Have you heard about the benefits an intranet offers businesses but thought it was only for big companies? Or perhaps you’re interested in the idea of an intranet, but without an internal IT resource, you put it in the too-hard basket? Maybe you’ve identified a number of pain points in your small business, but have failed to find a comprehensive technological solution? If these issues are familiar to you, then this article is essential reading. You see, an intranet for small business could well be the answer to all your problems. Carry on reading to find out about the options and the benefits an intranet has to offer small businesses.
Small Business Pain Points
Just because you’re a relatively small operation with less than 20 employees doesn’t mean that you’re immune to the organizational and management issues that most businesses are grappling with. The truth is that the following pain points are apparent – to a greater or lesser extent – in most organizations regardless of their size:
Information And Data Sharing
Perhaps you and your employees are finding it increasingly hard to locate, access and update policies, procedures or product and service manuals. Have you, in fact, outgrown Dropbox and other file sharing options?
The pace of life in a small business can be fast and furious making it hard to find the time to communicate with staff all the latest developments and news. If you find that you are frequently having to cancel team meetings because there’s just too much going on, then internal communications is probably an issue. In addition, many small businesses often rely on freelancers, contractors or remote workers which adds another dimension to the problem of internal communications.
Limited Opportunities For Collaboration
And because your workforce is made up of remote workers and telecommuters, the opportunities for collaboration and joint working can be curtailed.
Productivity Could Be Better
With a small workforce, everyone needs to be on their A game all of the time, and this means that staff members need to have access to the tools that will enable them to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Streamlined business processes and readily available information will be a critical aspect of this.
It’s likely that several of these issues will resonate in your small business. And if you have found the time to do some research into possible solutions (by the way, if is a big word here as for most business owners, time is something that is in very short supply), then it’s likely that you quickly became bamboozled by the number of solutions out there. Each one promises to address the identified pain point and, not surprisingly, each one has a cost and resource implication. You’d be forgiven for simply giving up and deciding that you haven’t got the time or the willpower. But the truth is an intranet solution will see you ticking all the boxes and for a very modest investment of time and resources. Let’s find out more.
Intranet Solutions For Small Businesses
In a single platform, an intranet contains a powerful range of tools and modules that will help your staff to get the job done more efficiently and effectively. These tools include the following:
- News pages and blogs which ensure that all staff receive the same, timely corporate messages including remote workers
- Company calendar so that in one central location are all the business’s key deadlines, events or industry conferences and networking
- Document management and sharing – documents and files are securely stored and can quickly and easily be shared both internally and externally
- Automated business processes using the intranet’s online forms – so whether it’s to order stationery supplies or book annual leave, it’s possible to do away with paper and email-based systems thereby reducing the possibility for error and duplication of effort
- Project or workspaces where information, data and insights can be shared with an invited group of employees. Embed Google Apps or MS Office 365 directly in the intranet and documents can also be worked on simultaneously in real time.
It’s the comprehensive, holistic nature of the intranet that sets it apart. No other technological solution offers all these tools in one platform.
Small Business Intranets – The Options
OK, so we’ve managed to convince you that an intranet has plenty to offer a small business, so how do you go about setting one up? Well, there are two basic options open to you.
Not many small businesses have the capacity or the inclination, but it is possible to develop an intranet entirely from scratch; however, it requires a considerable amount of technical know-how and also means that the intranet would need to be hosted on a company server. This option, therefore, means lots of dollars along with a hefty investment of time and resources.
Alternatively, you can develop an intranet using easily downloadable software such as WordPress or SharePoint. This approach still requires a certain amount of technical knowledge, however, as often the software has to be supplemented by add-ons and plugins to achieve all the functionality you require. And with over 40,000 plugins available in WordPress alone, that’s quite a task to get on top of! What’s more, these types of software, although capable of delivering an intranet, were not designed for that specific purpose, which means that they are not necessarily the ideal choice. Furthermore, the development, testing and piloting required means that these options are not the quick and easy solution that perhaps they might have appeared at first.
In contrast, a cloud-hosted intranet has been specifically designed for that purpose. A cloud option comes with pre-built tools and modules that have already been tried and tested. There’s no need for extensive testing and piloting. All that’s required is for you to put your own personal stamp by way of colors, logos and branding. In addition, the cloud provider is there in the background and is happy to lend support or offer advice to help with the implementation whenever it’s needed.
What’s more, the intuitive setup means that you don’t have to be any great technical wizard; in fact, your intranet can be off the ground in just a matter of hours. And ongoing management is just as simple with an easy to use set of administration tools.
Cost certainty is always an issue and especially for small businesses where margins can be tight. And with a cloud intranet, all the costs are clear and transparent. A monthly fee gets you in some cases unlimited data storage and unlimited numbers of users. And that’s it – no hidden extras or unexpected costs. There’s also the added bonus that your cloud intranet is easily capable of growing alongside your business – it’s as flexible and adaptable as you need it to be.
Cloud Intranet Solution For Small Businesses
It really is as simple as that. And so if you’re looking for a comprehensive technological solution that will address all your pain points, is flexible and adaptable, easy to setup and manage and is cost-effective, then get in touch with us here at MyHub. Our small business intranet will tick all those boxes and much more. Take advantage of our free demonstration or 14-day no-obligation trial today.