I Really Don’t Know Clouds at All: Technology and Small Business
Home based business owners and work at home business owners often wonder how they’ll generate money to buy the necessary components of business. Software for security, sharing, backup and dozens of other things necessary to continuing business is expensive. Not every small and home business owner starts off with enough money to cover all that. When they hear about “the cloud”, they look out the window to see if it’s going to rain. Then they reach for the CDRs to back up their computers. What these business owners don’t realize is that the cloud is the best thing to happen to them since laptops and tablets. Let’s take a look at why these business owners can’t afford not to use the cloud.
What It Is
The cloud is the intersection between technology and business. What used to be handled by separate (and expensive) services is now offered from one place for a price that scales to what the home based business owner actually needs:
• The cloud offers services that are self-serve, only pay for what you use and can be increased with business volume or scaled down with the same
• It offers software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, meaning no more ordering software for your business, no more needing your own server and ever more storage space, and no more needing an ever growing IT section to take care of all that
• All this is offered in three styles: the public cloud is owned by a company for the work at home business person. It offers the services peculiar to that company with no need to buy or install specific software or the hardware to run it
• The second style is private, which is used by networking companies. It provides services to the many instead of the few like with public clouds. You’ll find this with networking companies like multi-level marketing, where the many can operate without thinking about it.
• The last style is the hybrid clouds, which home based and work at home business owners might use. Let’s say the company they work for needs the resources of a private cloud using company. This service offers both companies across the board services of private and public clouds.
What It Means for the Home Based Business Owner
What’s the first thing home based and work at home business owners fear? Loss of their information is the answer. Off-site storage is offered for free in most cases, but if the owner needs more storage, it’s going to cost them. Thumb drives and CDRs are basically a thing of the past if business owners want to keep track of business matters for various reasons like taxes, for example.
Another major fear is someone hacking into their system and stealing their customers’ information. With the scandals attached to the Target, Neiman Marcus and other big companies’ hacking problems, this is a very real fear. Now, if the home based business is still small enough to run from the kitchen table, then the fear isn’t real just yet. However, anything can and will happen. Being prepared isn’t just a Girl Scout credo.
The next concern for home business owners is access. When they’re on the road for a delivery or providing a service, they often need to access their records or something else from their parent company. The cloud provides access from any device anywhere at any time. No need to lose a customer or client if their questions can’t be answered. This leads us to storage.
Business owners obviously can’t lug around a filing cabinet, so cloud storage is the answer to that particular problem. It is infinite, costs less than business owners fear and can be accessed, again, anytime anywhere. When your customer or client has a question, you can reach for it instantly.
And How Much is This Going to Cost Me?
Now that business owners understand the specifics of cloud computing, they need to analyze the costs. The cloud can be accessed from anywhere from Amazon to Microsoft and Google to a host of other providers. Homes based and work at home business owners will pay between $20 clean up to $200 in some cases. Keep in mind you can shop around for the specific services you need, and that prices are scaled according to what you need when you need it. Amazon appears to be leading the pack and has for years now.
So this is why small to medium business or SMB owners can’t afford not to use the cloud. Of course, if you’re planning on establishing a flooring business in which you’ll be laying flooring, contact us and we’ll help out with cutting machines.