How to create a small business IT setup for free
When starting your business, you want to make sure you are keeping some order to all of your documents.
Don't worry, it is actually really simple to do. Plus, the method I am about to show you is completely free.
Let's look at how you can create a basic IT setup for your small business...
The tool that we are going to use is Microsoft OneDrive. You may have heard of this already if you are using a Microsoft email account. If you haven’t, or are unsure what it is, let me quickly explain.
When setting up a free Microsoft email account you are given 5 GB of free cloud storage on what is called OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive – Microsoft had to change the brand name following a trademark dispute). Here you can store any file that you want and share these files with others.
Here are 5 simple steps on how to turn this free tool from Microsoft into an effective IT setup for your small business.
Setting up an email
You need an email address. There are no exceptions to this rule of business. As much as some of us might want there to be.
When setting up your Microsoft email consider the address that you want to use for your business. Since this is a free service you will need to use @outlook.com or another Microsoft owned email domain.
But you can use anything you want before the @ provided it is a mailbox name which is available. The following formula is fairly common for many small businesses ‘email@example.com’.
Creating a folder system
Now that you have set up your email you will see that you have access to OneDrive. Create a folder system that makes sense for your business, which includes the important relevant functions. For example, marketing, sales, clients, company documents, and so on.
Grant access to others
If you collaborate with others in the course of running your business, then you can grant them access to your entire OneDrive, specific folders within it, or certain documents only. They must have a Microsoft email account which, as mentioned above, is very easy to create.
Microsoft are actually pretty generous here. They give you access to a free online version of Microsoft Office, realising its value to both personal and business customers. There are some limitations to the software but it is perfect if you do not often create complex documents. You will see the option to create a new document in your OneDrive.
Another great feature of OneDrive is that you can share documents with anyone directly from the platform. This is perfect for sharing files internally or if you have to send any documents to customers, you can send them a link which will allow them to download the file.
Creating a mobile business
Since OneDrive is a cloud based solution, you can access your essential documents and files from anywhere in the world. As long as you can access the internet, just login to your Microsoft account and get to work.
Nice and simple
This is a simple outline on how to create a simple IT setup for your business for free. There are some further useful features that Microsoft gives you that allows you to organise your contacts, calendar and tasks, all in one platform, making this a truly comprehensive service.
There are some limitations but if you are looking to keep costs down in your business then this is a great solution. If you find yourself needing more, then you can easily upgrade to a paid for version, giving you even more applications and functionality.
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