What is SharePoint in Office 365, and why is SharePoint for small business the critical product? So you bought a Microsoft 365 license, and your tenant is online. You open a browser, and you have no idea what to do next? Don’t worry; I will try to give you a few suggestions on how to start.

When I wrote an old post about starting SharePoint development, some people complained that it was too easy and obvious. O really? I had so many projects on Upwork where people asked me to clean the mess in their tenant. I have worked with SharePoint for years, and I must tell you it has changed so much. It’s not ugly anymore. It gives us so many possibilities. When you combine it with Power Platform, you build almost anything that your company needs.

  • Did you know that Nascar runs their Intranet with SharePoint?
  • More than 200,000 organization use it as Intranet platform
  • If you have Microsoft 365 business license SharePoint is already there, ready to use
  • And it’s not ugly anymore. The most pupular request in the past: “Make a SharePoint to not look like a SharePoint” 🙂

What is SharePoint in Office 365?
What is SharePoint in Office 365?

The biggest mistake with SharePoint

One of the most significant truths in IT world is: If you put trash on the input, you will get trash on the output! That’s it. Folks think that if they start SharePoint for small business and migrate local resources, which are trash, the problem will disappear in the cloud. No, It doesn’t. Before you put a single file there, you have to understand what is SharePoint in Office 365 and how it works.

  • Do you want to share the content outside of you company?
  • How much storage do I need?
  • Do I need a content type? If yes, you can check this post.
  • What is SharePoint list and what is sharepoint library
  • Should I create a site for each department or maybe I am so small that one site will be enugh for me?
  • What kind of permission do I need? What my users should be allowed to do?
  • And who will provide the content?

Who is the project owner? Who’s the conent provider?

I will tell a story. A few years ago, I had a SharePoint project. It took me a few weeks to make the look ideal. Finally, the design was perfect, and it was open to everyone. But after weeks, the Intranet site was dead. No one was visiting it. The problem was that content was outdated, as there was no responsible person to keep it up to date, provide the latest company news, and tell a story to company users.

You can build a fantastic site, but without content is nothing. You need a person who will make it live. And from my personal experience, IT team is not the best content provider :).

What is SharePoint in Office 365?

I know that it’s a too simple an explanation, but I always say that OneDrive is your private storage when SharePoint is team storage for collaboration. SharePoint is like a file share, but in the cloud and much more advanced. We store data in SharePoint using something called lists and libraries. They are two key storage elements; all others are just variants of those two.

What is SharePoint libary?

A library is like a folder on your computer. Many users call a library a folder, but it’s not the same. Actually, you can have folders inside of your library. And you can do their amazing things:

  • keep versions of a single file
  • set up permission on single file level – I strongly do not recomend this, but it’s possible
  • use company term store to keep data consistent acros your sites
  • connect Power Automate workflow to get autmatic process related to your library
  • customize upload/edit forms with Power Apps
  • synchronize the content to your computer with OneDrive

And much more…

What is SharePoint list?

I would say it’s similar to an Excel sheet. Columns can have different data types. And that’s could be a basic explanation. When you compare the SharePoint list a few years ago to the modern list the change is so huge. They look just great.

Travel request SharePoint list example
Travel request SharePoint list example

What’s important here you can fully customize them with Power Apps so they can fit your needs. And when you connect it to Power Automate you can build almost everything. The sky is the limit. You can read the introduction about them HERE.

Why should I care about it?

So you get a general overview of what is SharePoint in Office 365, but what’s next? There are several reasons and we could spend a few hours about it. Let me write a few things about it:

  • With SharePoint for small business you can build almost everythign what is needed. It’s very important for a small company. When you have to save time and money.
    • Human Resources system aks HRIS
    • Basic accounting solution
    • Issue tracker
    • Asset manager
    • Travel reuqest and epxenses approve process
    • And much much more

If you have a question or need you can contact me using this FORM.

So What is SharePoint in Office 365? A summary

I know that for some of you this post is so basic and simple. I am aware of that. On other hand, I know that some people need basic knowledge. I strongly believe that SharePoint for small business can be a solution that will the core of your entire business. I saw already companies where almost everything is there, without ANY additional software.

Do you like this post? Would you like to read more?

And if you think that this article was interesting, please use the buttons below and spread the word! Thank you!