A Babysitter for Startups

With hundreds of startups mushrooming every day and a million entrepreneurs chasing their dreams it is time they found a Babysitter.

Startups are like small babies and need a watchful and experienced eye to make sure they are not suffering from fatigue and are well cared for, their business model has to be doable and they need enough funds to grow and the team needs to be kept intact as they mature into an enterprise.

Startups investors namely the Angel investors and VC’s may want to appoint babysitters to make sure that their investments in the startup are progressing in the right direction and the startup team is on track.

There is no purpose for investors stepping in late in the investment cycle and sacking the CEO and taking it to press since this will not bring back the losses and rather it paints the investors ability to manage funds in poor light.

The ideal babysitter for startups is someone who has significant startup experience; they are the beacon for startups to hold their heading through and get the finest out of the investments of time, money and effort made by all stakeholders.

If you need a startup babysitter the author will be happy to assist; with 20 years plus experience in building startups you will surely have a bright beacon to see the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow and realize your entrepreneurial dreams.

What Indian Start-ups in the Cloud may be Missing!

Indian start-ups are high on SMAC and are brimming with ideas and many are working hard on their ideas in a garage somewhere in Bangalore or yonder;  working day and night to bring out the next big winner in the cloud, but can they hit pay dirt like Hewlett & Packard?

Many of these start-ups will be driving SAAS solutions on the cloud and Nasscom has added  momentum by leading the charge with a target of 10,000 start-ups a very modest number, India can  do with a million start-ups’  to service the world  and create economic value for India.
The first aspect the start-up needs to get right is the domain name,is it “startup.in” or is it startup.com, starup.biz, starup.net,  it is nice to be nationalistic but in the cloud SAAS you are building could be used by anyone in the world and will  need a global address.; also is the start-ups  twitter handles and other social media address available in the proposed name of the start-up?
The website is the start-up’s sales brochure in the cloud,  have the founders spent enough time on the start-up’s website and do they have a social media footprint and presence. Awesome technology alone will not bring in the revenue, you need marketing muscle and agile selling online, plus you need audience. There have been great technology companies, names we cannot even remember now in the cloud rush that vanished before they were even born. Get the Branding and Positioning Right of the start-up right, if it does not work change the name of the start-up, not driven by an astrologer or numerologist but by the attributes of the product offering.
The first is S in SMAC has to be done right; either your start-up is in social media or you are not there. Word of Mouth is good to take your start-up places and bring in the eyeballs, but you need to get it right. Has the website been launched in more than one language, the world’s most spoken language is Spanish followed by Mandarin, do you provide support in these languages other than English for your global customers? If you do not have Spanish you will miss most countries in Latin America and without Portuguese you will miss Brazil which is a mature Digital Market.
The next is M –  Mobile support, does your website and application work in the mobile, has the start-up tested their presence in various mobiles and tablets.
Then there  is  A – Analytics, is the start-up measuring its engagement in the digital world,  if you do not know how to do it, subscribe to a SAAS solution in the cloud which can do it for you.
The last is C – Cloud; has the start-up chosen the right cloud partner for its solution.
The Start-up has to get its SMAC right and to get high in the cloud.
Some more some more pointers which need to be addressed by the start-up up in its
digital avatar starts with the description of its offering. Does the start-up’s  web page and
 social media campaigns get prospective customers excited about their product, is it
supplemented by video advertising on Television and You tube and other social media
Is the start- up  able to sustain its  digital footfall and get visitors excited and subscribe to  its offering? Remember  layman’s language works best since most SAAS users do not understand Geek language.  Tell your prospects  why they should try your offering, and highlight the features and benefits of your solution,  be transparent on the pricing and let there be no surprises. Make sure you offer a self service trial of your offerings from your website, which can be  used with no fuss and can be concluded with two mouse clicks. If the trail user’s like the start-ups solution they will continue using it irrespective of the pricing, so getting them to use it is the first step.
The start-up needs to explain the security around the offering, cloud is all about trust, the more you share the better is the TRUST.  A full  page on security is warranted, including standards, backups and what not to convince your customer they are in safe hands.
The start-up should share its coverage in the media and also customer  success stories and testimonials, this gives confidence to a prospective customer.
Start-up needs to talk about the Help & Support available, it needs to provide a chat room for immediate support on enquiries, to close sales and offer solution support.  The start-up needs to share its  marketing presentations and videos to  be easily viewed by the prospective customer, remember you will need to close the sale most times without ever meeting your customer in person. Many Indian start-ups still believe they need to meet the customer and close the SAAS sale, this shows their reluctance and lack of understanding of Digital Branding and Marketing. The most classic lament is we do not have a Beta as yet, how can a start-up get a Beta without a self-service delivery of its SAAS solution on its website. Who has the patience to write to the start-up for a Beta site, when I stumble on the start-up’s site I am looking for instant Nirvana  not Penance.
The start-up needs to share on the website details about its partners, affiliates and Careers, also needs to Provide  Contact through, an online form, email, chat, social media, phone and any other innovative ideas of communication. The start-up should encourage prospect to remain connected through Social Media, email and newsletters.
If Indian start-up companies with great technology skills and brilliant SAAS solutions incorporate some of these points which they may have missed, then India can serve the world and multiply into a million start-ups in the cloud.