There are tons of best-practices & interesting tidbits you can pull from startup books and blogs, but not all of that advice is very helpful for an existing business. One key area that entrepreneurial thinking should be included into an existing business’ toolkit is in the expansion of their brand’s digital presence. Expanding your web presence as a whole is very similar to expanding into new markets & approaching it as such can improve your chances of success. The way to approach it is similar to the way many startups approach the building of a new product.
Build quickly. Measure. Learn
Build Quickly: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for existing businesses
One of the areas Halieo focuses on is how to provide businesses additional value beyond building them a website or designing a flyer (which can still be incredibly beneficial). For example, if you have a website that’s converting well, there’s not much pressure to make changes or test new ideas online. This type of inaction minimizes risk at the expense of growth. One way to combat this passivism is by building small online applications/tools with dual purposes: (1) they can be a useful product (2) a powerful advertising tool. Start with an idea. Then, unpack it by determining what makes it useful and build it in its simplest form. Not only can this improve brand awareness, it also brings with it increasing profits. It engages your end users and extends your brand reach by furthering your involvement in their daily lives.
Measure: Listen to your audience
It is easy as an existing company to feel like you already know your audience well. Remember, what you assume your audience wants or likes may not always be the case. And sometimes your audience will simply change their minds & grow in a different direction, leaving your business outdated and unrelatable. Take, for example, the release of the iPad by Apple. There were many who thought that having “a bigger iPhone” would not be beneficial and would have abysmal sales. But, the opposite occurred and now all the major players are heavily invested in the tablet market. Did it seem like the world needed or even wanted tablets? No, but markets and tastes changed. Keep tabs on what users are thinking. Engage them on social media, in test groups, and in real-world scenarios. Try a/b testing and finding out what features are driving more traffic. Did your sales spike or drop when you released a new mvp? Don’t just assume that it is or isn’t related to the new product – test it. Try it again or modify something else and see what the reaction is.
Learn: Be ready to iterate
Startups are used to rapidly evolving their products. But most existing companies forget the importance of iteration. Once you’ve heard what your audience has to say, prepare to implement the necessary changes. Though it’s easy to get discouraged by negative feedback, know that the more you can learn about what users don’t want, the better you can give them what they do want. Being open to changing and updating your product shows that you’re willing to grow with your audience, not against them.
Building quickly, measuring, and learning are essential to staying relevant and effective in your market. Have an idea you’re wanting to implement with your new or existing business? Or does the simple idea of adding a digital product to your business intrigue you but you’re not sure where you’d start? Contact us! From initial concept development to product launch, we are always bringing new ideas to the table in every stage. Let us partner with you to create something exciting!