When it comes to starting a business, entrepreneurs want their new business to be the next fast-growing startup. Still, many don’t have the right information at their disposal to analyze the behaviors of a successful business and execute them effectively.
In fact, wildly successful startup companies are so rare, the industry coined a term for them: unicorns.
In this article, we’ll discuss the common patterns of successful startups and how you can get your hands on some of the best tools and equipment that are vital to running a business without causing financial hardship.
Depending on where you look, anywhere between 75 and 90 percent of startups are destined to fail. So you’re probably asking yourself “What can I do to avoid this?”
Careful planning, budgeting, and effective resource management are vital to the success of your new business. Entrepreneurs who know about their available resources and understand their value are more likely to make better use of these tools. We’ll mention this again further down the page.
Furthermore, entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed if they aren’t afraid to put their hypotheses to the test. The ability to identify when an idea isn’t worth any additional time is an important quality for a startup owner. With careful analysis before product launches or marketing campaigns, potential failures can be more easily identified by highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of an idea. However, entrepreneurs often overlook these steps.
Last but not least, creating a financial plan helps you take inventory of where you are right now, where you want to be, and how you will get there. As a startup owner, you need to figure out how your company will survive the first six months. Ask questions like What do sales need to be to stay afloat? What’s going to happen if the business doesn’t hit the target? What happens if you exceed your goals? You need to plan for all scenarios if you want your best chance of success.
Grow your network
Since every person you meet could be a potential advisor, customer, or partner, it’s important to grow your professional network. On top of that, the easiest way to find out how much you need to invest in your business is to connect with people who have started similar businesses (or have advised similar ventures). At the end of the quarter, accurate financial projections could be the difference between finishing strong and not having enough funds to open next month.
How can you build a relationship with like-minded entrepreneurs or small-business advisers? One of the easiest (and most inexpensive) ways to build business relationships with like-minded individuals is to understand the importance of your social media accounts. So if you haven’t already built a profile on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, this is your sign. Once you’ve built your network of potential advisors, clients, and partners, now you inform your various networks of your new business venture, ask them for help, and offer something in return. Communicating with a network may be different on various forms of social media. For example, on Linkedin and Facebook, you may find an industry-related group to join where you can post your inquiries. However, on Twitter, this may just mean engaging with the right person or hashtag in order to start a conversation about your startup, what you can do, and what you need from others.
Leverage Free or Inexpensive Tech Tools
There is a range of free, cheap, and necessary tools available for you to use to complete tasks from management to marketing to accounting – and everything in between. But why do you need all of these tools? Leveraging the right technology can save you time and allow you to focus on the things that matter, rather than wasting time organizing administrative tasks, you’re freed up to invest that time in talking to prospective clients, improving your products and services, or overcoming other strategic endeavors.
Here are some of our top choices when it comes to tech tools for small businesses:
Project Management – Project management software is great for digitally tracking your projects, appointments, and deadlines. These tools can create reminders for upcoming tasks and events automatically and can be organized into teams so everyone gets the reminder. We recommend Trello or Asana, but there are plenty of other options.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – CRM software is essential for new startups since it provides you with a central repository from which you can track, manage, and measure all of your customer relationships and outreach attempts. CRM software can tell you who is receiving, opening, and reading your emails or visiting your website. CRM tools can also let you know when it’s been a while since you’ve contacted an important or high-value client. Again, there are dozens of options when it comes to CRM software, so make sure you research carefully before deciding which is best for your startup business – we recommend Hubspot.
HR Management – Startup businesses often can’t afford to hire a dedicated or even part-time human resources administrator. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap and free options when it comes to HR management software that can handle everything from payroll to shift scheduling and distributing company announcements. While we haven’t used any of the free tools for HR management, there are plenty available like HR.my, but we also recommend trying GoCo, a recognized leader in the HR management software space.
Accounting Software – Online accounting software is an important tool for startups since it can essentially perform a lot of the work that an accountant or bookkeeper would do like keeping track of income and expenses, invoicing, expense claims, and generating required documentation for your tax returns. Quickbooks Online has a free 30-day trial and offers plans in affordable price ranges.
Communication and Collaboration – Although there are plenty of free options out there, you can’t put a price on effective communication and collaboration – and you can’t really beat getting it all in one place. That’s why we recommend RingCentral for team messenger and IP telecommunications. Not only does this platform allow you to talk to customers and employees all on one platform, but it also lets you transfer your conversation over to any device you need. That means not only will you be organized on all of your devices, but you’ll also be able to pick up your smartphone and continue a conversation you were having on your computer, seamlessly. On top of that, if you want to save money, RingCentral IP phones are available to rent.
Password Management – It should go without saying that you need to keep all of your passwords and accounts as secure as possible. A password management tool will not only help you keep a record of your important passwords but also generates encrypted passwords for you and keeps you extra secure with two-factor authentication. Our choice for password management is LastPass.
Website Monitoring – If you’re on the road to a successful startup company, you’ve undoubtedly invested a lot of time and money into making your website as attractive and user-friendly as possible. However, you need to know which web pages are being accessed the most and who is accessing these pages in order to make an informed decision about the future of your website. Google Analytics is free and has tools that show you the sources of your traffic (i.e. organic search, referrals, or direct traffic) and tracks eCommerce conversion to show you how different product categories are performing so you can improve your checkout process.
Data Backup – Backup software gives you immediate access to your critical business data and, if anything happens, you’ll be able to restore your data in a few clicks with the right data backup software. While there aren’t a lot of trusted free options when it comes to data backup software, Rewind is a cost-effective solution. Don’t wait until it’s too late to back up your critical data.
It’s important to know that leveraging the right tech tools can save you money. For example, using a CRM tool that can automatically identify where you’re “leaving money on the table” with a certain client. Or accounting software that may show that you’re paying too much in taxes. Or a backup solution that ensures you never lose data or experience downtime that leads to revenue loss. Or a robust project management solution that ensures you don’t miss important deadlines. Or a communication and collaboration platform that ensures you never miss a call or important message. Lastly, you can leverage technology rentals to get your hands on some of the most powerful equipment available today at a fraction of the cost (not to mention rental equipment can be tax deductible).
What about Technology Rentals?
Technology rentals are great for start-up companies who don’t have the capital to buy all of their equipment yet, don’t need the equipment permanently, or are unsure about which equipment is necessary to run their businesses.
In fact, flexibility is one of the biggest advantages of technology rentals for fast-growing or startup companies. As your company grows and evolves, technology rentals allow you to scale up or down your technology needs as needed. This means you can add or remove equipment as needed, without worrying about long-term commitments or the cost of obsolescence.
Cost savings is another advantage of technology rentals. Renting technology can be significantly less expensive than purchasing it outright, and it allows you to avoid the costs associated with upgrading the equipment in the future. This is especially important for fast-growing or startup companies that may not have the budget to invest in expensive technology upfront but want to have the best possible equipment.
On top of that, if you need to get your hands on technology (like computers, phones, A/V equipment, or other office equipment) as soon as possible, you can navigate around the supply chain and avoid expensive and time-draining international orders with technology rentals. Odds are your technology rental provider has a warehouse near your city, which makes the process even quicker and easier for you.
Technology rental considerations to make:
First, identify the specific technology needs of your business. Different businesses need different equipment. Think about what is important to your business.
If productivity is key, renting a high-performance desktop or laptop computer may be your best bet – rather than using a cheap laptop that gets bogged down every time you need to load more than one webpage or program. We only keep top-of-the-line equipment in stock, and that equipment can come pre-installed with the necessary software and applications to ensure that your employees have everything they need to work efficiently and effectively – perfect for companies that are looking to add more devices to their inventory without having to make a large upfront investment.
If you talk to customers a lot on the phone and need to communicate with employees or teams on a messenger service, RingCentral IP phones are a popular option. As mentioned above, these phones provide a reliable and cost-effective solution for companies looking to upgrade their telecommunications infrastructure.
Does your office print a lot of documents or need to copy promotional materials, accounting documents, or company flyers? Printers, copiers, and scanners are also often cost-effective rental items.
The options are endless, it’s up to you to decide what is best for your company. Perhaps you need servers for additional storage, tablets or iPads to track inventory, or internet hotspots to stay connected on the go or while you’re waiting for your ISP to activate the internet at your new location.
Use Case Example:
Imagine you’re the IT director of a fast-growing company and you’ve just discovered that a large number of new hires will be starting soon. You don’t have the laptops, computers, or other technology they will need. This is a common problem that many fast-growing or startup companies have to come to terms with.
In this situation, technology rentals are almost always the best solution. By renting laptops and other equipment, you can quickly and easily scale up your technology inventory depending on the needs of your new hires. As mentioned above, this allows you to avoid the high costs and long-term commitments associated with purchasing technology outright.
In addition, your rental provider can provide you with the necessary software and applications pre-installed on the laptops, meaning your new hires will be ready to work as soon as they receive their device. The on-site support that is necessary to ensure that the transition is smooth and seamless is also available.
Technology Rentals when you need them
Do you need help equipping your startup with desktop computers, laptops, RingCentral IP phones, monitors, printers, scanners, copiers, tablets, internet hotspots, or other tech? We understand that fast-growing or startup companies have unique needs and we work closely with you to understand your specific requirements and to find the best solution for your business.
Rentacomputer.com has been in business for over 35 years providing technology solutions for businesses around the country. With a wealth of experience, there is no technology request we can’t help with for your startup business. Known for our exceptional customer service, we always go above and beyond to ensure our customers are satisfied with their rental experience. On top of that, our team of experts is always available to answer any questions you may have and provide support throughout the rental process.
We offer a wide range of technology options, from laptops and desktops to audio/visual equipment, telecommunications equipment, and software. This means that no matter what technology you need, we have it available for rent. Our inventory is constantly updated to ensure that you have access to the latest and greatest technology on the market.
Our account manager Randy Moore specializes in business rentals like laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, internet hotspots, accessory rentals, and much more. Randy will gladly handle any questions you may have in regard to rentals to make your work flow smoothly. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form today.
Visit our PC & AV Rental Pricing Factors page to find out about our pricing estimates.
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