There are so many challenges associated with getting a new business off the ground that it’s easy to see technology as just another task on the “to do” list. Your priorities are going out and winning business so technology can seem a secondary, administrative task when all your time is taken up focusing on meeting clients and identifying prospects.
It’s worth taking a step back, though, and planning your start-up technology outlay properly. Otherwise, you could create a situation in which you have different providers for hosting, fixed telephony, broadband, mobile and your hardware and software. That creates multiple invoices that you’ll have to process and account for and multiple points of contact. How many usernames and passwords do you really want to remember when you call for support?
If you’ve just struck out from the corporate world, you’ll have to adapt to not having an IT department behind you. That responsibility becomes your own but you don’t want to spend critical management time sorting out technology glitches. Some of those headaches can be taken away with a provider that can deliver all of your technology needs.
It’s easy to take a sticking plaster approach to technology, buying what you need in a hurry as the requirement emerges, but you also don’t want to commit to long-term packages that provide technology you’re not sure you’ll need. Cashflow is the lifeblood of a start-up business and you don’t need the strain of vital cash disappearing each month into technologies that haven’t proved their worth.
So what technology is essential? One example is cloud hosting. This lets start-ups access enterprise-grade technology, like Microsoft Office 365, from day one. And there’s no upfront capital investment required. Many providers will offer such services – bundled with a portfolio of technology - for a fixed monthly cost per seat. So the days of making do with a domestic internet connection and a basic software package and struggling to go to market with a jumble of landlines and personal mobiles are long gone.
Big company services like videoconferencing and local landline numbers, which make you appear to be much nearer to sales prospects, are also now within reach for the average start-up business.
Well-thought out technology can make you appear larger than you are and position you for growth. So it’s worth setting aside time to think through technology early on even when there are so many other things to think of. It’ll pay for itself in the cost and time savings you make.
Do you have any other technology tips for start-ups? Leave us a comment below.