Entrepreneurs face even more challenges creating successful ventures as the world becomes more high tech. From selecting the appropriate online venues to obtain the best ROI for marketing dollars, to stocking their business with useful technology, entrepreneurs must make daily technical decisions that will make or break a fledgling business.
Because today’s entrepreneur simply cannot ignore the impact and importance of technology in the process of developing a business idea, the intelligent entrepreneur will carefully select the technology that will benefit their business the most.
Ten techie tips for entrepreneurs include:
Consider Cloud-Based Applications on Which to Build Your Business
Cloud-based applications are applications that are offered over the Internet to business users for a fee. Many cloud-based applications are available that utilize the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This model enables a business to access sophisticated products without major investments in hardware and software. Let’s assume the entrepreneur needs an effective customer relationship management (CRM) application. Their choices even 10 years ago were limited to purchasing a complicated software suite, installing the application on a server and training users to use the product. In todays’ cloud-based world, CRM packages are offered that allow entrepreneurs to offer the same benefits of an expensive stand-alone package to employees, only these SaaS application live in the cloud and may be accessed through a simple web browser on any device.
The entrepreneur may supply thin client devices to employees instead of full-blown workstations to access cloud-based applications. The business saves money not only through the SaaS application offering, but on hardware for the workforce.
Enable the Workforce to be Mobile
Build your business around the concept of mobility. Mobility allows employees to work from any location at any time. Gone are the days when employees were tethered to their computers at a desk in the office. With smartphones, tablets and laptops, employees are able to work from anywhere and at anytime, increasing productivity and profits.
Cloud-based applications enable employees to perform their job functions from any location and on any device. Cloud-based applications are becoming more and more diverse, with cloud offerings for email, data storage, business applications and even network performance management suites. Cloud-based applications support mobility of the workforce.
Before Purchasing Traditional Software Applications, Research the Cloud-Based Options
Most applications are now offered via a cloud-based model. Business save money by utilizing applications in the cloud. In addition, the thin client, smartphone or tablet is the only hardware required by workers to access cloud-based applications. Never assume that a cloud-based, SaaS version of the software required for the business is not available Research the cloud-based options for every business application.
Use Technology to Its Fullest to Market Your Brand
Social networks are a popular and easy way to promote a brand. Entrepreneurs may want to start with one platform to test the waters. Once one platform is mastered, the business owner may seek to move to additional platforms to promote the brand. For example, create a Facebook business page. Master the techniques and strategies for brand marketing on the platform. Once the business owner has mastered brand marketing on Facebook, move on to Twitter and explore the possibilities with this social network.
Master the Art of SEO
The business’ online presence is extremely important. Master the art of Search Engine Optimization so that the brand is easily found in search engine results. Many marketing firms specialize in getting businesses ranked high in search engine results. Solicit the advice of professionals to establish and promote the brand’s online presence.
Master the Art of Content Creation
Once the businesses’ website is optimized and live, master the art of content creation to keep the site ranking high with the major search engines. Brand sites that offer regular and relevant expert blogs and useful articles rank higher in search engine results than brand sites that are static and rarely publish new content. In addition to higher search engine rankings, customers appreciate how-to articles, tips and tricks that are relevant to the brand.
Utilize the Press Release to Its Full Potential to Promote the Brand
Hopefully, the entrepreneur is entering the venture with a new and better product than is currently offered. Press releases generate buzz with those who will promote the brand without compensation, such as bloggers and reporters. In addition, sites such as PRWeb.com enable brand managers and evangelists to publish press releases that draw attention. PRWeb also offers several helpful posts and articles about creating press releases that get attention. Utilize well written and attention-getting press releases to generate a buzz about the brand.
First, create a template using the standard press release format that will be used for all press releases for the business. Write a boilerplate about the company and place the text in the appropriate location in the press release template. Include the website address, physical address and any other important information about the company. Always use the standard, industry accepted format for creating company press releases.
Manage the Brand’s Online Reputation
Online reputation management is becoming increasingly more important. Customers review products and services, and these reviews garner attention from potential customers. Positive reviews carry more weight than advertising efforts, in most cases. However, negative reviews may have a very harmful effect on the brand, especially for business that are just starting up. Manage the brand’s online reputation in a proactive way. Perform Google searches every day using the brand name as a search term. If a negative review or social media comment is found, address the concerns of the poster right away. Court the poster by offering them special consideration in some way. Those who post negative comments and reviews may be converted to dedicated brand evangelists with some effort and personalized attention.
Master Analytic Tools for Brand Management and Online Reputation Management
Google Analytics is a free tool that provides the user with a wealth of information about the traffic to the brand site. Other tools help brand managers monitor online conversations about the product. Twendz is a tool that monitors Twitter posts that are positive, negative or neutral, about a product or service. Blogging tools, such as Technorati, help the brand manager to take the temperature of the brand across blogs. You can find more information about Dell Thin Client solutions here.
Utilize Mobile Marketing Strategies to Promote the Brand
Mobile marketing is an inexpensive way to reach current and potential customers. Because individuals carry their smartphones with them at all times, the potential for reaching customers through mobile marketing is great. Mobile marketing allows business owners to promote just about any product or service.
Today’s entrepreneur must integrate current technologies in all aspects of a fledgling business. Not only will technology provide ways for the entrepreneur to save money, the business is also perceived as being “in touch with the current times” when technology is utilized to build the business and promote the brand.