Essential Tools for Start-ups and Small Businesses

When starting out in buisness, whether you’re a copywriter, PR expert, social media advisor or anything else for that matter, getting the basics right is essential. This guest post by Simon Wilson gives new businesses some great advice.

Information technology has come a long way in the last twenty years.  Starting up a business has been made far easier because of these advances, allowing an individual to work more efficiently and eliminating the need for staff to help complete some basic, but essential, functions.  When it comes to essential IT tools for start-ups the first investment you should consider is you.  Modern businesses, both large and small, rely on IT.  If it’s not your ‘area’ put IT training top of your to do list.  Once you are confident in basic IT skills you will be able to harness the power of IT and the internet to put you ahead of the game in the business world.  There are a huge number of essential IT tools that can make your business easy to run, some are more overlooked than others.

A Website – Professional Presence

A website should be considered essential to any business these days.  Even if you don’t plan to set one up straight away it is worth buying a domain name.  But why pay for a domain if you aren’t planning to use it straight away?  With a domain name will come a professional looking email address, usually you’ll get a whole set of them; admin@; sales@; enquiries@ and so on.  You might be tempted to run your business from a Gmail or Hotmail account which seems like the free and simple option.  It is, but it is also the virtual equivalent of running your business out of the back of a van – and that’s exactly what it looks like.  A professional company email looks like a professional company email, whichever way you look at it.

Cloud Computing – Clever Computing

Cloud computing solutions are the most effective ways to manage your business and will increase your efficiency and therefore your productivity.  Cloud computing is basically the delivery of software over the internet.  A good example would be accountancy software or file sharing software.  Both of these have huge advantages in that they allow you to access documents from any PC with an internet connection.  Using cloud based software can also free up space on your hard drive and it means you don’t need an IT team to install, update and maintain your company software.  File sharing and data storage hosted remotely also means that in the event of a computer meltdown your company information, client records and accounts are safely stored out of harm’s way.

Antivirus Software – Safety Measures

With a reliance on the internet comes the risk of attacks by computer viruses.  Skimping and saving on antivirus software has led to many a minor nervous breakdown.  If you rely on the internet for business then always prioritise antivirus software above all other costs!  This is probably one area to concentrate on well-known brands and avoid cheaper versions.  There’s an old saying about buying cheap and buying twice and it’s one you can’t afford to ignore in this case.

An Accountant – Show Somebody Else the Money

Accounting has already been mentioned above but in addition to accounting software it’s sensible to consider employing an accountant from the start.  You can wait until the end of your first tax year and then, armed with a folder full of scraps of paper, beg a frazzled accountant to take you on!  If, however, you find an accountant before, or when, you set up they can advise you on the types of information you’ll need to retain and for how long.  They may also be able to help with advice on appropriate accounting software.  Different accountant’s charges vary and it is worth contacting several firms to find out how they charge before making a decision.

Author Bio

Simon Wilson blogs about small business, technology and being an entrepreneur, covering everything from payroll software and online accountancy software to increasing website traffic and tips on leveraging social media for businesses.  When he’s not online Simon enjoys early morning swims, ice climbing and visiting his local cinema.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.


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