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Sba 20110810 - accelerate your business using web technology



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  • 1. Accelerate Your Business Using Web Technology
    Allan Chao
    Startup V8
    San Francisco SBA 2011
  • 2. Introductions
    Who you are
    What you do
    What you would like to learn about
  • 3. The Agenda
    Ways to Build a Website
    Ways to build a website yourself
    How to Hire a Freelancer
    Website building process and companies
    Mobile and Smartphone Technology
    iPhone vs Android vs Blackberry vs Windows Mobile
    Native apps vs web apps
    Customer Relations Management (CRM)
    Your memory
    SalesForcevsHighRisevs Others
    Cloud based apps
    What is the Cloud?
    Google Apps
    IP telephony (Skype, Grasshopper)
    Cloud storage (Dropbox)
    E-Contracts, Digital Signatures (Docusign)
    Digital Invoicing (Freshbooks)
  • 4. Websites… before we start
    Think about your target budget first!!!
    $0 = Ask a friend to do it for free… (more on this later)
    $10-$100 = Do-It-Yourself website building tools
    $500-2500 = Individual freelancer
    $1500-7500 = Full service company
    $20,000+ = Hire someone full time in-house
    Also think about your target timeline
    2-6 weeks = Full service company
    2-3 months = freelancer
    3-6 months = a friend doing it for free
    You get what you put into it (money, time, effort)
  • 5. DIY Website Building
    FREE! (or very low cost)
    Total ownership
    Change content at your will
    Easy? (if tech-savvy)
    Lots to learn
    Most time consuming
    Always template-based, not customizable
    Must be moderately tech-savvy
  • 6. DIY Website Building Tools
    Best and the worst
    Vistaprint Instant Website
    GoDaddy Website Tonight
  • 7. Let’s Build a Basic Website
    Are we going to learn HTML? NO!!!
    For this example, we’ll use Wordpress.com
    Any ideas for the topic?
    Choose a template design
    Write some basic content, add a picture or two
    Add a contact form
    We’re done!
  • 8. Hiring a Freelancer
    Finding a Freelancer
    Craigslist 
    Online web browsing ($$$)
    Online freelancer sites: (high risk for the non-technical)
    In-person Networking and Referrals 
    Most Common Mistake: Having someone you know do it for free (or for almost nothing)
    Never finishes
    Low quality
    Eventually end up re-doing it completely
  • 9. Questions to ask a Freelancer
    What area do you specialize in, and who does the rest?
    Graphic Design = the look and feel
    Programming = the code
    Marketing = the search engine placement
    Copywriting = the content on the site
    What CMS platform do you recommend (if any)?
    Wordpress – popular, but not a silver bullet
    Joomla / Drupal / dotnet
    Project cost and timeline?
    Most importantly, ask yourself: Do you trust them?
  • 10. Common Freelancer Pitfalls
    Strength in a single skill, weak in others
    Great designers don’t program!
    Great programmers don’t design!
    Neither group does marketing!
    Jack of all trades, master of none
    Mutually exclusive skill sets…
    E.g. auto mechanic vs paint job
    Poor project planning
    Goes over budget in both time and money
    Constantly feel “out of the loop”
  • 11. Why use a Company?
    Aspects of Website Creation
    Architecture and platform
    User interface design
    Graphic design
    SEO (organic)
    SEM (keyword bidding)
    Ad Networks (display ads, banner ads)
    More expensive in the beginning, but better results
    Better as a long term investment
  • 12. SEO = Search Engine Optimization
    aka “organic” listings
    “I want to be on the top of Google!”
    For small businesses, target “long-tail” keywords. E.g. “San Francisco flood repair”, not “flood repair”
    Very complex algorithms, constant changes
    Can be very challenging, depending on market saturation
    “Guaranteed rankings” are “blackhat”! Google will ban the site!
    Trust is very important, fraud/cheating is pervasive
  • 13. SEM = Search Engine Marketing
    aka Keyword advertising
    Google Adwords, Bing, Yahoo
    Pay per click, $0.50-$20, depending on keywords
    Much more stable source leads
    Must be set up correctly, or else could be wasting money
    Many factors still at play, such as quality score
  • 14. What about Social Media?
    What is Social Media?
    Blogs (Wordpress, Blogger)
    Social Networks (Facebook, LinkedIn)
    Microblogs (Twitter)
    Location-based (Foursquare)
    Events (meetup.com, Eventbrite)
    News and Bookmarking (Digg, Delicious)
    Much, much more
    Free or very cheap, but massive time investment with questionable payoff
    Useful for branding as a “modern” company in touch with community
    Technically easy - Mostly unrelated to your main website
    Additional services could be offered by a company or freelancer
  • 15. Other notes about websites
    Technology platforms
    PHP vs .NET, WordpressvsJoomla, etc.
    Very difficult to change platforms after much use
    Must be strategic about technology platform choice
    Ecommerce and payment processing
    Ecommerce sites have much more complex requirements
    Paypal, Google Checkout, Authorize.NET
    High tech web startup idea?
    “I have an idea!” (next Groupon)
    Software development teams (internal or external)
    Management and Product Development can be very complex
    Unlimited cost potential… $$$$$+ (e.g. Google is a website…)
  • 16. Mobile and Smartphones
    Huge growth… very analogous to .com boom in 1990s
    iPhone and Android
    Blackberry and Windows Mobile
    Tablets (iPad)
    Mobile Payments (Square)
    Location-based social media (Foursquare)
    Location-based advertising for B&M stores
  • 17. Mobile App vs Mobile Website
    What’s the difference?
    Interested in building a mobile app?
    What’s the purpose?
    Generate income? App sales? In-app sales?
    Marketing? Branding? Customer service?
  • 18. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Win7
    Market share?
    All platforms are very different, apps are not transferrable between platforms
  • 19. Native app vs Web app
    Huge cost of development difference
    5 Common Reasons for Native Apps
    Offline Mode
    Device Attributes
    Native-app only
    Geolocation API
    Address Book
  • 20. Customer Relations Management
    The “database”
    Used for B2B sales and account management
    Non-web solutions
    Address book
  • 21. Web-based CRM
    SalesForce is popular for enterprise
    Very full-featured
    Lots of integration (e.g. mobile phones)
    Lots of reports (e.g. outstanding accounts)
    Lots of management (e.g. user roles)
    HighRise is popular for startups
    Much simpler
    Fewer features
    Many other options
  • 22. What is the “Cloud”?
    Web-based, as opposed to installed on desktop
    Accessible anywhere
    More reliable (practically 24x7, backups handled automatically)
    No upgrades
    Cheaper, recurring payments instead of one-time purchase
    Usually freemium = free trial, or free basic version
    Can be faster (doesn’t depend on your computer)
    Question of data ownership
    Question of reliability
    Trust in the cloud service provider
  • 23. Examples of Cloud Services
    Personal Cloud Services
    Email (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail)
    Photo sharing (Flickr)
    Video sharing (Youtube)
    Business Cloud Services
    Google Apps
    IP telephony (Skype, Grasshopper)
    Cloud storage (Dropbox)
    E-Contracts, Digital Signatures (Docusign)
    Digital Invoicing (Freshbooks)
  • 24. Thank you!
    Please fill out the evaluation form
    Ask me if you have any specific questions
    Allan Chao
    Startup V8
    Startup V8 helps entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality. We handle the entire engineering and product development for new web and mobile startups. Contact us to learn more.