Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2017

3 Affordable & Scalable Technology-Led Solutions That Every Startup Needs to Survive & Thrive

 By Contributing Author

Regardless of the industry, sector, field or marketplace, two things can be stated without hesitation: there are plenty of startups out there, and most of them won’t make it to their fifth birthday (and many won’t even make it to their first).

Obviously, there are many reasons why many startups success stories turn into cautionary tales, including excessive competition, waning customer demand, external economic factors (e.g. recessions, regulations, etc.), and of course, not enough old-fashioned good luck at the right time.

Yet with this being said, entrepreneurs still must do everything in their power to survive the first few shaky years, and put their business on-track to thrive for decades in the future. To that end, here are three affordable and scalable technology-led solutions that every startup should adopt and exploit from day one (or if they’ve already launched, then as soon as possible):

 

  1. An outstanding website

 Advising startups to have a website is like advising architects to make sure they put a door in their blueprints. In other words, it’s not really advice at all — it’s blatantly (and perhaps insultingly) self-evident. Or is it?

If you scan up, you’ll note that the operative word here isn’t website, but outstanding. That’s because while some large established businesses can afford to have less-than-great website (obviously they shouldn’t, but they usually have enough brand power and market share to overcome some website flaws and weaknesses), anything less than an outstanding digital presence can be fatal for startups, which need to make an amazing first impression and maintain that high standard going forward across the buyer’s journey. For some inspiration, here some startups with incredible web designs courtesy of designmodo.

 

  1. SaaS accounting software

Most startup owners — along with everyone else working in-house and/or remotely — are typically doing three or four jobs anyway, and it’s very easy for financial data and details to slip through the cracks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for mistakes to emerge that can lead to a wide range of very unwelcome surprises, like unsustainable shortfalls between accounts receivables and accounts payables (there’s nothing wrong with applying for a business loan to boost working capital, but it’s far better to do it strategically than in a panic), and it may also lead to filing and compliance errors that trigger costly, stressful and prolonged government audits.

SaaS account software helps keep things streamlined and straightforward, which may not sound all that exciting — but when it comes to accounting and financial management, surprise-free and predictable are perfectly fine and quite profitable.

 

  1. A VoIP phone system

 VoIP phone technology has come a long, long way in recent years. With high speed, broadband and fiber optic internet connections, gone are the days of choppy connections and maddening call drops (we all remember — and want to forget — those early Skype experiences), and now many the world’s largest enterprises use hosted call centers to offer sales and support.

 

Aside from significant annual cost savings vs. a conventional landline phone system (some estimates peg this around 30-50 percent a year), VoIP phone systems offer startups some nice enterprise-grade calling features at no extra cost, like voicemail-to-text, video conferencing, and mobility via smartphone apps.

With this in mind, if you’re thinking of starting off or switching to a VoIP phone system, ensure that you get high quality hardware — because you definitely get what you pay for (i.e. if you go for the cheap stuff, you’ll be paying for it over and over again). Focus on reputable quality manufacturers, such as  Polycom VoIP phones.

 

The Bottom Line

Being at the helm of a startup is thrilling — and yes, it can be a little scary at times. But that’s part of the experience, and it’s why many successful entrepreneurs simply can’t bring themselves to accept a relatively stable and safe executive role. They’ve been bitten by the startup bug, and the only cure is (you guessed it) to launch, lead and grow yet another startup.

Regardless of where you are on this journey — about to launch your very first startup or a seasoned veteran who has several startups under your belt — the above three affordable and scalable technologies will help you do more with less, seem far bigger than you are, and increase the chances that your most profitable days will always be ahead, not behind.

 

 

 

 

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