June 22, 2016
The Information Technology industry is notorious for sparking unforeseen challenges as newer technologies continuously emerge. If you have a startup in mind, a variety of skills and an uncanny ability to adapt to clients’ needs, you’re already on the road to eventual success.
Whether you are just starting or an industry veteran, there are several technical, financial and ethical procedures that can ultimately make or break your business. Precaution and expertise are paramount when managing data through a highly technical and sometimes volatile infrastructure.
Let’s explore some aspects that will make this dynamic, yet highly rewarding journey easier to manage.
Assess Your Value
Determining your value helps ensure a fruitful business as a technical startup. While you shouldn’t necessarily raise your prices well above what’s expected in the industry, remaining realistically competitive is key to long-term success.
As Think Big Analytics’ Ron Bodkin says, “To get good payback on an investment…there needs to be a good strategy, a roadmap, adjusting the course with seven to ten corrections at different stages of the journey…”
In the case of a typical computing business, for example, repair services often range from $80-$100 per hour. This, however, fluctuates depending on region and the exact service provided.
Assess your competition along with the overall costs necessary to run and maintain your business. This may consist of service charges incurred such as equipment ordering, shipping, and potential item insurance.
You can then establish additional techniques to strengthen your startup with a flexible, but firm value. Let’s look at this last portion in greater detail…
Stand Out – No, Really
As previously mentioned, “additional techniques” involve the ability to stand out among your competition. Remaining competitive is rather common knowledge in any given industry. Unfortunately, some tech startups opt to price themselves exceptionally low as a means of building brand awareness.
A better way to participate in the inevitable “price war” is to offer a limited-time lower rate. For instance, you may present first-time customers with a 10-30 percent off on select products or services (with the actual value set by your needs).
This tactic also opens the door to various goodies and alternatives, such as discounts for year-long customers or those who refer a friend to your business.
Simply put, pricing will always be important to all parties involved. A little creativity could kickstart your IT business without putting it at risk before getting it off the ground.
Adapt to New Trends and Technologies
Surviving in the tech startup scene consists of always expecting the unexpected. Even if you only specialize in one specific niche or field, staying abreast of the newest programs, features, and system updates to better serve your customers’ needs will best serve you.
This is especially important for new industry players, as some may only be working with minor assistance compared to that offered by large organizations.
Provide Exceptional Customer Support
Increasing and retaining customer satisfaction is undoubtedly a top priority for every business. Digital communication tools play a large part in achieving this. Some of the top digital tools to use for your business include:
Groove: Seamless ticketing system that integrates customer email, social media interactions, conventional chat and calls into one service. It also tracks employee performance to help you tend to the most outstanding customer support needs.
Slack: This tool makes it easy to communicate with teams and departments, both locally and globally. Ideal for staying in the loop about the latest representative & customer updates.
In addition to the above, make yourself readily available by integrating chat services on your company website and/or implementing accessible contact information.
Manage Finances with Care
Depending on the scope of your business, consider someone to help manage finances and communicate with clients regarding such administrative needs. Billing and invoicing customers can drastically impact your time, and there are a plethora of web apps and tools out there that can help you streamline and automate this.
Needless to say, remain religiously organized when tracking and invoicing respective clients, which helps you get through tax season and potential client conflict with ease.
Have a Technical Backup Plan
Anything can go wrong when managing client data and digital goods. Whether you are a freelancer or a small startup, you must take every possible precaution to ensure customer safety.
For example, storing information on various storage units may still present a problem – particularly when accessing data from a remote location. Consider cloud solutions like Microsoft Cloud or SugarSync to access easily and manage your data while keeping it fully secure.
In contrast, relying on more than one service to perform routine diagnosis and repairs can also be beneficial. Always have an alternative in the event your primary application malfunctions at inconvenient times.
Embrace Content Marketing & Outreach Efforts
It is common to go through the occasional dry spell as existing clients stop needing much assistance – especially during those hot summer months. Additionally, your IT startup may not necessarily have the funds to advertise and promote the business on a large scale just yet.
Content marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to grow and spread as a new or long-running business, regardless of niche or industry.
For such purposes, services like Ninja Outreach enable you to connect with industry leaders as a marketing and outreach vehicle. Ninja Outreach, specifically, contains contact information from millions of influential figures, making your relationship-building efforts a breeze.
Depending on the scope of your IT services, this is ideal for collaborating with prominent industry figures and spread the word beyond local and state-wide venues.
These unwritten rules, tools and services can effectively catapult your IT startup into prominence. A continuous promotional plan, combined with proper industry assessment, will help ensure a healthy and highly profitable business.
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