When you think of a small business, do you think of a family-owned restaurant down the street or a local T-shirt printing shop? While organizations like that certainly meet the definition, a small business doesn’t have to be a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. Cloud computing has made it so that an individual who makes craft jewelry in their spare time can build a competitive enterprise in their own home. Here are five ways the cloud is changing small businesses.
1. Communicating Like Big Businesses
Whether you’re answering vendor calls with cloud phones or responding to social media posts by loyal customers, it’s never been easier for you to communicate with associates and customers like a much larger business would. A voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone offers you a way to place crystal-clear phone calls that help you sound more professional.
2. Reducing Overhead
While operating as a mostly online business can help you avoid costly office or storefront leases, that’s not the only way the cloud can save you money. Cloud computing can give your company access to a complex network infrastructure that would be prohibitively expensive to have on-site for most small businesses.
3. Staying Secure
Data security is important whether you store customer information on a local server or the cloud. With the cloud, you must choose a service provider that offers encryption for your data. A single cyberattack can result in an average of $200,000 in remediation costs and fines. Cloud computing can offer you a way to save money on local servers and data security measures, handing that responsibility to your service provider.
4. Adapting to the Gig Economy
As a small business, the thought of hiring a big staff to help you grow might seem daunting. However, the booming gig economy has made it easy to find help fast. There are more than 57 million freelance workers in the U.S. The cloud offers a way to hire any of them and have them work within your network environment with ease.
5. Focusing on Service
Whether you can answer calls wherever you go, or you can rest easy knowing your customer data is secure, the cloud can free you to do what you do best. Rather than worry about all of your back-office software and operations, you can focus on providing your customers with great service.
If you already have a small business or are considering starting one, there are several ways the cloud can help you grow. Cloud computing has leveled the playing field for small businesses everywhere.