You're an entrepreneur, and you’re having a good news/bad news type of day.
The good news: Today's mail includes a check from one of your clients. The bad news? Along with that check is a letter from the client stating that from this point forward, they require all vendors to switch to direct deposit for payment.
That's not a problem in and of itself; in fact, you actually prefer direct deposit. (The trip to the bank takes precious time from your workday and interrupts your flow.) The problem is that, for security reasons, the client will accept your completed direct-deposit form…only by fax – not email.
If you're like most small business owners today, your first thought will be, "Oh, <censored for publication>! Where am I supposed to find a fax machine?"
Fair question. There's no doubt that fax machines are less prevalent in the office environment today. And even if the multi-function printer on your desk also has a fax function, you've likely never used it, and probably don’t have a dedicated fax phone line to make it operable.
Not being able to send a fax when you need to, particularly when there's a deadline involved (such as submitting a direct deposit form in time to get paid), can be costly. Just ask ex Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil. He lost an $8-million contract – and a job – when his agent didn't get his contract to the head office in time. What was the delay? The agent was driving around trying to find a fax machine. By the time he did, it was too late. The deadline was missed, Dumervil lost the contract, and the agent lost a job.
As most of us find from time to time, we still need to send and receive faxes. Many businesses still live by the technology and demand that those who do business with them also be accessible via fax.
But if you don’t want to sacrifice any more of your day – going from the bank to deposit your check, to the nearest copy/shipping place to find a fax machine – there is a much simpler alternative: faxing online.
Put simply, online fax lets you send or receive faxes via email, whether you're at home, or at the coffee shop on your mobile phone. Online fax offers the increased security only fax can provide, with the convenience of email delivery and receipt.
Imagine if, instead of taking the time to drive around to find a fax machine, you simply filled out the direct-deposit form, scanned it via your multi-function printer, and then faxed it by email to your client’s fax number.
Or even simpler: Imagine you took a picture of the signed form with your smart phone’s camera, and faxed it by email as an image right from your phone.
Bottom line: You already have the ability to send and receive faxes when you need to – even if you don’t have a proper “fax machine.” All you need is an online fax account. So stop driving around like a crazy person looking for a fax machine. And while you’re at it, stop cursing!