Starting a Business is not easy
The journey of an entrepreneur is riddled with challenges and stumbling blocks. There are deep-pocketed Goliaths to stand up to, teeming competition to stand out from, and an increasingly demanding group of consumers to please. And for every problem, there’s an ocean of solutions to choose from. Without the right guidance, it is easy to lose focus from what you set out to do. You need someone you can trust, to empower and guide you every step of the way.
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SEVEN STAGES OF A STARTUP
Starting a business is never easy, and yet there is no shortage of people willing to go all the way in order to see their entrepreneurial dreams succeed.According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), 27 million working-age Americans are starting or running new business. And survival in this swarming sea of startups is now determined by the clever application of technology as an industry-disruptor.
To ensure sustained growth of your business, it is imperative you consider technology, not just as an enabler, but the bedrock on which your business is built. There are three aspects that you need to be mindful of while developing the technology strategy for your business:
- Your must-have technology
- Specialized technology for your profession or industry
- Support and assistance to fuel success
New and emerging businesses need rock-solid IT infrastructure as the foundation of their survival and growth. The requirements for IT may vary, depending on the nature of the business as well as the stage of development your business is in. But there are certain must-haves which no business can operate without.
Whether you are operating from a friend’s garage or a downtown business center, there are some IT requirements that are integral to the successful running of your business.
With almost 80% of customers searching for products and services online before making a purchase, it’s imperative for any business to have a website. Apart from lending credibility to your business and providing information about your product or services to your customers, a website can be the springboard for all your marketing efforts. Plus, LinkedIn and Facebook pages are essential to be found on social media.
Dedicated Phone Lines
Customers, suppliers and anyone interested in your products and services should be able to reach you, effectively and reliably. A business phone solution can offer interactive voice response (IVR) options to direct incoming calls to the right person on your team.
High-speed internet access is the cornerstone of any business. It enables you to store data in the cloud, make calls using VoIP, and use a CRM application, among other things. A reliable high-speed internet connection is not only vital for operational efficiency but can have an impact on everything from profitability to customer satisfaction.
Local Area Network
Local Area Network or LAN facilitates sharing and exchange of information within a closed group of computers. It enables businesses to share files, communicate and collaborate in real time, securely store data and perform other critical operations. While networking complexity may vary from business to business, a robust LAN is a must-have for any organization.
TIP: Given that Startups are a use only once significant part of the growing economy, every country is now offering workspaces/co-work spaces or business centers,replete with amenities, on a rental basis.
Efficiency is not just an expectation but a demand in today’s perpetually short-staffed Startups. Technology can play a key role in boosting the productivity of employees who constantly juggle multiple responsibilities.
Businesses have unique requirements; tasks, like analyzing vast amounts of data or rendering HD graphics, require computers with more memory space and higher processing capacity. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all. The needs of your mobile workforce are distinct from those managing data-intensive operations for your business. Therefore, the choice of devices should be made keeping its intended use in mind.
Professional Email & Office Tools
Professional email services are a basic requirement too. You can use the support of your web host to set up e-mail accounts for your business. Also, regardless of the nature or size of your business, office productivity tools like a word processing application, spreadsheets, and a presentation application are absolutely vital for the efficient running of any organization.
Secure Data Storage
When transitioning from a consumer to a business owner, security takes added importance. To ensure your data is well-protected, your local network should be secured with a firewall, and each computer should have inbuilt security features and anti-virus software. Also, all your data should be securely backed up with a viable recovery plan in place to cushion the blow of any unexpected IT disaster.
TIP: Ask your technology partner for a packaged solution – like including online backup systems or professional office applications licenses during your initial purchase itself.
Perhaps the hardest stage of a Startup’s journey is acquiring and retaining a strong customer base. Here too, it’s survival of the technologically fittest.
For businesses operating in an increasingly mobile world, an effective mobility solution, that covers the tools and policy, can be the difference between success and stagnancy. This mobile workforce needs access to business resources, regardless of time, place or device, to achieve optimal productivity.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you manage the most valuable asset of your business – customers. It tracks, consolidates and analyzes customer interactions through a unified database, thus enhancing the quality and efficacy of customer engagement. Improvements in customer satisfaction, customer retention, and sales growth are just some of the benefits of using CRM software.
The digital economy is predominantly driven by data. Data analytics tools help your business survive and thrive, by tracking business data from different operations and extracting trends, patterns, and insights that can be used to guide business decision making. As a Startup, reliance on guesswork and erroneous assumptions can not only be detrimental to growth, but possibly terminal.
TIP: Don’t settle for free solutions available online; rather invest in the right technologies, through the support and advice of a trusted technology partner. This will ensure that your business critical information is safe and you don’t violate any government policies and regulations on data and information security.
Starting a business and growing a business are two different things. Without the right technology it's difficult to sustain and grow. Agility and scalability is what your business needs to sustain and grow.
Easily deploy IT solutions and applications, pick and choose the solutions you need without high capital investment, and allow different functions, apps and users to co-exist efficiently.
Efficient space management and data security are two of the most critical needs to a new business set up. Virtualization solutions allow centralized control and management while making the most use of your existing IT infrastructure.
TIP: While selecting solutions for business scalability and growth ensure that it addresses the key requirements of your business and is easy to not just scale up but also scale down as per the market conditions. Also, inbuilt manageability features are a must to ensure maximum uptime and low operational costs.
SPECIALIZED profession and industry requirements
There are some basic technology requirements for all and any kind of Startup. But some businesses have additional unique requirements from their devices.
Is your business one of them?
Specialized Requirements of the Knowledge Services Market
The knowledge services market is driven by vast amounts of data and a high volume of customer interactions. The sensitive nature of data handled by such firms necessitates the use of professional-class security protocols. Also, end-user compute devices with high processing power, multiple connectivity ports, and superior audio-visual capabilities are essential for knowledge-based Startups to operate effectively.
ThinkPad X1 series is the right end computing device for you.
With their slim design and long battery life, X Series lightweight ultrabooks travel easily. Their legendary ThinkPad performance ensures you never have to sacrifice anything.
Specialized Requirements of Technology Startups
The IT requirements of tech Startups are difficult to categorize. They can range from the fairly obvious to highly specialized, depending on the nature of their work. High processing power is an umbrella requirement, but high memory capacity, advanced graphics capabilities, and testing environment facility also feature prominently in the list of requirements.
ThinkPad T series is the right end computing device for you.
Our flagship laptop series builds upon a superior design with the performance and durability professional users demand.
Specialized Requirements of Design Startups
If you are a design Startup, graphic capability and processing power take priority when choosing end-user devices for a significant portion of your workforce. Also, to ensure critical design applications run smoothly and reliably, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) certification is not just preferred but necessary.
ThinkPad P series is the right end computing device for you.
Get the portability of a ThinkPad with the power of a workstation. The P Series laptops feature ISV-certified applications, lightning-fast graphics & processing, and more cutting-edge technology in a surprisingly thin, light package.
SUPPORT & ASSISTANCE to fuel success
1LENOVO FINANCIAL SERVICES
Lenovo Financial Services reinforces Lenovo’s commitment to deliver pioneering products and services recognized for their quality, excellence, and trustworthiness. Lenovo Financial Services offers financing solutions and services around the world that complement your technology solution.
Lenovo Incubator Program
2Lenovo Incubator Program
A striking example of Lenovo’s commitment to innovation is Lenovo Accelerator, an incubator program facilitating the rapid and sustainable development of innovative business opportunities. The program offers funding, infrastructure, and business support for early-stage technology Startups, with the first phase focusing on robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.
Get technology assessment and customized technical support services from a team of experienced engineers from the world’s top laboratories, including Lenovo Corporate Research & Development (R&T).
Leverage Lenovo’s strong presence in the global market, and the resulting knowledge of domestic and foreign market statistics, to make accurate market forecasts.
Use Lenovo’s extensive internal and external supply chain as an end-to-end supply chain system for both hardware and software products.
Showcase your product to the people who matter at strategically planned investment interlocks. Meet VCs from around the world, and capitalize on promising funding opportunities.