Digital technology has undeniably revolutionized access to information. It has also enabled billions of users to have access to technological tools at little or no cost. This is a real opportunity for entrepreneurs who are starting out with limited resources. We have analyzed the technological tools that entrepreneurs can use to create their businesses.
Brainstorming, with a well-defined methodology, is a very effective exercise to generate innovative ideas. However, finding time to organize a brainstorming session can be complicated for teams. The solution? With tools like Stormboard and Bubbl.us, teams can brainstorm and mindmap their ideas on these online platforms. This is a real time saver and allows the participation of partners and/or clients from abroad.
Find your business model
The business model, also known as the economic model, allows to map the value creation strategy of a company.(For more information – business model, how to find the right formula). There are business model canvases in Excel, Word or PowerPoint format, available free of charge on the Internet. Furthermore, with Strategyzer, an online platform dedicated to business model canvas, entrepreneurs have access to strategic case studies. Even better, Coursera offers free online courses for entrepreneurs so they can have the right methodology to create their business model canvas.
Market research is part of the business creation process. Of course, the strategic thinking of the market study must be done beforehand. A market study consists of 5 steps.
- Definition of the problem
- Design of the study plan
- Information gathering
- Analysis of results
- Presentation of results
With Surveymonkey, it is possible to create an online questionnaire and send a link to your target, allowing them to connect to the platform and answer the questions. The tool allows you to access the results directly on the platform. These options are free, but there are paid packages to have more options. Survey results from SurveyMonkey can be exported to Excel for further analysis.
One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs just starting out is finding leads. Linklead, as its name suggests, allows entrepreneurs to have a list of “leads”. The promise of Linklead? Allow entrepreneurs to download thousands of targeted emails in 3 clicks.
We also have Marketo, which is one of the leaders in the marketing automation industry. Marketo offers a complete offer in terms of automated marketing, which allows you to create a complete sales tunnel. In addition, the company gives visitors free access to a 160-page guide on the website.
Let’s also mention Mailchimp, the reference tool for digital marketers who swear by e-mail campaigns. However, Mailchimp is more than a simple email campaign management tool. It is powerful, which allows it to compete directly with Marketo. These two tools make it possible to automate certain redundant tasks in order to free up more time for high value-added activities.
Create decent visuals for your social media marketing campaigns
We are not all graphic designers. However, entrepreneurs do not always have the budget to hire a graphic designer to design a portfolio for their digital marketing campaign. Canva is a great tool for those who don’t have the technical skills to create and/or edit visuals on Photoshop. It’s a drag and drop tool that speeds up the production of decent visual content to start a digital marketing campaign. Note that Canva is the subject of a very rich blog with tutorials, case studies, and even a “Design School” for those who want to improve their skills.
Key tools to boost productivity
- For entrepreneurs, time is the most important resource. With Google Docs, they can enjoy the flexibility to increase productivity. In fact, users of Google Docs solutions can access their up-to-date documents on their smartphone, tablet and computer.
- Contractors have thousands of tasks a day. These tasks are often in the form of emails. The solution to this problem? An assistant that sorts through the entrepreneur’s mailbox. Indeed, SaneBox is a powerful tool that uses algorithms to identify emails according to their importance.
- Trello, the ideal tool for project management. With Trello, a project team can collaborate with three simple columns – “To Do”, “In Progress” and “Complete”. Trello also allows you to integrate with other tools to create automated processes. For example, creating a meeting card via Trello with the date and time can automatically generate an addition to the contractor’s electronic calendar.
Creating an MVP culture in Mauritius
The MVP? What is it? No, it’s not the “Most Valuable Player” like in basketball, but rather the “Minimum Viable Product”.
According to the journal du net, “The Minimum Viable Product in French, is a light version of your star product. With a minimalist design, it can be set up very quickly so that it can be tested with a target audience, without taking great financial risks or wasting a huge amount of time developing a product that no one wants.”
This is in line with the philosophy of Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn,
“If you’re not ashamed of the first version of your product, you’ve released it too late.”
In Mauritius, there is a tendency to believe that you should launch your product when it is perfect. Unfortunately, a “perfect product” in the eyes of the founders may not be perfect in the eyes of consumers. Perfection does not exist. Successful entrepreneurs are those who turn the few resources they have into gold. This is now easier thanks to all the free tools available to entrepreneurs.