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9 Steps to Jump Start your Idea

See How You Can Jump Start Your Idea

In our line of work, we have met with many creative people, seeking to jump start their idea. In the world of business, everyone strives to find a unique way of creating a new business line, or maybe a new trend, or any sort of way to reach out to a new market and hit the gold mine. So how can you jump start your idea? Take a look at a few tips below.

1.      Define your goal and target audience

The first thing you need to ask yourself is what is your main purpose and goal for your idea? What makes you different from others before you? Once you define that, you need to detail out your target audience, such as their age group, gender, business sector or walk of life, and most importantly, the region, whether it will be local or global?

2.      Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm

The best way to get everything down to jump start your idea, is to brainstorm all you have. Write it anywhere you are comfortable with, either an excel sheet, google sheet, a google keep note, a physical notebook, anything that will help you expand and build on.

3.      Research similar competitors

Finding people or businesses with similar ideas will help you find your competitors, and also differentiate your idea from others. You can also summarize the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors and build on to them to make your idea better.

4.      Plan out priorities and phases

One of the best way to jump start your idea is to start phasing it out and determining what is the most important. Prioritize your ideas and features. Try to simplify it and start simple and flexible. If you start with a big step for the future, you will miss out on the present. So even a small calculated step will take you move forward.

jump start your idea

5.      Write down all the flows

This part might be hard for you as the idea founder, so you can always hire a tech team to do it for you. But the main point to jump start your idea is to write down every single flow. For example, say I am a founder of an online marketplace for selling services. I have to start writing the flow of where the users first login/signup, to where they pick their role, to where they define their services as a service provider or search for services as a service buyer and so on. It might be 10 flows; it might be 50 or even more. What’s important is that you get it all documented. Think of all the conditions, all the obstacles, and even the very straight forward flows.

jump start your idea

6.      Wireframes, Screens, Pages

When you reach this step, then you have moved forward a giant leap to jump start your idea. Creating wireframes, screens, pages is the step after your flow documentation. A great tool for creating this phase is Draw.io, or others like Balsamiq or JustinMind. Once the wireframes are in place, you can use tools like Invision App to show the flow.

7.      Hosting, Storage

According to your idea and business size, you should think about the method of hosting and storage. For example, will you need a cloud plan? A shared plan? Maybe a dedicated server or a managed VPS will be your solution. In this article you can see different types of hosting explained.

8.      Final Document

Somewhere between steps 4-6, you should start preparing a Requirement Analysis Document, or your documented and technical business plan. Without this documented plan, you won’t be able to jump start your idea. This document should include a clear view of what you will deliver, the exact screens/pages, features/functions, and user scenarios. This document should be so clear that will be the guide and hard copy of the path to take for the development team.

9.      Timing & Testing

Remember to set a timing for your start and go live. You need to consider planning, design, development, and of course quality assurance testing. Think of how to keep it maintained after go live, and how you will link the next phases to your new idea.

End Note

I hope you got a brief idea on how to jump start your idea. In our upcoming project Universal Restaurant, which will go live this month, we’ll later elaborate on the steps taken and how it went live.

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Authentic Web Design: Tmreya

On the final months of 2017, I had the privilege to work with the Tmreya company, main HQ based in KSA. We developed their website, and now developing the app (to be done by next month). Those of you who have been in the Middle East might have heard of it, but the brand itself is authentic and elegant, so we thought of implementing the same authenticity for their website. Now, in this article, I wanted to point out some features of the website and how it’s a great sample for authentic web design.

Definite Brand

One of the things that adds authenticity to Tmreya, is that it has a well-defined brand. A brand doesn’t mean just a logo, it usually consists of an Identity Guideline, including the brands main color codes, typefaces, and a brief explanation of the brands purpose and representation. There are some great examples here if you want to see more. It will include information about the brand proportions, color policy, background, incorrect versions, and other imagery or art graphics. All this info will add value to an authentic web design for our teams.

authentic web design

Beautiful Media used in Authentic Web Design

When you have a product or service, you should be able to show it off. Tmreya does a great of job of doing this. I must confess, when I first saw their YouTube channel I went searching for chocolate! So weather if it’s video or photos, you should know the exact purpose of it and show it off just the right way. For example, in Tmreya Product pages, the photos are simple HQ photos of each product shown all alone on a white background (with great lighting), one of the best practices of ecommerce and product show cases. I must say, without the beautiful photography contributing to authentic web design, the website won’t have half the value it has now.

authentic web design

Ecommerce Features

One thing that makes this website dynamic and fun to get back to, is the ability to order online. The payment systems implemented is COD, in case the customer wants to pay on delivery, as well as HyperPay and Sadad, two very popular payment gateways in the KSA.

As Tmreya has several branches all over KSA alone, our teams also implemented a custom system in the delivery options, meaning that orders will require you to provide your location and nearest branch, thus sending notifications to that branch upon that order. This speeds up their customer service, as well as allows them to control sales as per location as well.

If you make an order, you will also notice that shipping rates, taxes and minimum order rates are configured through the Woocommerce platform, allowing the website owner to make maximum usage of the website features.

Using the reports in the system, they can monitor sales per dates, product count of purchases, refunds, number of orders and more.

Bilingual

This stylish website is also fully bilingual, in which in the Arabic version, it is using the exact typeface of its identity guidelines, The Sans. It’s fully RTL interface can be seen here.

authentic web design

Mobile App

Comelite teams are working to finalize the Tmreya app as well, which will be released next month, using APIs to connect to the current website and reflect it in the app, providing a compact view and mechanism for Tmreya clients to make their chocolate product orders.

Social Media

Tmreya has is also renown for beautiful and mouth-watering imagery in their social media platforms, such Instagram and Twitter, which our teams used to show a feed of it in the footer of the website as well, not to mention one of their latest videos, as they constantly have updated appetising videos.

End Note

Up to now, it has been a pleasure to work on such an authentic web design for Tmreya. We are pleased to welcome all our clients to use it as a sample and even learn from the business methods to improve their brand. It will be an honor to introduce their app once that is released as well.

Let us know in case you need help to improve your brand or want an authentic web design.

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AI Business Benefits: How does it fit you?

In my last article, we learned what AI is simple terms can be. Also, I pointed out to how it is used in our everyday lives and the difference between narrow and general AI. Now we want to see how it can benefit our business world and the AI business benefits.

AI Business Benefits in the Workplace

As we advanced in the tech era, you are used to some things you might see every day that AI is implemented within. However, not many recognize the AI business benefits so I have first pointed out some main advantages:

  • Virtual Assistance
  • Predict insights from business data
  • Automation of repetitive work
  • Enhancement of productivity, more focus on the real work
  • Fraud detecting
  • Notifications and Scheduling
  • Marketing assistance
  • Avoidance of human errors

Virtual Assistance

One of the great AI business benefits is using it as a virtual assistance. This is currently used in the Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. The benefit of a VA is that you can get a lot of the work done that you might previously have needed a live person for, so you can reduce costs in the payroll and also use the energy of a live employee more efficiently. You can use VAs for other office work like dictation, ordering tasks, calendars and events, to do lists and more.

Prediction Based on Data

One of the main concerns in business today is how we are using all the gathered data in our work. Many businesses seek to hire data scientists and growth hackers to analyse all the information and collected data. AI can help tremendously by processing billions of data in a matter of minutes. For example, it can be used to analyse lead generation reports, sales reports, procurement reports and more. With the help of machine learning and deep learning, it can continuously advance as well. AI uses data as raw material fed into it, to process information and provide valuable summaries, analytics and insights.

AI Business Benefits in Automation

Another significant AI business benefit is how we can use it in automation tasks. For example, we can use it lead flow tasks, in notification automation, in scheduling and much more. As written in this article, some of your daily tasks can be automated, like scheduling invites, managing emails for replies/delete/reviews, booking flights, ordering and help us perform better. For example, in Sales, automation can be done by follow up emails, contact updates, and lead updates.

Fraud Detection

Most business need to secure their information as cyber-attacks rise. Many have been target of cyber-attacks due to flaws or wholes in their business security. Another benefit of AI for business is how it can detect fraud in your business network. Using deep learning techniques, check of time series/sequence, ability to identify networks, check payment transactions and more, AI will help to secure your business.

Marketing Assistance

One of the best samples of AI is how it used as a marketing tool. For example, it can be used as a service chatbot, social media automation like IFTTT or Buffer, used for making checks and balances, and scoring leads, adapting the customer journey, advertising, and more.

Increase in Productivity, Reduction of Errors

The best AI benefit in business though is how it can enhance employee productivity so they can focus on high-value work, instead of tedious repetitive work or administrative work that can be handled by machines. AI VAs or applications don’t get tired, don’t make mistakes, can work without breaks and without payroll. On the bright side, employees in companies can focus on the real value of their work, how to improve customer service, and are the best friends of the HR department.

Wrapping Up

So, to wrap up, you can see some of the AI business benefits and how they can be applied in your business. Of course, the advantages are endless and this article is just a short briefing to get you familiar and open your mind on the possibilities. In the next article, I will explain our AI solution and how you can apply it.

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AI in Simple Terms

Last year, I read in many articles that AI was part of the emerging technologies in the years to come, and interestingly enough, this year, we were witness to a lot of progress in this field. As this is an immense field and I won’t be able to expand it fully, I thought it might be good to explain the fundamentals of AI in simple terms for our readers, and in the later articles, how it will benefit your business and our solution for it.  These days AI has become an ordinary term and used almost everywhere, from Google products, to social media platforms like Facebook, to apps in your smartphone and devices in your home.

So what is AI in simple terms?

AI in very simple terms is the ability of computers to act like humans, as defined in Tech Terms. As in this Salesforce article, it means that non-human entities have human-level intelligence and perform tasks intelligently. There are two general AI versions, the “narrow” or “weak” AI, like the ones you usually deal with such as smart search engines and apps, or the computer chess games you play with, or even speech and image recognition. Narrow AI works within a specific scope, so even though it is referred to as “weak” AI, it does its job pretty well. Actually most of AI you see today is weak/narrow AI and it automates a human activity so it serves us well.

The other type of AI is called “general” AI, which can operate independently of human beings. Up to now you would see general AI in sci-fi movies, but thanks to development in technology and use of Machine Learning, this has become reality now. When we talk of Narrow AI, we’re talking of AI that can’t learn new things or learn from experience. In General AI though, Machine Learning is used so the AI can “enhance” and “learn” and progress. You can read this to learn more of how AI and Machine Learning work.

Example of AI around us

Now that we learned of AI in simple terms, let’s see how is AI used around us. Here are a few examples:

Purchase Predictions: if you have shopped online, you probably have experienced the online platform predicting and suggesting products to you. Based on your favourites, or previous purchases, or selection, most ecommerce platforms like Amazon have AI build within working on predictive analytics algorithms.

Marketing Automation: in your CRM or marketing software, you will experience a lot of automated tasks and predictions and reports based on your data. In Salesforce, Einstein is taking the lead in facilitating all processes in a business.

Online Support: have you seen a chat box in service websites, providing online support? Most chat boxes these days have a chatbot based on AI like our Universal Chat. This will help free resources and save time by programming the most common questions people have when they come to your website.

Personal Assistants: anyone using a smartphone can see Siri, Google Now, Cortana as an intelligent digital personal assistant, and helping you find information with just your voice. You can ask for the nearest restaurant, ask for task reminders, schedule important appointments or just send other commands to your phone.

Music and Movies: ever wondered how Youtube provides you relevant videos of the one you just watched? This is also using AI to “guess” what you will like based on your previous judgements and likes/dislikes. A lot of platforms these days use AI to learn your taste and interest.

Social Media: one of my favourite AI examples is how Pinterest uses AI to learn your interests and get you back on their website. But Pinterest isn’t the only social media platform using AI. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also are using AI algorithms to learn about you and “sell” customized services for you.

Computer Games: if you have played chess or any other computer games with a Computer opponent, that is using AI as well. It started with video games and Nintendo but now it has reached a higher peak.

Smart Cars: smart cars and self-driving cars are a perfect example of AI, such as Tesla’s autopilot and maybe in the future you will no longer need a driver’s license because self-driving cars will be much safer than humans!

These are just a few but you can find more by just googling or reading online.

Ending Word

So up to here, we learned the basics of AI in simple terms. We learned of narrow and general AI, and samples of AI in our everyday lives. In our next articles, we’ll learn of the benefits of AI in business and how it’s applied.

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Best Methods for Pre-Marketing Apps

What is pre-marketing apps? According to an article by Marketing People, it’s the steps you take to create a foundation for the “buzz” before you launch your app or any product/service. So if you want a developing business, you have to first plan for it.

What steps should you take? What materials do you need? Whom should you target? In this brief article, we’ll point out to some of the best methods for pre-marketing apps, or any other business idea you might have.

Pre-Marketing Apps with a Landing Page

Since development of your app concept or business idea might take some months, it’s best to setup the landing page as the base foundation and base your marketing on that. The landing page should usually include a base intro of the app and its features/functions, some preview to the screenshots of the future UI, a newsletter subscription to gain future leads, and even promotions or discounts/coupons on your future offers. These will serve as the base pre-marketing apps techniques.

Social Media Loud Speakers

Get the word out using your social media outlets such as your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Constantly bring awareness to your brand and what benefits your app or business will provide. Use beautiful media pictures and the right hashtags to get the word out and pre-market your app. You can even re-post the same content with a different method. Social media is one of the best channels of promotion.  You can see some methods of content promotion for pre-marketing apps in this article.

Content is King

Start blogging about your app and business. Start with questions your app product answers, then benefits and other ways of bringing awareness about what you offer. Use methods of content curation to create interesting blog posts and promoting it on your social media channels. You can publish your content on your own website and blog posts, or submit it to famous review websites such as Medium or TechCrunch and other PR channels, which will serve itself as a pre-market technique for your app.

Go Viral with a Video

Creating a promotional video is one of the best methods of app pre-marketing. Statistics show that video and visual content is more preferred and mobile video views have increased over 400%. You can very briefly introduce how your app works and what it provides. This will create eagerness and enthusiasm in the viewers. Here is one of the promo videos we have done for our clients.

Beta Testers and Reviews

One of the other best methods to pre-market your app is to give a call for beta testers. Beta testers will provide the feedback to make your app excel, and will be your best word-of-mouth promoters. You can call for testers from your landing page and social media advertisement and even provide promos and bonuses for those who help in the beta process. Remember that you can develop a loyal customer base even before your app is launched, and you can learn how to plan your marketing strategy and test runs all from the test team.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are many more methods to use for pre-marketing your app, and you can invest on your marketing campaign way before your product is even out. Remember to have a successful business and app launch, you have to distinguish the right time, demographics, demand, and of course pre-marketing tactics.

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Let us know if you need consultation for your app marketing or any of our services or share your experience with us in the Comments section: 

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ERP Misconceptions: To Implement or Not To Implement

When it comes to ERP implementation, many businesses have a fear on the general scope and don’t know how to overcome this fear. Most of the fear comes from ambiguities they have in the process or the scope in terms of time and energy. What they don’t consider is what they are losing by not implementing an ERP and moving forward in business without one. If you’re a startup, not building your business on strong foundations will cause controversy and unstable grounds in your future strategy. If you’re a business with experience but looking to improve your system, every minute you lose in strengthening your workflow is a score point to your competitors. So no matter what type of business you are, whatever industry, whatever experience, it’s a big ERP misconception if you’re not overcoming your fear to implement. See the answers to some of the most common ERP misconceptions.

ERP Misconceptions: It costs too much

Many business stop at ERP implementation when they see the costs of a full system or just user license fees. What they don’t consider is that ERP implementation is a way of thinking and operating your business. If you want to progress and have a leading strategy, you need to invest in your future. Besides all this, there are many cost-effective and affordable ERP solutions, especially for startups. So don’t let it get to you and ERP costs are sometimes the biggest ERP misconceptions, and you can plan carefully and phase by phase to reduce costs but get a return on your investment.

No help in my ROI

Like I said before, an ERP implementation is a state of mind and way of thinking in your business. If you have all your real data recorded in your ERP system, you’ll be able to analyze your business results properly. For example you can see what time of the year you had the most sales, what product/service had the most income for you, which employee had the most conversions, you expense and your real-time balance sheet and P & L statement. So it’s a big ERP misconception to think your ERP isn’t helping your ROI because the mere fact that you have an ERP and are recording your cash-in and cash-out will help you in your analytics and sales strategy.

Staff don’t get used to it

One of the things that burdens on managements’ minds as a large ERP misconception is the ability to setup and train their staff to use the ERP. Many employees prefer to use a system they’re comfortable with and if there’s a lack of training and practice in the ERP system, they will refrain from using it. Also, if the processes they take in real life is not defined properly in the ERP system, it will also cause them to deviate from this path. So it’s actually an ERP misconception to say “staff don’t get used to it” and it will depend on you and how you define your workflow, and teach and guide your staff to enter their real-time data and keep track in the ERP.

My manual system is easier

Now this one is a deep fatal ERP misconception and don’t let it fool you. Honestly, I’ve seen people who prefer a manual system or Excel-based system even after the light shines on them and they see what an ERP can do for them. So what makes them say this? Easy, it’s hard to step out of your comfort zone and the human being resists change at first, but face it, if you want your business to survive, you have to embrace it and you will be surprised to see what difference it will make in you and your future strategy. Once you put one tiny step outside the boundaries of your comfort zone you will see the new possibilities and vast opportunities that were at your fingertips but you were too afraid to take them and risk on it.

Bottom line

Bottom line is, we’re in 2017. The world is revolutionizing. Businesses that aren’t digitalized will fail. Digitizing your business = having an online management system = ERP.

Not getting digitized due to ERP misconceptions = fatal mistake in 2017.

And no, having an ERP does NOT need to be limited to costs and budget and training and lack of tech resources. Just go for the change in your business, and don’t worry, what you seek is what you’ll find.

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erp misconceptions - seeker is the finder

 

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5 Success Factors for your Business Startup

In the digital transformation era, many business startups strive to find a place in the ever-growing market. Before, I’ve mentioned what you need to do to prevent failure in your business, but today, we’ll discuss what the key success factors sum up to in a business startup. According to business startup statistics, there is no elevator to success and you have to take the stairs. It needs delicate planning, hard-worked for efforts, summing it up, failure, and getting up and trying again. So, to help those on the start line, I’ve mentioned a couple of success factors for business startups:

1: Start the Idea, Go Phase by Phase

Your business startup might be a new innovative idea, or it might be something inspired by another business. Whichever the idea, you can help build it by detailing it out, breaking it into phases, and setting timelines and dates on it. Your success factor won’t depend on the strength of your idea or the originality of it, but it WILL depend on how you plan it out, execute it and persist on it.

 2: Determine your Business and Growth Strategy Success Factors

One of the most important success factors in business startups is your strategy. You have to know who your target customers are, their region, age group, lifestyles and so on. Moreover, what sets you ahead of your competitors and makes the difference? These are questions you have to first ask yourself to be able to determine your strategy. You will then need to work with statistics and set your goals, how many leads you plan to hit on the first week, your conversions, sales, and your growth rate percentage. According to this article, 90% of startups failed just because they made a product no one wanted. So first, plan and set out to determine all the aspects of your business strategy.

3: Training and Acquiring Skills

In today’s business, people love to work for what they do, and startups encouraging development of the skills and knowledge of their employees have the highest success factor rate. Your staff need direction and organization but you should always give room for growth  in their skills and provide the necessary resources for self-training or occasional training sessions to keep everyone in line.

4: Capital and Equity Success Factors

Everyone knows, in order to start a business you need a base capital source. Maybe you have an external investor, or have crowd funded your initial equity but be careful in your starting steps. From the very start, you should consider an accountant as your CFO to control the cash-in and cash-out flows, and be able to calculate the final ROI. Needless to mention, an ERP application to manage your accounts is one of the most vital success factors.

5: Organize, Manage, Grow with an All-in-One

Last but not least, face it, you’re in 2017. EVERYTHING is digital. Manual tracking of your sales, accounts, and purchases is out of date. Controlling your leads, market, quotes is essential to be in line with your social media and marketing tactics. You need an All-in-One application, to manage all your departments separately, release energy of yourself and your employees by automating your system (instead of tedious manual work, which always ends up wrong), an overview to measure and manage your growth. Trust me, you might think, ok I need to get started a bit, but as the famous quote says “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”…

Here are some real statistics form 2016 on how an ERP can affect your business and lead to success so even if you scroll and look at a few of the numbers, you’ll get the idea.

Bottom Line

There are much more success factors in a business setup than listed here and if you have a will to realize your dream, you are bound to do it for sure. As a word of advice, see and read on what others have gone through and what roads have been paved. Be in line with technology and use what it offers to push yourself forward and up the ladder of success.

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