AWS for Small Business: Is it Useful?

Many small businesses hear about AWS and wonder if it is useful for them. This is compounded by the misconception that small businesses should not bother with AWS,  that AWS is only suitable for large businesses. But here is the truth: Each business whether big or small requires certain factors to operate smoothly. Talk of efficiency, knowledgeable support (both tech and admin), uptime, backup, security etc.

These are items that must always function properly for a business of any size to thrive. This is what a small business owner should think of first and foremost. And if AWS is good at these things then it's good for small businesses.

This post explores the AWS benefits you can exploit as a small business and some of the specific products that are suited for small businesses. 

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform that offers a variety of services, including hosting, computing power, storage, and databases. Amazon, one of the leading technology companies around the world, created AWS in 2006 as a way to offer these services to businesses on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

The platform has grown tremendously and today, AWS is one of the most popular cloud computing platforms, used by companies of all sizes. Amazon’s dominance in the cloud market means that AWS has a wide range of features and services that are constantly being updated and improved, which is of great benefit for your business as you are about to learn.  

Benefits of AWS for Small Businesses

AWS can benefit small businesses in many ways, but these are the core benefits you stand to enjoy as a small business when you use the platform. 

1. Cost-efficient

If you're looking for a cost-effective way to manage your web applications as a small business, AWS is a great option. With its pay-as-you-go pricing model, you only need to maintain and pay for the resources you use. 

And since there's no upfront commitment, you can easily scale up or down as needed. Additionally, AWS provides a number of tools and services that can help you save money on your overall costs. For example, their Reserved Instances program offers significant discounts sometimes going up to 70% if you commit to using certain types of instances for a one or three year term.

So whether you're just starting out with a small website or are ready to take your business to the next level, AWS can be a great partner in cost reduction.

2. AWS is reliable

AWS is a highly reliable platform, which is essential for a small business given the constraints of talent and resources. All the underlying hardware and software is managed by Amazon, so you don't need to worry about maintaining or patching your servers. As a result, you can focus on your applications and running the business, knowing that your infrastructure is reliable and secure.

This makes AWS an ideal choice for businesses that are growing or have fluctuating needs. And because it’s a cloud platform, it can provide increased resilience and redundancy, which can help keep your business up and running even in the event of an outage or disaster.

3. Unlimited storage

AWS provides unlimited storage with their Amazon S3 service. This simple storage service is an excellent advantage for small business owners because they don't have to worry about running out of storage space. This means you can continue to grow your business without having to worry about enough capacity.

This is particularly important because some small businesses often create a larger number of files than they have the capacity to store on-premises. Rather than paying for, deploying, and managing expensive hardware, you can use Amazon S3 to save files outside of your office—paying only for what you use with no upfront investment required.

Amazon S3 is easy to use, with a simple web interface that anyone in your organization can use to upload or download files. You can also set up Amazon S3 to host static websites for your business’ needs. 

4. Decent customer service

Cloud services companies are expected to offer exceptional customer services because businesses depend on them to keep systems running.  AWS does a great job here and so as a small business, you can benefit greatly from AWS' reliable customer service. AWS offers responsive 24x7x365 support to all AWS customers, so businesses can get the help they need in a timely manner. 

Additionally, AWS offers a wide range of support options, so businesses can choose the option that best suits their needs. Whether it's live chat or email, you can rest assured that you'll be able to get help from AWS.

Of course customer service is challenging and no company can ever be perfect. So you’ll not fail to find unsatisfied customers. For example, some critics complain of long wait times, difficulty accessing human agents, and poor support for phone calls. But still, it’s fair to affirm  that AWS scores well on customer service. So whatever your issue, you can always be sure to escalate it to the highest levels. 

5. Scalability

Last but not least, AWS is a great option for small businesses because it's scalable. That means you can start with a small package and grow your business as you need. You're not limited by the amount of storage space or bandwidth. 

The Best AWS Products for Small Businesses

AWS has many products that can help your small business grow. In fact the services are so many and diverse that it would probably be impossible to exhaust them all in one post. But here are some of the most common and in our view, the best AWS products that you can take advantage of as a small business. 

1. AWS web hosting

AWS provides a web hosting service for small and medium businesses. The hosting service is designed to provide businesses with a simple way to host their websites and apps. Amazon’s hosting service includes a number of features that make it an attractive option for small businesses, including pay-as-you-go pricing, automating capabilities,  and 24/7 customer support. 

The hosting service is a scalable and reliable option for businesses that need a hosting solution that can grow with their business. Small businesses also get to enjoy the benefit of Amazon’s global network that enables optimum performance, availability, and reliability.  

2. Amazon Quicksight

Amazon Quicksight is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) and data analytics service that enables you to quickly create interactive visualizations, dashboards, and reports from your data. It offers built-in support for popular data formats, including Excel files, JSON data, and relational databases. You can also use Quicksight to connect to AWS data sources, including Amazon Redshift (data warehouse), Amazon Athena (data query service), and Amazon DynamoDB (managed NoSQL database service).

Quicksight also includes a variety of features that enable you to collaborate with others on your data. For example, you can share dashboards with colleagues and invite them to collaborate on creating or editing reports. You can also enable others to view your dashboards without having to sign in to Quicksight.

3. Simple Email Service (SES)

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a cloud-based email service that enables businesses to send bulk emails. It is easy to use and provides built-in email authentication to help protect your email reputation. You can get started quickly, plus there is no need for a complex setup. 

SES can be used to send marketing emails, notification emails, or other transactional emails. You can also use SES to send automated emails, such as password reset emails or order confirmation emails. 

4. Elastic Cloud 2 (EC2)

Amazon Elastic Cloud 2 (EC2) is a cloud computing platform that provides on-demand compute resources, which can be easily scaled up or down as needed. It’s a reliable and  cost-effective way for small businesses to get started with cloud computing. 

You can use the elastic compute cloud for a variety of applications such as development and testing, data processing and backup. EC2 is easy to use and provides users with full control over their compute resources. 

5. AWS Lightsail

Lightsail is a cloud platform that offers you everything you need to launch and manage a website or application. It's simple and easy to use, with everything you need to get started  – a virtual machine, SSD-based storage, data transfer, DNS management, and a static IP – included in one low price. 

You can also add other services like databases and load balancers as needed. Lightsail is great for small businesses, web developers, students, and those just getting started with AWS. It's easy to use and provides all of the benefits of AWS with the kind of agility that befits a small business.  

Other services you can get from cloud services companies like AWS include premise to cloud migration, data backup and recovery. 

AWS for Small Businesses: Conclusion

As you can now see, AWS is a great platform that is certainly useful for small businesses — thanks to these wide range of services that are already helping businesses to grow and scale. If you are looking for a reliable and affordable cloud hosting solution, AWS is the perfect option. Give it a try or talk to one of these professional AWS consulting companies to make a well-thought decision.

AWS for Small Businesses: FAQ

Why do businesses need AWS?

First, AWS provides a highly reliable, scalable, and affordable infrastructure platform in the cloud. This AWS infrastructure can help businesses to meet their growing needs for storage, computing power, and bandwidth without having to make large upfront investments in hardware. 

Second, AWS offers a wide range of services that can be used to build and deploy applications in the cloud. These services make it easy for businesses to get started with cloud computing without having to invest in costly infrastructure or hire specialized personnel. 

Finally, AWS provides a pay-as-you-go pricing model that allows businesses to only pay for the resources they use, which can help to reduce costs on IT.

Is AWS free for small business?

You can sign up for a free tier account and use some of the most popular AWS services at no cost. This includes services like Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Amazon DynamoDB, and more. 

Of course there are some usage limits in place for each service, but you can still get started with certain AWS products completely free of charge. Once you start using more advanced features or exceed the usage limits, you'll just need to pay for the resources you use. 

However, even then, AWS cloud typically costs less than similar technologies. So if you're looking for a cost-effective way to run your small business in the cloud, AWS is definitely worth considering.

How does AWS help small businesses?

AWS helps small businesses through a variety of services including compute power, storage, managed databases, hosting and networking. Basically, AWS provides all the infrastructure that a small business needs to run its operations in the cloud. This can save the business a lot of money on up-front costs like buying hardware and hiring IT staff.

AWS can also help small businesses scale their operations quickly and easily. Since all the resources are stored in the cloud, businesses can quickly add new users or applications without having to invest in more physical infrastructure. This makes it easy to grow your business without incurring a lot of additional costs.

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