What do start-ups really need to get off the ground?

Man pressing a start button

When you’re starting a business, capital is thin on the ground. It’s tempting to either cut corners or, on the other hand, to overspend to make a good impression on new customers. Before you get the credit card out, read these expert words of advice.

Timo Brower, managing director, Motorola Mobility ANZPI

What are the must-haves for small businesses starting out?
With SMBs making up 40 percent of Australia’s workforce, and over a quarter of Australia’s small business (11 percent) currently operating without a desktop PC, the future need is clear: mobile connectivity.

Productivity on the go harnesses an ‘always-on’ culture, and can substantially reduce overheads helping drive profitability. At Motorola Mobility, we understand mobility, after all we invented the mobile phone.  Our latest service innovations, like Webtop and MotoCast have made it easy for businesses to simultaneously surf the web, take calls and collaborate on a presentation. Running a full-version of Firefox and additional web-based applications literally turns your device into a home office.

What are the new products and services out there they may not have considered to make starting their business easier/cheaper/quicker?
SMBs are embracing technologies to increase levels of mobility, with one-in-five saying they are planning to introduce new products and services in order to grow. When combined with key apps like MOTOPRINT, which enables you to use your device to print from anywhere, your office is wherever you are. Our latest app service offering, MotoCast, allows SMBs to access their main PC wirelessly and stream their entire content straight to their device – it’s the ultimate mobile service.

What do startups neglect to invest in which they really should spend money on to help them in the long-term?
Technology. And when I say technology I mean smart technology and smart products; devices that can do the same as your average PC and more, wherever you need them. Almost half of SMBs say that computers and technology give them more control over their lives and our devices are designed to enable content access and sharing on the go, enhanced by enterprise grade security, allowing everyday business tasks to be completed at speed.

Chris Stallard, senior leader SME portfolio, Suncorp Commercial Insurance

What are the must-haves for small businesses starting out?
Small businesses should protect their assets (premises, equipment, motor vehicles, etc), which should be covered against fire, theft, storm damage and other hazards. This applies to intangibles like public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Public liability covers you against accidental damage to people and their property while they are on your premises.

Professional Indemnity covers businesses that offer advice, like financial advisors and architects. It protects you from lawsuits based on the advice you have offered in good faith.

What are the new products and services out there they may not have considered to make starting their business easier/cheaper/quicker?
Business owners with simple needs can arrange their insurance online. Others may need help and a discussion of options. Larger businesses can opt for the advice of an independent broker or advisor.

What are the most common mistakes you think start-ups make when it comes to choosing what to invest in? How can they avoid them?
Underinsurance is common. It is easy to underestimate the value of assets, especially as the business grows. Has the business added equipment or upgraded vehicles? Has turnover increased? Does it carry extra stock?

Current replacement costs should also be checked. Some owners try to save money on premiums but if they’re underinsured, their policies won’t pay them the right amounts.

What do startups neglect to invest in which they really should spend money on to help them in the long-term?
A protection that all small businesses need (but many neglect) is Business Interruption insurance. This covers you if your business can’t trade because of an insured event like a fire, burglary or storm damage. If a supplier can no longer supply you or access to your premises is prevented, your income could halt. But there are still bills to pay like rent, leases, salaries, suppliers – the list goes on. Business Interruption insurance helps meet your commitments when your business can’t trade. It is affordable and provides great protection. But only around 50 percent of small businesses have it. Statistics say 30 percent of businesses will fail without Business Interruption.

  • http://explainafide.com.au/ Robin Jennings

    Starting out you’re probably going to be struggling with juggling everything. Investigating & investing in good workflow programs will be essential when your business takes off.