Minimizing overhead costs is key to your success as a new business owner. Cut corners in the wrong places, however, and your strict budget could cost you more than it saves. Nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to business technology. While there are some technologies you can wait to invest in, these are three tech tools and services you shouldn’t start a business without.
A website is non-negotiable for today’s small businesses. Even if most of your business happens face-to-face, consumers will question your company’s legitimacy if you lack a web presence.
Many small business owners think they have to choose between full-service web development or DIY website builders, but the truth is there are a lot of options in between that let you save money while still achieving a professional website. Freelancers are one such option. Instead of hiring an agency to design and develop a site, you can design the look and structure of your company site yourself and then recruit freelancers like web and software developers to bring your ideas to fruition. Freelancers with the right expertise can make your site mobile-friendly and eye-catching — a must if you want to attract and keep your customers’ attention.
A Business Phone Line
Dedicated business phones can seem unnecessary for very small companies, especially if you’re a business of one. However, your tune will change when you’re getting work calls on your personal phone at night, over the weekend, and even on vacation.
Dedicated phone lines are a must for your work-life balance. They also project a more professional image. However, that doesn’t mean you have to splurge on a traditional landline phone system. If you’re a solopreneur, you can save by setting up a virtual phone number on your existing phone. However, if you have employees, consider a VoIP phone system or business cell phones instead. VoIP systems work well if you only need to make calls from the office, but if employees are frequently away from their desks, smartphones that allow them to answer calls and emails on the go is a better choice. Opt for an unlimited plan so you’re not constantly worrying about overage charges. You’ll want to research which plan is best for your needs and the size of your staff.
An IT Expert
Affording a full-time IT professional is out of the question for many small businesses. However, while you might not be able to afford in-house help, you also can’t afford to go without IT expertise.
IT experts do more than provide tech support on-demand. They also secure your company’s computing systems against outside threats and back up your data so that if something does happen, you can get back to business ASAP. If you can’t afford an IT employee, hire an IT consultant with experience in cybersecurity to assess your system’s vulnerabilities and recommend solutions like a cloud backup service. A freelance IT pro is the cheapest option, but if your business has complex computing needs, consider a managed IT service instead.
IT consultants are experienced in preventing threats, but don’t always have the expertise to help your business bounce back if you are affected by a cyberattack, natural disaster, or other type of data loss. To ensure your business gets back online quickly after a data breach, look for a data recovery company for fast turnaround. Consider keeping them on retainer to minimize downtime after data loss.
As a new business owner, it’s overwhelming to look at the long list of things you need to spend money on. However, with a little bit of creativity, you can access must-have tech tools and services at a fraction of the cost.
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