Technology can help any small business owner achieve business growth! It all started with Dropbox. You know how you have those moments when you use something really remarkable and you say, “I wish I had stock in this company” (iPod anyone)? Dropbox was that for me. I installed it in a few seconds and learned how to use it immediately. It is my file box in the cloud, a virtual file box to which I give others access. It is perfect for collaborating with my team at the bakery and my clients. At the bakery, we keep our daily sales reports, our cash flow spreadsheet, our marketing photos and PDF’s, our P&L and other important files. When you keep these files in Dropbox, you don’t have to email back and forth anymore. Each of us install Dropbox on our computers, set up separate accounts and we can access what we need when we need it. It eliminated so much unnecessary communication. It also lets you control what is shared and what is private, so you can have many different files in your Dropbox.
This may seem a bit redundant at first glance because it is also a virtual file cabinet of sorts, but I use it in different ways from Dropbox. One of the biggest differentiators is that I can search files in Evernote by searching a word contained in the note. So, if I forget the filename, but I know that is is about business incubators, I type “incubator” in the search field and it searches filename as well as the content of every note in Evernote, even handwritten notes. The other big difference is how things get into Evernote. In my browser, there is a small elephant icon that I click whenever there is an article or website that I want to save. When you click the icon, the article, blog or website is saved into an Evernote folder of your choice. I use it all the time. I also scan all my documents directly into Evernote. It is a setting on my scanner and it helps me to keep a paperless business (not really, but I’m trying). I also can scan things into Evernote by using the camera on my phone using the Scannable App. Whatever you take a picture of, goes directly into Evernote. I also keep track of my client work in Evernote. Each client gets a notebook and I keep all the relevant documents and emails there. It is way easier for me to track it here rather than learn how to use a CRM like Salesforce to keep track.
I can’t live without my scanner. It allows me to send documents (large or small) to people in a second. It folds up and sits in the corner of my desk and all I do is touch one button to send the document. I also take a lot of handwritten notes and then scan them in and file them right in Evernote -or I can email them or put them in Dropbox.
This is my virtual to do list. Every time I think of something that needs to be remembered…I enter it in Wunderlist. SOOOO handy to have it on all my devices because things need to be remembered from everywhere! Also, if I schedule a to do item, it shows up in my notification center on my Mac. Awesome.
These are the ways that I keep my work for my business and my clients accessible at all times. I hope it helps you figure out how to best use the cloud for your business.