- Working from anywhere
- Working from any device
- Piece of mind + data safety
- Ease of use
- Cheaper IT
- Appear more like a “big” business, even when you’re small!
Successful entrepreneurs are always on the move. They’re constantly moving their business forward, no matter where they are (case in point, I’m at a concert waiting for the opening act as I write this). I had a few minutes of down time, so I took advantage of it. Running my own business requires that I work a lot and I don’t like being tied down to one location. After all, I didn’t choose to run my own business so I’d be locked to a desk! Creating my own “Cloud Ecosystem” enables me to be anywhere and still get what’s in my head out – online, into the hands of investors, business partners, and most important – my clients!
I always have my iPhone with me and usually my iPad too. I can do 90% of my critical tasks from these two devices, and this percentage rises every month as new apps are released. Thanks to the power of a Cloud Ecosystem, all my apps synch with a web-based service that I can access from other devices or my computer. It’s simple – I can do work from one app and then grab a copy of it from another, no matter where I am.
Of course, all entrepreneurs must take time to disconnect and enjoy life, but (as you know) on occasion s**t happens. That stuff requires my attention immediately, no matter where I am. That’s just part of being a business owner. Here’s an example from my own business.
I was fortunate enough to attend the coldest Orange Bowl to date in 2008. Pizza, beer, and hot dogs with friends ready to watch the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets! But minutes before kickoff, I got a frantic call from a client who needed images within ten minutes. Luckily, with my iPhone and Photoshelter, I was able to get my client’s images quickly and resume watching the game. My client loved me for taking care her needs efficiently, even as she heard the roar of the crowd around me. In her mind, she was my top priority. And she told her friends, who became some of my best referrals!
That story alone illustrates the importance of having access to your files and data from anywhere – anytime. I was 1200 miles away from my office. Could my client wait? Sure, but it was much more impressive to her that I stepped in a helped solve her problem. In a competitive climate, the businesses that go above and beyond to serve their clients WIN. And having your own Cloud Ecosystem actually makes it convenient for YOU and YOUR CLIENT. Just do the work now to set up your Cloud Ecosystem, and you’ll save time (and sanity) later!
As you evaluate which apps are essential parts of your Cloud Ecosystem, ask some key questions:
- What types of data would I need to access anywhere, anytime? Images, financial accounts, documents, illustrations, etc?
- What apps could I sign up for now that will save me time later?
- Do I have a current list of “must-have” apps that I need to schedule time to set up?
- Does my staff need access to any of these apps too? (How many users do I need?)
- Do I have adequate backup systems for all of my critical data, and can I access it anytime?
Want to see which apps are part of my business’s Cloud Ecosystem? Check out my recent article on The Photo Life about backup strategies.
To give you some added perspective, I once had a full-time job and my boss refused to buy laptops for employees. We only had access to desktops – in the physical office building. He often tried to figure out how to make his staff more productive, but he didn’t understand that a laptop would have increased team productivity significantly, because it would allow key staff to work anywhere, anytime clients needed us. Simple, right? Well he didn’t get it. He sacrificed productivity and innovation for the sake of perceived “control.” That was a fail for everyone – including clients.
So, don’t be that guy. Make yourself mobile. Make your business mobile. Empower your team to be mobile. Run your business on your terms, on your time, from anywhere. You, your team and your clients will win!
About the Author
Will Godfrey is an entrepreneurially-minded photographer who studied at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara prior to pursuing a career that embodies the confluence of photography and technology. Will has worked as a freelance photographer, a technology consultant and an assistant to some of the world’s top commercial and editorial photographers. His latest venture, Modern Furniture Collection, makes modern classics from designers like Mies van der Rohe and Charles and Ray Eames available to new generations through top-quality design at sane prices. In 2012, Will began pursuing his MBA at Georgia Tech’s Scheller School of Business with a focus on technology and innovation management.