When it comes to funding the start-up business, there are many technologies currently online that can help reduce the initial upfront costs of management and networking. Depending on the type of business you’re setting up, virtually the entire scope of your business can be Cloud-based requiring only an Internet connection. There may be no real reason to even include local storage devices or servers. What are some basic aspects of the Cloud that can be utilized for the start-up business?
1. Accounting Applications – Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the business is having strong accounting software. There are a number of these online including the ever popular Quickbooks. Many will offer limited free access which may be ideal depending on the size of your organization. Using virtually any computer or mobile device in your hand, you can look up everything from inventory levels and bank accounts regarding your business.
2. Time Tracking – Regardless of what kind of business you operate, tracking the number of hours for yourself and employees is vital. Using Cloud-based technology, you can track and monitor employees keeping your payroll as accurate as possible. Applications such as MinuteHound.com provides elaborate thumbprint identification further reducing the effects that employees could have while trying to squeeze a few dollars extra by being consistently late. Five minutes may not seem like much until you add up the time throughout the year.
3. File Storage – Instead of investing in an expensive storage array and server, Cloud-based alternatives can provide a near instant method to safe guard important files. Using synchronized folders, you can save important documents in one location and have those files copied to online storage as well as to other computers that are likewise synchronized. This could save a great deal of time if you have a file in the office that needs to be worked on using your home computer.
4. Office Applications – What business is complete without document, spreadsheet and presentation development? Instead of purchasing a few copies of locally installed software, Cloud-based solutions provide an online method to create important office files that are compatible with the most popular software titles. Websites such as Zoho.com provides all of these tools and much more for office maintenance.
5. Image Editing – If you plan on using graphic editing for marketing purposes or design images for clients, online editors can save you a lot of money in software costs. Some editing websites are developed to closely resemble tools such as Photoshop. Instead of being restricted to basic tools such as MS Paint which is installed on your computer, sites such as Pixlr.com and a myriad of others can provide profound functionality.
6. Accepting Credit Cards – Instead of spending money in maintenance fees, equipment leasing and processing fees, other methods exist for accepting credit cards. Through the use of a free card swiping device that plugs into your smartphone or tablet, you can process credit card payments that are deposited the next business day while costing you a comparative processing fee in regards to traditional methods. Sites such as SquareUp.com, Paypal.com and many others can have you accepting credit cards while being mobile.
7. Team Collaboration – Project management apps available on the Cloud can keep everyone in the business on the right track for success. These applications provide many different methods of maintaining communication while delivering project resources to everyone within your organization. This can help track the productivity of employees while providing a platform for efficient use of time.
As Internet routers function as your DHCP provider and time synchronization platform, there is simply no real reason to include a variety of the more expensive networking equipment of today such as servers. While many of these attributes require a monthly subscription plan, the overall initial costs are considerably lower than developing a robust localized network. Weigh your expenses and discover if Cloud-based solutions could be more viable for your needs rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars for equipment.