Can cloud technology help Scottish businesses go global?

By Diane Holden, Xero Regional Account Manager

Scotland is home to a wealth of small businesses across a multitude of industries, and some of these businesses are quickly becoming experts in global outreach. While not an easy feat, assistance from tools like cloud technology can help you get there. Increasingly, cloud computing and online software are becoming integral to running a business, as they can create new opportunities and provide support by streamlining and automating tasks.

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According to a recent survey conducted by Xero, three-quarters of Scottish accountants (75%) and finance workers are either undergoing additional training, using online learning tools or doing further reading to better ensure they are proficient with the latest technologies.

Being cloud-connected is easier than you might think. Everytime we use online banking, receive an email or even Tweet we are accessing the cloud — so there’s no reason not to use the extraordinarily versatile tools available to help your business. Across Scotland, small business owners are turning to cloud technology to transform their businesses into agile entities that are better prepared to challenge the giants in their respective sectors. With these new capabilities, regional small businesses are able to, not only better serve their local markets, but also set their sights on global markets.

Here are three quick tips on better using technology that could help boost your small business:

1. Build your online presence, Google is the new high street
When looking for products and services, how often do you search from your phone or from a tablet? Search for your business on your phone – how does it look? Is it mobile responsive? Would you buy from you? If not, consider investing in a review of your web page.

2. Use social media to support your marketing strategy and build your brand
Social media is one of the best forms of free advertising. There are plenty of free tools out there that can make social media more manageable including Hootsuite or Tweetdeck.

3. Look to cloud technology to automate in-house processes and increase your capacity
Cloud tools like Xero offer convenient, automated functionalities, like Bank Feeds, that will give you back time in your day. You can combine this core accounting software with other cloud business solutions that will, for example, feed through your sales. OCR technology, like Receipt Bank, can read your purchase invoices and populate your purchase ledger — enabling you to focus on the more important things.

Read more about how cloud tools like Xero can help you grow your business here.

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