As a small business owner, you probably spend quite a bit of time finding ways to maximize limited resources and improve productivity. With just a handful of employees and only 24 hours in a day, you have to be sure every aspect of your business is as efficient and cost-effective as possible. For years, the cloud has been a hot topic within the IT community and more recently has become more mainstream with many worthwhile applications and business solutions being housed in the cloud.
According to Silicon Angle, this year alone businesses in the United States will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing services. Not surprisingly, 80 percent of cloud adopters saw improvements within six months of moving to the cloud. The cloud has made it possible to be continuously connected to work applications, email and documents. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection or a flexible data plan. Wi-Fi connections can be found at every airport, hotel, Starbucks and even FedEx locations. When all else fails, most smartphones can be turned into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. This means that when half of the sales team is promoting the company at a business function or a tradeshow, the team can still keep up on their emails and other tasks right from their hotel room or the tradeshow floor.
Today, small business owners have numerous options to help their operations run more efficiently and compete with larger companies that have more resources. Click through for five essential cloud tools for small businesses, as identified by Tristan Barnum, CMO of Voxox, the most comprehensive cloud-based, rich communication service for consumers and businesses.
Cloud Tools for SMBs
Click through these five essential cloud tools SMBs should consider for their organizations, as identified by Tristan Barnum, CMO of Voxox.
Cloud Phone – Entrepreneurs and their employees often use their personal mobile numbers as their main lines of business communication. For those who prefer to convey a more formal business image, there’s Cloud Phone. Cloud Phone provides a dedicated toll-free or local business telephone number (and employee extensions) that can be used on the go with the user’s mobile device. Setup takes less than a minute and doesn’t require any special skills to manage.
Cost: Free trial, starts at $19.95 per month
WePay – Small business owners can design a unique and flexible platform to set up accounts, accept payments and process withdrawals through an easy-to-use, cloud-based API. Accepting payments the user-friendly way just became easy with WePay.
Cost: Pricing varies
DocuSign Pro – DocuSign Pro enables small businesses to prepare, send and sign documents online. Perfect for on-the-go businesses like electricians, movers and more, DocuSign Pro enables users to access important signed documents through a secure cloud platform whenever, from any Internet-connected device.
Cost: Starts at $10 per month
Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce Sales Cloud – This cloud-based CRM app helps to efficiently grow any small business by becoming part of the sales team, allowing users to access its platform from any desktop or mobile device. Salesforce Sales Cloud ensures that deals get closed as quickly as possible whether at the office or on the way to the next meeting.
Cost: Free trial, starts at $5 per month
RebitPro – For small businesses that require the speed and security of a local backup but also want the redundancy and protection of offsite backup, the solution has been to run two separate systems. This means duplicate effort, duplicate cost and unnecessary complexity. RebitPro allows small business owners to manage both local and cloud backups with one product. The hybrid architecture eliminates the need for duplicate backup plans with its continuous data protection.
Cost: Free trial, $79.99 per year