8 Essentials For Every Small Business
So, you’ve got innovative ideas and a talented team on board to make it happen. Your small startup business is definitely on its way to making a notable impact.
However, to accomplish your goals, you’ll need a reliable toolbox. You’ll need hardware and software that can help you get the job done and push your startup into what you envision.
With that said, regardless of what your line of business is, here are eight essential cornerstones that no small business in this modern world can simply function without:
1. Desktop Computer/Laptop
The master link of all business operations regardless of your niche or what you do is the computer. A desktop computer or laptop for you and your employees will be your chief device for all operations, in your office or when on the go.
When choosing the right business desktop computer or laptop, it’s easy to fall for the latest and luring state-of-the-art hardware. However, don’t lose sight of what is essential.
Remember, your computer is a business tool and not a multimedia hub or gaming system for your entertainment. This means that you should keep your focus on the computer that can take on the everyday workplace essentials such as spreadsheets and word processing, emails, and Internet access.
Dual-core processors with 2GB memory should be enough to meet the power and, more importantly, the pricing requirements of most business users.
2. Office Suite / Collaboration Tools
Productivity and collaboration tools are crucial to any fledgling business. This software allows startups to create and produce solutions, stay organized, collaborate, and deliver superior services.
The standard office suite should allow employees to produce spreadsheets, documents, and presentations with a distinctly professional flair. However, a comprehensive and advanced office suite and collaboration solution should also integrate tools such as address book, calendar, and email management functions.
Some collaboration tools can also offer seamless communication. For example, meeting platforms with an online whiteboard. Or, consider task or project management tools that allow teams to connect, regardless of where they are. These simplify communication with clients and co-workers alike, significantly streamlining your daily workflow.
3. Portable Memory Storage
Portable memory storage is the floppy disk of the 21st century. A portable memory storage device from the personal thumb drives and USB flash drives to the larger, GB portable hard drives can help businesses to manage and protect crucial information on the go.
These devices also promise secure storage and transfer of documents, presentations, and other related-business data.
The password-protected flash drives offer a cost-effective alternative to the pricey hard-disk encryption software. With this tiny gadget, employees can efficiently transfer data between computers, copy information, and store data for later access.
Meanwhile, the larger portable disk drives serve as spacious memory devices for backups. At the close of business every night, the portable hard drive can save database backups and carry them offsite.
4. Accounting Software
Every penny counts. This is particularly true for the small business that’s just starting to make a name in the industry.
Thus, it’s imperative that you keep a close tab on your expenditures and income. You should be able to figure out how much money is coming in and how much is leaving.
Reliable accounting software should be able to track all your financial data—such as business expenses, billings, product sales and costs, and employee payroll.
Fortunately, unlike other must-haves for business, most basic accounting software is available for free. You should find Microsoft Office Accounting Express or QuickBooks Simple are more than enough to support your basic bookkeeping requirements.
If you only have less than five clients to work with, then you can probably remember all the conversations and transactions that you’ve had.
However, as your business grows, it becomes difficult to remember which conversation you had with which client. This is where CRM saves the day!
Short for Customer Relation Management, CRM platforms like Salesforce and Zoho can allow you to create profiles for individuals and companies, tying in the email communication you have had with each and taking notes for meetings.
It shall provide better knowledge and data of customers, segmentation, speedier services, and communication. In short, it simply improves your relationship with your clients.
While newspapers are still a thing, in this modern age, people now rely heavily on search engines like Google or Yahoo for brand information and products.
What does it mean for your company? If it’s not online, then you don’t really exist.
Your website is like your virtual business card. It should supply your audience and consumers with crucial information like directions, contacts, areas of expertise, and hours of operation. More importantly, it should convey unique traits and branding that sets you apart from the competition.
When designing a website, make it simple yet sophisticated. You can hire a web design expert or firm to ensure that it’s relevant, professional, and equipped with modern features that enhance the visitor experience. You should also consider partnering with SEO consultants to improve the quality and volume of your site traffic.
7. Social Media
In addition to having a website, it’s also important that you have an established name across social networking platforms.
Social networks allow businesses to share exciting promotions and deals as well as crucial business information and updates by communicating directly with your clients already interested in what you do.
You can use your social media profile to promote services and goods and even introducing direct sales initiatives. Here, you can talk about what your brand is doing and introduce new products, promotions, or anything that will pique the curiosity of your clientele.
Small businesses concerned about security (and they should be) also need to implement VPN services. Short for Virtual Private Network, VPN services can hide your online activity from snooping and hacking as well as limit those who can access your network content.
Using VPN services can also allow your remote employees to log on to your office network from anywhere as long as they have Internet access. They can access the resources they need for their tasks while ensuring that your business data is still secure.
Having the right tools can make a significant difference. These eight must-haves will definitely make your work and business life a lot easier, pushing you closer to success and making a name out there.