Saving Money with Cloud Solutions
Guest Article By: Erica Bell
There are number of cloud computing solutions that can help a small business save money. While it may be easier for larger corporations to make the switch, small businesses on a tight budget might struggle to find affordable solutions that meet their needs and don’t break the bank. Small businesses can look to the cloud to increase functionality, reduce the risk of disaster and expand capabilities without hurting their bottom line. Here are a few ways cloud solutions your business can save money.
Lead Generation and CRM
Cloud-based CRM software paired with a marketing automation system can help your business generate leads and manage customer relationships. With pricing starting at $5 a month per user for some cloud sales and CRM solutions, businesses are finding they can reduce software and operational costs. Post.Bid.Ship is one company who found savings by doing just this. They were able to cut sales costs by 71 percent by using cloud-based providers SalesForce and Spark. Not only did they reduce business expenses, they found that they were able to manage and track their marketing efforts more easily.
Accounting and File Management
Accounting software and document management software can be expensive, especially if a business decides to host the information on an in-house server. Cloud-based solutions can save your business time and money. Instead of shuffling papers or trying to stay up-to-date on taxations, find a cloud solution that does the work for you. Evernote, which costs $45 a year for 1 GB of document uploads a month, has helped businesses save 2 percent a month in overall expenses. With an accounting application, such as Kashoo, you can save 5-10 hours a month and reduce your risk of financial data loss.
Phone Systems and Calls
Businesses of all sizes are considering switching from traditional landlines to VoIP to save money. RingCentral, a cloud-based phone system, starts pricing at just $14.95 a month. Whether you have a call center or simply need a large number of extensions, cloud-based phone systems can help your business save money on long-distance or international calls. By using VoIP technology instead of the traditional way to place a long-distance call, you can expect to save anywhere from 50 to 65 percent. Choosing a plan that best fit your needs and current equipment can save your business a bundle.
Software and Hardware
Depending on the solution you choose, you can save on both the hardware and software of normal business operations. Instead of needing to purchase the hardware that comes from having in-house processes, you can direct that money elsewhere or save it for future business expenses. Cloud solutions can reduce overheads costs and costs associated with the remaining hardware and software needed for programs that are hosted on-site.
Before you sign a contract, read over the terms and conditions to make sure your compare cloud computing vendors and pricing to find the best solution. Look out for hidden fees and if the term “unlimited” is used, make sure you know whether or not something is truly unlimited. When it comes down to it, cloud computing solutions can often help a small business save money.
Author Bio: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as cloud computing and web hosting. She is a web content writer for Business.com.