A successful web company is one based on innovative ideas and online capability. Not only is it necessary to establish a functional, easy to use and beautiful web page, much of your business’s success online will be down to your web marketing strategies.
Your company’s ongoing success, maintenance and expansion will inevitably become dependent on an injection of funds from an investor. Attracting venture capital is a different story for every industry. From hash tags to government funding schemes, here is a collection of ways to get ahead in the search for additional investment for your web design start up.
Let your work speak for itself
As a web development company, you have the benefit of being able to display your skills clearly to potential investors. Your company website is your pitch. It is crucial that every accessible part of your company glows to potential investors.
It’s so easy for your investors to right click and View Source your website– though many investors may not necessarily look beyond the source code of your homepage, be prepared for the more thorough investors to scrutinise all of the code they can access to gain an understanding of how your developers and therefore, you as a business works. Your code could be your first and last impression.
This means making sure all your comments which aren’t visible front of your site but appear in your source code, are responsible and coherent.
Ensuring full functionality and aesthetic superiority is essential to your brand image. Getting the mix of the two just right will be the key to investors choosing between you and your competitors.
Hash tagging for cash
Using Twitter to look for funding is a two-way street. By including hash tags such as #funding or #startups in tweets and searches, you will not only be able to attract wandering investors but could well stumble across individuals looking to inject cash in a lucrative business. Rather than treating Twitter as a platform for speech, see it as a forum for open discussion.
This is something which will require constant attention and an in depth look at the online behaviour of those with whom your company interacts. While initial tweets are often general and aimed at the wider public, it is important to understand when it is appropriate to target particular investors.
The fact that Twitter is a web based platform gives web based companies a comfortable advantage. The audience for your tweets is already somewhat tailored to your target audience. Few other sectors will recognise an advantage like this within such a useful and comprehensive platform.
Other social media solutions which can aid your search for capital will involve extensive networking using sites like LinkedIn. Getting a step ahead of generic social media use, consider stronger promotion such as the distribution of podcasts and other active blogging techniques to provide a thorough wealth of information across the media to your potential investors.
Stay aware of government schemes
In austere times, when growth is much needed in the UK economy, a strong private sector has become one of the priorities of government. This is reflected in a number of schemes on offer to new businesses.
One of the most relevant schemes currently available is the Enterprise Investment Scheme. This scheme offers investors a number of attractive tax breaks for investing in small start ups with relatively high risk. Particularly designed for start ups that are considered to be risky, this can be an invaluable incentive for potential investors.
Ensuring eligibility for schemes such as EIS can be a vital part of promotion. Capitalising on government schemes such as these is essential for any business in search of capital.
You can keep up with the latest financial news for specific markets here.
Stay on top of SEO
As we’ve already mentioned, promotion is key. Fortunately, as web developers you’re in a strong position to utilise SEO to your advantage. The rapid evolution of Google’s algorithms leaves many companies in the dark, harming their ability to promote themselves online. Nurturing an understanding of the latest algorithms is the first necessary step to ensuring that your keywords are optimised and that you have the edge when it comes to online promotion.
One of the most important skills a web development team can have is the ability to create pages which are SEO friendly, while taking user experience into consideration. This shows potential investors that you can strike this balance when optimising a page and is absolutely central to securing an early investment. A couple of good habits to get into which you can use to wow your investors and the search engines is making sure your URL structure is sound.
While users browse you products, they will use things like the URL in the address bar as a visual cue to determine whether they are on the right track and search engines highly regard sites that can offer easy navigation to their searchers. For example, the below URL structure is neither user nor search engine friendly:
This is how they should look:
Further, Google now supports website pagination and this should be a priority for ecommerce website developers. Clear pagination helps users and crawlers alike to find the next page of content.
You can implement pagination like so:
Tiny tweaks to your URLs will enhance the overall experience of your user, potential investors and search engine crawlers visiting the website.
Look to the giants in the valley
The ability to sniff out a successful investment is reliant upon the investor’s knowledge of the field within which a company works. While funding for a business can come from anywhere, it follows that a company which works within a technology specific field is likely to find it easier to pitch to those in the know.
The recent acquisition of internet music streaming service Mog by Dr. Dre’s company Beats Electronic shows that pitching to relevant investors can make all the difference when it comes to getting ahead of competitors. Putting yourself out there is one thing, but it is key that your company is actively looking for an appropriate and specific target audience when working on promotion.
Securing investment is all about promotion. An efficient use of the promotion tools at your disposal – this means exhausting all contact lists, online presence and available funds – will dramatically increase your chances of reaching the right people. The sharpest amongst those seeking funding will be looking towards the giants of Silicon Valley for their first glimpses of significant capital.
Look also to opportunities in the media. A recent programme sponsored by venture capital firms Accenture PLC and New York Investment Fund made an attempt to lure technology firms away from the valley and towards New York City.
By pitching to investors within your own field, not only will you increase your chances of securing funding but you stand to gain a lot from their expertise. With an interest in your company, the right investor will be able to bring contacts, resources and knowledge to your company, helping you to realise your full potential.
A final overview
Be Proactive-Securing early capital is vital to the success of any business. For those in the web development industry, it is essential that young businesses are actively working to seek appropriate investors and to pitch to them on a personal level. This will require a considerable amount of research and time spent on promotion.
Be Specific-Devoting time to specific investors is essential. As well as promoting your own work, this will require garnering an in-depth understanding of the investor’s background, current investments and future needs.
Be A Show Off-You will need to build a strong portfolio and ensure the work you have on show offers a comprehensive display of the areas in which your company excels. In a competitive industry, reaching key clients before your competitors is as important as the concrete argument you use to show your company in a good light. Once you get your chance to pitch-emphasise not only the capabilities of your team to create strong projects from the ground up.