Cloud computing has grown in popularity in recent years – and for good reason – but small business owners should consider a few things before investing. 

The cloud services market is expanding fast, and it can be tough for small business owners to choose the provider that is right for them. There are a number of key factors that you will be smart to think about before investing in cloud computing. You will have to look over aspects of the service such as safety, accessibility and cost. Considering the technical aspects of a cloud service may seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Below are a few of the things you should consider before investing in cloud computing:

1. How much can the service handle?
One of the advantages of cloud platforms is their ability to easily scale depending on the progress your business makes, Forbes explained. A cloud-service that can't expand in order to handle your small business's increasing business is one that you shouldn't be utilizing. Look for a platform that can adjust according to the expansion or contraction of your business – changes are likely to come, and you probably don't want to have to switch cloud service providers every time they do.  

2. Do you trust the platform?
Data security is vital. you will likely want to make sure you trust whatever provider you're considering about handing your money and important information to, before making the final decision, Inc. noted. You are placing too much information in the hands of your chosen cloud service not to have the utmost trust in it. Check to make sure that the platform is compliant with standards governing data security. In addition, you may want to work out who owns data stored under the terms of your agreement with a cloud service provider. 

3. How much are you forking over for this?
Don't go for a service that is significantly detrimental to your long-term financial plan. Cloud platform plans offer plenty of flexibility, but that can often come with unexpected charges, SWC Technology Partners explained. For example, some cloud services will change for the amount of data transferred across the internet, or the number of storage transactions performed. If you aren't sure which features are free and which you will have to pay up for, then a cloud platform can turn very expensive fast. 

4. Can you try it out first? 
There are a number of cloud services that offer free trials to curious businesses, Inc. noted. This will allow you to get a feel for how the platform works and help you decide whether or not it will be right for your business. A free trial can help you understand where your business is lacking and what tier of service you will need. This will be a great way for you to identify exactly what you need from your cloud service, even if the one you trial with isn't the one you choose. 

5. How easy is it to move data?
If it's prohibitively difficult to upload information into the cloud storage platform, then it isn't really worth it to invest. If you have a lot of information to move once you've begun utilizing the service, then you're going to want to find one that ensures the upload process is streamlined. Make sure that you're able to identify a platform that allows you to easily move data without having to recreate it. 

If you're a small business owner, then the cloud will probably prove helpful, but not every service will be right. Use the advice above to help make the final decision.