KashFlow editorial (featured in Start Your Business Magazine)
By Alex Bell, KashFlow Marketing Communications Copywriter

Small business owners, from the patrons of the rapidly growing to the fresh startup founders, are all looking for the best solutions to make running their businesses easier.

With the mountain of things that need to be managed as an SME owner, streamlining business processes, automating tasks (and the rest of the very long list of ‘stuff’) are critical issues from a time management perspective. Throw the cost element into that and it’s difficult to understand why there is still a reluctance to adopt ‘cloud’ based solutions. KFmag

Yes, many people say they don’t ‘get’ the cloud, this intangible concept traditionally the preserve of the IT industry. Some small business owners might also think that their business functions are still relatively ‘simple’ compared to the massive corporations who have ‘more’ to benefit from the cloud.

But cloud computing is, quite simply, one of the best things a small business owner can invest in, and if you run a growing company or are starting out, it’s time to consider making the change.

This is particularly true for managing the accounting and bookkeeping side of a growing business. Because unless your new business is accountancy based, it’s very likely you don’t have the time to devote to this. Cloud accounting solutions like KashFlow.com make it simple and easy for small business owners to keep on top of their accounts (with easy to use features like invoicing, reporting and even payroll management). Being cloud based also means business owners can access this information wherever they, at any time, all for a very affordable price. Great for a growing business!

So what is the cloud?

The ‘cloud’ refers to a range of computing solutions based on the internet, and while people maybe be unsure of what that means, it is something they already use every day. If you use Google or Facebook, then you use the cloud. Think about it: The only hardware you use when you’re sending emails on Gmail or posting photos on Facebook is your internet connected device (mobile, tablet, PC etc). You never loaded any software, and any updates are done automatically.

Use internet banking? Again, when you’re online and conducting any online banking, you’re using the cloud. None of that data is being stored on your phone or computer, so when you switch between your tech, the information is always available.

Simply put, the cloud is a platform that allows data and software to be accessible online anywhere. All you need is a web connected device.

These are the most obvious examples, but the cloud revolution has brought with it a wide range of business software that are entirely cloud based, too. Business solutions like accounting and bookkeeping, payroll, IT services and more are all available in the cloud.

The benefits for small business are many, but here are the key ones:

Saves time: The very nature of cloud solutions means that key tasks can be automated and even integrated with other business software to save huge amounts of time. For example, if you’re a retailer using KashFlow software to manage your accounts, you can seamlessly integrate payment processors like PayPal and GoCardless to easily take clients payments, which are then updated in your accounting software. Plus, because the data you use is stored in the cloud, you save time by being able to access it on the go. All the time saved can be better spent doing the things you actually started a business to do! Tweet this

Accessible anywhere: So many new businesses depend on being mobile, and even if you do have an ‘office’ there are still going to be times when you need to run your business from other places too. Cloud software solutions mean you only have to carry around a web connected device to access the data you need (well, maybe a charger is a good idea too), so you can manage everything on the go. Tweet this

Almost unlimited storage: Storing data on a cloud server means business owners aren’t restricted by the storage capabilities of their computers and other tech. The size of your business data is only going to keep growing and instead of buying backup hard drives every time you run out of storage room on your desktop computer, using the cloud means your storage limit is basically unrestricted. Tweet this

Secure: You may think that you’d lose some element of security by not having physical control of where your business data is stored. But tell that to the last person who left a laptop on the train. Cloud storage servers use multiple security layers that help protect stored data, while things like encryption ids are used for even more security. Plus, if a virus happens to wipe out a computer, the cloud data remains safe from infection. Tweet this

Affordable: Last, but definitely not least, cloud software solutions are cheap, mainly because there is nothing to load or update as time goes by. Traditional desktop software can be pricey, especially if you factor in setting up a whole workforce. There’s also things like licensing fees to consider for multiple users. Cloud solutions are the easiest way, short of remaining a one-man-band, of cutting a business’ IT bill. Tweet this

This article was originally featured in Start Your Business Magazine. You can also follow them on Twitter.

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