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Local Business Tips (Surviving Year 1)

Published: 16th April 2021 15:37

 

How often have you looked around your local area and said to yourself, “You know what this place needs? A business that can offer…” 


Sometimes, very occasionally, you might get that business off the ground. Or attempt to, at the very least. But surviving year one won’t be easy. Just as in life, the first few steps in business are just as riddled with hidden surprises as the last few. 


Let’s look at surviving year one as a startup. 


Invoicing software 


Invoicing software makes all the difference when it comes to professionalism (check out some of the best invoice software on the web). 


If you’re unfamiliar with what invoicing software can do for your startup, consider the following scenario. Your company received an order that you were able to fulfil on time. You message the customer via email for payment but you receive no reply. You call the customer but you reach an answering machine. Eventually, you get through to someone who doesn’t have any information about the purchase of the goods, and they suggest you send an invoice.


Invoicing works. An official invoice that arrives on time informs the customer of the breakdown of services and the payment required - methods of payment can also be stated. 


Give up on ad hoc before you even begin to rely on such a loose system. It can waste your time and give an unprofessional feel to your startup. And that’s bad publicity you don’t need. 


Cloud backup


Cloud backup is a contentious recommendation for startups. Why? Because on the face of things, your company is probably struggling to keep costs down, without increasing expenditure on optional insurance policies like cloud backup. But is cloud backup something you can overlook as a luxury? Here’s how to tell…


If your company makes a certain amount of income per week or month, you can calculate your average income per hour. If a sudden loss of access to company data (even for so much as a single day) would result in a steep loss of income that could spell trouble for your business, cloud backup is perhaps no longer an expenditure you can overlook.  


Shop around for different vendors and make sure that you select a service that offers storage scalability. Remember, as your business grows, demand for access to your applications is going to increase - you can plan ahead now for the extra bandwidth before you find yourself having to switch providers in the coming months. 


Premises 


That back bedroom may have been the perfect place to start a company five months ago. But time is time. You need business premises that say “we are every bit on the high street as our competitors (even if the high street in question is a small grey industrial estate 15 minutes from town)”. 


People will Google you. They will see your business address is a residential property. And they will think oh, this person is a one-person show acting like a real business, and they will likely take their money elsewhere. 


Look into local business properties inside year one, or miss out on looking the part (the future of your business may depend on it).


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