10 Cloud benefits for contractors – how the cloud gives them an edge – small business trends

Home contracting businesses operate in a highly-competitive environment across a variety of markets. And for those businesses without a robust digital presence, it is much harder in today’s digital ecosystem. Being available to your customers, vendors and partners across all platforms is key to ensuring you will be around long into the future. A technology which will give you this type of presence and availability is cloud computing.

With cloud computing, you can better position your business with your customers and differentiate yourself from your competition by outperforming them in key areas. Here are 10 ways the cloud gives your home improvement contracting business an edge..

Allows You to Manage a Virtual Office

Working outside the office is par for the course with home contracting businesses, and with the cloud you can set up a virtual office at a temporary jobsite and manage your entire operation. You can communicate with all of your employees, vendors, other contractors, and customers as well as manage your projects.

With cloud technology, you will improve access to the resources you and your employees need. You can access all of your applications and data anytime and anywhere with an internet connection. This also applies when people are trying to get in touch with you, because you will become more accessible.

Whether smartphones, tablets, or laptops, any of your devices can be optimized with the cloud so you can do more with them. You and everyone you provide with access can use company resources from any location. With this capability, you can collaborate to get things done faster and more efficiently. Improves Collaboration

As a home contractor, collaboration with other businesses is an essential part of what you do. With cloud technology, your partners and customers can come together and collaborate to ensure everyone is on the same page. And because not everyone uses the same backend system, you can use your cloud platform to give them access on any connected device.

You will no longer have to call to the office to get updates with cloud computing. No matter how many people are working on a project, they can view and edit everything from blueprints to purchasing orders. Teams have access to the most recent updates on everything. They can even watch as documents are being edited in real-time. And these documents can all be accessed on any device running on any platform. Streamlines Your Operations

The cloud solution you put in place can let everyone on your team work at the same time and make the information available instantly. This eliminates the need to email or call to get the information they need to move forward. Your business operations will be more streamlined for maximum efficiency.

You can manage your invoices and bid on new projects from anywhere, make changes as needed and even accept payments. With fully integrated cloud applications, you can improve the cash flow of your business by monitoring all accounts receivables and cash on hand to make sure your balance is accurate. Provides Cheaper Software Options

Unlike traditional client-server based software systems, a cloud solution is maintained by the service provider. This of course will depend on the type of cloud solution you deploy, but it can get rid of the cost associated with servers, software, security, updates and other related costs of premises systems. Allows You to Scale Easily

When your technology is located on your premises, scaling means more expensive hardware and software. With cloud computing, you can scale without limitations locally, nationally, or internationally. You can easily add more computing power, storage, bandwidth and software as you need them. Offers Pay-as-You-Go Options

Most if not all cloud service providers have a pay-as-you-go payment option so you only pay for what you use. This type of payment structure gives home contractors an affordable entry into cloud computing and the digital resources it offers.