Business has changed over the years and so has the technology to run it. I had a long discussion with one of my entrepreneur friends recently. After a long enlightening talk, I realised that business has really changed much more in the last few years. These changes, as I now realize have paved way for small businesses and startups in a big way.
As a small business, you can easily manage your business from practically anywhere. Tools like Magento and WordPress help you create your website and showcase your products and services.
Facebook pages, Twitter handles and other social platforms help you promote your business well. More than a billion people are now actively using Facebook and with targeted Facebook Ads, one can easily and cost effectively reach one’s target audience.
For social media marketing and content propagation, one can use free tools like Hootsuite and Buffer app. For document and other files sharing, one can use Google drive. The google drive account also let’s you save documents of upto 5 GB, for free.
Besides that, one has access to online invoicing tools like Invoicera that let you create and send estimates and invoices from anywhere just by logging into your account. The product provides multiple payment gateway options to receive payments from across the globe.
And that’s not all, there are marketing automation products like Salesforce and Mailchimp which help you keep in close contact with your customers.
That’s not all that you can do on the cloud. You find investors and venture capitalists as well. You also find freelancers and remote workers on sites like Odesk and Elance.
After having a long discussion with my friend, I asked him if all of these cloud based tools are really safe for saving data? One has to be careful while using these tools as some of them may not be completely safe. Every cloud app that one uses, must have appropriate data backup and the security features.
Here is my take on the advantages of cloud apps and services :
Easily run a business from anywhere, even on the go
Make your Business more efficient and improve the ROI of the resources
Better organisation of your business, helps you grow steadily
The cloud helps you to act faster and provide better service to your clients
Create a global client base and workforce
With flexibility of using software programs, one does not have to buy expensive software licenses
Regular updates and support from cloud apps saves both time and resources
Store large amounts of data and go paper-less
Here are some words of caution:
Do a thorough research while choosing your set of online tools
Make sure your data is absolutely safe and the tool has proper backup features
Choose Cloud Computing tools which are more flexible and suitable for your business needs
Do monitor your business closely and keep a track of all the important reports and numbers
The future will see more and more cloud based solutions springing up and a larger number of businesess embracing them.