Small business stats speak for themselves: Running a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. Most of the businesses in the United States are small, but only half of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) make it to five years. SMBs fail for all kinds of reasons, ranging from competition and cash flow problems to lack of a market for products or services. Every investment counts.
One way small business owners can set themselves up for success is by adopting smart tools and technologies, like 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 SMBs need tools like this that reflect 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 five-year line:
1. Achieve 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 sets of 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, multifunction printers, like HP’s A3 Multifunction Printers, support a range of devices and can handle a variety of jobs, sizes, and paper—securely. Whatever an employee needs, MFPs can deliver.
2. Boost efficiency with new printing speeds
Smart printing not only enables small businesses to adapt faster but also boosts efficiency. In businesses where every penny and hour counts, bottlenecks feel like the end of the world. Cloud printing minimizes 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. Support mobility through cloud connectivity
According to research from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 50 percent of the US workforce holds a job that’s compatible with remote working. Around 20–25 percent of the workforce works remotely “at some frequency.” Clearly, people are working from outside the office—and using their own mobile devices to do so 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 organization’s flexibility and efficiency by installing printers that support 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. Tighten security with preventative capabilities
It’s dangerous out there in cyberspace today, and unsecured printers can represent glaring gaps in security infrastructure—gaps that hackers are more than happy to exploit. According to IDC, endpoint devices, like printers and copiers, require the same level of care, attention, and protection as other devices, because they are highly vulnerable to attack since so many businesses simply leave them open and accessible to the entire organization 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. Basically, these features do the heavy lifting of security, so SMB 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.