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Technology: The Edge Your Startup Needs

Creating a startup is a Herculean task that not many are up to tackling. Continuing the momentum and growing is even harder. Utilizing technology correctly will help your small business start to grow.

Improving Your Website

A key part of your website is the user interface – how the client or customer interacts with the site. A bad user interface could result in a bad user experience. A blog that looks like it was started in 1995 probably has a terrible user interface, and thus the client will have a terrible user experience. When a customer sees this, they will go back to their Google search, and skip to the next entry.

If you have a small budget, it is now easier than ever to build your own website. While nothing beats having a professional web developer create your site, it’s also not cheap if you want a job well done. But, you can get ideas for what to do with your site based on data.

Chances are, if you are selling a product, you will see a cart abandonment rate of about 70 percent. There are plenty of reasons. Perhaps it is because the customer needs to make an account before making their purchase. Maybe there is no way to see the running total of what they will spend for their cart. Your design choices could be the difference between a sale and a customer walking away.

How do you determine what needs to change? Once your website is active, you can use technology to collect data to analyze your audience and how they use your site. Are there items that are more popular? How long do they spend on specific pages? What is their mouse movement? Using this information, you can change your website to be easier to navigate, or even tailor marketing to individual users.

There are several more questions about your company and website you must ask yourself: Which is more important, revenue or conversions? Will you have a blog, and who will write it? Is there a target audience or demographic? Have you developed target marketing personas?

Personas

With these personas, you can create content aimed at a specific type of client. The company Wizards of the Coast produces “Magic: The Gathering,” a popular collectible card game. They market cards and blog posts to three primary personas: Timmy, Johnny, and Spike. Spike, the most competitive, enjoys winning above all, so their blog has an article on how to win in a specific style of tournament hosted at local game stores. Johnny and Timmy are interested more in the strategy of how they win. Articles on mechanics of the game and player psychology target these personas.

Now that the client-facing part of the website is squared away, it’s time to turn to the back end. You can look to SEO guru Rand Fishkin for tips on how to improve your code and appear higher in Google searches.

The internet can be used for more than just your website. If your business often requires using a phone, such as calling clients or dealing with suppliers or distributors, you will need a proper connection. That way, your employees can always be reached at the workplace — no matter if it’s the garage your startup still calls home, or your new office space. Your cell phone might only have a single signal bar wherever your business is based, which could result in cutting out and dropped calls. This causes frustration for both clients and employees, and could result in lost business. Instead consider using WiFi calling, which some companies offer free for their customers — check with your provider of choice.

It’s All in the Cloud

When it comes time to organize all those documents and pull from a client account, it is helpful to have all the information stored in the cloud. Imagine you are meeting a client for a business lunch, and he mentions that they are in the process of moving to a new building. You can update their account information on the spot, before finishing lunch. 

Your company can also use the cloud to safely store data off-site. A third party will ensure your data does not disappear in the event of a catastrophe, such as a break-in, hack, or even something as simple as a flood. Recovering data from the cloud is easy: just load the backup copy of the data. Storing data offsite is how the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency dealt with a ransomware attack. They went from being forced to let passengers ride free, to up and working as normal within a weekend in November 2016.

Finding New Employees

With a growing company comes the need for more employees. Gen Z is just about to graduate college, meaning the employee pool is about to shift. Did you know there are more people in Gen Z than there are millennials? Gen Z has an always-on mentality, which could also help reach millennials, as well, to a lesser degree. What does that mean for you?

Recruiting is no longer confined to traditional resume sites. Devote some time to targeting social media, as well. Gen Z multitasks with technology. They have a smartphone in one hand, surfing the internet and social media sites, while they watch TV.

A job posting on Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat will surprise you with responses. Remember that LinkedIn is a social media site (albeit for professionals) and recruiting advisers recommends utilizing social media. Because of this, a prospective employee from this generation will check out all social media platforms to determine your online presence. Does your company post photos to Instagram? Do they tweet customers? Answer questions on Facebook? To find resumes already online, you can use recruitment AI to collate potential employees that fit your criteria, making it simple to evaluate their potential before bringing them in for an interview.

Whether it’s retooling your website or marketing products and services based on analyzing data collected from the site, or recruiting new employees to staff your growing company, embracing and utilizing technology will give your startup an edge and help it evolve into a larger company.

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