It's hard to run a business out of your home, but it's even harder when you're not using the right tools. Home based businesses need to use technology as an equalizer. Most home based businesses usually have between one and three employees, along with smaller budgets. They often have to compete in markets with large corporations that have hundreds of employees and huge budgets. Luckily, the 21st century has provided a lot of great technological tools to deal with the challenges that home based businesses face.
One such service is internet fax, which has quickly gained immense popularity among businesses of all sizes - especially in home based businesses. Internet fax works through a user's existing Internet service, and, as its name implies, allows all the functionality of a fax machine from the user's computer. Faxes can be received, sent, archived and printed with ease, allowing for a high level of organization and functionality without a huge investment.
There are many reasons that the Internet fax is such an appealing technology. For home based businesses, a well-implemented Internet fax system can give the impression of a very large company. Multiple fax numbers can easily be set up for a home company's various "departments." Additionally, since faxes are received electronically through broadband connections rather than through a dial-up modem, there's no possibility of a missed or returned fax. Hundreds of pages can be easily and instantly sent to potential clients, less expensively than through a traditional fax machine. This is because no paper or ink is ever used when faxing over the Internet, unless a business owner should decide to print out a few pages to have a paper copy of an important document.
Internet fax services also allow home based businesses to greatly improve their output and increase sales from the day they're installed. Since Internet fax services can handle multiple faxes simultaneously and operate through normal email systems, any orders for products or services received via fax can be easily corralled into a home business's normal workflow. This can greatly improve a home business's revenue, especially when orders are received en masse due to advertising, promotions and other marketing efforts. For home based businesses that market through fax, an Internet fax service also provides a cheap, simple and highly efficient way to contact large amounts of potential clients. They enable creative ad campaigns, and a simple way to stay in touch with repeat customers and partners.
Of course, a good organization system is a very important element in running a home based business. Internet fax services are a great aid in this area, as well. Faxes received through the systems are infinitely more search-able than their paper counterparts, as text can be easily scanned for keywords using typical word processing software. Received faxes from an Internet fax service can be easily and cheaply stored on a user's computer, making large, unwieldy filing cabinets completely unnecessary. This also provides a form of insurance in case of fire or other natural disaster - a home based business owner can easily back up the faxes to an external hard drive, jump drive or through an Internet back up service, so that even major damage to his/her home and business won't result in lost orders or records.
As with any new technology, there are costs associated with the installation of an Internet fax system. These costs are low by most standards, and are paid back through lower faxing costs. Many business owners find the systems far less expensive than owning and maintaining a fax machine, simply due to paper and toner costs. In addition to cost, there's also a very small learning curve when adapting to the new technology. This is because received faxes are opened in the same manner as email attachments and outgoing faxes are sent through an easy-to-understand computer dialog.
Regardless of a home based business' field, faxing over the Internet provides an inexpensive and flexible way to compete with larger companies on a professional level. The possibilities are only limited by the creativity of the systems' controller. As all home business owners know, staying up to date on the technology front is an important part of staying in business. With that in mind, it's difficult to recommend traditional fax machines while Internet fax services are available. Internet fax services are simply a cheaper, better way to send and receive faxes. They allow business owners to concentrate on running their companies without worrying about missed faxes, organization issues or any of the other weaknesses associated with traditional fax machines.