The modern business world is all about time and money and being connected to the web saves you both. Here's how:


Online collaboration
The rise of online collaboration services, such as Keep and Share, WriteBoard, or even good old Google Docs, means you no longer have to be in the same room to share ideas. Now you can talk through documents and proposals with staff and customers while both viewing them from different locations, even while making changes on the fly if you have the appropriate file sharing software.

Postal and courier costs
One of the largest hidden costs for small businesses, this is reduced markedly by sending large files and documents across the web. Forget next day delivery. Benefit from almost immediate delivery instead.

Virtual meetings
Small businesses are often unreasonably stretched due to sales, operations and management being pulled out of the office by different clients, partners and suppliers. With a remote office set up, meetings can now be held on the fly, documents shared immediately and decisions taken without face-to-face contact. This could be as simple as a free Skype meeting to dedicated conference room solutions, such as Nefsis or Mega Meeting.


The Global Marketplace
Very few businesses can afford a global presence and the required marketing budget to support it. This has all changed in the internet age, as even the most basic one-man operation can have a global presence.

What's more, with a handful of staff can manage a global web presence effectively, deal with international orders and enquiries straight away, and tailor their operations to meet the international hours. For instance, many relocation firms now have staff members teleworking from home via broadband so they can service clients on the other side of the world who may want a car rental, office move or some other support service. That the home office worker reduces the office overheads for the relocation company is just another money saving benefit.

With broadband your small business can get advanced functionality for a fraction of the cost of buying the services outright. For instance, if you want a secure e-commerce solution to sell a product you can outsource this to an ASP (Application Service Provider) and simply pay a monthly charge plus a small percentage per purchase. This is far more economical than investing in your own e-commerce solution which needs maintenance and could soon be obsolete.

This idea of rented services is now common across internal applications (finance software, office suites) and web services including shopping carts, secure servers backed by bank authorization and site statistics and traffic management. Use the web to open up these money saving, and moneymaking, features.

System failures, online bugs and inter-office viruses can be crippling for small business. Your broadband connection allows you to deploy extensive security solutions and 24/7 diagnostic tools, which quickly alert you to any dangers.