So you’ve got a business idea and you’re ready to go. This post is just for you, we’ve collected a list of B2B services specialized in helping small businesses get off the ground, and most importantly, that can scale with you as you grow.
You’re probably trying to work out what you need and what you don’t – we know your budget is tight. What we’re presenting here are the basics, but we’ll give options when we can to suit your particular startup. We’re a strong believer in bringing in good help where possible, so that we can focus on providing value where we do best, rather than trying to manage things we’re not specialized in. We urge you to do the same for the sake of your business. Ask for help! Many businesses – us included – will be happy to lend a word of advice even without a sale (it makes us feel smart).
Fair warning though – we recommend ourselves a few times in this post. That’s because we believe in what we do, of course. The only reason we exist is to provide value to small businesses in Brisbane and make sure they succeed while being easier to manage.
Ok, here we go!
Legal & Accounting
The first things you’ll need are legal advice and to take steps to register your business entity and also things for a trading name, trademarks, and to be ready to collect and pay tax. We’ve got two options for you here.
If you want to do things the old-fashioned way, talking to people over a desk, get in touch with Vault Group. They have a range of experience helping small businesses get up and running.
If you’re fine with pressing a few buttons to get things done, you can’t go past Lawpath. This is an all-in-one service that will not only guide you through what you need to do but do most of the legwork for you. That’s an affiliate link so we get a little something if you sign up, but we’ve been using this service for some of our simpler needs ourselves and can vouch for its value.
Once you’re set up, you’ll need and bookkeeping tool. We use Xero and we know it plays well with the other things we use which we’ll introduce below.
While you’re waiting for all that, and before you bother your neighbor’s kid for a website (that’s a joke, you’re not going to do that), you’ll need to think about your brand. Doing this is like spending time to make sure your rocket is not pointed at a nearby wall before lighting the fuse. Without a defined brand, everyone you work with will be going off their own gut feeling, and you’ll have to spend half your life correcting them.
Luckily we can help you, with our specially adapted delivery of the CORE Discovery framework. We’ve taken what works for larger companies and boiled it down to something achievable for small businesses. Hit us up!
Website & Marketing
Once you’ve got your brand you can go ahead and develop your website and marketing plan. These things are a lot easier now that you’ve got your visuals and messaging already worked out during the branding process. We have a great marketing team who would be thrilled to help you put your digital marketing plan together.
We love WordPress for small business websites unless you’re planning on running an eCommerce shop in which case we’d probably want to know how you will be shipping before we make a recommendation. Good options are Shopify, Squarespace, and Prestashop.
Signage & Printing
eg.design are located on the Sunshine Coast but they always deliver the same prompt excellence to Brisbane customers as well. eg handle all our signage needs and can do the design in-house if you need.
If you’d like to try digital signage, check out our signage subsite. Digital signage is a great option when you need to capture that valuable foot traffic.
Business Phone System
Again, this is something we can help with. We’ll keep it short here, but you’ll need to think about what exactly you’ll need. Will you have people on hand to answer calls 24/7? How will you handle excess callers? We sell Telstra TIPT which is their cloud-hosted phone system solution, which works out to be a really cost-effective and easy phone system. The most simple use case is to have a single 1300 number going through your mobile phone. That can be scaled all the way up to a national call centre with an office in every state (and anything in between of course). And why not? Think big!
Workwear & Safety Gear
All Purpose Workwear & Safety are our go-to for our polo shirts, jackets, caps (even Covid masks when required). Tracey and her team are always a real pleasure to deal with. They have such a huge range and can get your logo onto anything at all. Just look how great Ben and Nat look(!)…
You can’t go past Microsoft’s 365 suite of productivity apps and collaboration tools. We’ve been using this, especially Teams, to transform our business, go paperless, and maintain continuity throughout Covid lockdowns. Talk to us about integrating Microsoft Teams Calling into your phone system. We help much business off the ground with M365, and if you have more than a few licenses to set up you might like our help.
M365 can be extended to support video conferencing and remote collaboration with Microsoft Teams Rooms, which might require some extra hardware if you want to support a boardroom table.
The Office suite of apps is all available through the web as well as desktop/mobile with 365. This means all you need to do is log in and you’re right at home, on any device. We’re big believers in running a business from the cloud – it’s really a necessity these days and can save you thousands upon thousands in hardware and maintenance costs over the years – not to mention the peace of mind it brings.
Just make sure you get Microsoft 365 backed up as most SaaS products like M365 don’t do this by default. We have the right tools to make sure these products stand up to scrutiny.
You’ll need a CRM. We’ve been using ConnectWise, which is an extremely powerful and extensible piece of software that handles everything including agreements and billing to support tickets, time and calendaring, and of course customer relationship management as well. Talk to us if you think you’re CRM need will go beyond the basic, especially if you’re going to have customers with varying types of purchases and agreements, and extra especially if you’re going to be offering support.
Otherwise, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a good option because it will slip right into your 365 workflows, as well as possible integration with Telstra.
Computers and IT Support
How many computers will you need? Do you need laptops or will basic desktops do (desktops are generally cheaper for what you get, but you can’t lug them around)? Or even tablets? Another shameless plug: we’re a managed ICT services provider in Brisbane doing IT Support. We help businesses of all sizes with their computer, laptop, and mobile needs, and make sure all devices are well-protected against cybercrime threats. We do everything from provisioning, installation to maintenance and upgrades. Talk to us and let us take care of all that, so you focus on what really matters- your customers and staff (oh, not to mention having time for your family).
This is really our bread and butter and we have a huge range of IT Support and Management in our KeyCloud Suite of services. We’ll only suggest the ones you really need though!
On the chance, you need to build something, large or small, get in touch with CamPak. They’re right around the corner from us so we know they’re good people!
Last but not least…
Running a business is hard going but you’re not alone in it. Most of what you want to do has already been done and you can save a lot of time and money by learning from others. What’s more, most small business people are happy to share their lessons.
Join the Love Local Brisbane community on Linked In. We started this group specifically to share our knowledge and experience with you, no strings attached, so hit us up with anything you’re not sure about (we mean it). I’m sure you’ll be helping the next brave venturers in no time.
All the best with your new venture. Keep at it, but treat yourself kindly. You’re in it for the long run.