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Cloud computing technologies can help you reduce costs, boost profits, and grow your small business. In fact, small businesses that move to the Cloud can double their profits and experience 25 percent more revenue growth than those that don’t.
Here are seven ways you can start saving your small business money by embracing the Cloud.
Cloud-based productivity tools give your employees access to data 24/7. This not only allows them to do more and get it done faster, it may also mean your employees can work remotely — all of which can help reduce your expenses and make your business more competitive.
Asana is like a virtual office. Employees can create and assign tasks, share files, and check project progress right from their computers or mobile devices. Plus, it’s highly intuitive. Once your team discovers how much they can get done with Asana, you’ll have no trouble getting buy-in.
2. Customer Relationship Management
Cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software can increase employee efficiency, which can in turn save your small business money. CRM software can also help fuel sales and increase profits. Cloud-based CRM allows users to access, update, and share customer information remotely, so it’s great for virtual teams and employees who work on the go. Plus, CRM based in the Cloud gives you the convenience of viewing contact interactions and monitoring deal progress from one centralized location.
Real-time data sharing, easy to understand data analytics, and intuitive sales forecasting are just a few benefits of Salesforce’s small business CRM solution.
3. Time Tracking
Manual time tracking is not only inefficient; it’s also subject to human error. Using a Cloud-based time-tracking tool can help improve payroll accuracy and ensure your company doesn’t lose a minute of billable time.Try: Toggl
Toggl is a simple yet powerful time-tracking tool that allows you to do everything from set billable rates to export timesheets and view time-usage graphs. Toggl works hand in hand with Asana and other productivity tools, and teams of up to five can use the time tracker for free.
4. Video Conferencing
The equipment needed for video conferencing can be pricey and difficult to use. Plus, every meeting participant must have a complementary system and learn how to operate it. Cloud-based video conferencing systems are more affordable, scale to your changing video conferencing needs, and are user friendly.
Try: Blue Jeans
Blue Jeans offers all the benefits and features of traditional video conferencing without the hassle and expense of owning and managing a system. Blue Jeans also provides best-in-class security, meeting recording, and high-definition content sharing. With apps for both iOS and Android, participants can join your meeting right from their mobile phone or tablet.
5. Marketing Material
Hiring a design professional every time you need marketing collateral can get expensive fast. Creativity tools based in the Cloud can turn nearly anyone into a creative genius — and they’re much less costly.
Try: Canva for Work
Whether you need a professional presentation, an eye-catching infographic, or new letterhead, Canva for Work gives you the tools to create it. To ensure consistent brand identity, save your company’s templates, logos, colors, and fonts in Canva’s Cloud so your employees can access them whenever necessary.
6. Invoice Processing
Small-business owners often handle invoice processing themselves, but doing so takes you away from running and growing your organization. Invoicing services based in the Cloud can streamline the payment collection process and help your small business get paid faster. Typically, the services offer features like recurring billing, automatic deposits, and payment reminders. Plus, because the service is based in the Cloud, billing can be done from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Using the Cloud-based invoicing service FreshBooks, you can customize invoices to reflect your brand, send invoices securely online, and see when your invoice is viewed by your customer. Best yet, FreshBooks is designed specifically for small-business needs, and the average customer doubles their revenue within the first 24 months of using the service.
7. Data Security Management
When it comes to data security, many small-business owners face a dilemma: you want an IT professional on hand to fend off security threats, but staffing one can skyrocket payroll. A Cloud-based risk management tool may help lower the costs associated with IT. According to Microsoft, the Cloud can save 26 percent of an IT budget and reduce time spent on security management by nearly 20 hours per week. In addition to identifying network vulnerabilities and weaknesses, a risk management solution can provide detailed instructions on how to remedy issues as they happen.
PureCloud by Tripwire provides regular network audits that can uncover potential security issues before they become full-fledged emergencies. PureCloud doesn’t require any special hardware and there’s no software to install.
Leveraging the Cloud can save your small business money while providing a flexible and scalable platform from which to grow. Learn more ways technology can help you run your small business and find out what tools you need to make it happen.