Every business starts somewhere. It may appear that large corporations magically gained their success overnight, but that’s generally not the case. The foundation of a business, small or big, sets up the trajectory of said business. Here are the 5 basic tools every business needs when getting started.
1. Phone Setup
Although it is debated whether or not cold calls are dead, the phone is definitely not dead. Customers, clients, business partners, and other contacts will need a point of contact. It’s best not to use your own phone number. Instead, all businesses should get a business phone number. This will allow for:
- Separate business hours
- Professional voicemail and intro menu
- Multiple users and extensions
- Consistency in listings
Furthermore, having a separate business phone and number will allow you to differentiate business calls from personal calls. The phone system can be mobile or landline, but make sure that you are garnering the number through a reputable source, such as Ninja Number. Business cell phones can often lead to feelings of always having to be on call. Set boundaries, but most importantly, set up a professional system.
2. HR Software
Even with just a handful of employees, it’s smart to start learning the HR software ropes. There are hiring systems and employee tracking systems. Sometimes, the software combines all aspects of HR. Do your research, and find what works for you. Even better, see which programs will be able to scale when your business expands and upticks its hiring volume.
There are several different types of HR software, including:
- Applicant Tracking Systems
- Human Resources Management Systems
- Human Resources Information Systems
- Human Capital Management Systems
This is just the start. As mentioned previously, some software even provides a suite of capabilities that will enhance your ability to manage employees. This should span the entire employee lifecycle, from targeting potential hires to organizing exit interviews.
3. Security Systems
Business security is a wide umbrella of systems that covers:
- Security clearances for employees
- Property surveillance
- Proper employee training
This can fluctuate depending on what type of field you are operating under. However, security in all aspects is important. Make sure everyone is safe on-site and online. This includes your employees, visitors, and consumers. The proper tech can help prevent cyber attacks, as well as tangible, physical attacks that compromise information and safety.
4. Project Management Tools
Similar to HR systems, there are software programs available that can streamline your business. These are available in a variety of different packages, so if you are a small business, you can start with a cheap or free tool. Along the same lines as with HR software, make sure you choose a project management system that can grow along with your company. Otherwise, you will have to migrate data over to a different system in the future. This is doable and some companies can help with the process, but employees will also have to learn a new system.
It’s difficult for employees to adopt new technology. The change is often abrupt and unwelcomed, so it takes awhile to disseminate a new program into a workplace. However, if you start with the right tools, you can mitigate this issue. Some tools to look into cover project management, email management, and social media management.
5. Online Presence
Another debatable topic in the business world is whether or not print marketing is dead. While it has a nostalgic flair as well as real efficiency in certain cases, most businesses need some sort of online presence. Some of those project management tools mentioned above go into social media and email marketing. There are also tools to help you craft search engine ads, blog posts, eCommerce websites, and more.
Visibility and availability are the most important aspects to crafting a successful business. Likely, your business relies on its consumers. Make sure you are catering to them every step of the way. Have a live chat available and answer emails regularly. There are tools to help. Similarly, don’t forget about employees. They are the backbone of your organization. To have a well-oiled machine, you need to start with the basics and work your way up. A business phone number, the right software, and an online presence will help you get there in no time. The prep is worth it.