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Cloud Computing for the Solopreneur

Cloud Computing for the Solopreneur
  • First of all, congratulations for taking the leap of faith on becoming a solopreneur: you deserve a round of applause for that important decision and here’s wishing you all the best in transforming the opportunity you’ve found into a great success.

    I have myself been on that adventure of being a solopreneur and while I was convinced that I could achieve a lot of things working from home (or on the go for that matter), there’s one thing that I just can’t bear anymore: having to ‘fight’ with IT systems while I have other urgencies to manage. I guess we all have been in a situation where an IT system just doesn’t work: either it is the e-mail system that sends everything into the spam folder just because you haven’t been prudent enough in dealing with it, to the famous hard disk failure and that important work that you spent hours on last night just hadn’t been backed up properly.

    You know by now that I have an IT background, nonetheless I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that I’d be clever enough to solve any IT issues that might happen while being a solopreneur. How wrong I was. Indeed, it’s not about being tech-savvy enough to be able to solve IT issues: it’s about freeing enough time and resources so as to be able to organise and transform an opportunity into an actual business. IT should only be supporting all the efforts.

    By being a solopreneur, even though you are tech-savvy, it means that you have to rely on trustworthy IT system – you no longer have an IT support guy – short of your Uncle Barry – to turn to when problems arise. And this is where cloud computing comes to the rescue, in my opinion. So how did I do it?

    First of all, I decided to move all my personal information management tools into the cloud. This means that my e-mails, calendars, to-do-list, address book are now hosted in the cloud. This brings to me a big advantage since I can now use my Smartphone to sync everything in the morning so that I have them all on my phone while I’m on-the-go. Most of the time, when I receive a business card from a partner or a client, I just have to enter it into my Smartphone then it will be synced to my cloud-based system in the morning. It happened to me once (luckily it was only once), that my phone got stolen- but this didn’t mean I lost all my contacts since I have a solid ‘backup’ system on the cloud. So all I had to do was replace the phone, configure and sync it then I was ready to go again.

    For my files, since I’ve already had the bad experience of a hard disk failing, I just went for a cloud-based storage. I have the current files I’m working on in the cloud so that I can access it anytime/anywhere. Regularly, I do a physical backup to one of my external hard disks so that I have copies of them.

    For managing my billing and Customer Relationship Management, I have gone with a cloud-based service provider that have some of the features automated (like sending that ugly “bill reminder” to some customers) – this definitely comes handy as by being everywhere, you tend to forget a few things.

    Those are only some illustrations on how I leverage cloud-computing while being a solopreneur. How does it work for you? Feel free to share.