Change is the only constant, and the world is changing at a fast pace. With everything else changing drastically, the working environment in the last few decades has also undergone significant changes. Business intranet for small companies, was never heard of before!
Talking of drastic changes in working environments, the size of the organization doesn’t even matter, big or small, every organization is molding itself to the changes.
Out of all the changes that have happened over time in the work culture, one of the most significant is that the organization never had employees working remotely. And in the current era, it is a pervasive norm. Even the smallest organizations provide flexible working conditions to their employees.
With employees working remotely, another crucial aspect that comes into being is ‘information sharing,’ and most of the small businesses still see it as a challenge.
So what could be the possible solution to this challenge? Well, that’s where an intranet comes into being. It makes it easy for organizations to get the job done efficiently.
Now, let’s move forward and talk about why an intranet for small businesses is essential and everything else about the same.
Just to make sure that we’re all on the same page, let’s have a quick look at what an intranet is.
What is an Intranet?
An intranet is a private network that helps people working in a particular organization to communicate efficiently. It makes it easier for people to share the information internally in an organization, especially when certain information is not meant to be shared with the general public.
If you are new to the concept of the business intranet, then don’t worry!! This article has got you covered.
Now that we have a bit of an introduction of the intranet let’s have a look at why small businesses need one and how it may benefit them.
Intranet for Small Companies: why?
One of the widely spread and most common misconceptions about the intranet is that only big businesses with a large number of employees should use it. Well, it is not so.
Although businesses with a vast number of employees use the intranet to manage their workforce, it does not mean that companies with fewer employees can’t use it.
Businesses running with a small number of employees often think that communication and decision-making process is quick and easy. But, this arrangement often outgrows after a point of time, and they become prone to management and organizational problems.
Some problems faced by small businesses include:
#1. Lack of Communication
Communication plays a prominent role in the success of any business. Companies that lack efficient business communication can only succeed in the short-run.
Also, when there is communication lag, people either tend to find out what’s happening through gossip (which is often wrong) or they sometimes miss the vital information.
So, to keep all the information in place and make sure that people are well informed, businesses must go for the best intranet solution.
#2. Decreased Productivity
A sense of dissatisfaction among the employees often results in reduced overall productivity, which eventually hampers the growth of the organization.
#3. Complicated Process of Locating Data
There are times when employees find it difficult to find essential data and information, or they feel buried under a pile of papers or long and complicated email trails. In such a situation, they start feeling anxious, which eventually hampers their productivity and the growth of the organization.
#4. Storing Information
As the number of employees in an organization grows, the information to be shared also increases. When the information starts growing, it becomes complicated to store and manage it. This eventually affects the information sharing process and the growth of the organization.
#5. Time and Efforts Wastage
Time is the key to success, and as cliché, as it may sound, wasted time is wasted money. One of the best examples of this is the HR department. They usually receive requests from different employees to share the same data/information every day.
Only if this time-consuming process is eliminated, they would be able to focus on the matters that need their attention.
On the bright side...
Issues being faced by organizations could be many more, other than those discussed above, and a corporate intranet is a possible solution for all such matters.
It is a virtual tool that makes it easy for organizations to share information, ideas, data, knowledge, documents, etc. amongst all employees working in an organization. Not only this, the intranet has dramatically revolutionized the manner in which many businesses operate.
With the use of an intranet, organizations can leverage robust collaboration and communication along with feeling secure (an added advantage). Overall, they can benefit in the long-run.
One of the best things about the intranet is that organizations can create tailored and fully customizable intranets to meet their business needs and objectives. And as the organization grows in operation and size, they can scale-up the intranet.
Now that we have had a look at the issues generally faced by organizations (which an intranet can eliminate), let’s roll towards discussing the benefits of the intranet to a small business.
Benefits of an Intranet for Small Companies
#1. Enhanced Communication
Every employee needs to have a proper understanding of the goals and objectives for the growth and long-term success of an organization. Neither long nor short term goals should be kept confined to limited people or the upper management of the organization.
A proper understanding of both long and short term goals is essential for all to work towards attaining a common goal. With an intranet, this is a perfect example because it becomes easy to share weekly/monthly/yearly goals, reports, and memos. And this way, every employee of the organization remains on the same page.
The world has gone mobile, and many employees across the globe work remotely, which calls for them to access different files frequently. Additionally, they might need to use different sets of tools of the trade while being anywhere.
Here’s an example: An employee working from outside office premises might need to work on an important file to complete the task in hand but is unable to do so. That’s when the employee intranet comes into role.
Via the intranet, an employee working from outside office premises, can enjoy the same connectivity/access to all the required documents/files and tools as he/she would have if he/she were working in the office.
#3. Efficient Project Management
The entire process of scheduling projects, tracking the progress of each project, and sharing the related documents is complicated and time-consuming.
Well, with the intranet, the entire process becomes smooth and is carried out quickly and efficiently. It also makes it easy for different employees to share their feedback irrespective of their location of work.
#4. Faster and Quick
Do you remember the example of the HR department discussed in the second point of benefits of the intranet for small companies?
Remember how sharing the same document with different employees over an email results in wasting time?
That’s how it happens in other departments too. When a group of people works on the same project, sharing the same document over email consumes a lot of their time and also results in confusion among them.
Using an intranet for such sharing of files ensures that people can work on the same file in one go, and they also have a central location to share the needed information. This results in saving time as well as space on the server.
#5. Social Networking Features
A small business does not necessarily mean that they can’t have offices running in different locations. The social intranet is a bonus for the organizations that have their offices running in different places.
One can easily access and communicate with each other irrespective of their location through the social networking features offered by the intranet. The Intranet bridges the gap between the employees and thus the hindrance of location is resolved.
#6. The Site Pages
This helps organizations to create pages and post policies of the company, share relevant information with employees, like best intranet sites or to make a common official announcement in the organization, etc.
These pages can also be used to create employee feedback forms and get an insight into how the employees perceive the organization.
No business has ever succeeded in the long run without an efficient communication among its employees. Besides smooth communication, data sharing, collaboration & connectivity, fast and easy sharing of data, social networking, and site page features are some other benefits that come along with this powerful tool.
Wrapping up - Small Business Intranet
Like any other tool and with so many benefits, an intranet is a sound investment in a small business. Just remember, the intranet is an investment in your most valuable assets, your people. By putting the culture, communication, and engagement on priority in your small business from the very start, you give an impression to your employees that you have their best interest in mind as you grow together.
So, if you are running a small business and have not taken the opportunity of the powerful features of the intranet, then you need to re-think. An Intranet can help you take your business to new heights by putting everyone in the loop of what’s happening in the organization and by making everyone work to achieve a common desired goal.
Do you still have any doubts? Feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help.