Here is a breakdown of some of the most crucial gadgets, apps and other tech suggestions that you should be using in your startup right now if you want to consider yourself decently, securely tech savvy and efficiency minded. We cover organizational tools, communications solutions and also some rock solid security tools that you can use to keep your important business info safe from prying eyes and thieves
- 1 1. iPad (Or any high end tablet)
- 2 2. Smart Phone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Note, etc)
- 3 3. Video Calling Software (Skype ooVoo for mobile and for PC/Laptop)
- 4 4. Cloud Storage (Drop Box, SpiderOak, Google Drive)
- 5 5. Data Encryption Software (TrueCrypt)
- 6 6. A Real Website
- 7 7. HD Web Cameras
- 8 8. Social Media Accounts
- 9 9. Payment Processing System
- 10 10. Portable Hard Drives
1. iPad (Or any high end tablet)
The iPad 2, 3 or 4 (if you really want to splurge) represents some of the finest mobile device technology in the world today. This awesome device is more than just a toy, it’s also a nearly indispensable business tool whose access to hundreds of thousands of apps, software, video and photo taking ability will gave you an organizational edge that is truly hard to beat with anything else including a smart phone or an overly clunky laptop.
If you’re not up for buying an iPad for whatever reason, prefer Android’s larger selection apps or maybe want to go for something ever so slightly cheaper, then go for some of the iPads rivals such as the Galaxy Tab from Samsung or tablets available from Sony, LG or even Google.
2. Smart Phone (iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Note, etc)
Moving down from the tablet, there is its smaller cousin the smart phone. Far from the cell phones of recent years or any time before that, smart phones are basically pocket sized computers that give you access to an enormous trove of digital apps, resources scheduling, organizing and financial planning tools. Of course, you can also use them to communicate with your coworkers, partners and clients. Best of all however, this communication itself doesn’t have to be as simple as tecxt messages or direct calling anymore. Instead, opt for free, versatile options like a free video conferencing app or WhatsApp and Facebook mobile for messaging.
There’s no better way to stay in touch with your startup partners on the go than through a handy, well equipped smart phone.
3. Video Calling Software (Skype ooVoo for mobile and for PC/Laptop)
Forget massively expensive video conferencing solutions and forget the old route of phone calls and email (except where necessary). Instead opt for a nice and easy to learn video conferencing and video calling solution like Skype or some of its bigger competitors for your communications needs. With Skype, you can have multi-person conference calls with employees and partners, talk face-to-face with your clients regardless of where they live and even design a work environment in which less and less needs to be done in person and in an office. InterCall also has a great business to business platform as well.
4. Cloud Storage (Drop Box, SpiderOak, Google Drive)
Cloud storage is an absolute must for any decentralized startup whose owners are often travelling around and sometimes even living in totally different parts of the country or world. Whichever solution you choose, make sure it can easily sync across all your devices, offers solid security and has no problems with the upload or download of large files.
With cloud storage, you can share information, spread out work assignments and coordinate even internationally if need be to quickly finish and move ahead the business projects that are always going to be on your company’s plate.
If you’re worried about the security of proprietary information, remember to encrypt it in advance and also go for the double protection of an encrypted cloud storage provider that themselves doesn’t have access to your stored data.
5. Data Encryption Software (TrueCrypt)
Your startup is probably dealing with valuable proprietary information that you don’t want to see exposed to public viewing or possibly even stolen or lost if a company computer is misplaced. Because of this and because almost everyone at least has financial data that they want to keep secure, you absolutely need to implement and learn the ropes of strong, reliable stored data encryption.
With a well-engineered, highly flexible and highly secure program such as TrueCrypt, which uses open source encryption for the sake maximum confidence in their abilities, you can unbreakably encode either your entire hard drive or individual files on any one of your electronic devices. Also, securely sending the information you want to keep private is as simple as mailing encrypted files to another computer that also has TrueCrypt running and accessing it there with your original password.
Best of all, TrueCrypt is completely free to use as much as you want.
6. A Real Website
“Really?” You’re probably asking yourself, “Isn’t this obvious?”. Well the answer is, surprisingly, no. A remarkable amount of young, newly begun startups never bother to actually buy a domain, buy some hosting and use both to set up a real 100% privately owned website of their own. Instead they often either build nothing or simply put up a social media page. Neither of these is a decent substitute to running your own completely independently hosted site. Having one gives you a degree of design freedom and discretion that nothing else matches.
Furthermore, you need your own site because it will represent one of the best possible places you’ll ever have in which to present your business, it’s services, products and mission to both potential customers and possible investors.
7. HD Web Cameras
For those vitally important product presentations and business meetings with both clients and investors, you need to present an image of yourself that’s as professional and clear as possible. If you want to achieve this effect, an HD web camera is a must.
Not only can one of these present your face to video conference viewers more clearly, it can also take in the entire room behind you as well as anything else you’re trying to demonstrate and render them all with usually excellent clarity. Microsoft, HP and Logitech all make some fairly well regarded HD cams.
8. Social Media Accounts
With over 1 billion of the world’s 2 billion internet users now hooked into at least one or two social networks, you can’t let your startup get left behind. Move as quickly as possible and at least register a social media handle under your business brand name in every social network. From there pick the top two that most appeal to your target customer base and get your startups presence established firmly.
Obviously, you’re going to use your social networking platforms as a source of business promotion but please bear in mind that they also aren’t the same as classical advertising and will give you their best long term sales results through the development of a genuinely interested group of followers that want to visit and share your startup’s page to their own friends.
9. Payment Processing System
As a general rule, you shouldn’t hold your breath for the prospect of any massive and sudden VC funding that will propel your startup into stardom. Instead, your focus should be on making your business as profitable as possible as soon as possible through the basic lifeblood or regular sales to actual customers.
Pulling this off means making those sales as easy to process as possible. Thus, get that payment processor and shopping cart combo up and running on both your website and through your mobile phone if possible. The web option can be handles nicely either with a banking merchand account for credit card processing or through PayPal; while the mobile option can work with an assortment of online apps.
10. Portable Hard Drives
You can never be sure when your office might burn to the ground, your cloud storage providers servers fail or when your computers will simply crash. In order to avoid the enormous cost of losing all your data through any of these, your simplest solution is to simply buy a couple of large capacity portable hard drives and back up all your most essential date right to them. Naturally, you should also encrypt this information and make sure you keep the HDs in a really safe place.