Cloud computing technologies have proved to be a boon for small businesses since they are so effective at cutting down on costs and time spent on computer maintenance. Small businesses are especially vulnerable when they are getting started and it is important for these businesses to keep their overhead down and focus on crucial tasks in order to stay competitive.
Today’s cloud services can provide powerful utilities that were previously unavailable to smaller businesses. Services like financial tools, communications software, data management, security, content management, and much more are available to small businesses via the cloud.
With cloud services, the actual companies running the remote servers are doing the IT work for you. You don’t have to invest in a sizeable amount of IT infrastructure, you won’t have to pay IT staff to keep everything running or purchase expensive software to install on all your machines.
Let’s go over some must have cloud-based services that can help you minimize costs and better manage your business.
Accounting and payroll tasks are notorious time sinks, and fortunately, there are a lot of great financial services available on the cloud.
Many businesses and individuals have used Intuit’s powerful QuickBooks accounting software to keep track of their books. Now the company offers an easy-to-use cloud-based version of the program that is affordable and convenient.
If you need to manage your employee’s payroll details, there are many cloud-based POS systems on the market that have payroll functions built in, and SurePayroll has a stand alone payroll program that will save you a lot of time and energy.
Businesses of all sizes function best when everyone is on the same page, so it definitely helps to have a robust communication system in place. This is something that modern cloud-based software is especially good at handling.
If you are looking for an excellent collaboration system, Asana’s collaboration software is one of the best systems on the market. With cloud-based collaboration software, you can track projects with your team and make sure everyone stays on task. Asana even offers a free utility for smaller teams if you don’t need their more advanced features.
Check out ClickMeeting if you want to easily run webinars and video conferences. Also, if you’d like to improve your customer service, FreshService’s helpdesk software allows you to easily assist your users on the cloud. FreshService’s software is another service offers a free plan in case you need basic functionality.
Finally, if you want to run an email marketing campaign and keep in touch with your customers, you should definitely consider MailChimp, one of the marketing industry’s most powerful mass email tools.
Data management and analysis is the lifeblood of small businesses, as it allows small business owners to quickly determine what is working and what isn’t. Business owners can also better keep track of their operations, and maintain operational efficiency throughout the company.
Microsoft’s Power BI is a very useful tool that can help you organize all of your data into useful graphs, charts, and other visual aids. Like many other cloud-based services, it is also easy to use, and it accomplishes quite a bit of work for you. This software features a free basic version as well, and you can pay for more storage as you go.
You’ve probably worked with some sort of CRM system before, so you probably already know what CRM systems can do. NutShell CRM is a fantastic cloud-based CRM tool that provides sales process automation, contact management, analytic tools, and many other useful utilities.
With so many of your processes running on cloud-based systems and your own local computer systems, it is a good idea to have an effective security system in place to protect all of your investments. Webroot has a wonderful antivirus package that will take care of your computer systems, and Spiceworks’ network monitor will keep an eye on your network activity for free!
Cloud Services For Your Business
This list is cloud-based services is by no means exhaustive, but if you pick up a couple of the software packages that we mentioned, you’re sure to save a lot of time, and energy, and money on your business’ IT functions. Cloud-based software is the quickly becoming the new standard in business software, and it is safe, secure and stable. Start getting set up with all of your software packages, and good luck with your business!
Author Bio: Stephanie Rowan is an avid technology writer who got started offering outsourced IT services in Los Angeles. Stephanie is fascinated with IT issues and solutions, and when she’s not writing, she’s making sure the family’s Wi-Fi network is working properly.