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A study from Exact (looking at 3,000 SMEs across the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium) found that SMEs who use more than three forms of cloud software achieved more than double the profits of competitors who used fewer solutions.
The UK has the second highest number of people realising the potential of the cloud (27%, marginally behind the USA at 29%) and those using three or more cloud platforms achieved an average growth revenue of 26% in 2015. Exact found that figure dropped to 14% for those using one to two cloud products, and just 10% for those who didn’t use any at all.
If you want to boost revenue by 26% in 2016, here are three cloud-based solutions to put your business in the top percentile.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants encourage small businesses to seek-out software to help them get on top of their finances. Thanks to cloud technology, small businesses “no longer need to key in their accountants’ adjustments, or worry about what will happen if they have not done so accurately. And while accountancy firms may already have strong business continuity measures and information security procedures in place, many of their small business clients will not, so the online approach to accounting can offer big improvements in these areas too.”
Free services include Wave Accounting’s small business accounting and invoice software, designed for entrepreneurs who have little accounting knowledge. Sage also have a £10 a month plan (plus a free 30 day trial), and FreeAgent offer diverse options such as Expenses, Invoicing, Time Tracking and Payroll in their accounting platform.
Cloud software allows SMEs to store and access data, files and information over the internet, rather than on an offline server, or on their laptop and desktop. If you’re away from the shop, or closing up your B&B for a weekend, all your must-have documents could be accessed from your smart phone, or even shared with a member of staff to manage in your absence – and you could log in and double check in the blink of an eye without the hassle of save, close and send.
Google will store any kind of file online, in a secure and easily accessible environment. Whether you’re producing InDesign documents for promo flyers, spreadsheets for your accountant, sound files for local radio, or words for your website, all you need to do is login using a Gmail address and upload the file. If you need to share the file with anyone, simply click ‘share’ and add their email address. You can both access the document and edit it live.
Cloud software serves as an invaluable back-up for when things go wrong. No longer will server errors or motherboard melt-downs eradicate hours of work, or years of archived data! Mozy helps protect your business from data loss, backing up every file you create whether it’s saved on a server or archived on your laptop or computer. Archiving old information will also give you breathing room to expand what you’re storing.
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