2017 is a great year to launch a business. If you want to start a business, but you haven’t yet, take a moment right now and list the obstacles that are stopping you. There's a good chance that you have the ability to break through those barriers with the right knowledge.
Leading business blockers
A Gallup poll of those hoping to be entrepreneurs found that:
- 84% don’t want to lose the security of a reliable income stream
- 68% fear that their personal savings aren’t adequate yet
- 66% are very concerned about the high failure rate of new businesses
- 49% say they have a great idea, but they just don’t know where to start
Knocking down barriers
One out of every four people working in the US want to start their own companies, but something is in the way.
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) characterize the top three reasons standing in the way of new ventures. For many people, starting a business feels too much like putting their lives and their families’ futures on the line for the sake of a risky enterprise. It doesn't have to be that way.
If reasons like these are holding you back, it likely that the No. 1 tool you need is an entrepreneurial mindset. The risks are real and should not be underestimated, but every successful business owner has faced them down. This may take time and practice, but it is certainly within your control. You might even consider it as your patriotic duty because America runs on small businesses.
Running the business from your smartphone
On the other hand, if you are looking for now are the tools to turn your concept into a revenue source, you are already a business owner. Your company is simply stuck in the formation stage.
Your business could be up and running today, depending on what you want to offer the market.
Not all businesses require licenses, certifications, equipment, a physical location, a detailed business plan, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), etc.
If you do need those elements in place, your local chapter of the Small Business Association (SBA) can help you sort it out and start the ball rolling.
In the meantime, there are a few SMB apps covering business essentials that you will need whether you want to be a plumbing contractor, a coffee shop owner, a freelance accountant, or a travel blogger
Here are links to the most crucial components of business infrastructure, all downloadable SMB apps that you can run right from your smartphone.
Credit card reader
It’s hard to operate a business without taking credit cards, but you don’t need an expensive Point of Sale (POS) card reader. Download an app and order a card reader attachment from a system like Square. Your smartphone can suddenly become a cash register, card reader, lead generation tool and financial advisor. For many professional services businesses, all you really need is talent and a way to accept payment.
Businesses need to know exactly how much is coming in, how much is going out, and how close they are to running out of cash. Something like Wave is a useful because it is a streamlined business finance app specifically built for smaller businesses. Download this or something like to generate invoices, pay your employees, manage your scanned in receipts and produce the most common financial reports.
One of the hardest parts about running your own business is trying to find new customers and keep the existing one happy at the same time. A free app like Bitrix24 makes customer relationship management (CRM) easy for startups. You can keep track of leads, run an email marketing campaign, keep track of upcoming meetings, and use metrics to determine which actions lead to successful sales.
Business phone system
Choosing and installing a business phone system used to be a major headache, but you can’t just use your own personal line. Now downloading the Spoke app gives you instant access to an AI attendant to answer the phone when you’re not there, easy transferring, call routing to the first available employee, plus tons of other PBX-like features.
No More Delays
Tom Goodwin, now Head of Innovation at Zenith, observed, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”
What’s happening is that digitization has redefined what consumers value most. Businesses don’t just deliver goods and services anymore, now they deliver better experiences.
Time and simplicity are the new currency. The most valuable businesses simplify our lives and give us more time to do what we really want. Learn more about how Spoke simplifies life for small businesses on our FAQ page.