Expanding overseas used to be a complete headache for business owners. Setting up an office and employing a whole team to run operations took up a lot of time, effort and money, but now startups and growing businesses can easily go global thanks to cloud software.
There’s no doubt about it; offices, servers and members of staff are expensive. With a cloud storage system all your files can be kept online so there are no big servers taking up costly office space. Excess plane tickets are also a thing of the past, don’t want to fly 10 hours for a face-to-face meeting, a video conference is more personable than a phone call. When you do have to make a phone call, using a cloud-based VoIP service, you’ll save on the cost of expensive international phone calls.
More Mobility and Adaptability
With the cloud you don’t have to be tied to a desk, which means you’re free to move around more. Technically, with a staff of five, you could be based in five different countries, now there’s an idea! Another plus is that sometimes dragging your laptop around with you everywhere doesn’t make sense, particularly if you use something heavy duty. If you need to dash between countries for meetings, you can access your files on a mobile phone by using services such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
Quick and Easy Collaboration
If you have team members all over the globe, sometimes you want to touch base with them all quickly in one group, without having to conference everyone into a call. A lot of collaboration and file sharing software is based on the cloud, meaning you can send a quick chat message to your entire team, or quickly share that doc on your phone, without having to be attached to your computer.
It can be confusing for your overseas business contacts to have to memorise your long international phone number, it also serves as a reminder that you are many miles away, making them feel a little ‘disconnected’. With many cloud telephony providers, you can have multiple numbers that lead to one line, so your contacts in New York, London and Paris can call a number local to their location, that routes back to wherever you are.
Spare time becomes a bit of a unicorn when you’re starting up a business, and it becomes even rarer when you’re expanding into the global market. The main thing cloud software gives you, is your time back. Less flying and less time spent implementing IT infrastructures, gives you back those vital hours you need to brainstorm ideas for growing your business.
By Monica Visconti-Patel, director EMEA sales and marketing at RingCentral.