Growing Your Brand in a Digital World
Using the Cloud to Further Your Business
When you are first starting a business, time is one of your most valuable commodities. Before the boom of the digital age, it was incredibly tedious for a small business to get started as everything seemed to require advance planning and significant time to set up, including phone systems, email, servers, etc. Today, however, we have the cloud, and while it has been revolutionary for everyone, it is especially meaningful for the small business owner. Cloud computing provides companies with access to a wide range of capabilities that smaller companies usually find difficult to afford. With access to the Internet, companies can access the services and software they require, while only paying for these items on a monthly basis, just like one would pay for utilities. Today your company is able to participate in the cloud and gain access to everything from backing up data to customer database and management systems. Thus, it is imperative that you take advantage of this opportunity if you are a small business owner. Below are a few tips and tricks for achieving greater success with the cloud.
Establishing an Identity for Your Company
The cloud’s communication services have the ability to provide you and your employees with business phone numbers, email addresses, and even company-wide instant messaging, which will assist in the process of creating an identity for your company within the business world. While these services were quite costly before, the cloud makes it much more affordable, as the services are geared to exactly what your company needs and will only charge you a monthly subscription fee. Your company has the ability to compete with much bigger companies in both accessibility and professionalism because you are able to give whatever impression you want to give. While you might be a staff of only five people, you could easily make it appear as though you are much larger because you can set up email addresses and phone numbers for various departments.
Let’s face it, most people today prefer to work remotely, at least on occasion, and we have developed the technology to make that possible. The cloud permits you to embrace this greater sense of mobility, as your employees will be able to access their documents and files from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection. This will increase employee flexibility (and likely employee satisfaction and retention, simultaneously), and it will also encourage greater collaboration and permit your company to potentially grow all over the world fairly easily.
Everyone knows that “backing up” is one of the most important things you can do, especially when running a company. Because so many documents are only saved on the computer, rather than being printed out and stored, it is critical that you save them in the cloud or on an external hard drive. Thus, it is important that you establish a back-up system on day 1. With the cloud, you can consistently back up your data without even thinking about it. In addition, you will be able to retrieve the most recent versions of your documents, images, and files without a problem.
Significantly Improved Reliability
Through utilizing cloud-based services, you will quickly discover that they are far more reliable than on-site servers or other hardware that gets older with each day. Instead, cloud-based services come with a dedicated, sophisticated IT staff that will likely be able to resolve any of your issues should they occur. This feature is much faster than having to schedule an appointment with your sole IT person or spend hours on the phone waiting to speak with someone.
Rather than spend time focusing on your database and server, enlist a cloud-based service to accomplish that for you. By delegating these tasks, you will be able to focus on what is most important...growing and running a successful company.
Bottom Line: Utilizing the cloud will not only save you money, it may help increase employee collaboration and mobility. But perhaps more importantly, the cloud helps ensure that all of your documents are properly saved and easy to access. That's a service made in heaven!