While the concept of the “cloud” can seem overwhelming to anyone who isn’t tech-savvy, it’s simply a generic term for any centralized location on the internet that stores personal or business data. As a small business owner, if you’re not tapping into its power you may be missing out. Here are some of the ways that using cloud services can have a positive impact on your business.
When you’re running a small business, it can often feel like there’s a never-ending number of tasks on your to-do list. From processing payroll to sending out invoices to managing your inventory, you may feel like you need an advanced degree in management just to get through the day. That’s why one of the smartest moves you can make when setting up your business is to seek out software that is designed for your industry. The right software can provide you with all of the tools you need to successfully run your business, with no background in accounting required. Installing a tool like QuickBooks Premier and using a cloud hosting service can help you take care of all of your processing and reporting functions from one simple platform.
Another perk to using cloud-based resources is that they can help save your business money. By not having to invest in the host of hardware and software that might be required to run specialized programs, you can reduce your expenses significantly. As just one example, cloud software subscriptions typically provide free upgrades that make them a much better investment than having to purchase new versions annually. It’s also often simpler to customize cloud-based programs so that you pay for only the tools that you need and aren’t shelling out big bucks for a lot of extras that you won’t use.
Store Your Data
It used to be that small businesses could store their data and information on a few floppy disks and call it a day. Now, with greater security and accessibility concerns, it’s not that simple. Even utilizing secure servers and storage drives at your business site might not be enough to protect your valuable data. More and more business owners are turning to the cloud for backup and storage of their information, as it is widely considered to be the safest way to secure your data. When your information lives in the cloud, you won’t have to worry about everything being wiped out if disaster strikes. Even better, many services will save your data in multiple cloud storage sites so that if there is a system failure in one location your information is still safely stored elsewhere.
Perhaps the best reason for tapping into the cloud to help run your business is the flexibility it can provide. Because you can access your software and data from almost any device with a secure internet connection, you can work from just about anywhere. Whether you’re on an island in the Caribbean or spending a weekend with your in-laws, everything you need to run your business can be at your fingertips. Many cloud-based platforms are also accessible on mobile devices, making them even easier to use from wherever you find yourself.
The cloud also makes it much simpler to share data and collaborate remotely with your employees or clients. Web conferencing, calendar sharing and instant messaging are just a few of the communications tools you can utilize through the cloud, with no one on your team needing to install cumbersome software to stay connected.
If you are a small business owner looking to make everything from daily tasks to remote collaborations easier, moving your operations to the cloud might be the right step to take. Because the cloud can help you increase your productivity while lowering your costs, utilizing it for software and storage can make a lot of sense for any business owner who wants to use technology to accomplish more while spending less.