I’ve interviewed a lot of small business owners in my time, and a recurring theme is that many of them wanted to make maverick moves, but ultimately ended up following the norm. Why? Fear of the unknown.
Starting a business is already chock full of variables, so many business owners want to mitigate the risk of making a bad choice by heading down the most popular route. Trail blazing is difficult work. When it comes to tech decisions, this often involves building a business on outdated technology, simply because the established juggernauts in your industry are touting these methods as the best-practice. In reality, these can often be stand in the way of a fledgeling startup. Here are three maverick moves to make instead…
Why pay for expensive software solutions when you can simply use open-source, cloud-hosted alternatives? In the early days of a startup, controlling those overheads is essential, so you needn’t be shelling out for expensive IT solutions right off the bat. If you use an open-source solution, you will also have great flexibility, meaning that once you’re ready for custom managed IT services, you’ll be able to transition with ease.
Transitioning to the cloud is a pain, so why not just start your business there? If you’ve never known any different, you’ll soon get to grips with the processes and will also be able to put best-practice solutions in place from the start. As you business grows, your cloud storage will grow with you. And you’ll never have to worry about security or data hoarding.
If you’re putting together a business plan and you’re planning on giving every employee a laptop, phone, tablet and activity tracker, just stop it. Tablets often gather dust and no one really wants a second phone. Buy your tech new – for the guarantees and support – but buy it when the need arises, rather than blowing a huge portion of your start up capital on tech. If you do want to invest in tech, make sure this money goes towards high-speed internet.
If you’re running a bricks and mortar business and want to accept payments, there are plenty of innovative solutions like iZettle to make this process as easy as possible. Just keep an eye on admin fees as these can often eat up your profits. If you’re selling online, there are plenty of invoicing services to help you automate the process. Try Xero or Quickbooks for automating your invoice chasing.