Those of us who took the leap from corporate to our own business can remember exactly what those first handful of challenges were: cashflow, equipment, branding and clients. If you were strategic enough, you’d make sure you had enough of a nest-egg (ideally 3-6 mths salary) put aside to support you while you built your client base, or you’d even have a couple of clients ready to go.

Did you have to track down a graphic designer to organise a logo, letterhead, business cards, don’t forget the with-compliments slips? You didn’t really have a choice 10 years ago. I swear I didn’t engineer it, but I was living with a graphic designer the moment I started my first business – so I got the whole package gifted to me!

As far as equipment goes, you couldn’t get by without a computer and a phone, then you had the agonising decision of which ones to get – usually decided by ‘the best I can afford’ and sometimes decided by how much money your bank manager would lend you. My first computer cost $4000 in 1995! And my first mobile phone was the Nokia 8110 (remember the SLIDER banana phone?) which featured in the Matrix movie, and it cost around $1000.

Don’t even get me started on what happened when something broke down! Business came to a grinding halt, basically!

In 2016 can you imagine being tied to your desk, to your equipment, to your phone plugged into the wall socket???? We want to be connected in all sorts of places while on the go AND we want the latest technology while we do it.

Technology evolves like dog-years… it feels like seven years progress in just one year. Starting a business today, you’d be more likely to jump onto 99Designs, Elance and Canva to get your design sorted.

These days computers are completely affordable, in all shapes and sizes. Phones, however have made such giant leaps in features and technology they haven’t really changed in price much lately – if you want to buy one outright.

One of the coolest things Telstra offered in the past few years is New Phone Feeling. It was included in each of the plans I snapped up for my family.  It allows you to pay $149 if you want to upgrade your phone after 12 months. And yes, you have to sign up to a new 24 month contract too.

I have a handful of colleagues who challenge the notion of being on a plan, but when I ask them how long they’ve been with their chosen service provider, it’s usually years – so why not take up the benefits!?

Now Telstra has just introduced lease plans for business customers – it’s called My Business Mobile Lease and allows you to LEASE your phone rather than own it. After each 12 months, you can upgrade for $99 ($0 after 18 months), assuming the phone is in good working order and you sign up for another 24 month handset and service plan. The cost is a little more if you want to upgrade and you have a cracked screen, or you can pay the Business Lease Assure $10/mth and then a flat fee of $190 applies to upgrade at any time, regardless of damage.

And there’s no need to keep searching for wifi to get your work done from your phone either – the data and call allowances are huge and you get unlimited txt messages plus OneDrive and Office365 integration.

I’ve always been a huge fan of automation – I love storing my files ‘in the cloud’; subscription based software; those lights in shopping centre carparks to show you where the two spots are – why not automate your mobile phone equipment decisions too!

This is a sponsored post written for, and reviewed by, Telstra.

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