What would you think if I asked if your head was in the clouds? You could be offended. But in this case, having your head in the “cloud” is a good thing, taking advantage of a cost-effective and almost limitless way of conducting business.
The ability to respond to opportunity is critical to success, but barriers in communication and collaboration sometimes limit those responses. It can be difficult standing in the same room with someone, let alone trying to work with someone on the other side of the world.
Small businesses traditionally manage their operations by building companies around local resources, including vendors and employees. Small businesses house all this in a building with inventory, equipment and staff. The capacity to grow is limited by the ability to ramp up to meet demand, to add space, equipment and staff.
Businesses that want to expand geographical
ly have to duplicate their operations in new locations. But because a business is physically located in one location and depends on resources available in that location, the cost of duplication elsewhere becomes more expensive, time consuming and complicated.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take advantage of the investment in existing resources without having to rebuild the same thing somewhere else?
Now, consider what would happen if a business developed its operations on the cloud — Internet-based computing in which resources, software and information are provided to users on demand.
Those resources are available to conduct business anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. It’s no longer necessary to physically duplicate a business. All that’s needed to respond to increasing demand is the added capacity to service customers. You have all the functionality of your business, but at a fraction of the cost.
Look at all those barriers that just went away! Instead of a $100,000 budget and six months of setup time, you can literally be up and running overnight anywhere in the world. Providers maintain network resources and keep everything running with the latest equipment and software.
All you need to do is establish your presence. Send out your sales forces and start collaborating and doing business. How cool is that? And the cost is minimal, a small monthly free per user. Now that’s fast, nimble and very competitive. Can you imagine the opportunities you could embrace with th
at kind of ability to respond?
If you are not familiar with the cloud, you should be. It’s real, it’s here and, more important, it’s where your customers are located. If growth is your objective, get your head in the “cloud.”
William Tiefenback is a small business growth strategist and growth coach in Grand Junction. Reach him through the Web site at www.ruralbizsolutions.com.