While the latest technological revolution may be paying the biggest dividends to giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, this isn’t a case where only the richest have access to the cool toys. As technologies advance, they become ever more affordable, and even small businesses are reaping the benefits of new tech. This is especially true with the increased saturation of cloud-enabled software as a service models, which takes features that were once available only through investment and constant reinvestment in concrete software licenses and instead creates a model that’s accessible everywhere and scalable to the demands of the user. Here are some ways the SaaS model is being used to help level the playing ground between small and big businesses.
Point of Sale Software
There was once a stark operational divide between big businesses and smaller ventures. The former, through their increased capital and resources, could build an infrastructural support network that outpaced their smaller competitors in terms of inventory management, payment processing, and customer outreach. While early POS systems often required an expensive investment in servers, POS cloud software now puts the capabilities to better monitor a business’ day to day activities in the hands of everyone. This gives all businesses access to a slew of services with reduced overhead and subscription pricing that scales to the size of their operations. And since expanding your point of sale is as simple as downloading the app to a new device, business owners can adapt to fluctuations in their business far more easily.
A business can’t run without customers, so how do you get your message out to the masses when engagement increasingly relies on online promotion rather than foot traffic? There are a number of cloud-based tools that allow you to automate the marketing experience without having to keep a dedicated marketing team on staff. Features like bulk email sending and message creation templates allow you to expand the scope of your company’s message, but modern marketing tools go beyond that. Many allow you to target your messaging based off of the metrics of an individual web visitor and to track the response to your messaging based off clicks and views derived from client inboxes.
POS cloud software gives owners a more substantive view of their inventory and cash flow, but it’s not a substitute for tracking the complicated details of spending and cash flow. While it’s still sensible to keep a CPA on call, modern accounting software provides a number of automated functions that help you more accurately account for your financial records. From generating invoices and receipts to making sure payroll is properly and accurately delivered on time, accounting software fills the needs, and cloud-based platforms allow you to centralize the financial records of your locations all in one place.
Flexibility in Platform Choice
The low cost involved in cloud-based platform services and the wealth of options means that business owners can mix and match the solutions that are right for them. Best of all, the low cost of investment and the availability of specialized software tailored for specific fields means that owners have a lot more leverage in experimenting with different options. Many even offer free trials, and the fact that cloud software is designed to work on a wide range of different devices reduces the need for proprietary hardware investments even if you switch providers. This is a case where the fierce competition between cloud companies works to the benefit of small and niche businesses.