“As a small business interested in growth, I am worried about not having the capital needed to grow my company.”
“As a small business interested in growth, I worry I am spending too much on auxiliary services needed to run my company.”
“As a small business interested in growth, I worry about keeping pace with my competitors because I don’t have the capitol needed to invest in IT services.”
“What the hell is the Cloud anyway?”
If you are small business owner, all of these questions have crossed your mind. At one point or another, you have worried about how you will grow your company and if you have the needed revenue/capitol to do so. Now, while we aren’t in the position to provide advice on who you should hire or how you should spend your money when it comes to trade show events, we do know a thing or two about the benefits of Cloud Computing for small business.
Due to that, we are going to use this space to talk about how you should use Cloud Computing to empower your small business.
1. Understand Your Need
First things first, understand that Cloud Computing solutions for small business are only applicable to your business if you can target the key area Cloud services will help you with. This is to say, before you jump into the Cloud, make sure those services can help streamline and lower the cost of your daily operations.
2. Target Your Need
Once you have determined the parts you think need help, do research on how Cloud services can help you out. For the majority of small to medium sized companies, Cloud Computing options for small business fall into three categories – exchange, telephony and web hosting/Cloud storage. For the vast majority of small businesses, Cloud services can help streamline internal solutions and lower costs by taking email (exchange), telephone and hosting/storage needs off your hands.
In addition to basic IT management of email, telephone and hosting needs, small businesses can also maximizes returns in the Cloud by utilizing SaaS applications like Google Drive. Google apps for small business – Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail – will cut down on the amount of money your company spends on expensive software and will provide you with the flexibility to add applications as needed.
3. Understand Your Limitations
When it comes to picking the right Cloud Computing applications and services for your business, understanding limitations is just as important as understanding need. By this we mean investing in the Cloud to handle your email and hosting needs might fit your business however investing in a corporate Cloud might be out of your ball park.
Like any service, there are many levels to the Cloud. Some of those offerings will sync up with your business and some of them won’t. It is just as important to understand what won’t work for your company as it is to understand what will work. Both are vitally important to provide web 2.0 solutions to your small business.
4. Understand Cloud Scalability
This might be the most important aspect of Cloud Computing for small business. Scalability means being able to grow or shrink your needs as it arises. The term is no different when it comes to virtualization for small businesses. This said, do not make the mistake of thinking because Cloud solutions are scalable, they are cheap. Before you take your local IT solutions into a virtualized data center setting, understand your purchased Cloud Computing services will become more expensive as your company need grows.
Due to this, make sure when you need to scale you have the capitol to do so.
It all comes back to our opening questions. So, before you learn how to use Cloud Computing for small business, make sure you ask yourself our stated questions.