Starting a business can be a lot of hard work, as trying to get a business off the ground and building a solid customer base isn’t easy. Still, hundreds of new businesses are set-up every day across many different industries. If everything goes well, setting up a business can be extremely rewarding for those involved.
Even though you may believe in your business 100%, there will always be risks with any new venture. All start-up businesses will have challenges to navigate and common mistakes to avoid. With careful advanced planning, some businesses may get through a disaster and be able to learn from their mistakes, however for others, this can end in disaster.
Although some of the issues that arise cannot be foreseen, such as sudden economic downturns, there are many other challenges for which you can plan and prepare.
Some of the key issues to be aware of include:
- Inadequate funding – It is essential to have enough money invested in your business to support you until you start seeing a return.
- Limited marketing – Include marketing into your strategy and budget. You don’t want to put in all the hard work developing your product or service and then miss out by not letting potential customers know about it.
- Poor planning – Make sure you have a strong business plan before you get started so you have a clear direction. Anticipate and prepare for potential problems and put contingency plans in place.
- Staffing numbers – At the start of your business, you don’t want to spend too much on full-time employees. However, without sufficient support you may not be able to cope with sudden increase in demand. Finding this balance is important to managing your business as it grows.
- Insufficient IT infrastructure – Make sure you don’t cut corners with your IT systems, as this can help your start-up business function efficiently, often saving money in the long run. For many, IT system becomes the backbone of their company, so it’s important to invest in an infrastructure that will meet all your requirements. You should also consider how it will be maintained over time in order to continue running efficiently.
In this blog, we’re going to specifically look into IT infrastructure so you can learn how to manage it effectively in your start-up business.
Planning your IT infrastructure
For a start-up business, an IT system can be extremely important. However, setting up a server, network, computers, and software, in addition to employing someone full time to manage your IT, can be extremely costly. As a start-up, you want to keep your initial costs low without negatively impacting your IT systems.
Many businesses address this situation by outsourcing business IT support and management to other companies, as well as investigating cloud-based services. This solution avoids a significant amount of up-front costs, as fees can be spread out into monthly payments. Your business can also be more scalable, so your systems grow with your business and IT management is handled by highly trained professionals.
Take a look at some of the key advantages that outsourcing and cloud-based services can provide for your start-up business:
- By outsourcing your IT, you can focus on your main business objectives.
- Outsourcing removes the need to search for IT employees.
- IT management companies are cheaper than a full-time employee.
- Monthly payments allow for more effective budgeting. Plus, you only pay for what you use.
- Your consultants will have experience working with similar companies, so they can provide excellent, industry specific services.
- Outsourcing reduces risk, as you are relying on industry experts.
For more information on outsourcing the management of your IT services, see our introductory guide to managed IT services.
- Using the cloud allows your business to be more scalable.
- There will be low up-front costs, unlike buying your own server and software. It also has more manageable monthly costs.
- Your business will require minimal hardware with the cloud.
- Cloud services allow for simple collaboration and document sharing.
- Cloud service providers make backup and disaster recovery easy and reliable.
- You’ll receive automatic upgrades without further costs.
If you’d like to find out more about the cloud, take a look at our article about migrating to the cloud.
Although outsourcing and cloud services provide many benefits, it’s important not to jump into making a decision, especially as you would normally be making a long-term agreement. A managed service provider should become more like a business partner, rather than a helpdesk. Take your time to find a provider that you are comfortable trusting with your business. For more advice, check out our post on how to select an IT managed services provider.
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