When you small business was in its infancy, it was fine to just email files back and forth between your collaborators – people like your graphic designer, your business partner, and maybe your accountant. But as your business grew and the volume of files being shared around become less manageable, you might have made the switch to a cloud sharing solution. And while that’s a big step toward professionalizing your interactions, you’ve probably noticed the potential complications of having all your business files mixed in with photo albums and personal documents.
The cloud sharing company Dropbox announced a solution last week that addresses this exact problem. They introduced Dropbox For Business, which is a brilliant way for small business owners to stay organized from the start and collaborate more effectively. But according to Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, separating files into personal and work spaces was just the beginning. The Dropbox team looked at other ways they could make life easier for everyone involved – from employees to IT professionals to office managers. The product that resulted is packed with really helpful features that could make a big difference for their users.
Here are three key features of the new Dropbox for Business:
1. Privacy and security upgrades. By separating the work environment from the personal space, Dropbox allows administrators to maintain control over files. If an employee’s computer is stolen, or if they leave the business, the work folder can be wiped remotely by the admin. There is also deletion recovery and version history – no more delete-panic. You can also use permissions to make sure sensitive materials are not being shared outside your work team.
2. Centralized administration. Not everyone is good at everything – that’s why specialization exists. Put the tasks of paying bills, organizing members, and generating reports in the hands of a designated admin who excels at those sorts of tasks.
3. Sharing and collaboration improvements. Need to share a large file or a number of files with someone? Instead of zipping, downloading, and unzipping, just share a link to a Dropbox folder. This also ensure that you can make last minute changes to documents and know that the end user will be seeing the latest version – unlike with an email attachment. You can also manage permissions on shared folders to make sure all the right people have access. According to Dropbox, they’ll be adding some fantastic new collaboration features later this year as part of Project Harmony. This update will allow Dropbox to integrate with the software and apps that people are already using on a daily basis to let them see who is working on a document and chat with other editors.
Dropbox for Business costs $15 per user per month, and has a minimum of five users. Do you think you’ll give it a try for your small business? Do the new features address any pain points you have a business owner?
Images via Dropbox