If you want to start a business this is the best of times to do so. The costs of running a business have plummeted, largely due to the Internet and technological advances. What follows is an explanation of why this is a fact and why starting a business is within the reach of more people today than ever before.
Marketing is a key element for success in any business enterprise. Products and services don’t sell themselves. The product or service of a business must be brought to the attention of the buying public. This was once the purview of advertising agencies, the “Mad Men” if you will. Their services did not come cheap and only large, established companies could afford them.
Today, things are very different, thanks to the Internet. This is the age in which a YouTube video can go viral and make a new company, product or service an overnight sensation. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter can be the marketing arm of even the smallest enterprise. Best of all, it is practically free. It costs you nothing but the time necessary to put up a page or pound out a “tweet”.
Many of the applications you need to operate an Internet business are free. Microsoft, for example, offers free versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the cloud; more on the cloud later. Many tech entrepreneurs start their business on another business platform, with their blessing! Think Instagram for example. Companies like Google and Apple encourage developers to create software that can be sold through these companies and others, creating business opportunities for thousands of would be entrepreneurs.
With the advent of cloud and cloud computing, the expense of acquiring servers and the space to house and maintain them has disappeared from the landscape. Using cloud computing is incredibly cost effective and even the largest corporations are segueing into cloud computing. They can virtually eliminate IT departments, servers and other expensive support infrastructure to the cloud which saves larger firms millions of dollars and opens the door to smaller firms for affordable technology. I worked in IT for one of the largest invoice factoring companies in the U.S. and when they moved to the cloud my position was eliminated. No hard feelings though. Because of the things I’m telling you here, I have my own business!
At the risk of sounding callous, with unemployment at the level it is in the U.S., labor is cheap. More than that, there is tremendous talent out there going to seed. Now is the time to grab that talent cheaply and enlist them to help you grow your business.
Thanks to the Internet and cloud computing, you real don’t need a brick and mortar facility from which to run your business. If you have a spare room, space in the garage or basement, you are all set. Employees—hello Skype, Basecamp, GoToMeeting and a host of other software options that makes building a virtual team a snap.