Starting up a business is always fraught with difficulties, but these days, there are a huge range of technological solutions that can help you develop and grow quicker than ever.
Last week, US giant Salesforce revealed how its latest releases will allow businesses of all sizes to better deal with their customers and work not just harder, but smarter too.
So why should start-ups look to work with Salesforce?
"It's an interesting sort of contrast,” Sanj Bhayo, Salesforce SVP, commercial sales division, told ITProPortal.
“What we see is that a lot of small businesses are cloud-first...they have this advantage of managing their customers, with a platform like Salesforce, all in one place."
"That gives them huge competitive advantage over traditional companies that may be silo - the next level now is to be smarter."
Earlier this month, Salesforce revealed that it would be linking up with IBM to launch a platform that utilises both the former’s Einstein offering with the latter’s famous Watson AI service for something truly next-generation.
"With Einstein, we see the next stage of companies aggregating their data,” Bhayo says, “now we want to help them maximise and get the most out of it."
"AI is real now - but it would not have come apparent without the revolutions that we're seeing in cloud, social, mobile and IoT as well - the ability to connect all of that data and put it into one place and to make it available to you."
Salesforce sees Einstein as the layer that sits on top of all your company's data, hopefully allowing you to be smarter and more effective with what you already have.
And Bhayo states that Einstein can help small businesses "to go faster and to go bigger", allowing companies with 30+ employees to be able to easily service thousands of customers.
"I think it's awesome - it really opens up the doors of possibility,” he adds.
"You think about Watson analysing all that unstructured data that exists in the world...and then Salesforce using Einstein to analyse all the trends and patterns in your structured data - by combining that, the possibilities are infinite."
Perhaps all this is not too surprising, though, as Bhyo notes that Salesforce actually started as a platform for SMBs, offering the ability for small companies to quickly and easily adopt cloud technology in order to get ahead of the competition.
"We still see this today,” he says, “companies look to Salesforce to be their platform to manage their customers, employees and their partners - because it's simple, easy to use, and it provides that scale that allows them to focus on doing the right things and keep the lights on"
“Instead of focusing on servers and making upgrades, they can focus on innovating."