In order to be successful in your new small business, it’s essential to have a great product or service. Also, even if it’s a brick-and-mortar business, you need to have a website presence.
Some of the essential cornerstones you will need when you launch your business will be securing sufficient business funding, getting enough traffic to your website, building a great computer infrastructure, and taking charge of your productivity with high-quality software.
Here is a quick look at why these four essential features make such a big difference:
- Funding your business.
It’s not always necessary or desirable to start a new business on a shoestring budget. The more capital you have available when you launch your business, the easier it will be to get everything you need to build a solid foundation for your company. However, it is not easy to get a bank loan, particularly if this is your first new business or an untested business idea. It is much easier to look for alternative lenders when it comes to small business loans. With the right lender, you can secure all the money you need up front, get easy one- to five-year terms, and only have to deal with fixed monthly payments.
- Driving traffic to your website.
When it comes to getting people to visit your website, you should use both free and paid methods. Free methods, like the use of search engine optimization (SEO), will take some time to work, but once they do, the traffic will begin to flow automatically. Paid methods, like Google Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, will get you traffic within an hour or a day, but as soon as you stop advertising, the traffic will dry up just as fast. So, a simple, effective strategy is to use paid traffic to get some immediate traffic and, at the same time, master the art of researching and applying the best keywords for your content so that your website will get ranked higher in the major search engines.
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- Building your computer infrastructure.
In the past, your small business would have to build a small computer network, consisting of a server that would then connect to your desktop or laptop computers. This could be expensive if you needed a rather sophisticated network. However, now you have another choice—rent the services of a cloud provider and use remote servers to access your software and store all your data. There are many advantages to using cloud computing. Here, for example, are three good reasons why you might want to consider this option:
- Business continuity. Your business data is safely stored on a remote computer. You are not vulnerable to any natural disasters, like a fire, flood, or hurricane from destroying your server.
- Flexibility. You can increase or decrease your computer resources depending on how busy or slow your business might be.
- Accessibility. You can access your data from any device and from anywhere in the world where you have Internet access.
- Increasing your productivity with high-quality software.
The better your choice of software, the more productive your business will be. Besides getting a hosting account for your website and blog and antivirus software, you will need an office suite for the day-to-day organization, accounting software to keep on top of your finances, and collaboration software to help you coordinate projects with your in-house team or your work with outsourcers. You may also need special software for your particular line of work. For instance, if you are a website designer, you will need Photoshop or an equivalent.
While you can buy your software from a box and install it, after a few years, this expensive software will be creeping towards obsolescence. A smarter decision is to use SaaS, or Software as a Service, which basically means paying an affordable monthly fee or an annual fee to access your software from the cloud. This way, you will always get the latest version and not have to worry about installation, maintenance, and repair issues.
Starting your own small business is always an exciting idea. If this is your first business venture, then you’ll find it a huge lifestyle shift from being a college student or an employee. Instead of simply following directions, you now have to create everything from scratch. This will be easy to do if you have enough funding, get a steady flow of traffic to your website, and have a robust hardware and software solution to run your business like a boss.