These days, almost everyone has at least one bank account. The days of stashing your money under the mattress are long gone. In fact, some of us rarely even see cash. We get paid directly into our accounts, bills are paid by direct debit and purchases are made using cards. So, having a bank account that works well for you is very important.Read More
There’s no doubt about it – cloud computing is made for the small business owner. At a basic level, it saves you money. There’s no need for email servers, file servers or any specialist software. In addition, you can use cloud computing services through virtually any platform, from your laptop to your mobile, giving you the facility to conduct business and collaborate with your colleagues from wherever you happen to be and at any time of day or night.
But it’s not simply about data storage; cloud computing is set to revolutionise the way we do business, even at ground level.
If you break it down to what cloud computing can do for you, there are effectively three levels of service. The first is the one that most people are becoming familiar with: Infrastructure as a Service. This level provides virtual hardware in the form of data storage. Using cloud computing, employees can access the data they need through the Internet, meaning that they don’t have to be physically based in an office. They can work from home or conduct business on the move. With data storage comes the obvious concerns about security, but the majority of cloud computing services are incredibly safe and less susceptible to the dangers of hacking than data you keep on your laptop hard drive.
In addition, some services offer a virtual backup so if the worst should happen, your data is automatically accessible. It won’t affect your daily business whatsoever. As many of us know, accessing a physical back up is a different story and can take hours.
Level two, known as ‘Platform as a Service’ (PaaS), is a step up the ladder. In addition to the storage facilities, you are also provided with all the tools and resources to create your own programs and software. Again, this is a great money-saver, as you don’t have to pay out for the additional software and hardware you’d need to do this from scratch. On top of this, cloud computing can also integrate with your existing accounting software, such as Intuit’s QuickBooks. By absorbing that software into the mainframe, all the data you need to be stored and updated is done so, automatically; while QuickBooks makes accounting infinitely easier, integrating it into PaaS gives you another level of flexibility. The numbers are safe, yet accessible and constantly being updated in line with your accounting.
In addition, collaboration between colleagues is made even easier; documents and data from services such as Gmail can be downloaded, amended and sent back to their original positions or shared between employees, to gain instant feedback.
The third level, Software as a Service (SaaS), is possibly the most valuable to small business owners. It provides you with software and programs that are ready to go and can be operated remotely; no installation – it’s all there for you, at the click of a mouse. SaaS services are instantly integrated into your existing systems, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’re compatible with your current hardware – it’s all done for you.Read More
There is no doubt that the prospect of renting out a property will feel exciting for many people. However when it comes to the financials of running such a project, it may also fill them with some dread. That is why it is so important to know all the facts before taking on the task of becoming a successful profit-making Landlord.Read More
A house is the biggest single expense that any of us will incur in our lifetime (taking kids out of the equation, of course) and so the process of actually buying a house, from viewing to buying, can be a pretty arduous one and involves many different people, from solicitors to surveyors.Read More
Every single business is prone to some sort of risk, irrespective of how big it is and how many employees it has. Whether you are a sole trader, or run a business that has a 100 strong legion of staff,Read More