Online Fax - Does Your Small Business Need It?

There's almost no denying that every business or company needs a fax number in order to truly operate in the modern business world. However, there is some strong debate ongoing as to which method of faxing your business should use: conventional fax machine vs. online fax. While there are solid arguments which can be made for each route, does using an Internet or web based fax system rule the day?

One major benefit of using an online fax service is simply the low cost. Your business doesn't have to install a separate phone fax line and you don't have the expense of buying a fax machine. In addition, since we are talking about a web based "paperless" faxing, your business won't have the ongoing costs of buying all those inks, toners and papers. These cost savings can be significant, especially over the long term.

Perhaps, the biggest selling point for using an online fax system has to be ease of use. If you're not familiar with how this kind of faxing is done, some explanation will prove helpful. Sending a web fax is as easy as sending an email. You simply log into your online account or use your email system to send your message. Your faxes are sent as email attachments, usually as a Tif or Pdf file. Since your message or fax can be encrypted, it is much more secure than sending via the conventional method. Besides, your message is sent directly to the person receiving it, as opposed to having a sensitive fax in the office where anyone can view it.

Another advantage of using an online fax provider, all your messages can be easily stored and filed online or on your company's computers. Where they can be easily retrieved at any time, regardless of when you received the fax. Plus, no more missed faxes because of busy signals or paper jams... delivery of your message is much more assured.

However, the major reason and real clincher, why your business should have a web or email fax system is portability. Your business is no longer tied down to one exact location, your clients and employees can be reached from anywhere, anytime. Assuming of course, they're connected to the web, and these days just about everybody is connected since any mobile device such as a smart phone, netbook or laptop, can be used as your fax machine.

Finally, there is one last consideration - competition. Everyone who has ever run any type of business, big or small, will know competition will be your biggest obstacle to whether or not your business will succeed. These days, competition can be brutal, so every company needs all the advantages they can muster. Using an online fax system means your business can be reached anywhere, anytime... your business is open around the clock. Furthermore, these web-based services are completely scalable, you can quickly adjust the number of lines you need in a matter of minutes since there is no extra hardware to install. For a growing company in a very competitive world, this can give your company a competitive edge.

Regardless, of whether or not these points have "sold" you on using a web based fax system, you have to realize most of your competitors are probably already using it. Can you afford not to join them? Like all business decisions, it's your call.