Starting a new Business in Ontario? This is the technology you will need in order to get everything up and running properly.
Do you have a great business idea, well every business starts off with an idea. There are many resources and seminars are available through many Government programs including this great checklist. So now that you have a plan, you need to get all your IT and technology in place with the setup of a new office.
Here is a checklist of the technology you will need.
Plan the location Prior to committing to rent or lease, verify the area has all the services you require and stable power also. You can do this by asking local businesses or even service providers. Some times one block can make a huge difference.
Network Drops: If you are setting up a new location with new cabling, you should account for one Ethernet cable for every desktops and one for each VoIP phones. If you are reusing existing cabling, you can use one cable for both however you should ensure your phones are capable of it. Also all Ethernet network drops need to terminate into a patch panel with all cables being identified.
Network Switch: You will need a network switch is required to connect all your network drops at the patch panel. You may need a managed network switch with Quality of service (QoS) to control performance of the VoIP and computer network.
Business Class Firewall: A firewall is a security appliance that acts as the gateway of your network and your first line of defence. It controls the entire flow of inbound and outbound traffic as well as how to keep your network secure. You should look business class protection that proactively stops cybercriminals with an active security such as anti-virus, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, content URL filtering and application control.
Internet: obviously you will need internet connectivity and you will have many options depending on your needs including ADSL, cable, wireless and dedicated fibre. You may need to request a static IP address depending on your needs such as if you need specific services to be easily accessible on the internet. Some good options in Toronto include Beanfield, Rogers, Bell and other wireless internet carriers.
Business Class Computers: You would need business class laptops and/or desktops for each employee. Consumer grade systems are not the same as business class. It is better to spend a few extra dollars now as the ROI in the long run will work out better.
Business Email: Every business requires email for communication and of course it should be from your company domain to keep it professional. You can easily set this up with hosting providers such as Microsoft 365 or Google Apps for Business. Here is a good article to compare the two different cloud offerings, Google for Work vs. Microsoft Microsoft 365: A comparison of cloud tools.
Company Website: A small business website is essential for success and there are many options. To start off, you can use a simple website such as WIX or WordPress to describe your business in a few pages. Once your business gains some traction you can invest in a web design company to work on your branding, SEO, backlinks and online presence.
Server: If you are going to own a small business, you are certainly going to have a small business server. As your company grows, there will be a need for a server in-house or in the cloud on Microsoft Azure. The server acts as a secure host for all your data including files, email, accounting applications, and CRM and ERP systems.