15 Essential Resources Every Startup Needs to Flourish

They’ll elevate your business to success.

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Essential resources every startup needs

Creating a startup is a great opportunity to put your passion to work and be a small business owner. If your idea is good enough and brings something new to the table, then your startup could be the next big thing!

That said, startups need more than just a great idea to be successful. Budding entrepreneurs need to ensure their startup has certain resources in order for it to get off the ground and become truly successful.

This article discusses the top 15 essential resources every startup needs.

1. Accounting software

All startups need robust accounting tools to ensure that all financial information is being calculated and reported correctly from day one. Often, the cheapest and easiest way to get such processes started is through business tools like accounting software, programs that use automation (and sometimes AI) to undertake accounting tasks for busy entrepreneurs and their teams.

Having accounting software in place allows startups to add meaningful data to their business plan, manage their cash flow correctly, and make great business decisions that help them grow in the long term.

2. Customer support

Startups should have a dedicated customer support or feedback function in place from the first day they take on clients. Feedback from early adopters is essential for your products or services to be fine-tuned as your business grows, and a support line can engage with clients to respond to questions, concerns and inquiries — and, critically, to enable swift problem resolution.

This doesn’t need to be a dedicated team from day one; instead, it can be a startup employee who has customer service duties built into their workload.

3. Domain and website tools

It’s critical for startups to have their IT systems immediately in place for their business, including having website information and a domain set up. These resources are especially important, as they will provide the bedrock for marketing information, company updates, a careers site and, perhaps most importantly of all, a platform where you can sell your products or services.

Consider investing time and money in getting this right the first time; after all, your website and domain name is the all-important first impression people will have of your startup!

4. Initial funding

The saying “money makes the world go round” is especially important when applied to a startup.

Initial funding and a solid amount of capital facilitates future growth and the day-to-day purchase of products, stock and supplies that will enable the company to operate. Seed funding might also cover marketing, product development and initial salaries.

Initial funding might come from a variety of places, such as investors, venture capital, crowdfunding, lines of credit, business assistance, or even just personal savings or the sale of a previous company.

5. Insurance coverage

All businesses need fundamental insurance coverage, and startups are no exception. Very often, insurance is even more important due to the elevated levels of risk that inherently come with getting a new and untested business off the ground. Insurance can cover many different things, such as theft, damage to assets, acts of God (like natural disasters) and personal liability.

In the United States, any business with employees is legally required to have insurance covering workers’ compensation, disability and unemployment. General liability insurance is also a good option for all businesses to have.

6. Legal help

Legal help is essential to any startup. Again, this ties in with risk, that any business starting from scratch is open to many legal threats.

Having a legal representative or team on retainer will ensure that your startup is compliant with all applicable regulations, and that important paperwork such as contracts and terms of business are drawn up correctly. Legal support will ensure your startup is protected in terms of intellectual property claims, disputes over ownership, or services or monies owed.

7. Market research

It’s rarely advisable to embark on a startup journey without market research in place. Doing this risks your products and services being developed “blind”, and at considerable cost, without knowing if there is a market or audience for them.

Market research ensures you will understand customer needs, their preferences, and general trends in the industry that might shape your products and services. Having this research in place feeds directly into your sales and business strategy, supporting future success.

8. Marketing and branding

Establishing a marketing and branding strategy means that your startup is advertised and pitched towards its target audience. A clear and organized brand from the outset will help establish an identity and purpose to your startup, and pique potential customers’ interests.

A marketing strategy will include considering an advertising campaign, graphic design, promotional materials, social media strategy, attendance at trade shows and seminars, and sustaining community engagement to bring your startup and its brand to life.

9. Networking

Startup owners and employees must seek out and leverage networking opportunities to benefit the company. Networking opportunities can be found in industry conferences, connecting with chambers of commerce, social networking through websites like LinkedIn, and even just casual introductions.

The benefits of networking to startups include discovering learning opportunities or ways to work smarter, building relationships for long-term gain, sales leads, finding partnerships or collaboration opportunities, or even lucrative investment opportunities. Startup leaders should therefore instigate a culture of networking in their company to ensure these behaviors are sustained for the long term.

10. Policy and governance processes

In their early days, startups are chaotic places, as norms and processes gradually fall into place. Startups can therefore find synergy and competitive edge from establishing policies and procedures as soon as they can.

Having dedicated standard operating procedures in place from an early stage of the startup ensures consistency in operations, alignment with strategic principles like the vision or product development plan, and also helps to minimize legal risks.

Policies and governance processes evolve over time, so setting time aside regularly to review these periodically to ensure they’re still relevant for the startup is important to ensure the company remains competitive as it matures.

11. Sales channels

Startups need to have a robust sales and distribution strategy in place from the outset. This will probably tie in with having a fantastic website and a business development function in place.

Identifying channels will help your startup reach your target audience, and might include direct sales, partnerships or alliances, e-commerce, and wider matrixed sales networks. Decide on what works best for your startup, and don’t be afraid to tweak the strategy as your startup’s needs evolve over time.

12. Security

Startups must be security-minded at all times. Operating in dynamic and risky environments, startups are exposed to all kinds of security threats, such as data security breaches, cyber security, theft, accidents at work, protests, or terrorist attacks.

Investing in a risk management tool and creating safety processes is a surefire way to minimize security threats. This safeguards your assets, keeps your people safe, and ensures suppliers and customers are confident in the professionalism and safety of your operation.

13. Talent

When you create a business, talent is one of the most important resources a startup can possess. All startups are similar in that they will be selling a product or service; it’s the people that power these ideas that are the differentiators.

Startups should invest time and money in attracting top talent, offering benefits and packages to keep them loyal, and retain talent by developing their skills and careers. Leveraging the other resources in this list will mean startups will be regarded as employers of choice that will attract others to apply to work there.

14. Technology

Having a website and domain isn’t enough: startups need to invest considerable time and money in developing a well-rounded IT infrastructure. To ensure their products and services are being developed and sold effectively, startups also need tools like small business administration software, business intelligence programs and team collaboration software.

Technology resources will also include data storage and communication tools to ensure your business runs smoothly. Ensure technology is scalable and will be fit for use as your startup grows.

15. Workspace

Having the right workspace available for your startup means that your team will remain productive, creative and collaborate together on important projects.

In its early stages as a sole proprietorship, your startup won’t need much workspace. This might just be a coworking facility or shared offices. As it evolves, though, your startup might need additional office space or even locations in various countries. Ensure your startup workspace is modern, attractive and conducive to the business you operate.

Final thoughts

The goal of founding a startup is to get to the point where it’s so successful the term “startup” doesn’t apply to it anymore! This article has explored 15 essential resources that every startup needs and, of course, some, like investment and a website, are more immediately important than others.

Your role, as your business grows, is to ensure you prioritize the resources you urgently need and plan effectively for the ones that can wait. Getting every resource in place might seem like you’re being organized, but this might end up costing you more money in the short term, and you need your startup to naturally evolve so you can assess how these resources can be best used.

Get this balance right though, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success in no time at all.

Got any other ideas? We’d love to hear from you — just drop us a comment below!