How the Cloud Can Help Small Businesses Get Ahead

Some small businesses make the mistake of ignoring technology. The people who own these companies often believe that it’s only the corporate giants that can benefit from leveraging new tech, or that cloud services would be too expensive for their operation. Nothing could be further from the truth; in fact, small businesses that leverage the Web can develop the kind of loyal customer base that would never form under a monolithic corporation. People love to support those within their local community, and in order to reach them, businesses have to go where they are: on the Internet – in the cloud.

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Free Promotion

Something as simple as a fan page on a social networking site can serve as an advertising platform. If 100 people see it, every person they have on their friend’s list will see it too, and the effect multiplies when someone spreads positive feedback about a local business. Promotion can go viral even at the local level, and businesses that take advantage of that can save a lot on advertising costs.

Cheaper Software

It costs thousands upon thousands of dollars to purchase every piece of software that’s necessary to run a business. Nearly all of these applications have a cloud-based counterpart, and cloud applications run the gamut between free and cheap. At most, someone will have to pay a low monthly fee to gain access to certain applications through a cloud storage service.

No Hardware Required

Purchasing cloud storage makes sense regardless of what someone needs for his business. Hundreds of gigabytes can be had for less than $20 per month. That eliminates the need to buy hundreds of dollars worth of storage devices and backup software. While it’s still a good idea to keep some physical backups on hand, some cloud services have that covered as well. A few business oriented services will allow customers to request certain files on disks or hard drives for a small fee.

There are other benefits that result from this. When less hardware is required to run a business, less office space needs to be purchased. When files can be accessed from the cloud, business owners can stay away from the office for extended periods of time and still have access to pertinent information. With certain businesses, a physical location is completely unnecessary once cloud services are brought into the picture. It makes it far easier to bargain for time, and business owners can do what they need to do far more easily when they’re not bound by the limitations of a low-tech enterprise.

Working With Other People

Business owners used to be restricted to selecting workers from local applicants. Now certain businesses can hire anyone from across the globe, or entrepreneurs can choose to hire independent contractors on a per-project basis. Day-to-day business operations can flex according to a business’ needs, and any enterprise with that kind of flexibility is far more robust than one that lacks it.

Everything is in the Cloud

Computers that use the cloud for everything have already hit the market. The cloud is not a gimmick, and it’s not a convenient but frivolous function of modern computing. It is what the entire world is now shaping itself around; the Internet is weaving itself into everything, and what’s beneficial for a business today will be necessary tomorrow. Small businesses need to adapt now in order to survive the future.

About the Author: Alan Martin is a tech blogger.

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