What IT does a Startup Business need then?
(Here is a Free Helpful Framework!)
There is a Spark, an Ignition, a Beginning.
You’ve got a good idea that needs to be developed, or you have dreams of making and selling your products or even have a hobby that is becoming all-consuming. Maybe you have marketable skills you want to offer directly to a customer base rather than working for someone, so you have more control over what happens. You may even have a brand you want to market more widely or quickly.
These are all the beginnings of a potential business. They are your seed desire of what you want to achieve.
We see starting a business as an enjoyable journey. It will have highs and lows but we think it is essential to have someone on hand during the lows or challenging times to provide a third-person point of view.
You will quickly find challenges with starting any business and deciding what part of your business delivery is core or what aspects you need to delegate to someone else that can be trusted. For a start-up micro-business, your cash flow may not allow hiring an employee to handle non-essential tasks initially, especially in the IT department.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there has been an increase in business closures in April 2022, something we hope is not a continuing trend.
Here at Elstone IT Services Limited, we believe that IT challenges should not have to be a reason for a business to fail. We are here to help you be successful and turn a profit.
To support this view, we have developed our Start-up Business IT Framework which is available for free to use internally within your company, even if you are a sole trader.**
In essence, we tailor our framework to meet your needs and budget.
Start-up Business IT Framework
(But why is IT so confusing?)
That Letter. From Companies House.
The moment they write to you and tell you that you are now a proud Director of a Company.
Then your thoughts may go onto the “How” aspects, and a different set of beliefs may creep in. At this point, if you haven’t already done so, we recommend you create a Business Plan. Before you think about your IT needs. It allows you to think about all aspects of your business you may not have considered yet but need to. This should drive your IT needs - It may change your point of view as you complete it.
Do you have a Business Plan?
We would recommend that you have a look at the UK Government’s website and also at the Prince’s Trust website, where there is a whole host of information, regardless of how old or young you are. To shortcut all the reading and get straight to the Business Plan part, have a look at the Princess Trust Business Plans page, where there is a variety of supporting material.
We are happy to help fill in the missing blanks within your Business Plan regarding your essential IT needs.
It is something we have done ourselves. But we have another way of looking at it…
A Tailorable IT Framework
You have a Vision, right?
Your vision for what your Company will do should never be forgotten or distracted from; This makes your business what it is. To support this view, we have created a free Start-Up Business IT Framework to help you think about and navigate the IT essentials when starting a Business. Being a start-up micro business, we have first-hand experience of some of the IT challenges and delays you may encounter.
No two businesses are the same, so while we have a framework you can follow, not all aspects will apply to you or be needed. Each element in the framework we call a “Stone”, a play on our company name. There are various ways they can be shaped or delivered.
Trying to Fit all the Start-Up IT Tasks into One Bucket?
Taking the Stephen Cowley approach, the decision is who’s To-Do Bucket you put them in:
- Your own “To Do” Bucket moving you away from your core business focus, or
- Into our Bucket where we can apply our experience, letting you take on more essential core business activities.
Let me set a scenario as an example of one way we can help:
Say you want to sell a new product and have limited start-up capital and a finite amount of time before that capital runs out.
- Would it be essential to go to PC World and immediately buy the best laptop or PC available, eating away at production costs and reducing cash flow?
- Or would buying a much cheaper, more powerful refurbished and fully functional laptop with a warranty from a trusted local provider be better at first?
Getting the Initial Spending under Control
Ensure your Business has a Focused Spending Plan
Where do you want to focus your spending: On your core Business Vision or your IT set-up costs?
We are happy and fully able to supply brand new equipment - We do sell brand new Lenovo, Dell and Custom-built PCs for Business use.
But we like to stop for a second and make sure that it is the best fit for what you are doing at the current phase of the business’ growth and cash flow.
We prefer quoting a fixed cost rather than an hourly rate. We all know where we stand then and can easily see the deliverables you will be getting up front. If you still want to work on a time and materials basis, and your start-up cash flow position supports this approach, we can, at a push, work on a very competitive hourly rate instead.
(What, I need more than just a laptop?)
Covid-19 Has Liberated Normal Office Workers
With the passing of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK (that we are unfortunately all too familiar with now), the Hybrid working environment also has the potential to stay. We are all turning into Road, Cafe or Home Work Warriors, but the Office still plays a crucial role in collaboration and face to face meetings are very different from Virtual meetings.
According to TinyPulse, Hybrid working may well be here to stay, but it can be exhausting; 80% of People Leaders believe that a split or time-phased work location is an exhausting factor. Elstone IT Services Limited knows every ounce of performance in a start-up matter and makes a difference to its success.
What is the Best IT Approach for Hybrid Working?
The truth is that no quick magic answer will apply to everyone, especially when you are starting out.
However, several big questions come to mind with Hybrid working:
- How do you share documents between people in your start-up business?
- How do you get the latest financial figures before a customer?
- What Cloud provision is best for me?
(e.g., Google, LoveServers, Vultr, Amazon, Oracle, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, Ionos, UK2 - to name just a few)
- When my data is in the Cloud, is it even in theUK, and how does that impact my GDPR responsibilities?
- What if my Internet goes down?
- Is Data held in the Cloud suitably Backed Up?
Breaking down a Mountain of IT Issues into Stones.
As part of our Start-up Business IT Framework, we have Ready-to-Go Solutions: "Stones". We have a lot of different Stones that do many things. These allow you to access your business data wherever you are, let your business have an Internet presence and ensure that the Data is suitably protected and backed up.
Our Summary on Starting a Business
Where do I begin with getting IT sorted for my new Company?
As a starting point, please look at our Start-up Business IT Framework, as it covers the basics and is well structured. If you want to have someone that cares about your business, Give us a call, and we can get to know you better.
We will help you tailor our Framework to your IT needs, and usually within only a few hours. We will always keep things simple and can pitch ideas and approaches at all levels of IT knowledge.
If you are a sole trader or just starting, we can keep your spending to an essential minimum and, when ready, help you grow further. When starting a business, never be afraid of speaking to other humans;
Good Communication is Vital!
We can deliver a Service that is a perfect fit for your business at an affordable price, which is fully supported and enables it to grow efficiently and thus turn a profit quicker.
Like what you see?
We are here to support you - do the things that are not part of your core business focus, and lift the load from you.
Give us a call to have a chat, and we will break down what you need and agree on what we can offer for you, with a price to suit.
IT does not need to be a struggle or scary; We are here to help you.