In his guest editorial for Home Business Magazine, Sachin Dev Duggal addresses the most common and detrimental falsities small companies and entrepreneurs have about digitizing their brand. Let's just say, it's not enough to just have a website anymore (and it's easier than you think to make it happen). View the piece in it's entirety here, and peek his top takeaways below!
Misconception #1: You need to be in the Silicon Valley to Access Tech Talent
Developers are flocking to Silicon Valley to access high salaries, tech stardom and household names like Google and Airbnb. All the while, startups across America are thriving because of the democratization of software development. Goliaths like Amazon and Facebook are the only companies without tech talent gaps, while small businesses and startups are priced out of hiring developers. Home businesses and remote offices have begun to recognize that outsourcing app development and digital solutions can help the bottom line. By outsourcing these tools, visionaries can focus on their missions while experts in tech development can create tools businesses need. Continuing this trend is vital for the health of small businesses everywhere.
Misconception #2: Recession Warnings Should Scare Small Businesses
According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small business optimism has never been stronger. This business confidence should empower business owners but most Americans (51%) think that a recession is looming and with it, Americans will likely be keeping a closer eye on their wallets. However, small businesses that implement new online products and services now will withstand these headwinds later. By streamlining tech solutions, offering online support and creating an online community, small businesses can invest now in tools that will help them navigate the waters of recession.
Misconception #3: App Development is too time- and cost-prohibitive
All businesses are frustrated by the cost and extensive timelines of hiring a developer or working with engineers to create their relatively simple application or web tool. While developing software that works for you and your business is important, it shouldn’t be the only cost you bear all year. Outsourcing your app development cuts down on the stress of hiring a developer, managing a team, their deadlines and your vision. Instead you can work with a software solution, like Builder, that allows business owners to visualize the aspects needed to create their project and connects them with designers and developers that can make their digital dreams come true.
Now that we know there’s nothing to be afraid of, here are the opportunities that can arise with successful digital implementation:
Opportunity #1: Application Revolution
Longstanding businesses have actually been transformed by effective app strategies. Dominos, for example, created an app for its users to order pizza online and now 60% of its sales come from digital. The same can be true for small businesses. If their apps are designed for their customers and their customers' needs, there is an opportunity to drive more engagement. For example, a home design company in Seattle might be able to integrate an AR function into their website or app so that prospective customers can take photos of their living room and predict how a piece of furniture might look like in their home in Boston.
Opportunity #2: New Audiences
There is no limit to what you can create from a mobile perspective. App creation, website development and integrations for wearable technology can help to engage those audiences that are outside your brick-and-mortar radius. KFC famously created an app to get gamers to ‘fall in love with its brand,’ and while I’d argue that’s not the solution for everyone, apps or web tools can certainly bring in new audiences.
A plant store can create a photo add-in or app to diagnose a plant sickness and provide expertise on how to handle it. From there, they can recommend plants with similar or simpler care instructions that might be more susceptible to growth, quite literally. Another example, wearable technology, could help a small health startup create data lakes to inform their business.
Opportunity #3: Technology Solutions Provide Seamless Integration and Access to Relevant Customer Data
Creating an event app, online portal or shopping tool, can give small businesses and entrepreneurs access to customer information that can help to drive smarter decisions. While implementing new technology can take a lot of internal soul-searching, many times the best outcome of new technology is the data it provides business owners. By creating an online shopping tool for example, businesses are no longer advertising to demographics or regions. Instead, they have the option to reach their direct audience and provide them with the information they already engaged with in the shopping tool.
Greig is the Digital Content Lead at Builder.ai and a University of Bristol History grad. He has 5+ years’ experience in B2B SaaS, creating data-driven, human-friendly content for high-growth tech startups. When Greig needs a dopamine hit, he checks Builder.ai’s keyword rankings.