Image courtesy of Ivan Walsh
Running your business has never been so cost effective. For small business owners, working in the cloud means less equipment that you would have to purchase and more money in your pocket. First, every business needs to create a website. Once you do this, you will have created a portal where all of your business transactions and communications can be used as a tool. Sign up for Google Apps for your free email accounts and operate your email system through a portal such as this.
The really cool thing about this is some of the tools that you have access to, such as the virtual calendar. Here, you can create an event and invite customers and those in your network to participate. Use this for employees and schedule meetings. Access it through your mobile phone or some other device. Also, you can create and edit documents as needed with staff. Create them into a file such as PDF and send to whoever needs the information.
The day has come that expensive equipment is not necessary to be competitive (it does help to have if you can afford it). All you really need are the devices to access the cloud, communicate with your network and print hard copies of data that you may need. Connect with your bank online, all of your transactions can be made using the virtual banking system. Financial records can be accessed online using accounting services where all of your data can be stored. Paychecks can be written and sent without you ever having to see the physical check–everything can be done through a virtual vendor.
New startups don’t have to purchase any type of customer-based filing systems since all of this can be tracked online. Through Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, companies can manage their customer base. This allows you to communicate with your customers without an expensive phone system. All you have to do is use one of the many virtual phone companies where you can create a phone system as elaborate as you need it to be and pay only a monthly fee.
Even meetings are made easier through the cloud. Host a webinar for those who need your information. Have a class for new employees. Set a meeting and have a conference online. Project managers can find a portal where all data can be created and stored.
Social media tools make marketing your business easy and very affordable. Keep up with your customers and let them know your latest deals on a daily basis. Create a blog and share your expertise that will drive traffic to your website. When you need to invoice clients, there are vendors online where you can create and send from a virtual portal. Keep track of who has paid, account expenses and other records through online accounting tools without having to clutter your office with paperwork you no longer need. Scan your receipts and record them online through different vendors. Operating your business in the cloud is a breeze with all of the tools that are available.
Depending upon your type of company, most of your business can probably be conducted through the cloud. All of these services mentioned are provided by cloud hosting providers. The cloud is an inexpensive option compared to purchasing all of the expensive hardware, software and hiring employees. Services are provided through cloud hosting providers that will help you as your business grows.