The Cloud Doesn't Discriminate: How to Run Your Small Business Like a Big One

  •    Craig is CEO and founder of Switch Communications, which created UberConference and Switch, simple conferencing and communication tools for your business.

Time can be critical when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. I remember when I first started my own company, GrandCentral, we installed a Microsoft Exchange server, set up the hardware and hired an IT guy to run it. At this time, we didn’t even have a phone system because it took the cable company two more weeks to come in and install one. Despite having some of the other essential resources, we still didn’t get full functionality for at least a couple of weeks. ​

Back then, setup and installation were not just costly for small businesses, they also took up a ton of valuable time that could be spent scaling your ideas. Thanks to transformative technologies in the cloud, it’s now faster, better and easier than ever to start and grow your business, all at a fraction of the cost.

In fact today, being small can be a big advantage. Think about it: no red-tape, no redundant investments in licenses or servers and no traditional ‘old-school’ solutions to weigh you down. In fact, you often get resources that are as good, if not better than the ones you’d have access to as a larger company so you can continue to create, innovate and evolve.

The cloud has, undoubtedly, initiated its own generation of new ideas and new ways of solving problems. Here are three ways it can help keep your small business agile while establishing big business success:

  • Embrace mobility: With new found access and capability in the cloud, no one talks about a 9-to-5 job anymore. Can’t remember the last time your creativity was confined to an office? Neither can I. Today, cloud communications enable flexibility to work, share information and plan your growth from anywhere. You can start collaborating on your computer, seamlessly continue exchanging ideas on your tablet and close the deal on your phone.
  • Focus on your core skills: Given the shorter set-up and deployment times of cloud systems, you no longer need to worry about building the IT infrastructure to run your business...it’s all done for you. All you have to do is signup and login. You now get to focus on what’s important: creating your dream business rather than building out internal communications platforms for your employees.
  • Establish identity: Cloud communications provide access to the best solutions out there such as a business phone number, professional email, and instant messaging so you can establish a distinct and credible business identity. Your small business now has access to communications tools that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars up front...and all you pay is a monthly subscription. Your business can rival a Fortune 500 company in accessibility and professionalism, even if you’re the only person answering the line for both the Sales and Support department. Tools in the cloud instantly make you more credible and established so your company can build trust and reputation with your customers.

The cloud doesn’t discriminate—many startups and small businesses owe their success to the readily available power of cloud communications. As a small business owner, you too can reconfigure your business models to unleash it’s benefits. Creating opportunity for anyone, the cloud has levelled the playing field for everyone.