To a substantial degree, technology makes running a small business significantly easier. Still, a few computers around the office isn’t even close to a high-tech operation. Though you might only need QuickBooks to get by, there are dozens of other business services you can use to achieve success without as much effort. Specifically, if you aren’t already using the cloud in some way, shape, or form, you need to start, now.
Fortunately, the following 11 cloud services were built with your SMB in mind. Read on to learn what you are missing while you do business off the cloud.
No matter a business’s size, Intuit QuickBooks is easily an accountant’s go-to tool, and its cloud-based version, QuickBooks Online, is especially powerful for SMBs. With all sorts of templates to make reports easy as well as an intuitive user interface to make filling forms and saving records a snap, the highest upgrade of the service is perhaps the best accounting tool ever created.
If your SMB is still struggling to find funding, you need the help of GoSmallBiz, a cloud service that helps entrepreneurs make rock-solid business plans that investors can’t refuse. Because planning is the least exciting but most important stage of starting your business, you absolutely will benefit from the simplified forms and advice from business experts.
Ascensio System OnlyOffice
Providing the essential services of cloud-based project management, including document management, file sharing, online editing, and more, Ascensio System’s OnlyOffice could be the answer to your collaboration prayers. Though OnlyOffice isn’t necessarily a radical cloud service solution, it is simple and cheap, which might be all you need in your office.
Carbonite Server Backup
The only thing worse than your computers crashing is your servers crashing, unless you purchased Carbonite Server Backup. The cloud-based tool is reasonably priced and extremely reliable in all but the direst of circumstances. Still, if you are at all concerned about security for your virtual infrastructure, you might want to upgrade to a stronger service.
Imagine, if you will, a world in which you could reach any member of your team wherever, whenever, and whatever. You can stop imagining because that world exists ― if you download Cisco Spark. The ultimate collaboration tool, Spark facilitates messaging, calling, video meeting, file sharing, and more to keep your team functioning at peak performance no matter where, when, or what they are doing. This tool is especially useful if not all of your team works out of the same office.
You know your SMB needs social media marketing, but you might have trouble knowing whether you are doing social media marketing right without Sprout Social. This tool provides social media analytics to guide your campaigns toward your goals. Plus, with several tiers of features, Sprout can scale as your analytics needs and budget grow.
MailChimp Email Marketing
Email marketing campaigns work ― everyone says so ― but managing one without help is nearly impossible even for large marketing teams. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a marketing genius to use MailChimp effectively. With a drag-and-drop interface, store integration, and other wildly useful features, MailChimp is essential for online marketing success.
The best way to learn what your customers are thinking is to ask them, and there is no better way to do that by using a survey management tool like Zoho. This cloud service is unbelievably cheap (even free, if you are willing to sacrifice some features) and it boasts a user interface that doesn’t scare customers away.
The biggest obstacle SMBs have in their competition with major companies is their management of customer relationships: Large businesses can devote entire departments to satisfying customers, while SMBs and mom-and-pop shops can’t. NutShell CRM is specifically designed to help smaller businesses handle customer relations with features like automated sales processes and useful reports and analytics.
FreshService Help Desk
Your SMB might not yet have the resources to maintain an IT department, but you can still get the tech support you need through a cloud-based help desk. FreshService might not be the biggest name in online help desks, but their service is affordable and applicable to the needs of startups and small businesses.
Spiceworks Network Monitor
If you are using a cloud-based help desk for your tech support, you won’t have anyone monitoring your network for signs of distress, unless you use the cloud for this, too. Spiceworks offers its network monitoring service at absolutely no cost, which is a significant boon. Though it lacks some complex features of paid versions, you will certainly find it useful for understanding the performance of your apps, websites, servers, and devices.