Starting a business isn’t easy. You’ll be challenged by customers, vendors, and even the government. Since you are self-employed, you’ll end up paying more in taxes than if you worked for someone else because you must pay self-employment tax. Still, being your own boss can be exciting and liberating.
Unfortunately, most new businesses fail because they don’t have enough capital and aren’t using the right resources. If you’re thinking of starting a new business, here are 4 resources you’ll almost certainly need to become a success.
A Reliable Place To Meet
Managing a successful business requires personal connections. Business is, in large part, about building relationships. Being a successful business persona requires emotional intelligence as much as it requires drive and discipline. The beauty of communication is found in the nuance that’s only felt in face-to-face conversations.
This is why it is so important to have a reliable place to meet clients or potential clients. It portrays professionalism and gives you some credibility.
If you are based in Glasgow checkout Bizquarter’s meeting rooms.
A Good Hosting Company
Unless you’re strictly local, you need a website and a good hosting company. Most hosts have quirks that make them hard to deal with for the average entrepreneur. A few things to look for in a host include:
- 99%+ Uptime — Do they promise a specific uptime for your website? Uptime refers to the amount of time your website is online and visible to users. Believe it or not, most hosts do not guarantee 100% uptime. Even 99% uptime is difficult for most hosts, so they won’t guarantee anything. If you want any type of guarantee, you need to sign a service level agreement (SLA).
- Customer Service — Most hosts boast about customer service, but what do their current customers say about them? If you start noticing a trend of poor service, look elsewhere. Check forums for unhappy past customers and how the company treated them.
- Control — While having control over your hosting environment might sound ideal, it’s not. Unless you’re an IT person, you should probably spring for managed hosting. Let the host take care of the technical details while you focus on running your business.
- Cost — Hosting is like anything else. You get what you pay for.
Along with hosting, you’ll want a good website design. You don’t have to spend a lot of money though. WordPress should suffice. Always go with a paid design instead of a free one because free templates often come with restrictions on use. For example, the designer may require you to show ads on your site and will disable the template if you try to remove them. You don’t want to deal with that.
A Password Manager
You will probably be using a lot of different websites, so you’ll need to remember a lot of logins, right? Well, not really. You could keep them all in your head, or use the same login for every website, but neither of those are great ideas. Keep it simple. Use something like 1Password or LastPass for your password manager.
Both are very capable apps, and will store your passwords, sensitive documents, and even credit card information. Everything is encrypted and secure so you won’t have to remember anything except your “master password.”
A Social Media Aggregator
Social media is a must for the modern entrepreneur, but managing more than a couple of accounts is a real hassle. This is where apps like Hootsuite come in handy. It lets you aggregate all your social media profiles and see every interaction you have with your prospects and customers in one place.
You can post to all your social media accounts, send out messages, and more. If you plan to make social media marketing a part of your marketing strategy, you need an app like this.