We're all about helping businesses succeed and we love working with new startups because we can start them off right from the very beginning instead of cleaning up an existing mess. Here's a few tips and tools that work well for small startups and micro-businesses that get our thumbs up. (Larger businesses may be better served by other options, which we'll go over when designing your technology strategy.)
- www.hover.com for registering a domain name, or your "address" on the internet. Trust us, the extra $2 over the cheapest option is worth it BY FAR. Do you know what Whois privacy is? No? Would you give your personal info and address to everyone on the internet by choice? Of course not. Well, you do exactly that unless you are protected by Whois privacy, which is standard at Hover. Plus they have great customer service and a very clean website that doesn't try to trick you into signing up for all kinds of services you don't need (unlike some of their competitors). Here's our referral link that give us a small credit when you sign up and click here for a link to save 10%.
- Office 365 or Google Apps for cloud-powered email that uses your own domain (yourcompany.com) so you look professional. I mean, what do you think when you see someone's @aol.com address? Yeah, not a good look for your business. This also includes shared calendars, contacts, file sharing, and document collaboration tools for your team. We are partners for both services and can get you set up with whichever makes the most sense for your specific business or industry.
- www.ringcentral.com for a smarter business phone solution that is MUCH cheaper and way more full-featured than purchasing a business cell phone or typical landline phone system for your office. They are a partner of ours so we can help you get up to speed right away. If you've heard the term VOIP (voice over internet protocol) or heard about the benefits of phones that work over the internet, this is it. If you want to use your personal cell phone as a work phone # without giving out your personal phone #, this is how you do it. You can also text with your work # and make calls from your computer, among many other great features. There are way too many features to list here so check it out and get in touch.
- www.squarespace.com for a really awesome website in minutes. For under $10 a month. That doesn't look cheesy. Seriously. You will never get a virus on your site or have your site go down because they take care of all the maintenance behind the scenes at no extra charge. It is very easy to use and includes all kinds of multimedia and even ecommerce options. Put your time and effort where it matters and don't bother with setting up your own website. If you don't update it constantly, your self-created site will eventually get a virus and go down and may infect your customers, which is not the first impression you want to make. Here's a link for a discount.
- Office space. (And I don't mean one of the best cult classic movies of all time). Until you are ready to spring for your own office space, check out any collaborative work spaces available in your area. Here in Music City, TN, check out Espaces or Collab with locations around the city. They have a space for every budget, from cubicle on up to corner-office-with-a-view, with available conference rooms, mail and phone answering services, and more.
I hope these tips help get your startup on the path to success. If we can assist with designing a long-term technology strategy customized for your business, get in touch with us at 615-873-0387 or online.