6 Basic Resources Every Startup Needs

Certain basic resources are needed by all smaller and even larger businesses; the extent to which they have them will often determine how successful they are.

What are these key resources?


A finite resource in that you can’t replace time once it’s gone, and poor use of it can affect productivity and ultimately the bottom line.

These days business generally is blessed with much time saving tech such as automated systems making everyday tasks such as payroll and accounting quicker and easier, but in other ways valuable time can easily be wasted.

In smaller businesses – with a modest workforce - misuse of anyone’s time is a huge waste of a resource so efforts to make the best use of each person’s work time is vital.

Good organizational systems and workflows are important, while inefficient communication - such as having too many ad-hoc meetings and long winded email threads - can eat into time.

Managing people is important - managing time is maybe just as important.


Obviously a business needs money to function even if it’s borrowed in the early stages.

Costs to start even a modest and seemingly inexpensive enterprise soon mount up, so enough money to kick things off and gain some momentum is vital or a business could founder even before it’s begun.

Realistic planning of what the business will cost to set up and run for a while before money starts coming in is paramount as this will inform how funds will be found. Will it come from the founders’ own pockets? Will a benefactor or investor be approached? Will a line of credit from a bank or other financial institution be needed?

Careful money management is important to keep control of outgoings.


Staff or contractors able to meet the demands of the business - in terms of being knowledgeable and skilled, and possessing suitable personalities for working in a small business environment - are vital for success.

Finding and hiring the right people is an important process; get it wrong and it can be very time consuming, inefficient and costly.

Emotional support

Starting a small business and running it is stressful and can completely take over the life of the owner and certain key staff members, so having some type of support is important.

This may take the form of sympathetic family and friends; maybe a network of others in a similar position such as small business clubs or online forum members; mentors or a professional group related to the business’ particular industry.

Physical resources

Even a simple business run from home requires certain physical resources to operate properly and enable people to do their jobs without distractions and wasted time through battling with inadequate facilities.

Something as simple as a sturdy, roomy desk as opposed to working on the edge of a rickety countertop can make life considerably easier - and why not be a bit creative and give the space some personality? It needn’t be expensive and can be money well spent bearing in mind people spend many hours in their small business work area.

Room to grow is helpful; for example, rather than cramming increasing volumes of paperwork into a solitary filing cabinet, it helps if there’s room to house one or two more so making files and paperwork easier to access.

Modern tech that can comfortably do the job asked of it, such as computers with enough power to run design packages without slowing down or crashing, will enable work to be done efficiently without the tools ‘getting in the way’.

Essentials and desirables

The above are essential resources and not luxuries; for example, a lot of money can be spent on tech that may not be used to its full potential, but reliable equipment that’s up to the task is a vital resource.

Once the basics are in place then more desirable resources can be looked into such as perhaps a newer, larger premises if things are growing and maybe diversifying into different marketing methods even if there’s a cost implication.

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Sandile Shabangu

148 Startup Blog posts