This week, the Computer Fixer’s main General Blog has a great look at what you might need to start your own business. That’s great for physical starters, but what about your technology to get a business started? Is it just as simple as a laptop, a smartphone, and some open source software? The Modern Nerd examines this week, so let’s get into it.
No Place Like 192.168.1.1
How is your website coming? You need a website. No, seriously. For any business, websites have become the new listings, the new advertising, and the best way to set up your information for all of your potential customers. Even if your website does not have any interaction features and is just a basic listing of your services and location, it is essential to your success. Websites are essential. This point can’t really be overstated, especially with the costs going down so much. A domain and hosting for a year can be as inexpensive as 50 bucks. Having a site designed for you is also inexpensive, and can add class and professionalism to your look. Having your own domain gives you your own business email addresses, which is another important part of the equation.
Social Media – Damn You Zuckerberg
Facebook is the big evil empire. There’s not much way around that. So instead of trying to rebel, as foolishly romantic as that sounds, use it to help you. It’s free until you pay for advertising. It reaches all ages, demographics, and people you are connected to. You can invest one or more of your employees’ time into building your social media presence. Special deals and coupons, photo diaries of products or services, video tutorials or advertisements, and real-time feedback from customers are all available to you on Facebook for free. Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sites are smaller brothers in the social media realm. So you shouldn’t spend as much time and effort here until you are established.
A Computer – The Obvious
Internet access, word processing, email, yeah technology has to be a part of what you do in business. But it doesn’t have to be a huge departure from what you already own. If you don’t have the budget for software to manage projects and produce documents and spreadsheets, there are wonderful open-source options available to you. Google is one example of this with their feature called Drive, which allows you to create documents and spreadsheets, and work on them with others, in real time, for free. A simple search for open source project management will yield you good results. There are so many options for productivity in the open-source space that you don’t have to pay for.
The bare bones list of what is necessary for business startups is pretty slim. If you have a computer, a smartphone, a workspace, a website, and internet access you are well on your way. There are many companies that will try to convince you that you need more than that, and then try to sell you something, but what else is essential? Although powerhouse workstation computers that you can play games on after hours is attractive, it ultimately might be a counterproductive use of your budget if you are trying to get up and running as a new business. Thanks so much for reading, and if you are in this position, I wish you luck. It’s a very rewarding experience doing things for yourself, if you are clever and resourceful. Check back for more updates, every week on the Computer Fixer’s blog.