Top 3 IT infrastructure needs small business should consider before getting started

by Catherine Scaramuzzi

My job gives me the opportunity to talk to cloud users.  It’s not the typically talked about cloud career, but I feel I am participating in an exciting new era of technology with the added bonus of chatting it up with people about their passions turned careers.

I love these kinds of stories where people found their “thing.”Whenever I hear stories of these successful small businesses, what’s missing from the story are all the steps, bumps and wrong turns they took getting started.  All the little ins and outs they had to research — because the devil is in the details, and, luckily, he can be unmasked by Google.

The fabulous thing about the Internet is that there is endless information on steps to start a small business — like business plans, funding, and setting up a tax ID.  However, in this age of “even-the-hot-dog-vendor-on-the-corner” has a website, the lists often neglect information on how to set up IT infrastructure.  Having the privilege of working in technology, I have the benefit of understanding that in order to keep a passion, a small business must address technology needs and keep capital expenses at a minimum.

Because information starts the conversation, I have created an addendum to other “how to start a small business” lists.  Realizing this varies by business model, my short list for infrastructure needs assumes a non-IT passion raised to the next level and ready to be shared with the world:

1. Webpage

You’re going to need an IT as a Solution plan. You may not have the expertise yourself, but many online solutions have extensive tools and templates that can get you started quickly and economically with a webpage on a cloud server.  No upfront capital investment is required, just an affordable monthly expense.  Get it started and let someone else manage it while you do what you love to do.

2. Email Perceptions

Of course, it is cheaper to use a free email service like Gmail or Hotmail, but if perception of professionalism is high on your business model list, an email address reflecting your website should be considered as part of the package.

3. Backup plan

You’re just getting started, so the last thing often considered is plan B.  But IT issues are so much easier to deal with (especially when you are not tech savvy) when you have a back up plan and a disaster recovery plan mapped upfront. Don’t wait until a disaster strikes to prepare.