You’ve dreamt of this day, and now it’s finally here. You’re going from working for “the man” to being the man (or woman) for yourself. You’re starting your own business, finally taking the chance on turning your passion into your career. You’re thrillingly terrified and you want to make sure you’re doing everything you possibly can to make your new business a success. And in an increasingly competitive, global business environment, businesses both young and old, big and small, rise and fall on the power of their technology. So what are the top tech tools you will need to make your business thrive?
Do Your Homework
The first step in figuring out exactly what kind of technology your company needs is to do a little investigating on your own. There are tons of websites, blogs, and online resources tailored to the needs of small startups in virtually every industry. So get online and do some digging to find out exactly what’s working for entrepreneurs in your field — and what isn’t.
Get the Word Out
Let’s face it: your company’s never going to get off the ground if your target customers don’t know you’re out there. The first tech you need to be thinking about revolves around your marketing and communications systems. Fortunately, there are a number of high-quality, low-cost solutions out there. For example, many entrepreneurs turn to systems like MailChimp for their email marketing, Slack for internal team communications, and Gmail for their email system.
The Almighty Dollar
Once you’ve got the tech to talk to your customers and your team, you’re going to need software to help you manage all the coin that starts rolling in — and making sure that funding goes to the proper people and places. This means investing in robust accounting and payroll systems. No matter how small your company may be, you’re still going to need financial tech to help you with things like budgeting for expenses, filing taxes, future financial forecasting, explaining payroll and compensation planning to your employees, tracking general financial management, and so on.
Best of all, the advent of cloud technologies means that you can securely store, access, and share your company’s most sensitive data, even important financial documents, from records to receipts across teams and across timelines. Cloud storage not only makes it easier to work whenever and from wherever you choose, but it also protects your business from work delays and data losses due to problems with your tech infrastructure — and you don’t have a full-time IT team on staff. Cloud services provide those resources for you, often at a relatively minimal cost.
Optimizing the Procurement Chain
Another hugely innovative benefit of today’s business technology is its capacity to make the entire procurement chain both more efficient and less expensive. With the right technology, you can automate every stage of the procurement process, from placing requisition orders and securing vendors to developing invoices and updating inventories. Automating these processes also ensures real-time status updates, which employees can readily access with the proper permissions — all attributes designed to make your team more cohesive, communicative, efficient, and productive.
Build Your Own
One of the most exciting aspects of the modern technological age is that innovation never ends — and that can open a lot of doors for entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to take risks. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to be a tech genius to capitalize on today’s tech trends. If business, not computer engineering, is more your speed, then you can use your leadership prowess and entrepreneurial skills to build your own top-notch team of tech engineers. Use your business acumen to identify important unmet needs in your target market and then unleash your engineers to build the unique tools to meet those needs. Differentiating your business as a niche tech innovator can be exactly what your startup needs to dominate the field!
Starting a business is never easy. The marketplace is littered with the bones of businesses that have tried and failed to thrive in an increasingly cutthroat global market — but that doesn’t mean that your business has to be one of them.
Technology can mean all the difference when it comes to transforming your business from a hope and a dream into a promise fulfilled. Building the best technological infrastructure, however, doesn’t just mean buying the most expensive systems or automating absolutely every aspect of your business. What it does mean is deploying tech where it is truly going to be useful, and ensuring that those systems are the most effective and efficient for your particular business needs.
Fortunately, an array of highly sophisticated, but quite affordable, options are available to serve your company’s most pressing operational needs. When it comes to choosing the best tech tools, no matter what your particular industry, you should focus first on proven marketing and communications systems, advanced accounting and other financial technologies, and state-of-the-art procurement process automation.
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