Gaining considerable limelight in the millennial era, Start-ups have established its place in today’s business world. A startup related organization is not just a small business but also a business based on a promising idea which has still not been explored fully. Start-ups have a lot of potential in them and may attract some venture capitalists to fund it besides its founders, these are considered among the signs of a bright future.
Every startup needs an infrastructure that could work as workforce, the workspace or the technology and can carry out the smooth functioning of an organization. Website development and software development is a must to fulfill other needs like customer relations, planning, accounting, etc. of the upcoming business. This gives the startup significant exposure and helps to reach out people out of their league.
Suggestions for website development
The Internet is one of the common platforms that people may use to find you. So, having a website is not counted among choice but fall under a necessity. Never compromise on quality. Your website goes a long way in developing your image. It should also form an essential part of your marketing strategy. Therefore, a well-designed website will be a great support in attracting traffic to your site and boosting sales or building your image. Also, it is the face of your organization so you must be cautious enough while getting a website developed for your startup organization. Here are few tips:
- Finding a suitable domain name – So, how to make a quality website? For starters, choose a domain name that is the same as your business name. It will let people remember your company by its name. If unavailable, select the closest possible match or try getting it from the company which owns that domain name. They might agree to sell it to you.The domain name must not be too long otherwise it becomes difficult for people to remember. Also, try to use article, hyphens, etc. to the minimum so that it is easy for the people to remember. People tend to forget article, hyphens, etc.Also, don’t choose a name that is too like that of a competitor. You might just lose the traffic coming to your site, or it might make your website difficult to be found thus baffling the users.
- Finding a suitable host – Startups have limited funds so always opt for a hosting organization that is not too expensive but reliable. It should not fail midway and have a minimum or no downtime. It must provide round the clock service as this is important in building your business’s reputation.There are basically two types of host servers – Shared hosting server and dedicated server. While in the former you need to share server space with other sites, the latter exclusively hosts your website. Start with a shared hosting server as it is economical and once your website begins to attract heavy traffic you may shift to a dedicated server.If you have several small websites, you might opt for reseller account which allows having several individual plans within a single account. Some popular hosting service providers are Amazon AWS, GoDaddy, Cloudflare, etc.
- Design your website – The next step is to design your website correctly. The essentials are the Home page, About page, and the contact page. Besides this, the rest of your pages depend on your product or service. Determine the user journey and develop your sitemap
- Decide your CMS – CMS stands for Content Management System. It allows to create and edit content for your website. Which CMS to choose, depends on the hosting organization and the organization indulged in website development.
- Develop compelling content – As they say, “Content is the king.” After all, it is your content that is going to attract and make your users stay on your website. It will popularize your website and increase sales. Including “How to” guides in your content which provide users with useful information is another way of engaging users to your website. Don’t write content for the search engine but for the end users.
- Benefit from blogs – Including blogs on your website is an excellent means of attracting more users. The blog is short for weblog. It is a means of informing the users about various topics, mainly, those related to your products or services. Blogs are very popular among internet users these days and are a very important means of moving your website to the top of the search results.
- Add articles targeting your niche markets – Articles vary from blogs. While blogs are shorter and may also be experimental at times, articles are longer, formal and based on factual data. Articles may be written keeping in mind the niche market. This way, it will be of great support to your target users and will further enhance your website. What’s more, you can have both blogs and articles on your site.
- Increase reliability with testimonials – Testimonials are comments given by clients about their experience in working with your organization. They go a long way in building your reputation and credibility. Hence, they prove to be a great marketing aid.
- Marketing strategy and website – The goals that you set for your site must be in sync with your marketing strategy or goals. You must design your website in such a manner that it generates an ROI against the budget decided for the site. You can further use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which enable you to measure your performance against your goals.
- Keep on updating – Don’t forget to update your website from time to time so that it may provide up to date information.
- Dynamic website – Your initial or prelaunch version of the site may be static, mainly providing information but your final website must be dynamic in nature, enabling customer interaction. One way could be provided for sales on your site.
- Promoting the website – Promotion of your website is essential to draw users to your site.
Suggestions for software development
Apart from the website, a startup also needs other software to perform its day to day working. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind while developing this software:
- Choice of the framework – The framework chosen must be enterprise ready which provides multiple modules and is easy to deploy. Also, the use of cumbersome technologies like Java and .NET is not recommended. Instead, use lighter frameworks like PHP, etc.
- Scrum two-week sprints – Scrum framework helps prioritize tasks. You can scrum two-week sprints (meetings) to complete the project in a systematic fashion.
- No need for testing – There is no need of writing test cases for a startup software as the organization does not have any working data.
- Provide for refactoring – Refactoring is modifying the code without altering the external functionality. Since a startup requires a fast pace of application development, there should always be room for refactoring. This helps in dealing with technical debt and reducing software entropy. Technical debt is the additional work done to develop a simpler solution for faster output, rather than using a longer process while software entropy is the amount of disorder in the software.
- Use of cloud – The purpose of the cloud-based server is highly recommended as it will help reduce problems related to the local server like server crash, loss of data, real-time data updates, etc. On the flip side, since cloud is a nascent technology, experts are hard to find. Moreover, it might prove costly.
- Take the services of DevOps engineers – DevOps engineers help in cost-effectively integrating development and operations. They can take care of most of server and deployment issues.
- Provide for analytical tools and feedback – The software must make use of analytical tools such as Google analytics to make it more user-friendly. Also, make provision for user feedback to improve future versions according to the user’s requirements.
- Constant control – The software team must always be on the lookout for any shortcomings in the software and act accordingly.
- Handling various constraints –If due to cost and time constraints, the application of certain technology is not possible at present, there should be provision for applying it in future. Softwares can use technologies like chatbots to save on human resource requirements.Security issues are very important for any software. Hence, it becomes essential to handle security issues by using techniques such as SSL technologies. Since startups generally grow at a very rapid pace, the software design must be capable of handling scaling issues.
- Releasing the first version – The first version of the software might require a lot of modifications but it should become operative as soon as possible. It should be bug-free but there should be scope for further enhancements and alterations.
- Use of CRM for startups – Using a Customer Relationship Management software is as essential for a startup as it for established businesses. The most important issue for a startup is networking to increase the customer base.CRM can support networking by storing information about prospective and current clients. If that’s not enough it, it lets you save information about Venture Capitalists. It also provides transparency and unites the workforce to work for a company’s progress. It is also helpful by supplying details of all the work done by an employee in case he leaves the job. So, it is of special use in case there is more than average turnover.
- Use of ERPs for startup – Enterprise Resource Planning tool is easily affordable for startups due to the proliferation of numerous cloud platforms. Since an ERP keeps all your data across all departments, it is an excellent tool for predictive analysis. Predictive analysis helps in evaluating the business strategies using the stored data.ERP allows integrating the software already in use by the organization using the centralized databases of ERP. It also refrains the organization from implementing separate software for each function/department. It provides with very robust user access rights system.
It may be concluded that a great website and streamlined infrastructure provided by means of various application software will go a long way in helping your startup taste success. They not only free up the team of multiple tasks but aid them in making the right and timely decisions.
Ashley Marsh is a Senior- Content Writer at Maan Softwares Inc. She has been with this company for past four years. She is specialized in the technical writing genre especially in mobile development, web design, and latest technologies. According to her, it has been great exposure for her as each day the technology is updating itself resulting in new ideas that keep her fresh daily.