3 Cloud Apps That Can Give Your Micro Business The Edge


We finish the week on cloud apps by introducing 3 outstanding apps which do not fall in the other categories but nevertheless can help your micro-business run more effortlessly – SlideRocket, Shopify and OrderHarmony.

1.  SlideRocket

SlideRocket Presentation SoftwareI like to think of SlideRocket as the Mo Farah of presentation creation tools!

We’ve all seen enough PowerPoint presentations to smile at the phrase ‘Death by PowerPoint’. SlideRocket can help ensure that presentations used within your micro business are a pleasure to present and a pleasure for your customers to view.

Because SlideRocket presentations are stored and created in the cloud it means everyone who needs to create or access presentations has them at their fingertips wherever they’re working or presenting. With a full set of professional design tools SlideRocket helps you create breathtaking presentations that will wow your audience. Combine themes and layouts, shapes, charts, tables, pictures, audio, HD video, and Flash to tell your story without compromise.

SlideRocket goes way beyond its desktop counterparts and offers you the power of the Internet. Easily integrate content from free public web resources like Flickr or YouTube and utilize plug-ins from Yahoo! and Twitter to extend functionality.

Wherever you are SlideRocket makes it easy for you to view your presentations. Online, offline or mobile you can login, access your presentations and make them available to your customers and prospects 24×7. SlideRocket delivers the same beautiful experience across operating systems and devices so your message is always well received. Using SlideRocket you can present to people even if they’re the other side of the world just by sharing a link. Once you’ve shared a link to a presentation you can view valuable metrics such as how many times the presentation has been viewed and which slides get more attention than others.

No longer want your presentation to be available? Perhaps because the branding or information is out of date, just mark the presentation as ‘Private’.

Presenting on the move? With SlideRocket you can present using your mobile or tablet.

Pricing – The Pro Plan is $24 per user/month with a 14 day free trial. There’s also a free plan which has some of the more powerful features missing.

2.  Shopify

Shopify Ecommerce SoftwareIf your business needs to use eCommerce (Online Store) you can spend a small fortune getting a web developer to create a bespoke solution for you. Using one of the many eCommerce software packages available you can create an online store in hours and for a fraction of the price. Shopify is one of the best options for the Micro Business.

Shopify has over 100 store templates for you to choose from which you can then customize just as you wish. Add your own branding and colours, change the layout and the menu structure as you need to. Once you have the design just how you want it Shopify makes it very easy to add your products including images, variations such as sizes or colours, stock levels, shipping costs and more. Do you have lots of products? Not a problem with Shopify, just create a spreadsheet with all the details and import.

Next you need to be able to take money online, Shopify connects not only to PayPal and Google Checkout but also with over 50 payment gateways.

Once your store is just how you want it you can open it up to the public and start promoting it and accepting orders.

With inbuilt marketing and SEO tools and even the ability to sell via a mobile enabled platform you can capture sales with ease. You can set up special offers and group products together in collections to make it easier for your customers to find just what they want.

Pricing – There are four price plans starting from $19/month through to $115/month. The cheapest allows only 100 products and also takes a 2% transaction fee. The top plan allows you to have unlimited products and doesn’t have any transaction fees. It’s easy to start with the cheapest plan and upgrade as and when you need too.

3.  OrderHarmony

OrderHarmony stock & order managementEven if you don’t have an online store you might still have stock which you will need some form of stock control system for. Of course if you only have a few products you can manage with just using spreadsheets however they can get unwieldy very quickly. That’s when you need something like OrderHarmony.

OrderHarmony ensures you always know what’s in stock, what’s selling fast and what’s a ‘dead dog’! You can compare suppliers pricing and ensure you have the right inventory levels to improve your cash flow.

Other features include stocktakes and stock valuations, purchasing, goods in and stock movements history as well as Pick, Pack & Ship features that allow you to part-ship orders, despatch the right products to the right locations quickly.

Pricing – If it’s just you than OrderHarmony starts at $25/month, 3 users costs $49/month and for up to 10 users the cost is $99/month.

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

If you have a need then more than likely there’s an online cloud based solution out there. Think about what your business needs to make it run not just efficiently but to maximize profitability and customer satisfaction. They search online for just the right solution or talk to a cloud computing consultant to find the right solution for you.