In recent months Quiss Technology has become a patron of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC), not just because they understand me and vice versa, but because I believe we have a lot to offer their members.

A key initiative of the BCCC is to help entrepreneurs get their businesses started. And experience tells us that the first steps in the life of a new business are the scariest and the time when most help is needed, if the business is not just going to survive, but succeed.

The Government has made many claims in support of the digital economy, saying that more tech companies are starting up here than anywhere else in Europe. They have also pledged to make the UK the European leader in innovation, patenting new ideas and setting up or expanding a business, all of which is good for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The problem remains that many of those that dream of establishing their own business are deterred by the necessary investment at the outset, seen by many as prohibitive; a situation made worse by the lack of high-street bank lending for start-ups.

In this digital, always-on, always connected world, few businesses can get started without investing in IT hardware and software. Although many in the workplace are computer literate, when they face the challenge of starting their own business, how many can set up their Microsoft Office account, email accounts, Skype for business, storage and back-up, let alone protect their system from cyber-criminals?

It’s why we have developed a unique IT package for start-ups, delivering what is truly essential without the new hardware and upfront costs that often ensure good businesses remain merely dreams. Many ambitious entrepreneurs will have the latest technology, laptop, tablet and Smartphone, but they will need support with the applications at the heart of their new business.

So we have assembled a simple package for small businesses and start-ups that includes:

  • Microsoft Office
    • Outlook – client to manage e-mail
    • Word
    • Excel
    • PowerPoint
    • OneNote
  • Skype For Business – For Video Conferencing requirements
  • Exchange Online – an entire e-mail system
  • SharePoint Online – Document Collaboration services
  • OneDrive – Online File Storage

Importantly for start-ups there is no up-front cost; no large initial outlay. The package is available for a small monthly cost of around £14 (+VAT), which is less than most mobile phone contracts these days.

We know every new business will need different things, but the package represents a great starting point and takes advantage of existing IT equipment, already owned by the entrepreneur.

Of course, some business start-ups are more than one-man, one-shed and might need more infrastructure and more applications to run the new venture, but again, we can help these ambitious start-ups avoid the large upfront costs associated with new computers and software licences.

Our Hosted Desktop Solution offers access to the same basic Microsoft Office applications, but combines them with a server environment to house third-party applications, like CRM Systems, Accountancy Packages, ERP Systems, etc. – whatever it takes to get the business off to a flying start.

We have tried to make pricing simple and easy to understand, starting at around £25 (+VAT) per user, which means Paul Allen and Bill Gates could have got Microsoft started for just £60 a month, as they probably wouldn’t have registered for VAT at the start!

Matt Rhodes, Commercial Services Manager, Quiss Technology