesses in Australia are small—97 percent employ less than 20 people—but according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than 60 percent of small businesses fail within their first three years. These failures occur for various reasons, ranging from competition and cash flow problems to lack of a market for products or services. Running a small business isn’t for the faint of heart.
One path to success for small businesses is to adopt smart tools and technologies, such as cloud printing, which increases flexibility, efficiency, mobility, and security in the workplace. Cloud printing enables small businesses to print documents from any device, as long as they’re connected to the internet—it’s a game changer. The modern workplace doesn’t look like it did 10 years ago, and small businesses need the right tools to meet their current needs. Multifunction printers (MFPs) are tools that can mold to those needs and work with you, instead of technology that forms a roadblock your employees have to work around.
Check out four ways cloud printing can supercharge your small business and help you get over that three-year line:
1. Exercise true flexibility with MFPs
“Agility” is one of those business buzzwords that gets thrown around a lot. Thanks to the rapid pace of technology and innovation, markets move fast and businesses need to keep up. This means adapting in the moment and responding to shifting needs.
Older generations of copiers and printers (i.e., tech dinosaurs) didn’t exactly support flexibility. Certain devices only delivered to certain printers, while others were only viable for specified tasks. Annoying, right? In contrast, modern multifunction printers, such as HP’s A3 MFPs, support a range of devices and can handle a variety of jobs, sizes, and paper—securely. Whatever an employee needs, MFPs can deliver.
2. Increase efficiency with better print speed
Smart printing not only enables small businesses to adapt faster but also boosts efficiency. In businesses where every dollar and hour counts, bottlenecks feel like the end of the world. Cloud printing minimises inefficiencies by enabling people to print from anywhere and automate certain aspects of the printing process.
Newer technology prints jobs faster, which saves time and streamlines workflows. For example, a printer equipped with the HP ePrint feature allows you to print a document by simply emailing it to the device. Cloud printers also offer greater compatibility than their predecessors, which prevents delays that emerge from print drivers. In other words, printing’s like dating: Compatibility is key—and it shouldn’t feel so difficult.
3. Connect to the cloud for mobility
In a 2016 report, the ABS reported that 33 percent of the Australian workforce regularly works from home. Add to this the increasing number of Australian digital nomads—those choosing to travel and take their work along for the ride—and it’s clear people are using their own mobile devices to work outside the office more than ever.
Let’s be real—printers that don’t support a mobile workforce will become obsolete pretty soon, assuming they aren’t already. Small business owners can increase their organisation’s flexibility and efficiency by installing printers supporting mobility. Today’s workers should be able to complete their work whenever and wherever they want, without worrying that printer issues will block their flow.
4. Turn to preventative capabilities for locked-down security
It’s dangerous out there in cyberspace today, and unsecured printers can represent glaring gaps in security infrastructure—gaps hackers are more than happy to exploit. Endpoint devices, such as printers and copiers, require the same level of care, attention, and protection as other devices. They are highly vulnerable to attack, because many businesses simply leave them open and accessible to the entire organisation for convenience and ease of use. To quote a Magic 8-Ball, “Outlook not so good.”
Security breaches can wreak havoc on small businesses and inflict damage that can’t be easily recovered from. Fortunately, cloud printers are here to save the day. Modern printers come with security features baked in that don’t just secure the printer itself but also the entire network with real-time threat detection, automated monitoring, and built-in software validation. These features do the heavy lifting of security, so small business owners can focus on what they really care about: running their business.
In a dog-eat-dog world, small businesses should take advantage of every opportunity they can to be as flexible and efficient as possible. It doesn’t matter how low- or high-tech your business is—cloud printing fits into your workflow, not the other way around.