Cloud technology refers to any kind of software or hardware tools that use the internet to help the end-user. From cloud storage and backup systems to email networks and more, cloud technology is changing the way people all over the world work.
For small businesses it proves an essential tool, reducing overhead costs on hardware and staffing, and providing convenient and easily accessible solutions on all kinds of devices. Whether you’re backing up data, communicating with your team and planning the next stage of your company’s growth, or creating a marketing campaign to connect with new and existing customers, cloud technology makes your job easier.
Great Ways to Use the Cloud to Grow Your Small Business
Incorporating cloud technology into your small business is easy. You’re probably already using computers, smartphones, and an internet connection – so why not take the next step?
Cloud computing helps small businesses all over the world streamline communication and tasks, implement new outreach strategies, and protect important data.
1. Manage Communications Across Email, Social, and SMS
Cloud technology can help you implement a better system for communication across your business, whether that’s between colleagues, business to business, or business to consumer. Using the internet, and the right software tools, you can easily manage communication across email, social, and SMS.
With cloud technology, it is possible to manage multiple social media accounts, create social media campaigns with posts being released at specified times, and interact with your customers in a way that they appreciate.
Cloud software also allows you to manage email communication, both manual and automated. With your own email network, your business can designate professional email addresses to every member of your team and create automated, scheduled emails that are sent to customers and clients. These scheduled emails, using the right cloud software, can be targeted towards customers based on a number of metrics, from their buying habits, their interaction rate with emails, or other preferences.
To top it off, cloud technology can even aid with SMS communication. This tried and tested form of communication is one of the most effective ways of converting recipients into new clients or repeat customers, and it can be implemented into many kinds of cloud software. SMS tools can be incorporated into cloud apps to provide real-time analytics relating to open rates, conversion rates, and more. With the cloud, your business can streamline communication and access performance metrics that help you plan for the future.
2. Share and Edit Documents in Real-Time
One of the key benefits of using the cloud is quickly accessing information that might otherwise have been sitting on a computer in the office or at home. Cloud connectivity allows users to save content online, making it accessible on any device so long as it is connected to the internet.
Cloud file storage does much more than just store data online, though.
As a small business, you and your team need to be able to share documents, edit those documents, and share information and new ideas in real-time. Cloud storage allows users to change permission on files and documents, making them accessible only to those who need access. Then, using cloud-based office software, users can make those changes, see who made them and download the most recent version of important files onto any internet-enabled device.
3. Back-Up Your Important Data
A 2019 study found that the annual failure rate for hard drives, the components in computers that store data, fail 1.89% of the time. It might not sound like much, but every single device you use has some kind of onboard storage that could easily fail and take all your data with it.
This is disastrous for a business of any size, but particularly a small business that doesn’t have the tools, resources, or staff available to deal with major data loss. When you lose important files, it could mean the end of an important contract with your client.
Online backups prevent this, and it can be done intelligently with cloud software. All your files can be safely secured on a cloud system of your choice, and even encrypted. A myriad of backup options and preferences await you, allowing you to choose how often your data is automatically backed up, and when old backup files are replaced with new ones.
This way, you never lose important information, and don’t risk losing the client!
4. Use Cloud-Based Collaboration Software
Cloud technology isn’t just doing away with those annoying back-and-forth file-sharing emails – it’s doing away with huge email discussions altogether. With cloud-based collaboration software, you can develop custom online networks where you and your team can share ideas, files, and information.
Users can create custom rooms or channels that include only the people who need to be in there. Shared calendars are integrated, making it easy for you and your team members to see what tasks people are responsible for, and cloud integration means all users are updated with the most recent changes instantly.
Studies show that younger businesspeople consider texting and instant messaging the best way to collaborate with their team. 45% of millennials said they preferred to talk to partners, vendors, and co-workers in this way. And the market is following suit, with the collaboration software marketing growing to reach more than $45 billion.
Streamline, Cut Costs, Save Time
Using cloud technology in these ways can save your business time and money—two key driving factors for your company’s success.
When you backup your important data, safeguard your operation from potential disasters and streamline communication with your team and customers, your business can handle almost anything!