When retiring or laid-off Baby Boomers launch a home-based business, one of their most important decisions is choosing what type of solutions to utilize.
Previously, the answer was clear - use resident software for performance and security. However, in the era of high-speed Internet connectivity, switching to cloud-based solutions offers many advantages:
- Lower costs - no software licenses or equipment to purchase and maintain.
- Instantly available - you do not have to install anything on your home computer.
- Often available with no long-term contracts.
- Accessible over the Internet from anywhere.
- Secure access.
- Free updates.
- Satisfies the need for disaster preparedness - If you lose your hard disk or your house burns down, your critical business information is still available from any laptop!
- Sometimes free for up to 2-3 users or basic functionality!!
Cloud-based solutions are those (e.g., accounting or customer relationship management) not resident on your home office computer, but which rather reside on a remote server and are accessible over the Internet. Typically, cloud-based solutions are less expensive and offer an easy means of quickly adding functionality. They are especially beneficial when you have partners, contractors or employees working at remote locations because databases and activities can be easily synched, ideas and projects improved through online collaboration, and sales/marketing management simplified.
For example, many home-based businesses use online QuickBooks or FreshBooks for accounting. Pricing is reasonable and partners can access and update information from any location. And having an easy accounting solution is critical for any small business, especially at tax time!
A plethora of cloud-based solutions exists for backing up critical business data and online collaboration. Two of the most popular are Google Docs and Dropbox. Residing online at distant servers which are backed up daily, they also provide the benefit of disaster preparedness should your home office suffer a burglary, fire, flood or earthquake.
Cloud-based solutions can also assist Boomers who have client-based home businesses. Consider DocuSign, for example, which facilitates secure online delivery and signatures for agreements. These services are professional, save a lot of time, and enhance customer relations.
Baby Boomers discover soon enough that achieving success with a home-based business requires time management. There is a hard way to get things done and the easy way. Leveraging cloud-based solutions is economical while also adding ease-of-use and functionality. Compared to resident desktop solutions, these online tools are hands-down winners!
In short, Baby Boomers starting or operating a home-based business can expedite their launch, cut costs, acquire professional functionality and make their operations run smoother by simply embracing cloud solutions. What's not to like?!