How to have a digital spring clean
Spring cleans shouldn’t be confined to real-world spaces – our virtual lives need regular updating, organising and replenishing too. When it comes to business, this is vitally important – so you can keep on top of areas as diverse as your documents, brand image and security.
Sort out your cloud
Technology developments in recent years have meant that the majority of us are now working, to a greater or lesser degree, in the cloud. But although the cloud has changed the way we store our information and data, it hasn’t automated filing. Think of the endless documents you’ve saved in your Box, Google Drive or other cloud software spaces – can you pull out any document knowing that it’s definitely in that file or saved in a certain location? Chances are you spend a significant chunk of time wading through endless links trying to retrieve the screen grab, image or document you want. To remedy this, and ensure you get through the rest of the working year as efficiently as possible, try using apps or tools such Hojoki or Dispatch to sync up your various cloud programmes. Everything will always be in one place, which will save you time and ensure peace of mind.
In an era where we spend increasing amounts of time communicating to customers and clients around the world – through email, websites, social media or through traditional means such as letter heads or business cards – even when we are not physically present, we are still leaving an impression every time we connect with someone. So make sure you put your best foot forward: one business expert pointed out that many small businesses lose sales because their online portfolios are outdated or non-existent.
You can create bespoke websites and design special communications for your business to send out to customers using tools such as WordPress, Wix and Moonfruit.
Check your security
Working online has revolutionised the way we do business. We can reach huge audiences around the world at the click of a button and access files anywhere, but new ways of working bring necessary precautions around security. Around 60 percent of businesses say that they are largely dependent on the internet for working, and, with the growth of the Internet of Things, flexible working and cloud storage, we’re only going to be doing more and more online as time goes by. Recognising this, hackers are increasingly turning their attention to small businesses because they are less likely to have robust security infrastructure in place to protect valuable information and documents.
You don’t need a huge amount of investment – a simple starting point is just to upgrade your security passwords, or manage them more securely using apps such as Last Pass (as recommended in our Desert Islands Apps by entrepreneur Phil Dodson) or OnePassword.