Starting out in business is the real game

In the first of a new weekly column, join Jason Slater as he goes on an SMB voyage of discovery.

After more than 20 years managing information technology for other people I have taken a big step and left the rat race to start out on my own and after writing about technology in small business for nearly 10 years it's come time to start applying my own advice.

In this new, weekly column I will be talking about managing your own IT in a small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with the emphasis on getting the most out of your three key assets people, time and money.

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First off, who would have thought that there is so much complexity involved with starting up a small technology business in this day and age? Either that or perhaps I've had it a little too comfortable for a little too long. But one thing is for sure: there is still a lot of manual paper work involved.

So where to begin? Let's get the clich out of the way. "It all starts with a great idea." Actually, if you want to get anything done it all starts with the same question. No matter where I turn the first question is always"Can I hear your elevator pitch?"

We have been working on ours for a few weeks now. An elevator pitch is a short, and snappy, overview that explains what your business is all about something you could quickly tell someone if you are stuck in an lift for a few floors. Although if you have ever tried striking up a conversation with someone you don't know in a lift, you're likely to get strange looks and them getting off on the next floor, rather than handing you a cheque or asking to hear more.

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