10 ways to cloudify your business today

In 5 years time we will look back at this era and be blown away that some of us were questioning the value of small business cloud services. I cringe when I see people in forums and on social media jumping at the latest story about Amazon’s servers going down for 5 minutes. They seem to have forgotten about the times their hard drive crashed or they lost a USB stick.

The cloud is here to stay because the benefits are huge and so obvious they don’t need to be rehashed here.

Businesses that don’t embrace the cloud will be left behind. Businesses that do will gain an immediate advantage. It’s that simple.

Here are 10 ways you can embrace the cloud now.

1.  Storage

Physical hardware is expensive and maintenance heavy. Ditch your ‘IT expert’ and use a simple solution like Google Drive which will automatically backup and sync your important files.

2.  Backups

Backing up files to a physical computer is maintenance heavy, time consuming and risky (one location). I use Crashplan to automatically back up my files to the cloud.

3.  Customer data

Storing your customer data in PC based software like Excel or MYOB means you can’t do anything with the information and it’s stuck on a computer somewhere. Zoho CRM is one of many great CRM’s that can store your customer data securely online where you can access it and use it from anywhere.

4.  Productivity

Software based project and task managers like Outlook or Microsoft Project means critical information is stuck on someone’s computer. I use free tool Trello for managing projects and tasks which enables me and my team to collaborate in real time from anywhere.

5.  Accounting data

I promise not to give you accounting advice if you promise not to take IT advice from your accountant. Ditch your out of date offline accounting package for a modern, online alternative like Xero. Bank feeds come in automatically, it recognises common transactions and your data is available for you to access from anywhere to make better business decisions.

 6.  Ideas

Ditch the notebooks and capture your ideas online where you can access them, add to them, search for them and share them from anywhere. My ideas would be lost without Evernote.

7.  Documents

Google Docs is free and it enables your team to work on documents at the same time, live without issues. No saving, no backing up, no conflicted files – it just works.

8.  Communications

Ditch the outdated and expensive physical infrastructure and go online. Online communication options range from simple services like Skype through to full online PABX systems.

9. Marketing

Move your marketing online where you can create great content that helps the world and easily measure it’s effectiveness. I use WordPress for publishing articles, podcasts and videos on my blog and MailChimp to email my subscribers.

 10.  Reporting

Once your services are online, you no longer need to spend hours doing manual reporting in Excel. I built Informly to automate the process of showing simple reports on how a business is performing.

Small businesses have 1 major advantage over larger ones and that is the ability to change quickly. Use this advantage now and cloudify your small business (yes I made that word up and it’s terrible).

What do you use the cloud for?

I’d love to know how you are using the cloud in your business, please leave a comment below.

About

Dan Norris is a co-founder at WP Curve and a passionate entrepreneur with an obsession for content marketing.

  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

    I love Dropbox for sharing files :) Now if only Photoshop was in the cloud! (oh hang on it sort of is…)

    • http://inform.ly/ Dan Norris

      Hi Melissa thanks for the comment. I was on DropBox but the ability to have my Google Docs together with the rest of my dogs makes things simpler for me. Plus Google Drive gives you more space on the free plan. I feel a bit bad for backing a product which is pretty much a direct copy of DropBox but in the end that makes it a better product for me. They are both pretty much identical though.

  • Goerge Mathew

    Dan Agreed and really helpful important tips you gave. I always used to stored my data in Google Drive so it help me to get those data from anywhere. I don’t know about some other tools thanks for sharing here.

    • http://inform.ly/ Dan Norris

      Thanks George, glad you found it useful