Congratulations, on your new business! But living in the 21st Century means there are some must-haves you’ll need to be successful. The internet has revolutionised the world, how we communicate, shop, bank, date, holiday and so much more. If you don’t have a presence online and access to it these days you don’t exist. You may have the best product or service but if no one knows about you, you won’t survive. So to set your new business up for success here’s what you’ll need.
First things first, you (and your employees) will need a capable high-speed computer with lots of memory(RAM) 8GB with a hard drive 500GB with a fast processor(CPU) of Intel Core i5-6xxx or equivalent and good screen display to minimise eye strain.
High-Speed Internet Access
Every business big or small needs reliable high-speed internet. Gone are the days of dial-up internet, so make sure you have broadband at the minimum and even NBN if its available in your area.
If you are a business that only operates online then a fast internet connection is critical. With a fast internet connection, you can also take advantage of other technologies such as voice over internet protocol (or VOIP), regular system backups.
Businesses new and old are discovering how affordable services like “the Cloud” can help reduce costs on hardware or software and improve efficiency. What is the Cloud? Well its a metaphor for the internet, and you can use it to run applications directly from your web browser without needing to instal software e.g. Ofice 365 or just storage of images e.g. an iPhones photo store service the iCloud. It means if anything were to happen to your computer or iPhone all your files are securely backed-up remotely on the internet or “the Cloud”
Once your business is online it’s so important your business data is backed up and secure. For that, you ’ll need a firewall for your network and each computer along with anti-virus software. An IT consultant can help you with this if you are unsure. Google is also pushing for every website to have SSL certificates.
There are many security dangers while being online. So therefore it’s important that you and your business protects itself. Setting up a permanent VPN connection to the Internet is perfect way of protecting your business and it’s employees.
Now that you’ve gotten your internet access and security all set-up, you’ll need an easy to navigate website that’s mobile-friendly. But you’ll need to buy a domain name e.g. www.yourbusinesname.com first.
That way if people research your product or service you want your website to be available and have a professional look and feel. You can set one up yourself, there are many DIY options like Wix, WordPress or Squarespace (you can buy a URL through some of these services) to name a few or get a professional to do it all for you.
As a professional business, you need a professional email address, personal ones don’t make a good impression. It’s easy to create a custom business email especially with tools like Google GSuite business. If you’re in a regulated industry it’s crucial you have a system in place to archive your email, this way you stay compliant.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to immediately get a presence online while you’re getting your website built is creating a free Google business page which will show up on Google Maps. This way anyone doing localised Google search e.g. coffee shop near me, your coffee shop will show up. You can add your website URL later once it’s live.
Your business will need an identity online so you’ll need a logo for your website and social channels. No need to worry if your design skills aren’t up to scratch there are plenty of services like Fiverr, 99Designs or DesignCrowd all offering affordable logos and design services. And this is the face of your business where first impressions count online, you need it to make sure it looks professional.
Another key one to have for your business in the 21st century is a social media profile or page. But don’t make the mistake of creating an account on every platform, pick one or two (max) and commit to regularly updating it e.g. daily or weekly whatever you can manage consistently.
Consistently is key! Facebook is a great all-rounder with cheap advertising as Facebook has become mainly pay to play with the recent algorithm changes.
Instagram is great to visually show off your business e.g. hairdresser, coffee shop, fashion house & still have organic(free) reach which you can leverage using hashtags (30 per post max).
To make sure you have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, check out this Australian Government page on what you need for starting and growing a business from a legal standpoint.
Now your business is all set-up and ready for the 21st century, and you have a presence in all the important places, now make sure how you present your business is consistent across all touchpoints e.g. website, email, social even phone.
Its also important to capture information from your leads e.g. name, email address you’ve done all the hard work getting them to your site and maybe even getting that first sale. With their contact information, you can contact them again and if they bought from you once they will buy again.
Here’s to running your successful business!