Is Google Fax The Best Solution for Small Businesses?
If you own a small business, you know how important faxing can be on your everyday life. Although we have witnessed the popularization of instant messaging methods like email and messaging apps, many companies still rely on faxing to send and sign invoices, receipts and contracts.
The reason? Fax technology is secure and reliable. All your documents are safely delivered to the hands (or machine) of the recipient. Fax is also legally binding unlike other ways of sending documents. A signed contract sent via fax has the same legal weight as the original one.
But too many businesses still rely on the use of legacy fax technology.
Sure, it retains the same security benefits, but at the same time it feels slow and outdated. That’s why some companies are opting to use Google fax, or the ability to fax with Google tools with the help of an online fax service. This new way of faxing has proven to be an invaluable tool for small businesses that want to get rid of old technology and save money in the process.
How Google Fax Helps Small Businesses
Reduced faxing costs. Traditional faxing is not as easy as buying a machine and turning it on. There’s quite an investment to make to get started: the cost of the fax machine, a dedicated fax line, paper & ink supplies, and the occasional tech repair service.
By faxing with Google you only need a computer or a mobile device and a connection to the Internet. Starting out with a fax service can be free for a full month, and an average basic plan costs $8 per month. This includes all the features, hundreds of pages to send/receive each month and your own Google fax number.
Fax with your email. Instead of using a machine you use your email for faxing. You can use any email address you have, but Gmail is perfect for the job thanks to its ease of use and speed. Sending a fax feels like sending an email, and faxes coming your way are instantly forwarded to your inbox. You receive fax on Gmail automatically, along with all the transmission details.
Multiple recipients. Back then, when you received a fax you had to get copies for every person on your company that needs to have access to faxes. Current Google fax services let you link up to 5 different email addresses to a single fax number. This means that the people you choose will be able to send and receive faxes within your company.
Google Drive integration. Modern offices use the power of cloud storage to save documents and ease the sharing of files between co-workers. Google Drive is the best cloud storage service out there, and it is already used by millions of users around the World because it’s free.
Every new Google account is automatically given 15GB of virtual storage space. If you use Gmail exclusively for faxing this is more than enough for a lifetime! In Google Drive you can save faxes in different files and give permissions as needed. Some service even let you pull documents straight from Google Drive, instead of using your hard drive.
Fax on the go. If you can send fax form Gmail’s desktop site, you can send it from any mobile phone following the same process. Using Gmail’s app you can send email fax as if you were using your computer, and you can attach any document on your cell phone, or a photo of a document that has been taken to the camera.
But perhaps the best way to send fax on the go is with an online fax service app. Some companies have free apps that can be accessed using your online fax account credentials. These apps let you send, receive and even e-sign faxes. Faxes you send using your phone’s camera are instantly optimized to ensure readability on any traditional fax machine.
Fax from Docs and Sheets. Google Docs and Google Sheets are the most popular web-based services to edit text documents and spreadsheets, and the best of all is that they are free. With the help of an add-on or extension you can go beyond the basic features of the tools and integrate new ones, such as faxing.
You need to choose a service that provides a free add-on for these web applications on the Google Chrome Store. Upon installing an add-on, a new menu bar item will show, letting you send a fax directly from the document composing window. Click on Send a Fax, and a sidebar will let you fill out all the required info for sending the fax.
Plans suitable for small businesses. Most services offer 2-3 plans based on the amount of pages to send and receive per month. They are perfect for small business letting you send and receive between 100 and 200 pages of fax per month. If your business grows over time, you can always switch to a custom enterprise plan, meant to be used in big companies with considerable faxing volumes.
Paperless fax. Legacy fax technology is not only slow but also generates tremendous amounts of paper waste. This hurts our planet, and we are living in times when we need to make even the smallest effort to improve the environment conditions.
In addition the faxes you receive need physical space in the form of cabinets and binders. Thousand of Google faxes can now fit in the pal of your hand. Every fax you receive is converted into a PDF, digital document format that is accessible on any computer. Even current small phones possess native technology able to display PDFs. These digital files are also compressed and weight much less than other file formats.
These are the main benefits of using a Google fax solution for small businesses. Luckily, getting started is pretty easy. Since there’s no need for physical set ups and fax equipment, you just need to head to your preferred service and create a free or paid account that will be ready to be used in a few minutes.
To learn more, please check out our Google fax tutorials.