I think anyone who runs a business these days needs to be very thankful. It would have been much harder if you were starting out hundreds of years ago. Even starting one a few decades ago must have been torture and everyone with an older business is surely jealous of the younger generation. Part of the reason why it’s great these days is the fact we can move some things into the cloud, but let’s look at some specific examples.
► Keep all your files safe
When you run an offline business you have to worry about people breaking into your shop, natural disasters knocking your building down, and fires turning everything into a pile of ash. Unfortunately if you use computers you also have to worry about online problems and the biggest one is losing all your important files if anything went wrong. If you want to ensure you can keep the business running at all times it’s crucial you start saving everything into the cloud so you have backups.
► Sending out emails
I think a lot of small companies are still sending out letters to their customers. Only a few of them have even thought to collect email addresses, but when you send out emails individually you still waste so much time. Have you thought about adding your customer emails to an autoresponder sequence? Once they are added to your list everyone will get sent emails automatically even when you’re lying on a beach somewhere. You just need to write all the emails in advance and the software will do the rest.
► Team meeting technology
It’s easy to waste time holding team meetings, but at the end of the day they are still really important because you can’t work in a vacuum. Thanks to special conferencing software you won’t even need to leave your desk in the morning because everyone can log in and speak to everyone else on their team. This means people can attend the meetings even if they’re on a business trip in a completely different state. When the meeting is finished everyone will be able to start work again within seconds.
Now that the world has opened up because of the internet it means more people are getting hired from every corner of the globe. This could mean a small business would have to look after contractors from India and Vietnam who were helping them look after their online presence. When you want to look after a remote team it’s even more important you use cloud-based project management software because everything is much easier to organize and people will be more productive.
► Start to drop-ship
How many businesses do you think sell their own products? There aren’t many of them because most will just order from a wholesaler and sell other people’s products. If you started to move more of your business online you wouldn’t even need to deal with stocking anything. Go through a drop-shipper and as soon as someone orders something from you the drop-shipping company will send their order out to them. Everything will be taken care of in the cloud and your life will be easy.
Shruti Vaghe, the author of this article is a freelance blogger and often writes for US Wired, leaders in IT support services in San Francisco. She likes to cook and read in her spare time.You can also follow her on twitter @ShrutiVaghe.