The time of startups and small companies is here.
If you don’t believe it, then consider these stats:
“The United States was home to 30.7 million small businesses in 2019”, says U.S. Small Business Administration
“64% of American small business owners are currently hiring”, reports National Federation of Independent Business
“More than 78% of small businesses reported profits”, says U.S. Small Business Administration
Small businesses are growing like never before, and the reason is the leap in technology. Custom websites with an intranet for small businesses, the global integration of economies through globalization and trade norms have all made it easier for individuals to avail capital to start the business they want.
Startups are taking up the business landscape by capturing new app ideas and services. Mobile apps and the internet have made online buying of goods to grocery very easy. Even food, tickets and rides are available online. The personalization revolution is on, and people are flocking to these comfortable alternatives to a manual life.
Now, if we look at the adoption rate of Sharepoint intranet based on company size, it is astounding to note that small companies with 10-50 employees and 50-200 employees are the major users of Microsoft Sharepoint and associated tools. It emphasises the relevance of Sharepoint among small businesses and startups as Sharepoint helps to complement the work of a larger workforce within a software framework.
Even among the large companies, intranets are the common working spaces. Major companies like Google, Ford, Oman Air, to name a few, who use Intranets, common and digital workspaces to handle their work. The large size of the employees, its multiple branches and the overarching number of offices, etc. make it essential to have a common platform to communicate and collaborate. Intranet provides this space.
Do Small Businesses Need Intranet Software?
The common perception in the corporate world is that intranet softwares are needed only for multinational companies with full range businesses, clients and employees. But the reality is far from this. Small companies are definitely in need of an intranet. The infographic below illustrates the need to have an intranet for your small business.
The common reason for the poor adoption of intranet in small business is their reluctance to accept that they need it. Here are a few compelling reasons for small businesses to deploy an intranet.
- Helping new hires
New hires are the very way of startups as setting the right team is a long drawn process of trial and error in startups. And every time new employees come in a lot of resources in the form of time is spent in familiarizing and feeding the newbies. And for a startup, time is money.
Intranet helps the newbies to quickly grasp the way of the organization, the work culture and other unexplainable behaviours and norms in the organization.
- Common Workplace
A small business usually has most of its employee’s multi-tasking, and numbers cut short to the bare minimum. But the real problem arises when this extra work in the hands of few people needs to be communicated and made sense. It is here that intranet software becomes essential. The intranet provides an everyday workplace for all the teams to collaborate and share ideas, suggestions and progress with ease. Indeed a workplace revolution is in the making with the intranet.
- Brings Consistency
The primary issue with failing startups and small businesses is that they couldn’t align their various employees for the purpose they had hired them. Most of the joiners are experts and talented, but collectively they fail.
Simply because the individuals never aligned with the goals of the organization. They all were centered around their minimalist view of work and could never rise above them to produce a team relevant outcome. So, it was not the lack of talent but the lack of coordination that did them in. The intranet for small businesses can pave the way for more coordination and synergy in team activities with individual goals.
Now that you realize the necessity of having great ideas for designing engaging intranets for small businesses, it is time to move on to the relevant discussion on choosing the right intranet.
How to Choose Your Small Business Intranet?
The world of intranet portal providers is quite overwhelming. It includes Sharepoint intranets, Bitrix, G-Suite, and so on. But to choose the right intranet solution, its build, its type and such things are quite confusing for those who are new to the intranet software development. So we have drawn up some factors that a small business in particular and other companies, in general, should consider before locking on their final choice of the intranet.
The first things first, make a detailed outline of the goals you wish to accomplish using intranet software. For example, if you are thinking about migrating to an intranet software to increase the efficiency of your team, then “enhancing efficiency”, becomes a goal. Similarly, there could be other reasons you want to have an intranet specifically.
A lot of it will depend on the nature of your business and the way it is panning out currently. Then there are some other common goals which you can consider viz. are :
- Create a central place for teams to work
- Evolve the community feel in the employees
- Motivate employees
Monitor how the individual goals align with overall goals
2. Type of Intranet
One of the crucial decisions you need to make while choosing your intranet is its type. Cloud intranet and on-premise intranets are a type. The cloud intranets are the best if you have a scattered office spanning over distinct locations. Also, the cloud Sharepoint intranets can leverage many of the features of Office 365 intranet to integrate file sharing in your organization. And the latest features of Office 365 is all set to make workplace a digital and creative fiesta.
Another type is off-the-shelf and custom platforms to design engaging intranets. An off-the-shelf solution is a general intranet solution that will serve your overall expectations of an intranet like personalized homepages, video playing features, newsfeeds, document libraries, activity streams, team stories, blogs and all this in a mobile interface.
On the other hand, a custom Sharepoint intranet or similar platform being a web-based platform lets you add more sophisticated tools like financial or bank related analytical tools. The final word on your choice of the type of intranet should stem from your understanding of your internal requirements.
A real-life example will help you understand this difference better. Just look at this new employee intranet that the international pizza maker Domino’s made for its employees. The intranet helped Domino’s franchise team members to get a first-class user-experience with the help of three home pages viz. are store, franchise and corporate. The three websites outlined the three groups within the Domino’s and enriched them with their role-based content. The intranet site also became a pathway for secure communication of Domino’s confidential information.
3. Mind Your Budget
The cost is something that takes the main stage when it comes to startups. Many startups find it hard to meet their annual budgets and usually depend on venture capital funds and other external sources. So a small business should focus on some specific aspects like whether they would like to go for an entire intranet that is wholly owned and carrying all the extra costs of maintenance and revamping or avail an annual subscription-based model. The overall financial situation of your business should guide you in choosing the right category of the intranet. It is often seen that small companies and startups go for a pay-as-you-go model of the intranet as it puts very less stress on your budget.
4. The Best UX
What’s the most significant plus point for your employees in having an intranet? There could only be one answer to it and that is to feel the best about the organization. An intranet from employee’s perspective is about associating with a visibly organic unity called the company, and they have a wide range of interactions, for example, a user may be working under a project manager, but his overall loyalty lies for a brand that his enterprise wields. So the nature of interactions is both personal and official.
Further, an intranet which is customizable allows the employer and management team to create beautiful and engaging intranet portals that give the vibe of the company’s general outlook and how they become an essential part of it.
Finally, the intranet is a very efficient and secure way to cultivate a creative workspace, and it can act as a stimulant for Sharepoint like platforms in paving the way for future workplaces.
Coming to Sharepoint development and its ability in creating innovative office solutions, the latest updates from Microsoft Build 2019 is a standing testimony of the futuristic integrations that are already rolling. It also is an assurance to the entire world that giants like Microsoft and Google are committed to seeing the workplace see the digital masterclass. Aufait Technologies, a Microsoft Gold partner, has expertise and vision of 17+ years to offer your workplace design and planning a new turn.