Your small business is probably already hosting your website on the cloud, and you should already be using a cloud backup service to protect your data in case of emergency, but did you know there are plenty of other cloud applications you can start using today?
Whether your employees listen at their desks or you keep it rocking for your customers, save precious hard-drive space and prevent contaminated files from being placed on your system by moving to the cloud. For personal listening, Spotify is a great resource that lets you stream music and create your own playlists. If you’re broadcasting for the public, however, Spotify won’t work for you. You’ll want to look into commercial services like Pandora for businesses.
Don’t bog down your in-house systems or install expensive new ones that will be obsolete soon. Many small business owners have email security concerns, but technology has come so far that you really just need to choose a reliable provider.
If you or your employees travel to meet customers, use multiple devices or occasionally work from home, you can really streamline your work flow. Keeping files up to date, transferring paper to digital, and all those other time consuming tasks can be eliminated by using the cloud. You’ll have to evaluate how you spend your time, what you’d rather be doing, and then choose your solution – but the time you invest will be well worth it.
For salons and other calendar-centric niches, get rid of the giant paper book with the scribbles and coffee stains. Cloud calendars are updated in real time and, when used properly, inspire confidence in your clientele. You can do this with something as simple as Google Calendar or search for a more customized solution.
And consider how much more informed and efficient you’ll be when you can see an appointment with more details than just a name and phone number. With the cloud, you could include links, photos, and notes.
Employee productivity is key in small business, but sometimes life happens. Cloud computing can give an employee access to work from home during emergencies like sick kids or waiting for a home service call – or for long-term solutions like maternity leave.
Eliminate Costly or Quickly Outdated Software
You can do everything from word processing to taxes on the cloud these days. If you don’t need an entire Office Suite, stop paying for it and start paying only for what you need and use.
Save on Travel
If you don’t really have to be there in person, try some of the myriad communication alternatives available. It could be something as basic as Skype video chatting or a more complex teleconference or webinar where you can also share files and display information in real time.