Starting up a new business in the current economic climate is a risk – but one that can be rewarding, both financially and in terms of achievement. The good news is that there is a steadily growing arsenal of technological tools available to entrepreneurs; tools that allow you to make your mark in the marketplace, without exceeding the constraints of your budget.
Some of the must-haves in this list are fairly obvious, but it’s often the most obvious ones that we fail to see until it’s too late. However, this list isn’t only about the apps and software you can get to grips with; there are also one or two basics worth thinking about
- Your web connection is important. It allows you to share data, communicate with your clients and even conduct conference calls. What you don’t want is a connection that threatens to pack up every time you share a large file or in the middle of an important meeting. This may be going against the grain, but it’s worth spending that little extra on your web connection and get a dedicated business internet connection. Not only will you be able to perform all your necessary tasks without any worry, but the standard of technical support available to business owners is far superior to that offered to domestic customers.
- Your company relies on data. Figures, leads and expenses are all vital to gaining an accurate overview of your business’s performance. Leads and figures can help to decide how marketing strategies perform and those vital financial figures will tell you just where your money is best delegated. However, all it takes is one computer crash and all that data’s lost. While you could do manual back-ups, these are also subject to various risks. A far better idea is to sign yourself up to an encrypted cloud back-up service. That way, even if your office is ransacked, you can still get your hands on that valuable information.
- Staying on top of your finances is probably the most important thing you can do. The money in your account will determine what you can and cannot do, so you need to know exactly what’s going in and what’s coming out. In addition, accurately and efficiently managing your finances will help you avoid any fines or investigations from HMRC. QuickBooks, from Intuit Pay, is the world’s leading accounting software and is used by over 4,000,000 businesses.
- Also from Intuit Pay, QuickBooks is available as an app, allowing you to manage your accounts and finances wherever you are and at whatever time is most convenient to you. Your mobile phone or tablet is transformed into a virtual accountant. Jargon-free, intuitive and easy-to-use, it’s compatible with all of the other Intuit Pay products, so you can share vital information with your team.
- It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of having a website. While you can knock up a Facebook page or get yourself noticed on Twitter, having a company-owned website allows you to really flex your creative muscles. There are plenty of inexpensive website building services or, if you’re confident enough to have a go yourself, you can start with something simple but effective from a provider such as WordPress.