How to Get Started with Sharepoint

SharePoint is cloud-based software that businesses can use to create their own team sites and portals. These sites enable businesses to share and collaborate on their content with colleagues inside and outside the organization from any device.

So, for example, picture a website that employees can login to, with a home page that has links through to the main apps used within their organisation, plus lists (maybe an asset register) and document libraries, with easy access to policies and procedures, forms and templates, marketing collateral and images that need to be shared by all staff, and maybe some promotional videos. Sound pretty cool?

A sample view of what Sharepoint looks like on a mobile device.

While historically it's been a program used only in big enterprises, the features of SharePoint are now easily accessed by small businesses as SharePoint is included in Microsoft's Office 365 subscription, which many businesses use anyway. So, for no additional costs, small businesses are able to utilise SharePoint and harness the power of their very own virtual office.

So how do we get started with SharePoint?

We invited Mia McIntyre from MiVirtual to deliver a webinar on how small businesses can get started with SharePoint, and she gave an awesome presentation. If you missed it, here's a replay:

As well as doing a detailed demonstration of what SharePoint can do, here are the main points that Mia covered in her presentation:

Why should we use SharePoint?

  • Cost
    • If you already have Office 365, SharePoint is included in your license so you don’t need to pay for other file sharing services, such as Dropbox.
  • Efficiency
    • Just use one login to access a number of different programs.
  • Collaboration
    • Document collaboration is one of SharePoint’s best features.
    • You can work on the same version of a document simultaneously with colleagues and clients, and it will save automatically (instead of having to email drafts backwards and forwards and not knowing which is the most current version).
  • SSOT
    • ‘Single source of truth’ – if you’re working on a file stored in the cloud on Sharepoint, you are making changes to the same single source so you know that you are always working on the most current document.

What is Sharepoint?

    • It's a cloud-based service hosted by Microsoft
    • For businesses of all sizes
    • Included in your Office 365 plan (or stand-alone)
    • Use it to create sites to share documents and information with colleagues, partners, and customers.
    • Every site has a landing page
    • You can have subsites, lists, apps, document libraries, etc.
    • Everything is highly customisable

What do I need to do before starting to build my SharePoint site?

Think about your current situation and what your requirements are for a cloud-based document storage system.

    • What programs do you currently use?
      • Write down all your logins and do an audit.
      • Are there any that require you to have documents stored locally?
    • What are your current pain-points in the business?
      • What causes the most frustration and inefficiency when you’re dealing with document storage and collaboration.
    • What features can’t you live without in your business?
      • What are your integral pieces when dealing with documents in the office – shared calendars? Etc.
    • Review your organisational structure and file structure
      • Even if there’s only you in the business, write out your organisational structure based on the roles/responsibilities performed and what it takes for your business to function.
      • Where and how are your files currently stored?

Get Ready to Build 

    • Create an example structure of how you want your SharePoint site to look, confirm the structure you want to run with and think about your basic theming and aesthetics.
    • Prepare your team. Get them on board for the change, get their input and feedback, and provide training and support after the change.
    • Outsource what you need to. Get help with things like data migration from your IT provider so that it’s a smooth process.

What if I still need help setting up my SharePoint site?

Grassroots IT and MiVirtual are on hand if you have questions about SharePoint or you would like assistance with creating your team site. We have some basic, fixed-price Sharepoint Packages available if you want us to get your site up and running quickly and need training on how to use it, or some consultation can be provided on an hourly basis.

Get in touch today to discuss your SharePoint needs further, either by email or call us on 1300554138.


Picture of Annie Love

Annie has worn many hats over her career, from being a Systems Administrator for a serviced office, to working in advertising in the magazine industry, and managing conferences in the Whitsundays. These days, as well as being the Mum of three gorgeous boys, Annie takes care of the marketing at Grassroots IT. She has a passion for creativity, and loves to read, write, paint and spend time with her family and friends.

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