Setting up businesses isn’t just something that high-flying entrepreneurs do. It’s also something that regular mums can do right now, from the comfort of their homes.
The reason for this is simple: setting up a business has never been easier. The hurdles you have to jump through today are significantly lower than what they were in the past, thanks to changes in technology, better formation services, and improved regulations.
Let’s take a look at some of them now.
Get Quick Updates On Customer Feedback
Customers rarely tell you what they think about your products and services to your face, particularly if you are a small business and what they have to say is negative. However, they will jump at the opportunity to post reviews online.
Trawling through multiple review sites to see what customers are saying about your brand is time-consuming. However, thanks to Google alerts, you can get updates in real-time, whenever anyone posts. Communications are sent to your email, allowing you to address customer complaints directly (or at least know what you are doing wrong).
Target Your Customers By Location
Thanks to digital technology, it is now possible to target customers by location. This means that you can direct all your marketing efforts in a specific area, without wasting money reaching out to people who will never buy your products or services.
Practically all major platforms allow location-based targeting, including both Google and Facebook. For instance, if customers are geo-located on Google or they type in a local keyword, then it will display relevant products and services from the local area, plus ads.
What’s great about geo-targeting is that it lets you track your audience. You can see precisely where customers are coming from and how much you are having to spend on advertising for each sale.
Apps Now Let You Do Pretty Much Anything
In the past, you needed an experienced development team if you wanted to bring a new app to market. It would take designers weeks and cost thousands of dollars.
But things are changing. These days, it is actually possible to build apps from templates, similar to website builders. You don’t need a huge amount of coding experience, and the end-result will do almost anything you like, such as give your customers a bespoke experience.
There are also thousands of apps already out there on the market that do the things that you can’t do in-house. For instance, simple meeting software allows you to conduct board meetings and interactive training.
You can also use apps to make taking payments simpler. For instance, apps now allow phones to become credit cards. And services, like Google Wallet, allow people to pay with their phones and businesses to offer loyalty programs.
Getting All The Company Legals Sorted Is Easy
For those just starting out in business, it’s critical to find the perfect package to form your limited company. However, these days, that’s easier than ever before.
The reason is simple: you can now outsource the process. Your job is to choose the type of company legal structure you want, and then a third-party will take care of all the administration for you.
You can also get other legal tasks done for you, such as insurance and indemnities, if required. This way, you know that you are covered.
There Are Virtual Assistants Galore
Hiring an executive assistant in the past was expensive. Founders often had to pay full wages to employ someone to help them full-time.
However, with the advent of virtual assistants, scheduling your time is now much easier. Many, including Google’s, will automatically fill your calendar for you when they detect times and dates in your email. You can also verbally instruct assistants to carry out a range of tasks as well and provide you with information.
Making Prototypes Is Much Cheaper Than In The Past
In the past, building a prototype was notoriously expensive. You had to create separate moulds and then perform a one-off production run. However, there are now two low-cost ways around this.
The first is to create a digital model of the product that you want to create. Developers can then subject it to simulations of the real-world, showing you what might happen under various circumstances.
The other option is to use the vast network of prototyping specialists around the world. Many of these firms use 3D printing instead of conventional methods, which is much lower-cost. You can whip up plastic models of what your product will look like in a matter of days, not weeks or months.
Outsourcing HR Is Now Possible
Imagine if you could employ people but never have to worry about wages, taxes, benefits, or holidays. Well, with outsourced HR, that’s now possible. What’s more, it is increasingly being tailored to small businesses.
Suppose, for instance, that you’re running a business from home but you want to take on a remote worker to improve your productivity. Traditionally, you would have to manage their employment yourself, but with HR outsourcing that’s no longer the case.
Going with outsourced HR is beneficial for a number of reasons. It can save time and money, and it can make sure that you do not fall foul of the law. HR specialists know precisely how to deal with accounting and disputes, supporting you all the way.
How much HR support you get depends on the provider’s experience. Many offer simple services tailored to larger, low-skilled firms. However, there are those who operate at the higher end of the market.
The Cloud Is Ever-Present
Lastly, the cloud has been a major boon for new businesses. Instead of having to operate all your computer and server equipment in-house, you can simply outsource it and get someone else to take care of the backend for you.
The cloud could save you money in many ways, including storing, maintaining and backing up your data. It’s also a great way to work on the move, for instance, if you want to get out of the home office on a sunny day.