Collaboration for the Smart Small Business

Small-business-meeting-tabletThe Intel Small Business team is dedicated to providing real-world solutions and resources for business owners. This summer, we’re launching a series of blogs that analyze trendy business jargon, breaking through the buzzwords and giving you actionable information to help your business thrive.

Collaboration is a simple concept, but when it comes to working together around the office, things can get complicated quickly. It’s easy to confuse different versions of a document, send the wrong attachment, forget to invite stakeholders to relevant meetings — a lot can go wrong.

Efficient teamwork can be especially tough for small businesses, where teams are small, time is short, and employees are often in and out of the office or working remotely. However, as jobs become more specialized, communication between departments or businesses is required more frequently. Now more than ever, it's important to understand collaboration, pinpoint your business's needs, and identify the right tools for your team to get the job done efficiently.

Workplace collaboration in a connected world

Collaboration is important for effective work. Beyond simply sharing insights between departments, it’s essential to teamwork in a mobile world separated by different work styles, time zones, workspaces, and other obstacles.

Examine your workflow to see where streamlined processes would be helpful. Internal communication between departments and among team members is an issue that frequently begs for improvement. In fact, time spent on email alone could be reduced by 30 percent with efficient collaboration.

External communication is ripe for stronger partnerships as well. Between sharing PowerPoint decks or other documents and phone meetings, businesses are often required to work together if they have a shared stake in a project or must negotiate with clients on the scope of work.

Pull your team together and brainstorm where improved workflows would be helpful.

Digital communication tools to consider

Good news: Small businesses have a lot of free and low-cost options when it comes to collaboration software! If you’re tired of endless email threads and multiple attachments, check out Slack. You can create different channels for specific groups or departments, send direct messages, and drag-and-drop files. For a focus on tasks and assignments, look at Basecamp, a great way to centralize information and documents.

Our Modern Collaborative Technologies guide takes a holistic approach based on your business needs:

  • Why improving teamwork for all employees, whether in or outside of the office, is an integral part of modernizing how work gets done.
  • How supporting large team collaboration can be fully interactive and seamless, even when workers are dispersed across cities and countries.
  • How enabling smaller teams and 1:1 partnerships can be more convenient and cost effective by implementing the right technologies and tools.
  • What best practices and solutions have enabled Intel IT to support global collaboration.
  • How to deliver a seamless experience by using a rich client platform, such as one based on the latest Intel Core vPro processors.

Hardware also supports teamwork

Collaboration isn’t just about better communication, nor is it limited to the ether of the web; the right device is essential. A 2-in-1 is perfect for working together: You can work solo on a traditional laptop, fold it to tent-style to share with colleagues and clients, and take it on the plane as a tablet. And with voice recognition, 6th Gen Intel Core processors, and Windows 10, your tools will keep up with the speed of work.

Check out tools designed to improve modern collaboration or to find more small business resources, tips, and trends, visit our dedicated small business hub.

You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @IntelSmallBiz.