Entrepreneurship is a key component of the United States economy. Every year, millions of individuals tackle the challenge of building a company from scratch. Some may be on their own, while others have several partners. Perhaps this is a step you have taken recently. About half of all businesses will fail within the first five years, so business ownership is not for the faint of heart.
One thing that can give you a bit of a leg up on the competition is a well-researched technology plan. Innovation makes it possible to do more with less, especially in the age of the Internet.
The right technology stack can help you achieve maximum efficiency within your startup. Tasks will become a little easier, including market research, accounting, advertising, customer relationship management, and supply chain tracking. Here are a few tools that could play an important role in your technology plan.
Market research is crucial if you want to develop a target audience. You can learn about how consumers behave, what their needs are, what their interests are, and more through detailed market research. There are many tools designed to help you gain audience insight, but one that you may not have heard of is Usenet. This is a discussion platform that is technically outside the Internet. Users access the network through Usenet providers to participate in newsgroups centered on specific subjects. Unregulated conversation occurs, as well as downloadable articles that users can obtain quickly and securely. If you are in an industry that is related to computers in particular, this could be the perfect place to learn about your target audience and engage with them.
Accounting is another important component of a business. You need to keep track of all the numbers and finances related to your startup right from the very first expense and sale. If you are bad with numbers, or your schedule is packed due to other responsibilities, responsible accounting may be a huge challenge. A tool like QuickBooks can help mitigate the obstacle. Its simplicity makes the user experience positive, and you will no longer have to worry about being an accounting expert to track everything that is required. Plus, you can use this software while avoiding the expense of a full salary for an accountant.
Communication is key to a company’s success. Once your startup grows beyond just yourself, team communication must be a priority at all times. Projects can quickly get off track if people are not on the same page in your organization. Slack is an entirely online communication platform. That means people can access it from a phone, laptop, or desktop, no matter where they are. Features like multiple channels, video conferencing, and document sharing make it easy to collaborate on projects across different departments. The more your startup grows in staffing, the more important this type of tool will become. Start the business the right way by implementing Slack early on.
Understandably, you may be hesitant to adopt a lot of complicated software programs early on, especially with a small team. Your needs may not be as expansive now as they will be five or ten years from now. This is why it sometimes makes sense to keep things simple. Customer relationship management is an essential software for small businesses that can help you improve customer service, marketing, and sales. However, you may not need a comprehensive service like Salesforce or Hubspot for your small team. Instead, consider the much easier Pipedrive for your CRM needs. This tool has a very easy-to-learn interface, so it is perfect for startups that have a lot going on. Although it may not boast the all-around benefits and features of a bigger service, its simplicity can still make your job much easier.
Supply chain management is another process to figure out early in the business lifecycle. Waiting until you are overwhelmed by this operation could result in falling behind consumer demand or numerous interruptions in the chain, affecting productivity. If you want all your business data in one place and features like predictive analytics, then Netsuite could be perfect for your startup.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. This famous quote by Mike Tyson is true in every aspect of life, including running a business. You could have the perfect technology plan with all the latest tools in the industry, but that does not promise success. However, a solid plan is far better than no plan. If you want to prepare for the unpredictable as an entrepreneur, then having a set plan can mitigate the negative effects that may occur. Whatever tools you incorporate, technology can be a huge help for your startup.