For many individuals, whether fresh out of university or following years of slogging away in a corporate office, entrepreneurship holds a strong appeal. It allows those who pursue it greater freedom, increased flexibility, and even perhaps the chance to hit the big time as ‘the next big thing’. But the road to successful entrepreneurship is also lined with pitfalls and hurdles that can make things difficult, slow your growth, and if not handled carefully, even stop your fledgling start-up business dead in its tracks.
These hurdles can take on many forms, and there are equally many different things that you can do to successfully navigate them or avoid them entirely. For the purposes of this post though, we’ll focus on those issues relating to technology, and the technological solutions that you can use to ensure that they do not become more significant problems or barriers in your way.
Barrier #1 – The cost of deploying software in a growing organisation
A specific piece of software can bring many benefits to an organisation, whether those are the benefits you are then able to provide to your customers, significant boosts in your overall productivity or anything else. But it also places a burden on your startup – the cost of purchasing or running it. There are a number of different types of license, and as your organisation is likely to grow in the first few years, you should consider the increased number of users you may require when choosing a licensing option. Some of the most common types of licence are as follows:
- Single license – This will allow you to install the software on just one machine. This may be suitable if only one person requires access to the software, but this may make it more costly to scale-up at a later date. Multiple single licenses can be purchased of course, but this is unlikely to be the most cost-effective solution.
- Volume license – A volume license will enable you to install the software on multiple machines, up to a specific maximum number. This can usually be adjusted as your team and your software needs grow.
- Perpetual license – This may apply to either of the above, and once purchased you will generally be able to use the software indefinitely.
- Subscription licence – In contrast to the above, this kind of license means that you will only be able to use the software for a limited time period, which can be regularly renewed if you so choose.
Solution: Consider the possible future of your company carefully when choosing what types of software license to buy. If your company grows as it you would like, would the licence you are thinking of purchasing provide the most cost-effective and efficient solution? It’s important to balance the needs of your start-up now with its potential growth by purchasing a flexible licensing solution.
Barrier #2 – The risk of digital security breaches
Although an increasingly digital world has many benefits for entrepreneurs, it also holds multiple risks, not least in the potential for the theft or loss of sensitive customer or proprietary data. Protecting yourself against those risks 100% may not always be possible, but it is imperative that you do everything you can to prevent data breaches, and with some industries and types of data, failure to do so may result in you incurring heavy financial penalties.
Solution: Protect sensitive data by encrypting it and applying a password to prevent unauthorised access. You can do this by storing your data in PDF format and using software such as Power PDF to encrypt and password protect it.
Barrier #3 – Learning curves/ training costs for software implementation
For a start-up business, the potentially low level of expertise in certain areas by your staff should not be considered an insignificant point. While some software solutions may be very powerful and versatile, if the learning curve is too high then you or your employees may struggle to use it in a productive manner while dealing with the many other tasks of running a new business.
Solution: Opt for software that is intuitive and user friendly, and which has a high-level of customer support available for when you get do get stuck.