In a world where speed matters more than ever, being able to offer customers, clients, and subscribers easy, quick access is a top priority. In addition to speed, consistent functionality is a crucial component for web-based brands that offer both services and products to the masses. If your website is offline or your ability to provide services is hindered, then you’re losing both time and money.
A recent trend – cloud computing – has made it possible for businesses to circumvent many of these concerns and operate at peak efficiency. Even small businesses and entrepreneurs can take advantage of such services to streamline their performance.
And it’s not just about having the best managed IT services from providers such as Fusion Computing Limited. Today, we’ll examine five cloud-based services for businesses that can help nascent entrepreneurs tackle some of the biggest challenges of running and managing their businesses.
To begin with, every business needs an easy and simple way to collaborate and stay connected. Whether you’re planning the roll-out of a new ad campaign or managing inventory orders, keeping everybody in the loop – in real time – is essential. While there are many options out there, finding free or low-cost options should be a top priority.
Many new entrepreneurs recommend solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox as two great, free solutions for beginners. Sharing files with the team and accessing documents from anywhere – even while offline – is made possible through the features these cloud-based organisational tools offer.
Ensuring that both employees and vendors are paid on-time – and in a timely fashion – is one of the biggest struggles of budding entrepreneurs. It’s also one of the most essential, as making a good first impression on customers and suppliers alike affects the longevity of any business.
Solutions such as AccessPay offer cloud-based direct debit services for businesses of all sizes. Whether you’re seeking to manage one-time payments and deposits via Bacs or need to set up recurring billing solutions via direct debit services, cloud-based payment processing options are increasingly replacing the traditional merchant accounts due to their improved functionality and faster processing.
Crucial to any new business’ success, maintaining good relationships and service for new customers should be at the top of any priorities list. Thankfully, customer relationship management solutions utilising the cloud can be easily obtained, configured and managed by even the smallest of businesses.
Dozens of unique options exist, with Salesforce and HubSpot being the most popular. Through solutions like these, you’ll be able to manage and track leads, analyse metrics for your business, and drill down into the data to discover what strategies deliver the best results for your efforts.
Tracking receipts and expenditures, payroll, tax liability and other financial measurements is one of the biggest indicators of whether a business will succeed. All too often, new entrepreneurs will fail to adequately account for these variables and end up bankrupting their companies before they realise what happened.
With cloud-based accounting services such as FreshBooks, every aspect of the accounting process can be handled from one interface – and from anywhere in the world. Track invoicing status, payroll and a variety of other important financial metrics without having to keep reams of paper and folders on-hand. Utilities such as this make it far easier to account for expenditures and handle your finances without the need for expensive, professional accountants.
Many entrepreneurs rely on standard communications solutions to keep the team in sync. Whether it be phone, text or email, these options can work, but they do not provide the full functionality that cloud-based communications systems do.
Increasingly, business are using solutions like Slack to tie everybody together for maximum efficiency. Not only do apps such as Slack integrate seamlessly with other cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive, but individual channels can be created and managed for specific tasks (and with specific permissions). These tools can be the perfect option for siloing communications when necessary and tie people together when required, both of which can maximise productivity.
As cloud computing continues to become more prominent and ubiquitous in daily life, it should surprise no one that these services are infiltrating the world of business. These five cloud-based solutions are just a few examples of what the broader dynamic of cloud computing can offer businesses. For new entrepreneurs, though, these services – most of which are free or very reasonably priced – can be godsends in the fight to build a powerhouse brand in one or more industries.