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A cloudy business forecast

Friday, 15 February 2013 | By John Russell

Don’t let the title fool you. I’m not at all pessimistic about the future of Australian business.


How do you know that I’m telling the truth? I just started one. In fact, I believe quite the opposite.


I think that there are more opportunities than ever to build a successful business in today’s world. All you need to know are what tools to use and how to use them.


So what do I mean?


Quite simply, I mean that businesses’ being fully operational on the cloud was an inevitability. That is of course that businesses would require the internet for their daily functions – marketing, sales, management and accounting – at some stage in the game.


In the last 20 years we have seen our lives transform with the emergence of the internet. Today if we want information on a topic, we don’t go down the road to the local library – we “Google” it.


If we want to get in contact with a friend, we don’t have to knock on their front door. In today’s hyper-digital world we can call them, e-mail them, text them, Facebook them, Tweet them, Skype them – you name it.


Although I have to disagree with the common expression that the world is a smaller place as a result of the internet – the world actually remains physically the same size – I will agree that the instant access of knowledge and information certainly brings us as human beings closer together.


Times have changed…


The main message that I would like to deliver in this article is that times have changed.


Relationships have changed. And, ultimately, people have changed. What does an animal do when everything around them is changing? They adapt. They shed skin. They evolve. Businesses are no different.


Today we see businesses starting up with a keen entrepreneur at the end of a simple WordPress website. Utilising their knowledge on a topic, their ability to use social networks and their general sales know-how, entrepreneurs of today have the ability to start a successful business at the click of a mouse. What’s even more amazing is that these online start-ups have the potential of earning millions of dollars.


Today, if you know what tools to use and how to use them – put in a bit of hard work and there’s no telling what you can achieve. The great Thomas Jefferson once said, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”


So times have changed. The internet can lower a business’ overheads, improve its efficiency and help to provide a greater product or service to your customers.


Should you be worried? No.


Why not?


Change is good. Change means that we are moving forward and that we are evolving as a society. The only thing you need to worry about is embracing the cloud.


More to come?


My series of “Up In the Cloud” articles will clearly outline and analyse the movements in cloud business. From social media marketing to accounting, I will explain how best to utilise these cloud tools to improve, grow or in some cases save your business. Stay tuned next fortnight for everything you need to know about cloud accounting.