Business startup tips and tools
A business startup is an exciting time. It’s also a time when savvy business owners should be looking to make the most of the business tools on offer. To streamline operations, promote their business and keep overhead costs as low as possible.
Setting up your financial, human resources and communication systems can be costly. However, there are many free and low-cost technology solutions available to help startups get off on the right foot.
The advent of ‘cloud technology’ in particular has revolutionised the ability of small businesses to increase their competitiveness and rival the offer of bigger firms.
Many of these online tools are specifically designed for small businesses and start-ups. Fully featured and easy to use, so that you can spend more time focussing on other important aspects of running your business.
Tips and tools to help with core tasks of any startup business
- File transfer and storage.
Some of us old enough to remember the days of floppy disks will know what a pain file storage and transfer can be.
Even storing information on local hard drives can present space and IT challenges. Now the cloud offers applications such as Dropbox, Google Drive and WeTransfer making it easier to access and share files amongst staff.
Being cloud-based means that any number of authorised people can view, edit or download files.
Files won’t be on hard drives taking up valuable computing space and slowing down your systems.
Employing an expensive accountant used to be part and parcel of running your own business. Now startups and smaller businesses are turning to cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks which offers instant financial support without the high cost.
Such accounting innovations can be used via the web or a handy phone app. Manage your invoices, receipts, expenses and much more, for a small monthly subscription.
- Managing staff
If you’ve got staff to keep track of, consider using an automated system that is far more accurate and effective than timesheets and spreadsheets. A cloud-based time and attendance system like uAttend will take care of clocking in and out, keeping track of holidays and exporting data to payroll.
There are cost-effective monthly plans available. Scale them up or down to suit your business and start from just £14.99.
3 hidden costs of running a business
So you’ve got your cloud-based accounting, attendance and storage sorted. What are the other hidden costs of running a business?
Repairs, upgrades & replacements
These hidden costs are easily overlooked, especially when starting up and new equipment is performing well.
However, your annual budget and the ongoing business plan must include costs for repairs, upgrades and maintenance.
Larger items may be obvious but also remember to take account of smaller office equipment. Such as costly mobile items (laptops, smartphones) and furniture.
Make sure that you get your machines and equipment serviced regularly to head off breakdowns.
The loss of goods through theft, errors, fraud or damage in transit or on-site.
Theft can include stationery or other office items which some misguided staff can see as a ‘perk’ or personal use of company vehicles, fuel or mobiles.
Instilling a culture of honesty is worthwhile but can take time to embed.
In the meantime let staff know in advance about monitoring measures – for example, vehicle monitoring, checking mobile call durations and clocking in. Share with them the need for company efficiency.
Ineffective websites, old-fashioned marketing and outdated manual processes could be costing your business.
Some ‘Generation X’ business owners (in their late 40s or 50s) are less clued-up about the most beneficial technology options. Generally, they may not be taking advantage of what’s available to streamline business costs e.g. an automated time and attendance system to make payroll streamlined.
Get professional advice. Shop around and be prepared to invest in vital areas which will pay back in the long term.
How to help make sure your business startup survives:
In the excitement of setting up a new business or under pressure from dealing with the everyday details, it’s easy not to see the wood for the trees.
While focusing on the larger, more obvious costs of your business you may be neglecting the hidden costs of running a small business.
If you want to be sure that your income continues to exceed outgoings. Then it’s sensible to factor all costs into your business plan.
One easy win is to tick labour costs (your most expensive expenditure) out of the way. For an efficient and cost-effective way of managing your employee data, setting up alerts, dealing with timesheets and payroll choose uAttend.
uAttend also includes:
- Unlimited UK helpdesk support
- Online training
- Software updates & feature releases
- Lifetime warranty on all uAttend terminals.
So you know you’re getting good value for money.
To book a demo, click here.
To watch a pre-recorded demo, click here.