Small businesses often have to do without certain technological resources, as they simply don’t have the time or money to invest in them. Thankfully, Google Cloud Platform gives small businesses, whether they are selling digital products or vinyl doors, access to some of the same cutting-edge technological tools that large corporations use, with prices that are more affordable and set up that’s easier than ever before. In this guide on how to use Google Cloud for your small business, five of the most popular uses of Google Cloud will be covered, as well as how you can put them to work for your company today.
5 ways to use Google Cloud for your small business
1) How to Get Started
Launching a website without taking advantage of everything it can do—including things like security and backup services—isn’t going to give you a lot of peace of mind. Instead, think about some tools that could help your business run more smoothly and efficiently. The easiest place to start is with a free email address (like Gmail or Outlook) that gives you unlimited storage space. Then, set up a few other handy tools like Google Calendar, which will allow you to keep track of appointments, meetings and events across multiple devices. It also integrates with other applications on its platform so you can make use of them as well. If you need another calendar tool for scheduling tasks or keeping track of time-sensitive information, check out Trello. Trello works similarly to Google Calendar but allows users to share boards with others so they can collaborate on projects from any location at any time.
2) How It Affects Cost
While there are many cloud services that claim to be free, they usually have expensive versions with more storage and extra features. It’s best if you stick with standard packages when it comes to business needs. The one exception is if you’re on a shoestring budget and don’t mind sacrificing some functionality for lower costs. To decide whether cloud computing is right for your business, make sure you also consider factors like ease of use and maintenance (cloud computing doesn’t come without its share of responsibilities). By incorporating cloud services into your small business strategy, you can improve communication and streamline operations so you can focus on what matters most—your customers.
3) What You Can Do with it
Startups are always on a budget, which means they have a lot riding on every expense. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you need your cloud server to do now, start-ups can take advantage of cloud services in order to maintain flexibility as their needs change over time. With easy scalability and quick deployment, small businesses can keep expenditures down and focus on building their products and reaching out to customers. You might also want to consider using an email service provider like Gmail or Yahoo. Mail instead of running your own mail server; it will save you money and headaches. You may also be interested in setting up a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress so that your website is easier to update and manage. Many CMSs offer ways to sync data with popular cloud platforms such as Google so that you don’t have to worry about losing data during transfers between servers.
4) Integrate With Applications
When you first start looking into cloud storage, it’s easy to focus on storage itself. But, even if you get a killer deal on server space and bandwidth, that doesn’t mean much if you can’t do anything with it. The best cloud providers are those that give you robust API options so that your data can be integrated with whatever platforms or applications you need it connected to. Take advantage of API support from any vendor you choose by keeping a developer around (or outsource) who can turn your online backup into a seamless part of your business workflow. This is especially important if you’re running a small company—your day-to-day processes should run as smoothly as possible. If one tool causes an interruption in your workflow, it could cause real problems down the line. It’s easier than ever to build custom integrations with cloud storage, but there are still limitations, so make sure yours is set up properly before trusting all of your files to it.
5) Things you can do today
Identify your needs. Before you begin using cloud-based tools, make sure you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for. For example, do you need more storage space? Do you want an easier way to collaborate with employees? Do you want access to enterprise-level security features without having to pay exorbitant subscription fees? The more specific your goals are, the better able you’ll be able to choose a cloud service that helps your business succeed. Also, before you start evaluating services and providers, think about how much time and money you’re willing to invest in learning how to use it all. Some services can take some time getting used to if they aren’t what you’re used to. There’s no such thing as too much: While it’s true that Google’s platform may not meet every single one of your small business’ needs out of the box, don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of it when possible.