Scenario: A client needs you to fax a critical document, pronto. Or they ask for your fax number, so they can fax a proposed contract change to you right away.
Your first thought might be: “Fax??? Really??? Is my client stuck in the 90s??"
(The truth? Even in 2013 -- the age of email and texting, fax remains as one of the most reliable, commonly used and trusted ways to send and receive critical business documents. Especially in the real estate, legal, manufacturing, finance and healthcare industries.)
Your next thought may be about how inconvenient or challenging it will be for you to send or receive a fax, especially if it's "pronto." And then you feel the stress coming on. Why does it have to be this hard?
You may have a fax machine at home, but, if you're like many people today, it's gathering dust in the corner next to your collection of floppy disks. Besides, you disconnected the dedicated phone line you need for a fax machine long ago to save the monthly charge. Plus, your fax machine is missing an ink cartridge.
Or, you don't have a fax machine and will need to go out to find a copy/shipping place that offers fax service, such as FedEx/Kinkos or the UPSStore.
We often think of the devices we use all day — laptops, tablets, smart phones — as full-service tools for our communications. We can use any of these devices for email, text, video chat, and online document collaboration … but not for faxing. Right?
Wrong. As more small business owners are learning — you can also use any Internet connected device to send and receive faxes digitally via an online fax service. Online fax is as easy as using email. And it's been around for over 20 years. eFax, the world's leading online fax service, launched back in 1995.
Today, more than 11 million people worldwide use eFax for online faxing, so it’s easy for us to take for granted that everybody knows about Internet fax. But it’s a big world — and 7 billion people… minus 11 million eFax customers… is still 7 billion people!
So we won’t take for granted that you know all the benefits of this still little-known gem of a technology. Instead we’ll share four reasons why online fax makes sense for your business today.
1. Online fax saves you money.
Ongoing maintenance and upkeep (ink, toner, repairs) and the added expense of a dedicated phone line are the most common reasons businesses decide to get rid of a fax machine. And, when you consider soft costs such as lost productivity and disruptions caused by waiting by the machine to send or receive a fax, it's easy to see that the convenience and efficiency of online fax can save you money, and time, both in the short, and long, term.
2. Online fax keeps your faxes private.
When a sensitive document is faxed to your office, it might sit on your fax machine for a while — exposing it to anyone who walks by. This can create real problems with security and privacy — and even puts your business at risk of violating regulatory rules about securing client data. With online fax, your inbound faxes are sent directly to dedicated email addresses you specify. No more private information sitting out in public view!
3. Online fax makes your faxes easy to find, forever.
Ironically, your paper faxes leave much less of a “paper trail” than do online faxes. What happens to your paper fax after you send or receive it? Who knows? Maybe your staff files and saves it. Maybe not. Maybe you'll be able to find the document when you need it a year later. Maybe not. But with eFax, you have unlimited lifetime digital document storage, and you can locate documents easily using keyword searches or tags, anytime.
4. Online fax gives you a fax machine in your pocket.
Not only can you send or receive a fax by email on your computer, but today, you can also send and receive faxes from your smartphone or tablet. And, the eFax app for iOS and Android even lets you sign documents using the digital signature feature. Imagine being at a coffee shop or in an airport terminal and receiving, reviewing, signing and faxing back a contract to a client or supplier, all from your mobile device!
New scenario: You're at a local coffee shop chatting with a friend and your client calls and asks you to fax a critical document, pronto. You say, "No problem!" You snap a picture of the document with your smartphone and use the eFax app to fax it to the client right away. Then you go back to your coffee, and your conversation.
Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?