The working world is a very different place to what it was ten or even five years ago. Over four million people choose to work from home, making cloud applications a must-have item for the small business owner.
Cloud-based apps ensure you’re fully connected when you’re on the road or grabbing a coffee with a client. Gone are the days of carrying around a hefty Filofax and stack of business cards. All you need nowadays is a smartphone and wifi connection. An estimated ninety per cent of internet users worldwide are already using the cloud for a variety of business uses.
We’ve curated the best five cloud applications for busy entrepreneurs who are looking to streamline their processes. Read on to find out which ones could suit your business.
Salesforce: Salesforce offers eight different customer management applications. The simple, easy to user interface streamlines customer details, making it easy to access history and other information. The data can be accessed from a variety of devices and on a choice of operating systems including Linux, Android, OSX and Windows.
You don’t need to download any hardware or software and video training is offered, so you can start working with Salesforce straight away.
Salesboom: You really have nothing to lose with Salesboom, as it offers a no obligation seven day free trial. Salesboom works with small, medium and large enterprises managing online lead management, customer service, support service and sales force automation. It works on a wide range of operating systems including Windows, Android, Apple iOS and OSX.
Sage One: Choose from three different Sage One cloudware services, including Cashbook, Accounts and Payroll. Sage One Cashbook is the ideal solution for entrepreneurs, helping you manage your accounts and taxes efficiently. Sage One Accounts is perfect for smaller businesses that may not have a dedicated accounts team, but still need a trusted solution for account management. Sage One Payroll is great for small and medium businesses to gain greater ownership of their pay roll system, but who may not have the resources to employ a pay roll department.
All Sage One systems are HMRC compliant, so you can have peace of mind that you’re doing everything by the book.
Outright: There are two different Outright solutions: Plus and Standard. Already over 100,000 people are using Outright to manage their accounts. Outright supports more than 4,000 credit cards and banks as well as eBay, PayPal, Freshbooks, Shoeboxed and Harvest. Both versions of Outright offer a free trial.
GoToMeeting: GoToMeeting is part of the GoTo series of packages that also offers GoToWebinar and GoToTraining.
GoToMeeting offers high definition video conferencing, enabling your employees to collaborate on projects from around the world or hold client meetings all without leaving the office.
You have the flexibility of recording any meetings and the innovative ‘Show My Screen’ feature allows users to pass control of keyboard and mouse over to correspondents, for speedy collaboration.
The flat fee pricing structure means GoToMeeting is easy to budget for, making it an integral part of your business.
Skype: There are seven different Skype packages available, including the free service, Unlimited Single Country, Unlimited Europe and Unlimited World. Choose the package to suit you based on your client needs and where you see your business growing.
Skype can be used on a smart TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer and lets you see the body language and facial expressions of the person you are talking to. Sometimes that can be more telling than the words they speak!
Box: Box offers four different options: Starter, Personal, Enterprise and Business. You can access your files, photos and any other data from your choice of device, including smartphone or laptop. Over ten million people trust Box to keep their files safe.
The Business and Enterprise solutions allow you to create and share folders across devices, so you can work on documents with colleagues and not have to worry about whose device you are saving your files too.
There’s no denying that life as an entrepreneur is hard. However, we are fortunate to live in an era where there are apps and programmes at our disposal to help us grow our businesses.
New apps and technology to make our lives easier are released daily, many of them with free trials. Make sure you give your business the best chance of success by taking advantage of these trial periods so you can find the best apps for your business.