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How the Digital World Has Changed Startups - Brett Clawson - Blog

How the Digital World Has Changed Startups

Businesspeople today are so inculcated in the digital world they often do not realize the degree and the manner in which technology has not simply changed commerce but also greatly altered the way companies get started. Just 20 years ago, many businesses refused to have an internet presence, let alone put their sales online or have a website. 

Today it is virtually impossible to start up a new enterprise without a serious web presence. Those firms that have been around for more than 25 years had to catch up with the digital curve. Enterprises just coming into existence may not need a cash register but being able to conduct financial transactions over the net is an absolute must. Digital commerce is not just the latest trend. A major aspect of its prevalence is the series of benefits it offers today’s entrepreneur.

It Is Much Easier to Communicate

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Not very long ago, landline telephone services were the default form of business communication. Businesses invested in 800 numbers to hold down the cost of “long-distance,” which was usually defined as any phone number you were calling outside of your area code. Apart from the major telephone companies—who incidentally all went into either the cellphone or computer business—no one misses the high charges associated with long-distance. Business landlines do have limited usefulness, though they have largely been supplanted by various options enabled by broadband and the internet. Every startup quickly discovers the need for “voice over internet protocol,” a VoIP phone system for small business. VoIP provides every-distance quality phone calls not just from your office but from any location.

You Do Not Have to Pull the Team Together

Assembling workers for every stratum of your business startup in the past meant months of finding and readying an ideal geographical location and office structure before any real business could be conducted. Today, thanks to video conferencing, the whole team may not ever be in the same place at the same time. A recent Entrepreneur article described the essential elements of creating a remote working team:

  • For starters, you do still need a central office. There has to be a headquarters where all plans and reports are processed.
  • Plan the team before you select the team. There will be a certain type of person you want for each position.
  • Set standards. Workers perform much better when they know the expectations your business has of them.
  • Keep everybody talking. Just because you are not in the same room does not mean anybody gets to skip the regular conferences.

Build Your Structure in the Cloud

For several hundred years it has been said that functional businesses are built “from the ground up.” Today it is clear that to be successful, a company must be constructed “from the cloud down.” In describing the necessity of utilizing cloud-based products and procedures from the developmental stages of a startup, Forbes analyst Satta Sarmah Hightower wrote, “…when it comes to building their company’s IT infrastructure, founders can dramatically reduce their risks and accelerate the development process by using flexible, scalable cloud services.” Most business software is designed to be accessed in the cloud with the resulting data stored in the cloud. That intention is proper for every startup.

Take Care of Customers Digitally

The truism that senior adults dislike tech and refuse to do business on the net has gradually become passé as more older adults realize that commerce has gone online and if they want the latest and best consumer experiences, they must as well. Of course, younger generations have never known a time without the presence of the net. Entrepreneurs have learned as well that quick, accurate, secure customer service can be developed by using tools on the net.

Every startup faces an uphill struggle against established competitors. If there is one advantage your new business endeavor possesses today it is coming into existence with full knowledge of the available digital tools you have to help you build.

Publish Date: November 30, 2021 7:26 PM

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