Fresh paint and fresh business cards signal the beginning of a new company’s entry into the world. In today’s sluggish economy, small business owners must stay bold and savvy to thrive in the marketplace.
One such method of staying ahead is using green business strategies. According to a recent MIT study, 70% of businesses today list environmental sustainability as one of their major goals in 2013. This number continues to trend upward, with green strategies at the forefront of established businesses and new businesses alike.
Of course, going green isn’t just an altruistic objective: green business practices lead to more productivity and more savings as a whole. As start-ups begin to open their doors to new customers and clients, green technology will help them make a big impression in their industry while staying environmentally-conscious at the same time.
1. IP Faxing
One of the hottest trends in green office technology is IP faxing. IP faxing uses an Internet connection to send faxes, which means employees can send and receive faxes on their laptops, smartphones, home computers, office computers, and other Internet-connected devices.
The sent fax will route to the receiver’s standard paper fax machine, or, if the receiver also has IP faxing set up, they can receive the fax as an email attachment. This saves 2 million trees from the chopping block each year, not to mention gallons of wasted ink.
IP faxing also helps businesses stay available for customers without staying chained to physical fax machines. In fact, companies can get rid of the fax machine entirely with IP faxing. This makes a big difference for small businesses that don’t have the funds to invest in wasteful and clunky fax hardware.
2. Cloud-Based Phone Systems
One-third of businesses today use cloud-based phone systems, called VoIP. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, which is simply another name for Internet calling. VoIP service eliminates much of the standard metal and plastic office hardware, including rusty PBX machines, analog phones, wire extensions, and wooden telephone poles.
A cloud phone system suits a start-up nicely, since the technology makes it cheaper and easier to add more phone lines. Traditional phone systems require technician help every time the company needs to add, subtract, or move the physical copper extension wires. With a cloud VoIP system, a business simply requests a change online and itâs done automatically.
Cloud phone service also saves a company a ton of money each month, as bills are often 50-80% cheaper than traditional phone service. This is perfect for start-ups that need to save every last penny as they grow their company.
3. Telecommuting Workforce
There are few things more green-friendly than a telecommuting workforce. Telecommuting, even a few days a month, makes a big difference in reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption.
To best utilize remote workers, a start-up can use an Internet PBX. The PBX is what connects internal calls to each other, and connects incoming calls to the proper department and employee within the company.
An Internet PBX allows employees to use their smartphones or home laptops as their office extensions. No important calls are lost and business can go on as usual. Furthermore, telecommuting can help companies save money on daily utility bills, plus it opens up extra space within a small office. This is perfect for start-ups with limited space.
A telecommuting workforce is also more productive than an internal workforce. According to a study done by UCi2i , telecommuters work an average 24 more days per year than in-house employees.
The Green Wave of the Future
Sometimes trendy things are good things indeed, and green business practices are the way to go for new businesses.
After all, why invest in hardware that’s going obsolete? Why pay extra for phone service each month? Why contribute to daily pollution when there are better and more productive methods available?
Utilizing strategies like IP faxing, telecommunication, and VoIP phone systems make a big difference for the environment while helping start-ups save money and start growing profits.