Launching a business these days, even if you’re interested in starting a brick-and-mortar store, requires being a bit savvy with technology and social media platforms. Otherwise, you won’t be able to survive for long. As much as we would like to disconnect from our phones or computers a bit more often, running a business in this day and age will require that you sacrifice a bit of your “offline time” in order to get things done.
That being said, there are many tools out there that will help you work smarter and not harder, as the saying goes so that you don’t find yourself glued to your screen 24/7. There are certain rules you will need to abide by, and as soon as you can do that, you’ll find yourself feeling far more confident in being able to keep your business sustainable in the long run. This guide should help point you in the right direction.
One of the central aspects of any business operation is the organization and analysis of your client base’s information. A customer relationship management system – sometimes called CRM – helps you to meet your business goals much faster than in the past. CRMs help to implement a process by which you can build and continue to develop relationships with your customers, while also helping you to pinpoint new ones. Few technological developments have been as useful as CRMs in helping new businesses to grow and thrive in a relatively short period of time. The software is largely hosted on cloud-based platforms, so that is one thing to be on the lookout for.
One of the first things you’ll need to do once you have formulated a business idea and put together a financial plan is, of course, to set up your business and have it legally registered. Gearing up to have your business launched in the UK can be a long and arduous process, however, technology has given people a break from all of the paperwork involved. According to experienced business consultants at Uniwide Formations UK, much of the legal process is now automated, making it much easier to get things moving on new endeavors. Instead of wasting time trying to kick things into motion and going the old-fashioned route, use technology to help you figure out the legal process fairly quickly.
Thanks to the latest software, accounting has never been easier. Having your finances in perfect shape is essential for any business that is starting out, and thankfully, accounting software can help make the process much easier. The one caveat is that you will have to invest in the software early on, but it will be a smart business move since you’ll be able to quickly oversee cash flow, and keep track of expenses while managing payroll. The software available to you will vary according to the scale of your business. Different programs will pose different forms of user-friendliness, so be on the lookout for these details before investing in them.
Regardless of how you set up your business in the early days, you will be relying on a wireless connection to get a lot of your work done. As such, security is incredibly important, and investing in the right software to protect your networks is crucial. Cybersecurity software helps to protect your customers’ information, as well as all data pertaining to your financial operations. Even if it’s not a large corporation, small businesses are just as prone to falling victim to a cyberattack, so it’s imperative to take action in order to protect both the business and customers’ information early on. If you’re not sure where to start, antivirus software is a good step since it helps to protect your computers and networks against any malicious attack. Also, you can consider buying a business VPN to help ensure that only authorized personnel can use and access the network so as to prevent an external party from hacking into the data.
It’s hard to imagine a world pre-Google Drive or Dropbox, as dystopian as that may sound. The truth is that online forms of storage are a godsend for all sorts of businesses and help to streamline things beautifully. While you can still use in-house servers to store your data, your small business may benefit from simply taking advantage of online data storage services. In some ways, they help to provide the core functionality of traditional digital asset management systems – sometimes called DAM – without having to fully invest in a type of software. The main advantage of these cloud-based systems is that they allow all staff members to easily access vital information from anywhere in the world. In this day with people pursuing hybrid forms of remote work, this is definitely an added plus. Depending on the particular needs of your business, you could still benefit from keeping an in-house server on hand, and simply having the cloud services act as a backup for your work, adding another layer of security.
Project Management Software
To-do lists are great, as are traditional pen and paper. However, your operations may need an extra boost in terms of streamlining tasks, helping you to manage your staff without becoming a micromanager, or, just helping you not lose track of the things you need to do. Project management software systems are here to help, and luckily, they tend to be fairly affordable, or even free. Trello is quite popular, as is Asana, while Monday and Smartsheet are new players that have proven to be fairly dependable in responding to the needs of business managers. Launching a new business is incredibly hectic and time-consuming. Project management software helps to streamline different elements of the workflow, while automating other tasks, without overwhelming you or taking up too much of your time.
Ultimately, the type and scale of your business will inform the sort of technological tools you’ll need to invest in. Luckily, there is a wide array of problem-solving tools available at your disposal, most of which will take the guesswork out of how to set up your business and streamline key operations, without you losing your sanity.
Infuriatingly humble organizer. Entrepreneur. Zombie guru. Professional creator. Future teen idol.