It’s amazing how affordable it can be to develop and support your new application in a world class way. Here’s how our brand-spakin’ new company Dasheroo (affordable, scalable and powerful business dashboards no matter your business size) is starting out!
We just completed the pro-forma budget for Dasheroo, and compared to what it would have cost even a few years ago, it’s amazing! A big shout-out to you, Cloud and SaaS! Buying and scaling your own servers & hardware? Nope, at least not in the foreseeable future, thanks to Amazon EC2. Time-consuming programming to develop web apps and make them mobile-friendly? Not with Bootstrap (yes, it’ll be free). And then all the affordable business apps we’re using, or planning to when the time is right:
Agile product development tracking – Pivotal Tracker, $18/month
Front-end mobile friendly web development – Bootstrap, Free
Code hosting & collaboration – Github, $25/month
Product wireframes – Balsamiq, $12/month
CRM – Zoho or Insightly, Free to $12/month
Support – Zendesk or Zoho, Free to $25/month
Team Collaboration – Basecamp, $8/month
Billing – PaySimple or Braintree, no minimums! From 2.3% + $0.29 per transaction to 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. (Note: make sure you really dig into revenue recognition capabilities before deciding!)
Google Apps – $5/month per user
Accounting – Kashoo, $20 per month
Payroll – ZenPayroll, $65/mo for less than 10 employees
Blog – WordPress, $10/month
Social – Twitter, Facebook, and well, you know use the ones most pertinent to your biz., Free + advertising costs
That’s less than a couple hundy per month. Plus, all of the above business apps have a free trial option, and many also have a free ‘starter’ plan for limited usage, so you can scale them as your business grows.
So at least big up-front costs don’t stand between you and your dream. There’ll plenty of other challenges for you to slay! That’ll be the model for Dasheroo too – affordable, scalable and powerful business dashboards no matter your business size!
We’re so excited about our new company we’ve gotta tell you all of the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff we’ve been working on. We want to get a young version of our product out the door fast with a short list of “Insights” you can put on a business dashboard. We’re using the name “Insight” instead of “Widget” because what we’re providing gives you real insight, we’re not a cog in a wheel.
We have a new logo, and we’re loving the colors and design! Do you? Feels professional, yet still approachable and friendly, the way you should look at your data and business dashboards. (Data is your friend:)
We launched a new blog where we’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening and give you daily ideas (Qwickbytes) to help you manage all of the data you have access to.
Not so obvious…
Our amazing team got us our first Insight going. It’s going to be a very cool way you can easily connect an email marketing account you have in Mailchimp and tell you what’s going on in there. The geeky side of us? We also killed it with developing a data model so that we can give you Insights in a snap. On top of it we found some nifty charting software so that what you’ll look at day-to-day makes sense and is easy on the eyes.
We had great conversations with some potential investors. Right now we’re in bootstrap mode which is super fun, but it would be nice to get a real paycheck someday 🙂 Everyone we talk to is really excited about what we have to offer with our background and the team we’ve got so stay tuned.
Next? More posts coming your way, Facebook and Twitter pages, our next Insight. Stay tuned.
Take a peek at your Google Analytics dashboard. Head on over to Audience > Mobile > Overview. What do you see there?
This is a great way to show you not “if” but “when” you need to think about getting your website mobile-friendly. Check out Dudamobile and bMobilized to get your site there in no time.
Take just 30 minutes TODAY and step on over and check out your LinkedIn company page. Make sure your page info is filled out. If you don’t have a LinkedIn company page go here. Why do this? You want to be high on the list when someone searches a company in Google. Your LinkedIn company page needs to appear high in those rankings. Just make sure you got your info there, be like GitHub.
Pictures WORK on Facebook so do a Facebook photo caption contest!! Take a picture of your team doing something fun, working, having a meeting or simply slacking off, and post to Facebook. Ask your Facebook followers to caption the photo. When they caption the photo it appears in their feed. You get in front of their friends, BAM! Apparently kitties work.
Are you making sense of the Google Analytics dashboard for your business? Check out this stat: your NEW visitors vs. your EXISTING visitors. Which is more? You want to keep existing visitors coming back for sure but you want to grow your new visitors as well. If you’ve got 70% of your traffic coming from existing then set yourself a goal to increase your new visitors to 40%.
This means some more focus should spent on things like SEO since 5x the number of people will click your link if you’re on page one vs. page two in Google. Check out MOZ, they’ve got a free product and cool community to help out.
Today the topic is the meta description for your website. You probably have one and you might have relied on your web developer to give you one. Why is this important and why is letting your web guy do it for you? Cuz it’s the copy Google pulls into the organic result (see below.) Even though Google scans your page to make sure you’re not “keyword stuffing” your meta description, you need to have your keywords included and make sure you clearly say what you do! This way people won’t get confused when you pop up in their search. Got it? Do it.
Your LinkedIn profile is boring and unfindable. Most are. How can you make the most of it? You’ve got a keyword your biz should be noted for. Let’s say you sell the world’s best “cotton socks.” You should have the keyword “cotton socks” in every part of your LinkedIn profile. Include it in your background summary, your title (i.e. CEO, Socks Unlimited – Award-winning cotton socks), your Company Name (Socks Unlimited – World’s best cotton socks), your experience (Responsible for selling world’s best cotton socks in 68 countries, etc.)
You get it, ‘nuff said.
Nope, we’re not talking about Demi Lovato’s hit song! BTW she basically owns the first page of Google’s SERPS. Who would’ve thunk? Anyway, we’re talking about something much more fascinating. As in taking a cue straight from Jason Fried: ‘solve a problem YOU have’. And that’s why we’re starting Dasheroo. What’s the problem? Making sense out of the mountains of ‘big data’ out there, so you can focus on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & metrics that really matter to your business. You want amazing business dashboards? You’re about to get them!
It’s a problem we’ve seen in about every company we’ve been involved with, and is usually (unsuccessfully) addressed by throwing bodies at it. At a recent tech company we consulted with, 9 people from the several departments took about 2 hours for each person just to update a Google doc with their KPIs for the weekly meeting. 18 people hours just to create a doc, not to mention make sense outta the info that will drive the business!
Painful. And expensive. And destructive to a business. So we’re out to solve it. Does it sound simple? Nope. Are others trying to solve this problem? For sure. But no one we’ve seen with the approach we have, which is coming soon.
So back to the title of this post. There are 5 of us kicking off our new company, Dasheroo. We’ve all worked together at some point in our careers, and none of us is under 35 (well, maybe one). We’ve all done the ‘start-up’ thing at least once. Actually if you add up the start-ups we’ve collectively been involved in, it’s well over a dozen. Most of us have families (we count both kids & dogs as family), like to eat good food and enjoy life. And work both smarter & harder. A semblance of balance. This is definitely not the Y-Combinator start-up formula, and you know what? That’s ok!
And I’ve gotta say, we have a dream team assembled to help make this real – front & back-end dev, product, marketing & business development, even branding & creative. Like I said, we’ve all been around the block and still feel that rush of ‘we’re really gonna do this!’
So here we go…again! We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime read our hopefully killer articles that will help your business grow, just like Dasheroo will.