VoIP Helps HBBs Survive

In the current economic environment, home-based businesses (HBBs) in the U.S. are increasingly turning to the web to boost business. According to a report from AMI-Partners, VoIP is playing an increasingly prominent role in the survival of the HBB.

The implementation of VoIP communication system is among the areas that improve efficiency and reduces cost of HBBs. The report finds that the number of U.S. HBBs using VoIP technology has increased by 48% in 2009. The need for HBBs to cut costs thereby maintaining an adequate cash flow has directly hit the areas of telecommunications and business travel.

“VoIP providers such as Time Warner, Optimum Lightpath, Verizon, to name a few, are offering very attractive bundled VoIP and broadband internet access packages. Current penetration of VoIP technology is still incipient, but strong interests by U.S. HBBs suggests a vast opportunity for VoIP providers in 2010,” said Yuki Uehara, Research Analyst at AMI-Partners.

“On the business travel front, video capability over instant messaging (Skype, AOL’s AIM, and Yahoo’s Messenger) and web conferencing (MS Live Meeting, WebEx, etc.) will continue to help defray the cost of staying in contact with clients and vendors in the HBB market in 2010,” he added.

According to analysts, HBBs are realizing the advantages of investing in technology that improves their business and brings tangible results in the short run. For IT vendors and service providers, it is vital to pin-point the needs of U.S. HBBs and target the HBBs that are proactively investing in those technologies.

“In the past HBBs had focused on more improving internal efficiency such as IT security, data backup & management (back-office functions). Presently we are seeing a shift to reaching out to clients and prospects and communication (front-office functions) to keep baseline revenue and/or catching every possible sales opportunity,” said Uehara.

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