The cloud is such a powerful tool that you can use to drive your startup forward. It’s a revolutionary technology that can be used in so many different ways. The question is, how do you take advantage of the cloud to boost your business in the right direction?
Well, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of ideas, and here are our top picks:
A simple way to take advantage of cloud technology is by using virtual assistants or receptionists. The idea here is so easy to understand; you outsource your telephone answering duties to other people in offices that are far away from yours. When someone calls your business line, it’s picked up by your new virtual assistant, and they handle it for you.
There are a few ways this benefits your startup, and the main one is that it allows you to make better use of your time. You can focus on doing your actual work and driving your business forward while someone else is picking up your calls. It also means you’re likely to experience fewer missed calls as your virtual assistant can answer when you’re busy. As a consequence, this can improve your customer service by ensuring that everyone who rings will be seen to by someone.
Following on from this, it improves your professional reputation by making it seem like you’ve got assistants and receptionists. Potential customers will be impressed with how professionally the call is handled, and it leaves a positive impression on them. Also, virtual assistants can take care of admin tasks that you don’t have time for either. So, this further improves your startup productivity, driving you in the right direction.
A virtual office builds on the idea of virtual receptionists by giving you a virtual workplace. You can work from home, but you’re now armed with a prestigious business address. All mail gets sent to this virtual address then forwarded to you - either by mail or typed up and sent as an email. You can proudly display this office address on your website, so people are more impressed.
Having a virtual office means you can say your business is located in a prime location amongst other big companies. This instantly helps drive your startup forwards because you’re boosting your reputation. It’s a smart way of solidifying your brand and building up a professional and authentic image. This inspires trust, which can lead to you getting more clients based on a prestigious office address!
Plus, the great thing with a virtual office is that you can still work from wherever you want. So, you have your flexibility while still having this virtual address - and all for a much lower cost than renting an office in the same location. If you ever need to hold a meeting, then some virtual offices have meeting spaces you can go to and use as well!
You can’t underestimate the importance of managing your accounts when running a startup. A lot of small businesses fail because they don’t get to grips with the financial side of things. If you aren’t managing your comings and goings, then this leads to issues where you spend too much and bring in too little. As a result, you start making losses every month, which leads to your business completely failing.
Part of the reason for the lack of account management is that it takes a long time and is tough to do. But, thanks to the cloud, you have access to a range of extremely straightforward accounting services. You can instantly view your accounts and track spending, create invoices, and so on. What’s more, it can all be done from numerous devices wherever you are.
Consequently, you stay on top of your finances - which allows you to keep your business in a position where you’re actually making profits and being careful about how you spend your money. But, you also save time and money by using cloud accounting services instead of needing to hire a full-time accountant!
One of the best ways the cloud has come to help your business is through collaboration tools. Now, you can take advantage of things like Office 365 and Google Drive to work on projects with other people. This allows you to hire people to work for you and collaborate on documents or presentations while you’re both in entirely different locations. The same goes for clients as well - you can work on agreements or deals with them, and you don’t have to be in the same room.
This aids your business as it makes it so much easier for you to get work done. Instead of needing an office filled with staff - which is incredibly costly - you can work from home, and so can everyone else. You dramatically lower your overhead costs, which helps drive your business in the direction towards success.
Lastly, we can’t ignore one of the first uses of cloud technology; storage. Back up your essential data files to a secure cloud platform, and you guarantee that it’s safe. If your laptop crashes, you don’t have to worry about all your client info being destroyed or lost. Likewise, if your portable hard drive gets stolen, then you still have another backup.
In fact, it’s often far better to store data on the cloud than physical devices because it presents far better security. There’s less chance of data breaches, meaning you won’t experiences instances where your customer data has been compromised. This helps your business establish a trustworthy reputation where people feel like their info is safely tucked away.
Also, as a combination of this point and the one about collaboration, you can use the cloud to share data with other people. It’s a secure way for clients to share their info with you, or for you to share things with your employees.
The bottom line is that you need to start leveraging the cloud to drive your startup forward. Take advantage of everything mentioned in this article, and you’ll start moving in the right direction.