As if launching a startup wasn't hard enough, the challenges that come along with staying lean, bootstrapping, acquiring customers and growing a team can seem overwhelming.
However, the technology we have access to today allows new ventures to launch, scale and soar within far less time than days past. While no technology provides a single solution to every challenge in and of itself, a few do stand out. One of which is cloud based video.
68 startups shared their biggest challenges in an article on Foundersgrid.com.
Among all the issues faced by this group of entrepreneurs, five recurring challenges were identified.
- Time vs. Workload
- Attracting and Growing a Customer Base
- Talent Acquisition
- Customer Relations
- Managing Growth
After looking at these common challenges, we cross-examined each one at their stage of growth and discovered how cloud video provides a solution towards addressing each issue.
1. More Work Than Time
In the beginning phase of a startup, time is a commodity few have. The pace of the schedule is demanding on the one or few involved at the very beginning. The extremely busy schedule is matched by an even heavier workload.
The key to successfully navigating through this phase is to share the load. If it makes sense, spread the work around by leveraging subcontractors or freelancers for early projects.
Cloud video opens up opportunities to collaborate with individuals, not only in your backyard- but around the globe. Expand beyond the borders of your city or state and meet face-to-face via video, share documents, or connect a team of remote individuals to re-create the synergy of an in-office conference or huddle meeting.
Cloud video provides startups a tool that will enable them to get more done in less time, by dividing tasks amongst a wider, yet connected group.
2. Establishing a Customer Base
Nothing is more critical to a startup (or any business for that matter), than creating a strong customer base. Startups carry the additional burden of having to attract and convert buyers quickly, to cover expenses and operational costs.
This requires a shorter sales cycle for each and every opportunity. Cloud-based video communication allows salespeople to close deals faster.
By adding mobility, cloud video becomes a convenient and effective "use anywhere" sales tool. It can be used to improve efficiency in following up with prospects, doing presentations or demos, or making multiple sales calls in far less time.
Why Cloud video? Because face-to-face doesn't have to be in the same place.
3. Recruiting New Talent
At some point, virtually every startup will outgrow their founding team. It's now time to bring in some much-needed help. Hiring can be a daunting, lengthy process. Cloud video is the solution.
Emerging cloud video providers offer interoperability with almost every platform; which can simplify the recruiting process. Interviewees can easily dial into a virtual conference room using any number of compatible mobile devices, web browsers and services.
This is beneficial when travel and face-time are not feasible for interviewing a candidate.
4. Maintaining Customer Relations
The ability to meet customer needs and demands or quickly resolve customer issues can make or break a startup business. Jumping on a call to help put out a fire can mean all the difference.
Interaction through video is more personal, as it allows customers to read body language and tone and observe that which audio will never provide... facial expression and conveyed emotion.
Customers do business with those they like, know and trust. Apart from person-to-person communication and a good 'ol fashioned handshake, video is one of the most effective ways to create, develop and maintain client relations for the long term.
5. Managing Growth
Startup businesses that survive and graduate to the stage of experiencing significant growth find yet another set of challenges to overcome. Most startups need to manage growth without wasting resources.
With a cloud video solution, startups are able to communicate globally without a significant up-front investment in infrastructure and hardware. The up-front savings alone are worth the consideration. And because cloud-based video is scalable, it grows as needs increase.
One long-standing benefit of video communications is reduced travel costs. Cloud video further reduces the need for travel by providing mobility to all users, regardless of proximity. This has played a significant role with office-less startups; whereby all employees work remotely or from home.
Regardless of how you look at it, cloud video can help startups save time and reduce costs, two resources which are critical to the success of any business.
The Final Word
For startups launching soon, those who are currently in the trenches, or for startups looking for ways to manage growth while saving time and money -- leverage the technologies available to businesses today, starting with a cloud video solution for your team.