Starting a new business is hard – we know from our own experience! Finding everything you need to get started is a long and difficult road, often leading to conflicting information. In 2020 it’s more important than ever to ensure you have the correct technology setup to support your business. Your strategy should consider not only your current needs but also what you may need in the future if you grow. Read on to see how you can build a technology checklist to help you get started.
“Technology isn’t part of my start-up costs, it’s a luxury expense that I’ll get around to once I start making money”.
The fact is, technology is an essential part of your start-up costs. How will customers find you without an online presence? Will they trust a business or service with no reviews? Embracing cloud technology will also make you more efficient and give you a broader reach to your customers.
“Technology is so expensive, all I need is a basic website and my mobile phone to reach my customers.“
Poorly implemented technology solutions are what cost businesses in the medium to long term. Purchasing a cheap domain and webhosting solution and slapping a website together is not enough. Using an “@gmail.com” address to contact potential customers and suppliers looks tacky and unprofessional. The engagement level with potential customers will be low from the start, and you won’t even realise as you are not equipped to collect or analyse this information.
So what should I do?
The single most important thing is planning. Take the time to plan out what you are selling, who your customers are, how you are going to reach them, the size of your business and its projected growth. Once you have a plan it’s time to talk to some technology partners (like us) about it. You can gain some free advice and see if you need to make any changes.
Some things to consider for a technology checklist
- A domain name for your website and emails – keep it short but relevant to your business.
- A business logo – something that will work in black and white as well as colour. People need to be able to recognise and become familiar your business brand. Fiverr is a cheap option if you know what you want.
- Quality Web hosting – if your business is based in Australia, your web hosting should be too. Hosting should only be used for your website and not your emails.
- A web designer to manage your website build – ensure they are familiar with WordPress or a similar CMS and that you will be using a theme that can be easily edited by yourself. If you can’t afford a scratch build, consider using the Divi website builder. Wix and SquareSpace are simple, cheap online editors but they do come at the cost of functionality and speed.
- Business Email & Calendar – using your domain name, and a service with spam filtering & protection.
- File Storage and backup – unless you have massive amounts of data, this should go straight to a secure cloud location)
- Security of all of the above (you need to consider things like SSL certificates if you are selling products or collecting personal information via your website)
- Business systems – do you need any other system to manage customer details or manage your finances? How will they integrate with everything else?
- Discuss all of the above with a technology partner. I cannot stress this enough – before you make rash decisions discuss everything with someone who can give you correct advice.
There is a lot to think about but it is important that you understand why you need the above, and any other services your technology partner is recommending.