Gotta-have tech for every startup

Starting up a new business? Read on for a list of what you need to know before opening your doors or going live.

  1. Technology Strategy - we recommend designing a three year rolling plan for how to maximize your business through technology. This will help you set realistic budgets, expectations, and plan for the future instead of react after the disaster has just occurred.
  2. Company domain - this is your home on the internet, like www.yourawesomestartup.com. We recommend a .com or maybe .net TLD (top level domain) if at all possible. Typical cost is tens of dollars a year.
  3. Company email - don't trust something as business-critical as your email address to a free service that you don't own (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, aol, etc.). There are many reasons for this, but the biggest is that when you own your own email address you can use it with any email service provider. Want better spam filtering or encryption down the road? No problem if you already have you@yourawesomestartup.com. You're out of luck with yourcompany@gmail.com though. Plus having your own company email just makes a much more professional first impression.
  4. Network - Computers aren't much good these days if they can't talk to each other across your office and across the internet. Plan on at least two hardwired data drops to each team member in your office space. Plan on putting all the servers and network equipment in a centrally-located, air-conditioned, and physically-secured room in your building. If you hear contractors talking about a "server room", "equipment room", "equipment closet", "data closet", or "head end", this is what they are referring to. For the fastest speeds, you want equipment that says "gigabit" on the box. For routers, get a business-class secure router/firewall. We recommend ones that can automatically switch to a backup internet service provider when your main provider goes down so your team can stay constantly connected.
  5. Wifi - reliable wireless internet is a gotta-have for every office these days. Be a good host and provide your guests a separate and secure guest wifi network that can't access your company computers. This will help protect you from liability, security breaches, and data loss which could put you out of business in a hurry. If you have over 1000 square feet of office space, the wifi router you rent from your internet service provider is not going to cut it. Throw out that junk and get something that will give your business the performance, reliability and security it needs.
  6. Internet service - we have access to all your local providers and can get you the speed and reliability you need at a right-sized cost for your company. Send us your address for a free quote that will compare all your local providers. We always recommend having a fast primary internet service (fiber/cable) and a cheaper backup internet service (DSL) that will automatically switch over to keep you online.
  7. Phone and fax service - our cloud-powered VoIP business phone systems do things that old-school analog phone systems could never dream of. Call, text, and fax from your mobile device from the main business phone # without giving out your mobile #. Get unlimited extensions - "press 1 for sales, press 2 for service, etc." and route the call to mobile devices anywhere in the world - for no extra charge! Unlimited electronic faxing is included, even from smartphones.
  8. Computers, Servers, & Mobile Devices - 100% of equipment will die. It will die even sooner if you don't plan for the security, maintenance, and proactive care that is needed. Our proactive care plans can take away all those headaches and let you concentrate on your business. Do yourself a favor and get a battery backup/surge protector for all the equipment. You will wish you did after that first power outage that erases everything you were just working on. Who's got time for that?
  9. Mobile Device Security - our Mobile Device Management plans will protect your proprietary corporate data even on employee-owned devices to eliminate risk and data leaks.
  10. Disaster Recovery Plan & Data Backup - follow the simple 3-2-1 rule for backups: your stuff needs to be in 3 different copies, 2 different formats, 1 offsite location. Most businesses go out of business within one year after significant data loss. Back up your stuff and don't be a statistic!
  11. Business Continuity Plan - can your business keep running if there is a disaster at your office location or will you have to shut down indefinitely?
  12. Website and online presence - This is the face of your company to the world and how you will be found by customers. Make this first impression count! We can help you get found online and increase your business and bottom line.
  13. Collaborative document editing - make it easy for your team to edit documents AT THE SAME TIME! No more emailing versions back and forth - everyone will always have access to the latest version.

Don't forget other important things like: audio and video conferencing, conference room presentation systems, security cameras with remote viewing, music, paging, and intercom systems, and more.

If you need help with planning, design, or implementation, call us at 615-873-0387 or get in touch online. We want to help you succeed from the beginning rather than clean up the mess afterwards!