Daniel Bliley

Scale Your Business with Tech: How Startups Stay Agile

By: Daniel Bliley | May 18, 2017 | 
0

Scale Your Business with Tech: How Startups Stay AgileSmall teams have difficulty scaling.

For companies just starting out, it can be even more daunting.

Taking an idea to market can feel like a journey to Mordor.

Branding. Messaging. Sales. Customer service.

The flow of obstacles is relentless.

Operating a successful business takes Herculean effort.

How can leaders overcome challenges and grow the bottom line?

How can teams gel and maximize output?

Enter technology.

By now, it should be clear that you need to invest in technology.

But what kind of technology do you need and where should you direct resources?

If you need help on where to start to scale your business with technology, look no further than early-stage startup SkillPop.

SkillPop is a growing company that is revolutionizing in-person education.

With popup style community organization, SkillPop offers classes ranging from watercolor painting to podcast recording.

Launched in 2015, SkillPop is the brainchild of founder Haley Bohon, a former engineer and technology project manager.

She used that experience to take an idea to sold out classes, a growing team, and increased media exposure.

So how did it grow?

Bohon credits leveraging MarTech partners in two main areas: Internal communication and brand awareness.

Scale Your Business with Internal Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of business.

The ability to deliver insightful, concise information can improve operational efficiencies and help teams perform.

Without effective internal communication, teams can struggle to deliver on goals and spiral into chaos.

That’s why it’s an integral area to tackle first when it comes to scaling your business.

There are plenty of tools that help improve how teams interact.

From workflow software to project management, there is a treasure trove of solutions.

For small teams looking to scale, flexible software that centrally focuses on collaboration should top the list.

While enterprise solutions might offer a bevy of features in addition to chat modules, freemium stand-alone solutions keep costs down while delivering important communication channels.

This helps teams scale in two main ways: Fast deployments and shorter learning curves.

SkillPop has relied on Slack to bring its team members together and keep projects on track.

If you need to get better communication from your team, it may be time to give Slack a try.

Slack

Slack is changing the way teams work.

It’s doing for business what AOL Instant Messenger did for teenagers in the 1990s.

Aimed at making work life simple and more productive, Slack is a software app that allows teams to communicate in organized channels (like groups) or through direct messages.

It handles file sharing with ease and has just enough engaging elements to make communication fun but not too distracting.

The company recently released a new menu feature that allows users to insert a survey, poll or task assignment right in the middle of a conversation.

Slack continues to add enterprise level features to earn market share in workplace productivity products, competing against the likes of Google and Microsoft.

For small teams or growing companies, Slack offers free and affordable versions to help teams stay connected.

SkillPop has implemented Slack to bring remote team members together and harness the power of virtual collaboration.

As a young but quickly growing startup, we’ve gone from a team of one to a team of nine in less than a year. We’re in two markets and also have a mix of full-time and part-time employees; Slack helps streamline communication and also has been essential in building a culture across multiple markets, Bohon said.

Once you’ve successfully implemented technology to handle internal communication, it’s time to spread the message to the world. 

Scale Your Business with Awareness

So you’ve created a great product or service.

Your idea is going to change the world.

Great, but first people need to find out about it.

That’s where marketing and advertising come in.

Finding the right mix of external communications channels can be challenging.

It’s important to test and optimize how you deliver your brand message.

With a variety of options at your disposal, picking the most effective delivery can give you the necessary firepower to scale your business quickly.

Haley and the SkillPop team have focused efforts on curating an audience on the photo-sharing platform Instagram. 

Instagram

Rising to prominence through the lens of a smartphone camera, Instagram has transformed from an artsy photo filter app to a legitimate business catalyst.

Purchased by Facebook in 2012 for a reported $1 billion, it has survived the onslaught from other social platforms, including millennial darling Snapchat.

Instagram Stories recently reached an active user count of 200 million, exceeding Snapchat’s user base.

Brands are building marketing plans around the platform.

Taco Bell used Instagram to launch its Naked Chicken Chalupa by hosting launch parties—complete with all the lights, cameras, and action of a Hollywood set.

Fast food restaurants aren’t the only business cashing in with the photo-sharing app.

In 2016, the company announced it had one million active advertisers and plans to reach $3 billion in ad spending this year.

For SkillPop, Instagram has been an integral part of its growth.

I can’t think of a tool that’s been more instrumental to our growth than Instagram. Many of the classes that we offer at SkillPop are highly visual; having a platform for students to quickly share what they’re learning allowed the word-of-mouth growth of SkillPop to take off like wildfire from day one, Bohon said.

The SkillPop audience is growing rapidly and has even expanded beyond its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters to other cities.

Consider Non-conventional Ideas

Recently, the company embarked on a popup class tour, visiting surrounding cities with educational classes.

SkillPop isn’t holding the success cards in a vault, either.

It’s happy to offer classes such as Instagram with Intention to teach others how to succeed on the platform.

Technology can accelerate your growth plans by creating internal efficiencies and extending your brand reach.

With many MarTech solutions to choose from, making a sound decision is no easy task.

Choose right and it can lead to killer metrics and boosted bottom lines.

Choose wrong and it could result in neglect and frustration.

The key is finding technology that solves needs and doesn’t take long to start seeing benefits.

For communication wins, check out Slack.

If you’re looking to grow your audience, make sure to invest time in leveraging the power of Instagram.

About Daniel Bliley


Daniel Bliley is a national award winning marketing professional with 15 years experience. He has worked in many industries, including healthcare, automotive, banking and technology. He holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Virginia and his M.S. in Marketing Management from New England College. Daniel is the 2014 Western Virginia American Advertising Federation Ad Person of the Year.

51 Shares
Buffer8
Tweet25
Share
Share16
+12