This article lists some useful web apps and cloud storage options for small businesses.
‘The cloud’ has many meanings and many applications for small businesses, and there are countless things you can do with it to automate your business and to save yourself time and money. The problem is though, that most companies are too busy running their day-to-day in order to search out the best new options and tools which means they never manage to take advantage of these services that they could be using completely for free.
Here then we will look at some of the very best web apps for small businesses, many of which have a large ‘cloud’ element and all of which will save you time and probably make you money in the process.
IFTTT stands for ‘IF This, Then That’, which describes the single smart mechanism that allows it to accomplish so much. Essentially this is a program that lets you trigger interactions between your various other online services. For instance you can set pictures you are tagged in to download automatically to your DropBox folder, or more usefully for most businesses, you could set it up to e-mail you every time your business was mentioned on Reddit, or to post your blog updates to your Twitter account.
Speaking of automation and Twitter, another highly useful service for companies trying to run a social media empire is ‘Buffer’. This one allows you to write multiple ideas for Tweets, and then to ‘cue them’ up so that they are released in a staggered manner throughout the day. That way you can sit down and have one long go at being productive, then watch as the Tweets come through during the rest of the day. No need to be constantly Tweeting, or to keep thinking of entertaining new Tweets to post.
There are many web apps that are designed to help us keep all of our information together and to take notes and reminders, but in many ways Google Keep is one of the best. What makes Keep so appealing here is actually its simplicity – all it is is a single large document you can access online with no ‘folders’ or ‘pages’ or anything like that. This makes it incredibly quick and simple to load in a browser and very easy to quickly find the last thing you made a note of. There’s an app for it too which makes snapping photos and keeping them on the cloud simple as well.
There are a number of cloud storage services available for the small business, but DropBox is one of the most versatile and widely accepted meaning that you can easily share folders by sharing a simple link and use it across all of your devices. Many apps and programs even have built-in support for DropBox meaning you can quickly share your files across devices.
SkyDrive though also has many merits as a cloud storage option, this time mostly revolving around the impressive integration with Windows. If you have Windows 8.1 in fact, your SkyDrive folders are treated just like any other folder on your computer, allowing you to save straight into them from any piece of software.
Nancy Baker is a freelance blogger, who often writes for Simplified Telephony Solutions, a leading business voice solutions company in Toronto. In her free time, she likes to indulge in travelling and adventure sports. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.