I've been thinking recently that it shouldn't take someone long to kick start their business and get everything they need to work ON their business - get customers and sell their services.
I'm not sure if there is a 'one-stop' shop for non-technicals to get their 'front of office' and 'back of office' sorted out quickly.
E.g. right now, You need a domain, find a host, set up your website, integrate that with different tools, e.g. CRM, Marketing, email collections/forms etc, invoicing and expenses tracking...
Even if it's a basic version and not bells and whistles, I know this would be so valuable to me to have all this in the one spot when I set up a new start up. Then as I get traction and begin to get revenues, I can easily integrate to more complex tools.
The challenge is obviously there are so many tools and resources you need as a start up, so which ones to focus on.
What are your thoughts?
Jag, Honestly everything you are talking about can be done pretty easily by yourself. If you have never done it, there can be a learning time period but not but a couple months max. Be as lean as you can. There are people who will do all that for you but also charge. I realize time is always an issue but example:
Sqaurespace super easy website design
CRM with regard to tracking customers is often overplayed and impersonal and not as valuable as most want to think UNLESS you are specifically catering. Which that can be difficult if you are outsourcing to a group that is indifferent on a fee. As for product builds...there are houses that can work with you to locate the right manufacturer..supplies etc. Again it can take some time but my advice..don't make the mistake of MANY entrepreneurs and start playing entrepreneur...i.e "I have to have two phones...because I have so many people Im calling and calling me..I have my this guy my that guy yeh Im big time..forming a business." No thats a tool wanting attention! lol. ORGANIZE and plan and you will find you are able to do 90% of what others burn through startup funds to pay others to do.
Wix (and others I suspect) provides most or all of that.
Here are the hard parts (and you can do them without a website):
1. Understand your customer. Know them so well you could impersonate them.
2. Know where to reach your customers.
3. Be able to sell to your customers.
That part is completely unique and has never been done before for your particular product/market. But it's the "invisible" part so it's hard to see how hard is.
Hey Jag, good question
For those aspects that you referenced there I believe quite a few site builders would allow you to do all of that. I'm pretty sure Shopify would cover all of those bases and be easy to use (I don't use platforms like that as my skill is tech and custom building)
Maybe its a blog or reviews website that caters for beginners and pros by listing and reviewing everything you would need?
Currently these guys do well (I keep seeing them appear in search year in year out) and are similar but not quite where you are describing:
@alex booth, yes i was thinking something like shopify, but for consulting, services or saas businesses.
@alleah iveI've swtset up a slack group to discuss this and brainstorm
If you're keen to join, connect with me on LinkedIn or reply here...
Clay is right - go with some website building solution - we use squarespace. They are sometimes pain to work with, but also they take care of a lot of maintenance work.
Long time ago we had a bare bones hosting - with endless possibilities - but also endless work just to keep it going. Just to set up your emails in the way that they do not end up in spam folders of the likes of yahoo and gmail, was a couple of days of searching, trying, and usually failing...
As Clay said the most important part is business itself - try to brush technical details aside as early in the process as possible