Q: What is online productivity and what does it mean to 'work in the cloud?'
A: Working or storing files in ‘the cloud' means that your programs and documents are stored securely on the Internet — not on your hard drive – so you can access them anytime, anywhere, from almost any device connected to the Web.
Many online productivity solutions allow you to not only access those files, but edit them right online or even share and work on the same document with others without having to send files back and forth. This saves you valuable time; you can work when it's convenient for you as long as you have Internet access and your colleagues or clients can provide instant input on files you're working on together.
Plus, since your documents are stored on secure servers, you never have to miss a beat. Even if your hard drive crashes, your documents and programs are safe and accessible from any Web browser.
Q: What other online productivity tools can help small business owners be more efficient?
A: Having a shared calendar with others in your organization can help you better schedule time together. Online meeting solutions also allow you to have quick, cheap conference calls and even video conference so you don't have to wait to meet face-to-face.
Q: What are the key benefits of using email with your domain name vs. a generic email address?
A: A domain-based email address, like firstname.lastname@example.org, helps you look more professional with customers and prospects and promotes your website and company. Every time you send an email from a domain-based address, you're putting your company's name in front of customers and encouraging them to visit your website. Plus, you're instilling a sense of trust that you are a legitimate business.
Q: Despite these obvious benefits, why do you think many small business owners use generic email addresses?
A: Small businesses often start out as an individual with a dream. As they grow their passion into a true business operation, it's not always clear which tools need an 'upgrade.' Getting an email address with your domain is easy and getting set up from the very start is a great way to ensure you don't have to make a transition later.