Cloud Applications Small Businesses Should Consider To Help Manage Their Business

Today small businesses are finding that a computer and an internet connection can literally be enough to manage business finances, projects, and customer information. So for those small businesses that still insist on using paper and pencil ledgers; that have their contacts and finances on reams of spreadsheets and receipts in shoeboxes – listen up. Cloud computing has enabled many technology vendors to offer affordable versions of their software online.

There are many advantages to using an online or cloud-based application – such as affordability, ease of use and convenience. For instance, when you use an online or cloud-based solution, you can access your data from anywhere at any time – as long as you have an internet connection. Also, many cloud applications these days allow you to access your data from a mobile device.

“We sell products on our Website, Etsy, Amazon and other channels,” explains Sujoy Bhattacharya, Founder and CEO of Falls River Soap Company, a small business based in Ohio, specializing in natural handmade soaps, “it would literally be impossible to keep track of everything if we didn’t have a robust CRM platform that allows us to fulfill orders quickly and build upon our new customer relationships by adding to our e-mail list and offering special sales and discounts.”

Financial Software

Many small business owners are so busy that they often leave the management their finances to the last minute. Today, financial software applications in the cloud have become quite user-friendly and affordable.

Traditional financial management solutions such as Quicken or Quickbooks will offer you the ability connect to your business bank account and from there it will keep track of all your transactions and receivables so you don’t have to. Most financial solutions will also allow you to print out quarterly, annual, monthly reports for your business colleagues and/or accountant – saving you (and your accountant) even more time.

Customer Management – CRM and HelpDesk:

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and these applications help businesses keep track contacts – from employees to customers and vendors. Imagine having all of your contacts stored online in one place that can be accessed by anyone on your team you give permission to – from anywhere at any time?

That is one of the many benefits of CRM in the cloud.

At the most basic level, these programs allow you to enter in all of your customer, employee and vendor contact information. CRM is more than just keeping your contact information up-to-date, however. Many CRM solutions in the cloud offer helpful sales and marketing tools such as the ability to track your sales pipeline, or conduct email and social marketing campaigns. Zoho, BPMOnline and Salesforce offer excellent CRM solutions.

“We use Infusionsoft as our sales platform to streamline the customer lifecycle, customer relationship management, marketing automation, lead capture, and e-commerce,” explains Anthony Allen Anderson, VP of Sales and Marketing at GSI Exchange, a leading coin dealer and precious metals investment services company based in Calabasas, California, specializing in wholesale gold and silver trading as well as direct sales to the general public.

Project Management:

Like financial and customer management programs, there are many easy and affordable project management software solutions available to help you to manage your projects – especially if you have numerous projects going on simultaneously. These online solutions allow you to create projects and tasks; share out and delegate assignments; email and even have instant conversation strings with members of your project team; track budgets; track expenses; schedule deadlines with reminders and much more.

There are many different types of project management software applications – some are designed for small businesses that juggle a large portfolio of projects such as SmartSheet; other solutions are designed for businesses with fewer projects such as Trello or Basecamp. Some project management solutions will integrate with other CRM and financial management solutions – so if that is something you need – look for those capabilities.