Running a cloud business

The cloud is the best thing for small business since lemonade stands, and there are some key tools you can use to get the best out of it.

If you haven’t been living under a technological rock you’ve probably heard of the nebulous ‘cloud’.

If you have a smart phone or a computer there’s a fair chance that you’re already using it.

Outlook, Gmail, Dropbox and iTunes are all common forms of technology which use the cloud – and they’re allowing us to work smarter than ever before.

It saves businesses time and money by boosting productivity, improving team collaboration and promoting innovation.

Unlike storing information on your computer or a server in your office, you can store information on an external server, or ‘the cloud’.

READ: Getting started in the cloud

That means businesses who use the cloud can access information anywhere, from any device.

What are some of the key cloud tools you can use to put productivity in your business on turbocharge?

Collaboration and communications tools

Collaboration tools like Asana enable your employees to work together to accomplish tasks.

Asana’s free version supports up to 15 team members, which is perfect for small businesses who don’t need more advanced features.

eCommerce-based tools

If you need a web-based storefront, then Shopify is one of the more popular eCommerce platforms.

That’s because it requires very little technological expertise to set up, you can try it for free for 30 days and it provides an abundance of free templates and tools that will make your online business easier to oversee.

Social media tools

If you don’t have the time to manage your social media, then you should consider Hootsuite.

It’s free, which is a truly compelling price point.

Hootsuite enables you to see mentions, publish posts, and integrates with third-party apps.

Data and business document management tools

Dropbox lets you access all your files from whatever device you’re on.

As files are synced in the cloud, changes are automatically pushed to all your devices.

Security

Do you use the same or variations of the same password on all your online accounts?

Then you need 1Password.

Protecting your online identity has never been more important, and this app helps you do that while encouraging you to generate strong, unique passwords for each website you join.

What’s MYOB got to do with the cloud?

MYOB Essentials is easy online accounting software that takes care of GST, invoices, reporting, expenses and payroll.

It includes time saving features to help take care of the day-to-day bookwork.

If you link your bank account to MYOB, you won’t need to manually enter data as bank transactions are reconciled for you.

There’s also online collaboration, enabling you to work together with your team or bookkeeper without having to be in the same place.

You can also invoice on the go, with real-time invoice tracking to better manage your cash flow, all from the palm of your hand.

Try MYOB Essentials, it’s free for 30 days.