The challenges faced by multi-location business owners are myriad. Issues range from the logistical, like the time and cost of mailing or couriering anything that can't be sent electronically, through to the day-to-day monitoring of remote staff interactions with clients. If you are considering expansion, here are a few challenges to think about when the face-to-face interaction between you and your employees is minimal:
- Maintaining company culture. You've worked hard to create an environment where everyone understands the goals of the company and collaborates to achieve them. Influencing culture from a distance is even more difficult. And when things get busy at head office, it can be tricky to find the time to give your employees at other locations the attention they deserve.
- Loss of spontaneity. Whether it's a good idea that comes out of a quick hallway conversation or meeting, or just a warm human interaction with a colleague, employees lose out on natural, unplanned communication when not on site.
- Managing complex projects. Effectively collaborating as a team is inherently more difficult with members in more than one location.
- The "Us and Them" syndrome. Friendly competition between employees can be a good thing, but in multi-location businesses where people don't know each other well, it can lead to negative, adversarial situations.
Technology to the rescue
Nothing can magically solve all the problems and costs associated with running a business, let alone running one with multiple locations. But there are systems you can put in place that can definitely make life a lot easier. The trick is selecting the most appropriate services for your business that will allow you to function at your best today and into the future. Here are some Primus solutions to ensure multi-location enterprise efficiencies:
- Reduce long distance charges with a multi-location phone system. You want employees from different locations to enjoy having instant conversation that picking up the phone brings. Primus Hosted PBX is an infinitely scalable, state-of-the-art, business hosted phone system that you pay for as a monthly service. It features abbreviated (last 4-digits) dialing between offices no matter where their office is located, and minimal (often zero) usage charges for calls between offices regardless of location.
- Meet via web or tele-conference. The availability of efficient collaboration is a must, especially when teams located in different offices are working together. Primus Anytime Web Conferencing lets you share anything that resides on your computer with an audience in a controlled and secure environment. If making a presentation, you can add PowerPoint, Excel or Word documents, or you can even perform a Web tour or collaborate as a team on any type of document. With Primus TeleConferencing, you can conference call whenever you choose, with any number of participants. Primus Anytime is ideal for multi-location offices as each moderator has one dial-in number and a pass code that is always active, meaning that they never have to contact the outside host to reserve another conference call. And you may have as many moderators as you want.
- Eliminate multi-location data storage. You don't want your IT staff spending extra time worrying about data access from multiple locations. Central data storage and access saves time and money for any company, especially firms with multiple locations. Primus Server Colocation is the perfect solution if you already own or want to own your own servers and your e-business demands the ultimate in reliability and security. You retain complete control over the operation and maintenance of your equipment and you and your pre-authorized technicians enjoy 24/7 physical access to your server. PrimusCloud™ Server, a form of cloud computing, or server virtualization, allows you to access your data from anywhere via a connection to the web. It minimizes your capital investment required by eliminating hardware and operational costs associated with a physical infrastructure.
- Ensure comprehensive backup is in place. If your company data is being generated in more than one location, a whole new set of security measures needs to be taken into consideration. Simple solutions like Primus' RAPIDRETRIEVE - CPE, a comprehensive and affordable online data backup and storage solution which simplifies the backup, recovery, and remote access to your files, allows you to easily and automatically backup and retrieve files on your and your employees' computers to a remote backup server located in our secure Internet Data Centre.
If you provide your employees with the tools to function at optimum productivity and creativity, then you will be freed up to tackle the challenges inherent in running a multi-location business. Primus can help you put affordable systems in place that eliminate the concerns associated with the high costs of putting the backbone of communications, storage and data security in place. Used wisely, technology will allow you to focus on your core business, rather than spending too much time and money on administrative tasks and issues.