Are YOU just starting up in business?
Gary Mulcahey, of Active Business Communications Limited, identifies some of the things new businesses have to consider when starting out and how to save time in order to focus on what really matters.
Congratulations on deciding to work for yourself and launch your own business!
Very soon, however, you will realise that you have 101 things to ‘organise’ before you can start trading.
The excitement of starting your own business can quickly be replaced by a sense of overwhelm and panic when you realise how many things you have to think about and get in place before you tell the world you are open for business.
These will typically include:
Setting up an office
- Do you start from home or rent an office? What’s the best location? Near home or near to where you think your potential customers may be?
- What office equipment do you need? Desk(s), computers, PCs, laptops and even tablets?
- What software do you need specific to your business? Do you have the means to back up all your documents, emails, meetings and contacts online rather than risk storing them on a hard copy of Office? (How old is your existing PC or laptop, too)? Do you know that one of the major reasons businesses actually go OUT of business is as a result of a serious loss of data!
- Have you got broadband in your office? Is it the fastest possible and appropriate for your anticipated business needs? Do you want to trawl through lots of websites to compare prices and try to identify the best supplier with the best customer support or would you prefer to use a specialist who can quickly identify the best provider?
- A business phone number – rather than using your home number, if you are starting your business from home – which can either be a local number or a national (also known as a non-geographic specific) number. The latter shows that you operate nationally whereas the former indicates you are a ‘local’ business. Some businesses are better suited with having a national number and some are better suited with having a local number. Many potential customers are put off when a supplier does not have a business ‘landline’ and only uses a mobile. Having a ‘landline’ – even if it’s a ‘virtual number’ which diverts to a mobile is better than not having a landline number at all. We all know people that won’t contact businesses that only have a mobile and not a landline. Having a landline gives reassurance that yours is a ‘real business’, too!
- Do you have someone who can help you with IT issues – before and after you launch your business?
- Is your data secure? How would YOU assess that?
- Do you use a secure password manager in order to create long, obscure passwords for each of your online accounts and not have to remember them, except one, umbrella password?
- Who will you turn to if your computer starts going slow?
- Likewise, who will you turn to if your computer, printer, broadband or a specific piece of software stops working? (What is the price to your business in terms of lost time or potential impact on your credibility if you can’t respond quickly to your customers due to an ‘IT issue’).
- Do you know how to use video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams?
- Do you have someone who can create a professional and attractive website which best displays your products and services and the benefits they may bring to your potential customers or clients? >
- Do you have a professional email address such as >>[email protected]>>. (We all know that using a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account looks unprofessional and can deter potential customers or clients from doing business with you! Would you know how to set up a professional email address? Do you know how to set up your emails on your phone so you can view and respond to them when you are out of the office?
Tracking numbers. Do you know how to set up separate numbers to track how people call you via your website or other marketing materials?
If you are reading this blog and wondering how the heck you are going to get all this done, we at Active Business Communications may be able to help you.
We work with businesses of all sizes from one-man bands to those employing hundreds of people across the whole of the UK.
Our services are bespoke to each client and cover mobile phones, broadband, phones, and IT support.
Our customer service and technical support specialists are based here in the UK and offer free, friendly and helpful advice and support to clients of all sizes and industries.
We are really a one-stop shop for all those core needs that virtually all businesses have.
Our x specialists in all these areas have extensive experience of helping business start-up navigate the set-up stage and then support businesses post-launch in order that business owners can focus, without distraction, on growing their business.
The question I ask many people who are starting their own business is: do you want to focus as soon as possible on finding customers for your products and services in order to increase your chances of growing your business and it being successful OR do you want to get distracted by identifying and sourcing a myriad of suppliers to provide the IT and telecoms for your business? (It is estimated that 20% of all business startups fail in the first 12 months due to not focusing on marketing and sales).
My best advice to anyone starting out on business is to seek out specialists, not just in IT and telecoms, but marketing, sales and business development that can help you save time, money and frustration in those first 12 months of your business, in order to help you get those all-important first customers and clients as quickly as possible and increase the probability of your success (and avoid you being one of the 20% of businesses that fail in the first 12 months).