Entrepreneurs and business gurus talk a lot about the dedication and motivation you’re going to need to make your business fly – but they often miss talking about one important thing: Technology.
Historically, it’s been technology that changes the world – not hard work – so with that in mind, what kind of tech will you need to set yourself apart from the other companies that are launching in your sector?
To work it out, we’ve looked at the most common issues that startups face – and asked what kind of tech will help you find a way to avoid the issue…
1. – “Our Cash Flow Doesn’t Allow For Big Tech Spending”
Cashflow; it’s the killer phrase that’s been the downfall of many a promising startup – but what if we told you that the most forward-thinking tech companies are adapting so startups can get onboard, however sparse their cashflow might be?
It’s all about companies offering their product ‘as a service’ – that’s to say, an annual or monthly subscription that unlocks the product; rather than a one-off spend that gets you one license, a single development tool or a boxed piece of equipment.
No more licenses, no more equipment that’ll go out of date in 6 months – just an ever-evolving buy-in to services, platforms, and infrastructure that’s elsewhere – but servicing your business.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the most obvious route for startups to explore – as it offers you the latest applications on a ‘pay for only what you need basis’, meaning you pay a set amount each month, scaling up or down as needed – or as money allows.
It’s not just software that can be bought ‘as a service’ though, platforms and infrastructure can too, meaning the development tools or hardware you need to make your startup work can be unlocked at a fraction of the normal buy price.
2. – “It’s Hard To Get A Foothold In A Competitive Marketplace”
Unless you’ve created an entirely unique product that fixes a problem we didn’t know we have, then you’re going to have competition – and that competition has normally been around longer than you have.
This makes breaking into the marketplace difficult – but the good news is, there’s a popular medium that’s just not being harnessed to anywhere near its full potential…
Video. Even the most expertly-crafted words that the best copywriter can create don’t come close to conveying the same level of communication, emotion or product intricacy as a well-shot video – so make it part of your marketing campaign from the earliest stages of your startup coming to life.
The proof of the effectiveness is in the figures; 80% of people can recall a video advertisement or piece of content they’ve watched in the last 30 days.
It’s no coincidence that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other major social platforms now auto-play video with sound as standard. Your customers love video – even if they think they don’t.
Separate your sales, marketing, service and product demos from the rest by shooting and managing video with a system like Vimeo for Business. You’ll stand out above anyone who’s still relying on words and pictures.
3. – “Expanding Into New Premises Is Costly And Time-Consuming”
If things go to plan, there’s going to be a time when your startup moves from its modest beginnings into a larger space, allowing for increased staff, equipment, meeting opportunities, recruitment possibilities – and much more.
This is a really significant time for your business – not least financially – the disruption involved with moving an established business can be huge, especially for your IT equipment and network…
Your network might look fairly ‘moveable’ at an early stage in your company development – but actually, the most vital part, the circuit that connects you to the outside world, represents a massively time-consuming task when you need to up and move.
In fact, delivery times can be up to 90 days (and even that lengthy target is often missed – even by the big installation companies) – so unless you put your business on hold for 3 months, you might want to look at 4G WAN as a tech workaround.
A good 4G WAN provider can get your new site up and running in a matter of days – and the way that a 4G WAN router bonds the connection from multiple 4G SIMs means you’ve got enterprise level connection and robust security – without any of the work involved with an install.
If 4G WAN sounds like it’s the ideal way for you to move or expand, this article gives you a detailed list of questions to ask any potential provider.
4. – “It’s Hard To Maximize Opportunities When You’re Small”
Starting outputs you up against established businesses that often have established processes for their sales, service and other customer interaction. In this landscape, you’re often playing catch up – hoping to do enough with your limited resources to keep up.
In actual fact, being small and coordinated gives you an enormous upper hand when it comes to communicating with your customers. You just need to make sure you’ve got the right systems in place to ensure you’ve made the most of every opportunity.
The best way of removing chance from your customer communication success is to have a CRM (customer relationship management) system – and a cloud-based one is even better.
Modern CRM systems like Salesforce, can be adjusted to suit your needs exactly – meaning that from the moment a customer submits some kind of detail, you can see exactly where they’re at in your buying process – and never missing an opportunity to deal with them accordingly.
The figures backing up the use of CRM as nothing short of astonishing either; based on an extensive study by a customer experience think-tank in 2017, a CRM system can see conversion rates increase by up to 300%, prospect production cost is dropped by over 20% and 47% of customer service experiences were more positive.
The key is to have a one glance log of where your customer is, what they’re experiencing and how you can best support them. When your CRM is cloud-based, this information is at the fingertips of all your staff all of the time – a unified front when it comes to delivering an excellent service and maximizing every opportunity.
If you are interested in even more technology-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.