Microsoft’s hold on the small business owner might be slipping away with strong competition from other services like Google Docs. In the past many employees were basically held hostage by Microsoft Office software and all the restrictions that come with that type of program. No longer will you have to suffer with all your documents and information stored in one program that is vulnerable to security hacks. If you have a small business you should be moving away from Microsoft Office and focusing more effort on Google Docs (which is FREE by the way). Here are just a few of the benefits of leaving Microsoft Office software behind.

Working in the Cloud
The biggest advantage to Google Docs over Microsoft Office is all your work is stored in the cloud (Google’s secure and powerful servers). With your documents safely stored in the cloud, you have so much more flexibility and freedom. Unlike having an office based program on your computer that you can only access where the program is installed, now with the cloud you can connect to your documents from any remote location that has an internet connection. This freedom gives you the opportunity to conduct business outside of the standard office. You can bring work right to the customer and make modifications in real time to contracts. You also have the ability to access important documents that need modification before meeting with a client.

Backing Up Your Files
When you work in a traditional Microsoft program environment, you are responsible for backing up your data as you go. If you allow some time to pass without doing a backup and trouble hits, you run the risk of losing all that data up to the last point you backed it up (if you ever did back it up). Working with Google Docs in the cloud you do not have to be concerned with backing up your files any longer. Google does it automatically (and did we mention they do it for FREE). This also has a much larger advantage over Microsoft Office in that if a hacker has penetrated your computer they can basically destroy all your files with a virus or trojan. Google Docs works in Google’s cloud where security is incredibly difficult for a hacker to penetrate. The files are backed up and stored where they are safe for you to access. If your computer does experience a hack, you can still access the documents on Google Docs from any other device because those files are protected.

Different File Types
Business owners rarely work with one specific type of file. Google Docs allows its users to work with spreadsheets, documents, drawings, web forms, and presentations in doc, docx, ppt, xls, and many other file types. This wide variety of file choices gives the user the ability to work across several platforms without issue. Employees can quickly and easily share data with other employees in various file types rather that emailing each other each time a document is needed. All employees can access the information at the same time and make necessary changes from anywhere an internet connection is available (if the employee has been given permission to change the file in the Google cloud). Google Docs gives the company more freedom and more accessibility to documents on the move. Employees can access the same document and work together without having to be in the same place to do it.

Google Docs is becoming the smart alternative over Microsoft Office for small business owners (and more and more large businesses).  The advantages will help to grow your company more efficiently, allowing employees to be more productive whether in the office or on the road. Oh, and did we mention Google Docs is FREE while Microsoft charges you and arm and a leg every time they launch a new version of Office?