2014 promises to be the year that innovative small businesses flourish. Hot on the heels of the relaxation of state aid rules, enabling EU governments to help small businesses more directly, comes the launch of The European Horizon 2020 Project. The initiative is vowing to set aside €3bn to help innovative small companies bring their most ground breaking ideas to market.
No one can argue that funding is instrumental for any start up that’s trying to bring a new product or service to market, but harnessing the latest technologies can help a company deploys to achieve its business goals too. Great technology lays the foundations and opens up a whole realm of possibilities allowing businesses to remain competitive, be flexible and grow the business successfully.
Cloud technology has revolutionised the way many use technology today and the last decade has seen an influx of new cloud solutions and services designed specifically for start-ups and SMBs. It’s easy to see why – cloud computing doesn’t require a large upfront investment or a lot of technical expertise, and above all it provides a high level of flexibility.
It’s easy to get carried away with so many technology options out there, but with tight budgets, businesses can’t afford to ignore a few aspects of a new technology implementation.
One of the first elements to get right when it comes to managing your digital assets is putting in place a solid backup and disaster recovery plan. There is a barrage of research studies that all point to a scary number of businesses going under because they didn’t have the necessary backup procedures in place. It doesn’t have to be difficult though, as cloud disaster recovery solutions enable SMBs to back up their digital data from virtually any device, anytime, anywhere.
Whilst we’re on the topic of protecting your digital data with cloud computing – another element worth considering if you’re going to transfer your data in the cloud, is keeping this data secure from prying eyes. You need to make sure that the service providers you choose can advise you on best practices and can provide you with a secure connection, keeping your data under wraps and your business protected from external threats.
When it comes to communication, there’s been a shift towards Voice-over-IP solutions that enable businesses to communicate cost effectively, across geographical barriers. Taking this a step further, it’s worth considering a solution that can incorporate instant messaging, voice, video and online meetings all in one, providing you with greater flexibility to connect with your team, partners and customers, and host meetings from anywhere. Particularly useful if you are always on the move.
In order to grow your business, you need to ensure that you invest in a CRM software that can help you manage your customer relationships as well as nurture new prospects and keep track of leads. There are a range of sophisticated cloud based software solutions to choose from and many provide affordable options for small businesses.
It’s worth making the initial investment in technologies in these key areas right from the start, especially if you choose services and solutions that can grow with your business. With the necessary funding and the right technology to support your business venture, you will be on the right path to bring your idea to life!