When starting a business, being able to track your growth accurately and protect your ideas and business plans is important. Ninety percent of all start-ups fail within the first year. You should optimise every cog in the machine that contributes to the smooth take off of your business and lands you in that tenth percentile.
Whatever sector you find yourself in, it is highly unlikely you won’t require some sort of IT or tech to get you started. As well as the standard smart phone and emails, here are five IT essentials that will ensure any hiccups in the road, won’t be because of the tech.
1. Computers (obviously)
You’ll need a devise to carry out basic business such as accessing the internet, emailing, compiling reports, etc.
While a phone is handy and can do nearly everything a computer can, sometimes when doing real work you need a bigger screen and the ability to type – so consider portability.
Will you need to access files and emails from remote locations or on-the-go?
If your start-up hasn’t established offices and a permanent working space with monitors and desktops, laptops and tablets are key.
Consider a screen size that works for you. Do you carry bags that will fit larger laptops? Do you need a bigger screen to see detailed images? What sort of job do you have and what features do you require from the device? Are you in a creative field and need touch screen or boosted graphics? Will any portable device with Microsoft Office, suffice?
All to take into account when choosing your brand and size.
As you’re presumably trying to spend money smartly, you don’t have to go for the premium, high range products. Having said this don’t cheap out and opt for unreliable tech with a short life span. Mid-range if perfect for new companies. As you grow and learn what best suites the needs of the business you may find changes with your devices need to be made or replacements and upgrades. It will be the safe option as you haven’t spent a small fortune on a laptop that you decide isn’t for you after a year and you haven’t jeopardised your work with shoddy equipment.
2. Online Storage
More often than not, it is easier and more efficient to store files and important information onto some sort of cloud. The unpredictability of saving crucial documents onto physical devices – with an array of scenarios in which you could lose or break them, is too risky. With all the options on offer there’s no reason not to utilise online storage. It is cost effective and saves physical space.
With apps and sites such as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud files can be instantly backed up and accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This eliminates the need to rummage through your belongings for the correct USB and the most recent version of a file that you’ve saved five times.
With sensitive information and everything you use to track your company’s operations, all stored on a tech device, imagine the catastrophe when you lose it all to a silly virus.
Antivirus software is like an umbrella in the rain. Even if you don’t have a start-up, protecting your device from a virus is just good sense
4. Phone Systems
If your business is customer/client focused, a primary method of communication with them can be via telephone. This can be a tricky process to keep track of and analyse if you don’t have the correct system in place to monitor it.
You mightn’t have ever thought to use your phone line traffic to your advantage and determine key information about your clientele, but in can prove extremely useful in your marketing strategy going forward.
A comprehensive system can track the statistics and figures of your phone lines and offer you reports and insights into how your customer operates. With this information you can inform your staff and alter your business operations to better cater to the needs of the customer. This will help you grow and be seen as a reliable and professional contender in your field of work.
While free emails are great for personal, every-day use, consider investing in an email account provider. Having your company name in the address (email@example.com) gives you the platform to come across as more organised and professional when presented to customers.