Business today is much more competitive than ever. The big corporations pretty much rule and have all the advantages and many small and medium sized businesses are pretty much left in the lurch when the going gets tough. However, small and medium sized businesses today also have a few advantages. For example, technology has made the playing field somewhat even. For example, it used to be, merchants had to deal with the two big credit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, if they wanted to accept electronic payments (not to mention pay their hefty fees). However, today, there are many ways to accept electronic payments, including PayPal. PayPal also has their own credit card scanner, so companies don’t even have to rent the credit card machine.
Now, another technology that has made a difference for small businesses is cloud computing. Companies today need computers to be competitive, whether they are using it to send emails or process orders. While many companies have the budget to buy or rent computer stations, their needs may grow in the future and soon they will need servers and other computer hardware. Initial investment in servers and computer hardware can cost a lot of money, which is something independent businesses may not have. This is where cloud computing comes in. For many companies, they can rent or lease any type of equipment they need. For example, they can rent trucks of moving stuff around or printing presses to mass-produce printed materials. Now, with cloud computing for small business, they can rent computing power too.
One benefit of cloud computing for small business is flexibility. Many small businesses might be seasonal. They might experience a lot of business a few times a month, which can lessen during other times of the year. With cloud computing, you can arrange with your provider to increase your usage some months and lessen them others, so you pay only for what you use. That way, during lean months, you can reduce your expenses, which is better for your cash flow.
Another benefit of cloud computing is the low cost. Before cloud computing, companies had to make the initial investment in their computer equipment. They spend thousands of dollars on servers and other equipment, and they might now even use all of it. Worse, the equipment may become obsolete sooner than they had anticipated, and they may have to upgrade or replace the hardware, which means spending even more money. Now, with cloud computing, companies do not have to worry about this. They pay the same monthly or yearly fee, or maybe a little more if they need the extra power. They don’t have to worry about buying the right type of hardware or depreciation. They only pay a service fee to the company.
Now, some people may think cloud computing is unreliable. On the contrary, cloud computing is just as stable or even more stable than in-house networks. Cloud computing companies focus all their resources in making sure their systems are always in tiptop shape. They also build a lot of redundancies to make sure that they have backups and guarantee uptime for their customers. In many cases, cloud computing service providers are very dependable. If a company’s in-house system breaks down and they have no backups, it may take a while to get them fixed. But, with the redundancies put in place by cloud computing service providers, these backups kick into gear almost immediately.
Cloud computing for small business is the wave of the future. Soon, anyone even thinking about opening their own business will put finding a cloud computing service provider on top of their to-do list.