When you start up your small business, there are several challenges that everyone comes across. I’m not talking about a business plan, or knowing who your target audience is, or even how to find new customers – I assume that you looked into all this before you decided to open up your small business. I’m talking about the challenges that every small business faces in the first few years.
There’s the matter of money. You don’t have money to burn, so you want to spend as little as possible on the tools that you use, and the hardware that you need to run it on. The matter of space – you don’t want to waste your space on office supplies like printing paper or toner, when you could put it to better use – maybe your welding equipment, or your paintings. And of course, more space also costs more money.
In general, small businesses today are looking to save money on expensive gear and software tools, and need to make sure that they are getting the most out of their resources.
Which is why the cloud is looking more and more attractive to small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers.
For instance, you don’t have to install new software. When there’s a new version of your favourite app released, then your online app is silently updated in the background. In most cases you don’t even have to refresh – you just continue working, only now, it’s an improved experience. Things might be faster, or new options added, or even small things like the Google Chrome taskbar changing the ‘settings’ icon.
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You don’t even have to worry about different teams using different versions. Your office admin is using the same Google Doc version as you, the software team are all using the same GitHub, and your marketing team are all using the same Hootsuite to make sure you’re using Facebook and LinkedIn the way they should be. You don’t have to worry if doc files are compatible with docx files, wonder if everyone has that new nifty ‘chat’ option to refer social tasks one to the other, or if your teams are using the same version of the MeetingKing meeting management tool as you (hint: They are).
On top of that, your data is safe – it is backed up on servers that are physically a very long way away from you (and it doesn’t matter if you are using Box, Dropbox, or SkyDrive). If anything happens to your office, or if your computers suddenly all bite the dust together – all you have to do is plug in a new computer, connect to the Internet, and you’re good to go. Your office documents? Safe. Your CRM data? Safe. Your accountancy and invoicing? Safe.
So start moving your office into the cloud today. Use Google Docs or Office 360, use MeetingKing, use Freshbooks or Harvest, and start taking real advantage of the resources that free up.