4 Ways the Cloud Will Help Your Small Business Increase Productivity

Author: Gina Hall | May 28, 2015

The cloud. It went from mysterious to mandatory in a matter of months. But will your small business get stuck on the ground while competitors using the cloud pass you by?

Maybe your current customer management software is working just fine. You know where everything is and you feel it is safer on your own private network. Valid points. But it could cost your business if you don’t make the change.

Here are a few things the cloud can do to boost your company’s productivity.

Shared Resources
It’s probably happened to you: You spend a couple of hours of painstaking work on a document only to find out that it’s the wrong version. Your VP sent you an updated version just hours ago and your efforts are moot. Whoops.

How much extra time do you spend on a project because your team isn’t on the same page? If you move to the cloud, you can store documents, presentations, conversations and budgets on a cloud-based program to reduce the number of mistakes made that cost your business both time and money.

Recommendation: Zoho

Zoho includes full cloud-storage integration, document management and complete coordination of different projects. The platform is free for a single project and goes up from there.

Mobility
How many times have you told a client you’ll respond to their request when you get back to your computer?

We live in a world of right now and if you’re constantly on the go, you can blow a deal if you don’t have critical information at the time a decision is being made by a client or consumer. The cloud lets you access information from any location where you can get an Internet connection whether it be on your phone, tablet or laptop.

Recommendations: Dropbox, Box

Access all your files all the time from your phone or laptop. Enough said.

Accountability
Missed deadlines are the worst. Help your employees stay on top of it all with shared reminders of short-term and long-term goals.

Recommendation: Asana

This starts as a free tool which allows users to create projects, tasks and subtasks with a real-time notification center that pings your inbox when deadlines approach. A calendar dashboard helps you see where everyone stands on a project and if you’re hitting your marks or in danger of falling behind.

Collaboration
Do you have offices in multiple locations? Remote workers? Freelancers? Allow them to contribute to a project with ease by storing relevant documents in the cloud rather than having them wait around for you to send them materials. Again, time is money.

Recommendation: SugarSync

This is a project management tool that offers cloud storage and synchronization across devices. It allows users to collaborate on projects remotely and set up a single-point billing system that can be managed online. Pricing starts at $75 per month.

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