Never in human history has the average business been presented with so many ways of doing routine, everyday tasks. Want to make a phone call? You could use a traditional phone, mobile phone or VoIP phone. You also have the option of using voice and video apps such as Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and Messenger. Fax has also been given a facelift in this explosion of options.
Traditional fax machines have, in fact, gradually given way to outsourced fax and cloud-based fax services over the last decade or so. But while having many fax services near me is a good thing, it can also make choosing one difficult. There are dozens of cloud-based fax services alone to choose from, and it’s easy to make the wrong choice and end up with one that isn’t suited for your business.
Here are some of the common mistakes you should be aware of when choosing an internet-based fax service.
1. Failure to Do Background Research
Online fax services are not all created equal. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is choosing an internet fax service before you have defined your needs, and fully understood the fax service’s features, to make sure it meets your requirements. First, determine what you’ll need the fax service for – such as deciding the number of faxes per month you will need, the average pages per fax you will use and the number of users you will have.
For instance, you’ll need to know the average number of faxes you require per month if you want to do a true like-for-like comparison between fax services. One provider may be cheaper if you are sending few faxes, while another would cost less for larger volumes.
2. Picking the Wrong Plan
Choosing the most suitable provider is just half the job. The online fax services provider likely has multiple price plans. It’s quite possible for you to settle on the right cloud-based fax service, but on the wrong pricing plan. Pricing plans usually have a monthly fee, quarterly fee, annual fee or per-page fee.
Per-page pricing is ideal for small businesses that send few faxes. But if you expect to average only 30 faxes per month, signing up for a monthly plan with up to 500 faxes may be unnecessary. If you aren’t sure which is most appropriate for you, you could start out with a monthly billing plan. You can then change to an annual or per-page plan once you have a better grasp of your needs.
3. Not Factoring an Employee Learning Curve
Internet faxing is relatively simple. Unlike traditional fax techniques, where users had to grapple with navigating fax machines, online fax is as easy as email. Still, you cannot underestimate the time it will take for employees to get up to speed. This will not only vary from employee to employee but from one fax service provider to the next, too.
Find an internet fax service that provides an intuitive interface, has easy to understand documentation and that has robust customer support. All of these are critical to getting your staff acquainted with the new fax service, and will help minimize delays in the first few weeks and months of use.
4. Choosing Too Quickly
Small businesses should consider their choice of cloud-based fax service in the same way they do their decision to enter a contract with any other vendor. It’s not something you want to back out of after just a week or two. It’s often expensive, not just due to the lost costs of signing up, there is also the time and resources expended in training staff to consider as well.
Don’t rush to subscribe to the first Internet fax service you run into. Even though you might want to make the transition to online fax quickly, ensure you are making the right decision.
Internet Fax is Convenient But Only if You Choose the Right One
Internet-based fax services have made faxing easier than it has ever been. But reaping the maximum benefit from online faxing is dependent on choosing the right provider and the right plan for your business. Steer clear of the mistakes covered here, and you’ll have a better shot at reaping the optimal benefits of internet faxing.