You’ve got an idea that’s going to set the world on fire. You’ve secured the talent you need to make it happen. Success is so close you can almost smell the pastries at your breakfast interview with Wired.
All that’s missing now is the tech your new start-up needs to get there. (And the gigantic pile of money you wish you had to spend on it.)
One day you’ll have it all. But for now, you need to think seriously about where you’ll spend your hard-earned dollars first.
No matter what your new business does, there are a few things you simply can’t do without:
1) Computers (duh!)
It seems like a no-brainer, but a good deal of thought needs to go into choosing the right computers for your new business.
You need to care about two things:
- Is each computer up to the task at hand? The memory you need to save 100 Word documents is much smaller than you need for 100 hi-resolution photos. For example, if your work is graphically intensive such as architectural renderings or digital design, it’s recommended that a computer have 16GB of RAM, at least a 3.0gz processor, and a high-end dedicated graphics card. Do your research and make sure you get the right computers for your business.
- Can all your computers talk to each other? This will make life easier and, as your business grows, it will do wonders for your teamwork and communication. You may only be a few feet on the ground today but don’t underestimate the benefits of sharing an internet connection, accessing shared files, checking others information such as calendars, schedules and contacts and sharing the same printer. Just a few of the things made possible with a computer network.
2) A proper phone system.
As a fresh start-up, your agility and flexibility are the aces up your sleeve – so we get it if you don’t want to chain yourself to a desk with a traditional business phone. But even the nimblest business needs a great phone system.
There are plenty of cool tools out there to help – such as cloud-based business phones (Just make sure your network can handle it!).
Cloud-based voice makes perfect sense for small, growing businesses. It’s simple and cost-effective to acquire, able to grow alongside your business, and it’s as flexible and mobile as you are.
3) High-speed network access.
As a start-up, your agility is your biggest advantage. You don’t want anything slowing you down, least of all your internet connection.
A fast network connection opens the door to a whole world of convenient tech – from video calls and online backup, to productivity software delivered as-a-service. It’s worth laying it down as early as possible, but make sure you go with a vendor that can provide reliable service and support, for less downtime and headaches as you grow.
4) Mobile devices.
You already have them, and some may even boast more power than the laptop sitting on your desk.
But do you have the apps you need to turn the rings and buzzes in your pocket into work-ready productivity tools?
Getting those apps in place early will be money well spent, as will finding a provider that understands you as a growing business. For now, a consumer-type mobile plan may seem like enough, but if everything goes to plan, that won’t be the case for long. Take the time to check out business mobile plans. There’s lots of choices available for businesses your size.
5) Data security.
For hackers and data thieves, no business is too small. In fact, because start-ups often have highly-valuable intellectual property and little-to-no formalized data security in place, you’re an exceptionally juicy target.
There’s a lot to think about, from compliance with customer data protection regulations to company data backup and firewall protection against hackers.
Security priorities will vary from business to business, but if an idea is worth turning into your livelihood, it’s worth protecting properly. It’s never too early to invest in the security of your data.
Spend smart. Save thousands.
Your first tech purchases are some of the most important you’ll ever make. Do your research, prioritize your needs – and remember to talk with your team.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your business off the ground, you just have to spend smart.
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