Business Basics: The Tech Essentials Every Company Needs

top tech essentials businesses need company it necessities

Congratulations! You have a great idea and have started a company. Now, what do you do? Of course, you'll need the right team, connections, planning, and marketing. 

But to do all this and more, you need a way to send emails, store data, develop ideas, and protect your assets, among other things. This is where technology comes in. 

Even though most companies have different business goals, many have the same foundational needs. Here’s the rundown of the essential tech assets that all companies must have for success. 

How Much Should You Spend On Tech? 

There are so many costs associated with getting a business started. On average, companies allocate about 3% of their budget on IT. While it may work for established firms, you might need to spend a little more to get your business up and running. 

Don't worry; all recommendations below are affordable — even for those on the smallest budgets. 

Top 5 Tech Essentials You’re Going To Need 

1. A Website 

It's 2020, and there's no excuse for not having a business website anymore. Your website is your place to engage with customers. It's not only a platform for sales but building industry connections and much more. 

Take your time and make it look professional because 57% of internet users leave a poorly designed website. 

Fortunately, WordPress, Squarespace, and other website builders have plenty of tools that make creating a gorgeous site both easy and affordable. 

While you're at it, make sure your website includes branded email. Gmail, Yahoo, or MSN are fine for personal use. In professional settings, your email should match the name of your company. 

2. Hardware 

You can't run an entire business off tablets and smartphones — yet. These devices don't have the full functionality to do things like accounting, graphic design, and everything else a business needs. 

Fortunately, powerful computers are cheaper than ever. And the world has become cloud- driven, meaning device performance requirements are minimal. 

Stick to laptops and cloud software, and you'll be able to keep things affordable until your business can afford a $10,000 Mac Pro. 

3. Network Security 

The internet connectivity is crucial for modern business. All your apps, communications, files, and more will be connected to the internet or stored on internet-enabled devices. 

As you may know, the internet is full of hackers and other risks. Newer companies, in particular, cannot afford to have a cyber-attack happening to them. 60% of small businesses fold after a cyber-attack. Yet, a small investment in network security tools and training can help to prevent many cyber risks. 

A virtual private network is one of the tools that safeguard your internet connection. Various organizations used VPNs to limit remote connections to their online platforms for years. Nowadays, you may know VPN as a tool that comes up when you ask Siri or "how do I hide my IP?" 

A virtual private network both hides your IP address (https://nordvpn.com/features/hide-ip/) from websites you visit and encrypts your internet connection. It keeps data in transit safe from anyone trying to track you online or using man-in-the-middle attacks to steal your corporate secrets. 

Of course, no single tool is good enough to cover all your security tools, but VPN is an excellent starting point. Moreover, educating employees about potential threats and how to prevent them does the trick too. 

4. Apps 

Nowadays, there’s an app or piece of software for everything. You can find apps that are as cheap as $1 or as expensive as $1000 or more per month. 

You have to find the right apps for your business to be more productive. But be careful. Even with affordable apps, there are a million ways to bleed your company dry. 

A few bucks here and there does add up, so only purchase the software you need. In other words, do your research and compare available products first. For the non-essential apps, take advantage of free trials and open-source software to reduce your spending. 

5. Communication Tools 

Remote work is the new business reality. Except it's not all that new. Work for home has been growing steadily for years. The difference now is that many businesses were forced to try it and discovered the benefits of WFH for the first time. 

Working from home or not, communication is the foundation of your business. Whether you go with Slack, Zoom, Google, or any other provider depends on your budget and goals. 

Once again, find ways to either cut expenses or at least get a reasonable value. For example, Google G Suite starts at $6.00/month. It includes not only Google Drive, but also email, video conferencing, automation, and other features. When you go with a suite, you can save some money, so pay attention to deals like these. 

The Tech For Your Success 

The right technology makes the difference between your business being able to operate, compete, and scale or being left in the dust by your competitors. Do your research, and you'll be able to get the tools you need at a price you can afford.

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