One of the best things about recent technological advances is that they’ve allowed small businesses to easily access powerful tools that once would have been far beyond their reach. Software that would have once cost far more than a small business could afford On top of this, cloud technology makes it easier than ever before for business owners to do what they need wherever they are, just as long as they have an internet connection.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best cloud-based tools for your small business and what they can help you achieve. You’re unlikely to need them all, but just one or two of them should be enough to take your business to the next level.
Do you struggle with your accounting? Is keeping track of VAT a nightmare? Are your tax returns always a last minute struggle? Then Quickbooks Online is the tool for you. Quickbooks takes a lot of the hassle out of accounting and you don’t need to be an experienced accountant to make the most of it. Whether you’re filling in a self-assessment form, or need a more comprehesnsive accounting solution, Quickbooks has a product that suits your need.
If you use just one cloud-based tool for your business, make sure it’s Office 365. Why? Because it offers so much in one product. It provides all the usual Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. But there are also a huge range of other tools in there. From Skype for messaging and video conferencing to OneDrive for storing all your important documents digitally, Office 365 has pretty much everything you’ll need to make your business more productive.
Need to get your working life organised? Trello offers an excellent way to do just that. Although it’s most frequently used as a to-do list, Trello’s flexibility means that you can adapt it to meet your needs. You can get some advice on how to make the most of Trello here.
If you’re looking to streamline your sales process, then Salesforce is worth looking into. In fact, the company claims that people who use its software see, on average, a 37% increase in sales. Weighing it at Â£45 a month for the full CRM tool, Salesforce isn’t the cheapest tool around. However, if it does what you need then it should more than pay for itself.
Need to jot down your ideas or set up a to-do list that you can check off as you go along? Then Evernote is well worth checking out. Its free version is great if all you need is a simple way of keeping track of your thoughts. However, if you need a more powerful note taking solution then bear in mind that Office 365 comes with OneNote – Microsoft’s own note taking tool. So you might be better off opting for Office 365 and all the other features it offers, rather than just paying for a standalone note taking tool like Evernote.
Dropbox is great for sharing and storing your documents. The most basic package is free, which is great if you’re just starting out and need to save as much money as possible. However, that free package is limited to just 2GB of space, which means you’ll struggle to share multiple large files. There is a paid for version of Dropbox available, but again you may want to take a look at Office 365 first to see if that better meets your needs. Office 365 provides 1TB of storage space, along with a whole host of other useful tools.
The cloud allows small businesses like to access high-quality tools that can transform the way you work. The key is finding the right tool for you. So if you’ve got any questions about any of the tools mentioned above, or are struggling to find a cloud-based tool to do a particular task, let us know in a comment and we’ll get back to you.