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document management for small business

How to Manage, Store and Backup Your Documents in the Cloud

In this episode “Small Business Stacey” and “Digital Dave” layout a simple plan for getting rid of that stack of papers on your desk, learning about document management, versioning and document collaboration, and the awesome feeling of having all the documents on your computer backed up in case of a computer crash.

Episode Transcript

Stacey: Hi. I’m “Small Business Stacey”.

Dave: I’m “Digital Dave”.

Stacey: Where Marketing …

Dave: Meets Technology.

Stacey: Welcome everybody. Are you a small business owner who just struggles to find your documents, and your receipts, and all of your information? Something perhaps you created yesterday, much less three weeks ago? If that sounds like you, you’re gonna love what we talk about today. I have Digital Dave here, who’s gonna talk about document management and how you as the small business owner can use the document management system to be more organized. Welcome, Digital Dave.

Dave: Hey, Stacey. How are you?

Stacey: Hey. So I’m sure some of the small business owners that are out there are probably scratching their head thinking, “What is a document management system?” So, can you answer that for us?

Dave: Small Business Stacey, that’s a great question. There are a lot of answers to that question, a lot of different ways to answer that question, pertaining to document storage and document management systems. I’ll go through some of those eventually, later. A document management system is basically an environment that is controlled where documents are organized and can be searched, indexed and shared with other people.

Stacey: That sounds great. I know, for example, just the other day you had a computer that crashed. Will a document management system or storage system help with that type of a situation?

Dave: You bet. And I gotta tell you, I’ve never been so grateful that the cloud came along. I use a document management system, which is Google Drive. I store all of my personal documents, all of our business documents, pretty much everything is stored on that shared online cloud-based environment called Google Drive. There are others out there. Some of you may have OneDrive, Dropbox. There’s dozens of them out there. But I gotta tell you, it was absolutely a relief to know that the worst-case scenarios of if my computer didn’t come back up, which it did, I got lucky, and if it didn’t come back up, all I would need to do is really reinstall the operating system and the software, and all of my documents would miraculously reappear.

Stacey: Oh, how nice. Now when you say cloud, people are thinking, “Oh, that thing up in the sky.” So, what does cloud mean?

Dave: Well, let’s talk about, what cloud means, it’s stored off-site by someone like a Google or an Amazon or a Microsoft or a Oracle. There’s many companies that offer cloud-based document storage systems. Really what the cloud means is the servers reside in the cloud, they’re backed up in the cloud, and they can be accessed, in most cases, from any kind of device, anywhere, at any time, as long as you have access to the internet.

Stacey: Okay, Digital Dave, can you give us a little demonstration of how this online cloud-based document management system works?

Dave: Sure, Small Biz Stacey. We’re gonna take a look at the online document system that we use which is Google Drive. And Google Drive is just one of the ones available out there on the market today. The way it works is that … it works on a sync technology. Most people are very familiar with storing documents on their local computer, which is what Google drive starts with it, actually allows you to save your documents to a specific location called Google Drive on your machine. As you do that, it then runs in the background a sync, which then pushes a copy of that document up to the cloud. The nice thing about that is not only is the document being backed up, but it’s also being versioned. That means that when you return back the next time, if you change the document, not only can you see the currently changed document but you can revert back to a previous document. It gives you the ability to have document versioning as well as a document archive/backup. Now I’m gonna go ahead and try to show you this. What I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna simply create a new little text document here in my Google Drive. Well, it’s new rich text document, a new rich text .rtf. And then what we’re gonna go do is we’re gonna see if it’s been synced or not. It looks like it’s already synced to the cloud. Now we’re gonna switch over to the cloud and we’re gonna see it in the cloud. This is the cloud view of our Google Drive and this is our corporate folder here, and what you’ll see is that that document that I just saved to my local computer is now available in the online cloud version of the document storage system. So you can see how quickly and efficiently that works.

Now what I’d also want to do is, again, there are more features generally to a document management system than a document storage system. One of them is searching. We’re gonna go ahead and we’re just gonna quickly search for that new document that we put in there. We’re gonna just type in here: new, rich, text. We’re gonna search, and it’s gonna return not just that document, but all of the documents that I’ve ever had anywhere on my Google Drive that are a match to what I’ve just typed. In this particular case, this one came to the top. This is the one we just added, just a couple minutes ago. That is how a cloud-based document management system works and how efficient it is at sorting and maintaining versions of your documents.

Stacey: Wow, that’s great. You also mentioned collaborating on a document. So how would that work?

Dave: Collaborating on a document, it works on the premise of sharing the document with somebody. What I would do is I would literally share, maybe I would share this document with you. I go over here and I would do … where’s the share? Oh sorry. It’s up here. Share here. I would share this document with you. I would just type in your email and send you a request to share the document. You would get it. You would accept it, and at that point, you actually have access to the same document that I have access to. It’s actually a little creepy sometimes, when you’re sharing a document and collaborating, you can actually see me typing, in the document, at live. That is how collaboration works in a document management system.

Stacey: Wow, these are really helpful tips for small business owners. You don’t have to worry about your computer crashing, your documents are being backed up. You can easily find them by searching for them, and you can collaborate with others. Wow. Thank you, Digital Dave, for that demonstration. That really helps clear things up. But there’s still a question where you talk about document management, and then you talk about document storage. Is there a difference between the two:?

Dave: Yes, there is a difference between the two. A lot of people don’t know the difference between the two. It’s very subtle. There are places where you can go and just load files to, and have them backed up and stored. That is a document storage system. A document management system is a document storage system plus additional features. Those additional features come in the flavors of collaboration, being able to share documents with other people, securing your documents, things like that. It’s an environment and a suite, rather than just a place to store documents.

Stacey: Okay. Great. A question I’m sure many small business owners are wondering is, is there a cost associated with this? Can you elaborate on that and perhaps any particular systems that you would recommend for small business owners?

Dave: Here’s the good news. On some of these systems, say Google Drive, is free. I think you can get now 15 gigs of storage from Google absolutely free and get all of the features and benefits as if you were paying for it. Now I pay for the service. I actually have a terabyte of space. I’ve just exceeded that 15 gigs early on. I know a lot of people that are able to survive with 15 gigs for quite a long time before they start paying. There are other services out there that do similar things. Dropbox is one of them, OneDrive from Microsoft. Some of these offer, they usually all offer some type of a free initial trial with some free storage. It’s just when you get up into having larger amounts of documents, you generally you will have to pay for those. You can look around. There are many others out there on the internet.

Stacey: Great. Well, thanks Dave. Now I’m sure all small business owners out there have no excuse for getting your documents organized and up in the cloud so you never have to worry about losing them again.

Dave: Or, I’m not done yet.

Stacey: Oh! Or!

Dave: Or having a document management system that looks something like this.

Stacey: Oh, yeah, I think that’s what we all struggle …

Dave: Don’t we all want to get rid of that, right?

Stacey: Well, thanks Digital Dave. Your information was really helpful today.

Dave: Thank you Small Biz Stacey. Look forward to seeing everyone on our next episode of Where Marketing Meets Technology.

Stacey: Bye bye

Dave: Bye bye.

Narrator: This podcast was brought to you by Small Business Stacey, the Small Biz Marketing Specialist. Want to grow your business more in the next 30 days than you have in the past three months? Get your free marketing plan at smallbizmarketingspecialist.com. That’s small B-I-Z marketing specialist dot com.

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About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka “Small Business Stacey” is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small business and rebuilding Main Street. She helps small and local business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. Stacey is the founder of Small Biz Marketing Specialist, THE go-to place for marketing tips, techniques and strategies that get results. Stacey is also the creator of the Daily Deals for Massive Profits Training Program, an online video training program that teaches small and local business owners how to use daily deal sites like Groupon to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn’t!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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