By Donna Torres, Director of Small Business at Xero
The cloud has and will continue to transform our lives in ways that we never even expected. For small businesses especially, cloud technology is a very effective tool that can help save time and resources, while providing a business with a competitive edge.
Cloud technology delivers servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence over the internet. You can tailor your cloud usage and subscriptions to suit your business’ needs and budget, delivering fast and flexible results.
When it comes to finances, it can save businesses money and help them manage finances more effectively. Here’s 7 reasons why cloud technology can help transform a business owners finances.
- Reduced costs
Setting up a server can be costly when businesses are starting out, especially when there are so many other costs to consider when setting up. By opting for a server powered by the cloud, small businesses can save a lot of money. In the long run, repair and maintenance costs are much more affordable on the cloud, so you can save capital for other aspects of the business that need your attention.
- Real time financial data
To prevent financial mistakes and going into overdraft, cloud technology can give business owners an accurate and up to date look at data like cash flow, to the minute. This data can be accessed remotely and from any device, allowing business to be aware of how much cash they have at their disposal at any given time.
Platforms like Xero will help you report and keep on track of key business metrics in real-time. These include inventory turnover, accounts receivables and operating margins. Having a good handle on these business metrics will help you manage your cash like a pro – and take advantage of new and exciting opportunities.
- Time saving
One of the most costly aspects of running a business can be team time and resources. Investing in cloud-based technology means unlocking the power of automation, which will save you time. Using the cloud, businesses can send an invoice as soon as it’s ready, see when it’s been opened and viewed, and send automated reminder notices. This means your employees can spend less time tediously chasing payments and more time focusing on problem solving and creative thinking for your business. This will ultimately lead to quicker expansion and growth for your business, and, let’s face it – healthier and happier employees!
- Staying up to date
The beauty of the cloud is that it is constantly being updated and improved without its users being hassled to update their software. This all happens in real time without bothering the businesses who are trying to get on with the day to day running of a company.
Cloud technology lets users tap into innovations like Artificial Intelligence, data analytics and machine learning easily. These tools allow a business to learn faster about key areas; from competitors to customers to what’s driving sales.
You can pick and choose exactly what cloud services you require for your business and only pay for the products you actually use – like cloud accounting software for example. Once your business begins to grow you can then begin to upscale your cloud usage.
Xero has over 800 apps within its ecosystem, every industry is catered for with innovative technology that can help transform and improve each and every business. For example, farming businesses can benefit from Xero’s integration with Farmflo – which allows an improved accuracy and speed of keeping their farm records for compliance and reporting.
- Data security
One of the biggest myths surrounding cloud-based technology is that it is unsecured and their data will be unsafe if their laptop was stolen or they were hacked. The cost of losing data can be huge, which makes it understandable that some small business owners would be wary of using the cloud.
However, the fact is that the cloud is one of the safest places for your data to be. The cloud has password protection for your business’ data, allowing you to easily control what information people can have access to. By allowing the cloud to back up and protect all of your data for you, your business will no longer have to spend a large amount of money and time on recovering anything that may have been lost.
- Keeping competitive
In the past, small businesses have found it difficult to compete with their larger competitors who can more easily afford more expensive and elaborate server systems. With the cloud, even the smallest of businesses can have access to the latest technology; making your business more attractive to potential investors, and making access to investment and capital much easier.
To remain competitive and continue to grow, businesses need to remain financially healthy and innovative. By being on a server powered by the cloud you will have access to an invaluable tool that will help level the playing field and most importantly save time and money for your business.