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Our Blog
Feb 14
2017

Africa Basics: Essential Tech Tips for Start-Ups

By zealousys

Sawubona Africa!

According to a McKinsey and Company report (2011), 90% of the start-ups fail in the first two-three years of business. This is mostly attributed to the following reasons:-

  1. Lack of right mindset
  2. Poor organizational skills
  3. Lack of effective business processes

How to overcome these hurdles? There is no set formula. Entrepreneurial success is dependent on many factors. Following are the points which successful entrepreneurial ventures have in common:-

  1. They make products/services which the market wants
  2. They do not ignore anything (Business process and Issues)
  3. The company grows fast
  4. Versatility => The ability to recover from changing markets, technologies etc.

[Courtesy: Forbes Online, Jan 2015]

Now other than identifying a problem to solve, start-ups also need a burning desire, persistence, and willingness to go beyond the comfort zone.  This takes care of the ‘right mindset’ issue.

What about improving the business process challenges and agility? Thanks to the technological innovations in the last decade, there are easier ways of improving the efficacy and efficiency of business processes:-

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing comes in many flavors. It has the power of drastically reducing costs for young businesses. Moreover, it liberates young companies from the hassle of purchasing and maintaining, hardware and physical infrastructure.

The various flavors of cloud computing (from a service model perspective) are:-

  • SaaS (Application)
  • PaaS (Platform)
  • IaaS (Infrastructure)

Following diagram illustrates the aforementioned cloud computing service models:-

Cloud_computing.svg

-Benefits:

  1. No cumbersome hardware and Infrastructure
  2. Easy access to information anytime/anywhere
  3. Enhanced security

Communication and Productivity

The strength of a business is directly proportional to how effectively the team can work/collaborate. In fact, better collaboration means improved productivity. Following are essential tools for streamlining day to day tasks in a team environment, especially crafted for start-ups:

ProductivityTools

Virtual Meetings

Video and chat technologies enable collaborators to hold meetings from anywhere and any device in the world. Here are some virtual meeting tools available in free and premium versions:

Virtual meeting tools: Hangouts, Skype, Slack, Appear.in

 

Marketing and Sales Architecture

Marketing-Architecture-Startups

This is the most vital element of start-ups’ technical mix. Depending on the nature of the business model, this architecture can have the following components:-

-Website (Should be Mobile Responsive)

  1. Inquiry Form (Lead Generation)
  2. Chat Box/Window (CRM & Lead Generation)
  3. Blog and E-mail (Content Marketing)
  4. SEO & SMO

-Social Media Presence 

Choose platforms relevant to the type of business model. A pan social media presence is not compulsory.

-Mobile Apps

This is not an essential requirement. However, as the number of mobile users has surpassed the number of PC users, marketers cannot ignore the growing importance of Apps as a marketing/sales channel.

Furthermore, mobile apps can act as a driver for enterprise mobility. In fact, mobile apps can play a significant role in business operations as well.

-Social CRM (via IM apps)

Cloud-based CRM Softwares such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM etc, vastly improve an organization’s interaction with current and potential future customers. In addition, this improvement is further supplemented by integrating these applications with IM apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Google Allo, BBM etc. [Source: The App Revolution]

-Promotion Strategy (Paid and Organic)

It refers to the plan, the course of actions, to be followed for promoting the brand. This strategy is an intermix of the following:-

  1. Paid Advertising Channels (Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Double Click etc)
  2. Organic Channels (On-page SEO, Social Media Posts)

The Takeaway

Tech solutions may not guarantee entrepreneurial success, but they surely provide business agility. Hence, start-ups must have the capability to adapt as per the changes (such as product/service offering, business operations, marketing approach etc.), as change is the only constant.

To embrace tech solutions for your entrepreneurial journey, Click Here   

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