Tag Archives: cloud

Tutorial 4: Three Ways to Cut Costs Online

The internet can help you make your business more efficient and simpler to run. Everyday processes including accounting, file storage, and customer communications have never been easier using online services. We’ve listed three ways for you to start cutting costs for your business now.

Accounting on the Cloud

For many small businesses, it is always a challenge trying to find time to get the accounts done. Do you work from multiple sites? Do you have multiple people who need to input information into your accounting software? Would life be a lot easier if you could work on the accounts from home as well as the office? Do you wish you could invoice your customers on the run?

Accounting on the cloud solves these issues. Xero is one of the most widely used cloud accounting packages offering a comprehensive solution for small business. Your accounts can be managed from any location and by multiple people. The software is compatible for mobile and tablet, adding a whole new range of functionality to your bookkeeping. Being on the cloud, Xero is able to connect with your other financial entities to create a synergy for processes that previously required more labourious reconciliation.

An overview of Xero features can be found below:

Online Meetings

Online calls, meetings and webinars have greatly improved flexibility for businesses. Conducting meetings online can save hours and days of travel time for meetings that in some instances can be concluded in an hour. You no longer need to be restricted to meetings with those within your own area, nor are meetings delayed while key parties are out of town.

There are now a range of tools available for you to connect with your customers, business partners and co-workers at anytime from anywhere. This is not to say it is not still important to build personal relationships with stakeholders; the technology simply expands your ability to facilitate effective and timely communication with them.

Meetings and webinars can also be recorded and saved. This means anyone who missed the meeting can catch up at a later time.

Here are three tools your business can use to save time and money by conducting online meetings.

1. Skype

One of the oldest and best known, Skype is still a fantastic tool for a number of reasons and especially for one-on-one calls. One of the greatest advantages of Skype is that it’s very widely used, this means you’ll encounter little trouble finding people who are familiar with using the tool. It works for desktop, tablet and mobile and it’s free. If you need to call an actual phone number with Skype, this can be done for a very reasonable rate, also making Skype an affordable option when making calls to or from overseas. Skype also has easy compatibility with most smart phones, allowing you to synchronise your existing contacts.

Skype group calls are available on paid accounts. More details on features are available here.

2. Google Hangouts

Google have developed their own version of Skype a communication platform called Google Hangouts. Hangouts is particularly handy for those who are already using Google Mail and Gmail, as the tool is already built into your email interface.

Hangouts provides functionality for chat, voice and video calls, group calls and also screenshare (the ability to show participants the activity on your own screen in real time). As with Skype, Google Hangouts is available for desktop, iPhone and Android so you can use it in the office and on the run.

3. Go To Meeting

Go to meeting is a fantastic tool for those who want to share with multiple people at once and don’t want to worry about compatibility options. It is especially effective if you need to demonstrate your actions with screen capture – allowing you to share your screen with up to 25 participants.

Go To Meeting is a paid service, but only the creator of the meeting requires a subscription. Other people participating in the meeting or webinar can be given the details of the session and log in for free.  It’s compatible with mobile and tablet and users can also dial in from landline, which is handy  for those who don’t have a reliable broadband connection.

Go To Meeting is available on a 30 day free trial.

Recruiting & Outsourcing

The internet has radically changed the recruiting industry and also how we find business partners and contractors. Below are tools that can help you.

LinkedIn was one of the first prominent tools to begin changing the employment market, allowing users to create their own online profiles which recruiters are able to use to track down the perfect employee. LinkedIn now has over 259 million members in over 200 countries. Advanced search algorithms allow LinkedIn to target down the employees you need and cut out much of the field work.

Many small business would prefer to outsource work to contractors. Finding people with the skills you need has never been easier. You can now find graphic and web designers, book-keepers, copywriters, and many more professionals online. Websites like Elance and OneShift make it possible to advertise work online to people all over the world.

These sites, among others, allow recruitment of individuals for specific, flexible projects. This allows businesses to meet their needs on a short-term horizon or cover one-off and short-term skill or labour deficiencies. This may save your business a lot of time and money in recruitment costs and help finish that job you’ve been thinking about for months.