Remember the so called paperless office? The first major PR push for this brave new office world came in the 1980s when the first personal computers opened up business shelves. Then, when e mail and web developed the concept of virtuality, the so called paperless office movement developed its goal quite a bit. The only problem is that there is probably as much paper in the average office as ever, besides the decrease in personal letter that has occurred. However, for business purposes, direct mail is still used, and companies have many ways to communicate and create documents. In fact, if old technology or new, if something works, use it. It is important to cover all bases.
Therefore, there is still faxing, with both fax machines or online services. Yes, fax is still important. Why? This is due to the fact that there are hundreds of millions of them in use, thats why. The machines are more popular in some parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe and Asia, as telephone systems are more widespread than cable networks. Even in the United States there are millions and millions of fax machines in use, even in companies that also use email and web services for communication. There is a simple business related reason why this is so. You reach people where they are and how they can be reached. Simple.
You can have the model of a 21st century firm. All your computers and Macintoshes are network based and work well together. You have a smooth online fax service that allows you to send and receive faxes from any of the computers in the office. Why would you also need a fax machine? Is not it ineffective? Did not receive an online fax service that would make fax machines available?
Its not that simple, actually. Yes, its good that you are using a good, reliable and affordable online fax service. And yes, you can both send and receive faxes with it. So now that you have a new incoming fax number to put on your business card and give the customers and potential what happens to all old business cards with your original fax number? Do they just evaporate magically now? Will all your current ads, phonebook, online profiles, and other content suddenly and spontaneously update that fax number?
Cover your assets
Okay, that was obviously rhetorical questions, and the score should have been well done, unless hammered home with the rehearsal. Your original fax number is plastered worldwide if you have a good marketing program, at least and the last thing you want to do is prevent people from contacting you. Over time, your newer business cards and marketing materials will replace the old one, and your new fax number will spread to a large extent. Of course, you can never be sure that a potential customer will not get the old fax number, so its a good idea to keep that machine and the line that works.
Meanwhile, you can start moving your outgoing fax needs to the virtual world and use an online fax account. This gives you very good organizational flexibility, saving time, money and consumables, as you will use less and less faxes, toner, and even electricity. As your online fax increases, your dependence on yesterdays technology will decrease dramatically, if it is never completely eliminated. Keeping a single fax machine on a historical phone number associated with your business is not a big expense and can give you some nice surprises from time to time.
Because most incoming faxes will come via your computer instead of the machine, the consumption costs mentioned above will decrease. This is repeated because you can actually finance online fax costs, which are low initially, directly from the savings you will realize during normal operation. In other words, it may be zero cost, net, for your company to get and start using an online phone service. Surprisingly, take some online fax companies to explain this clearly to potential customers.
Add the numbers yourself. See what youve spent on paper and toner and everything else to keep your free fax machine. If you lowered the demand even half, what would you save each month? Probably much more than an online fax service would cost. It may be that fax machines are slowly coming out, but faxing themselves? Its here to stay, quite a long time, and your best move is to work the ingredients to your advantage. It will not cost you, it will pay you