Insights

How The Right Digital Services Will Boost Your Bottom Line

Monday 8 November 2021

If you’re considering digitising your entrepreneurial services, it’s helpful to think of the process like renting or buying a house: both have advantages and disadvantages.

This is a slightly unusual topic for EHE Capital, but as an organisation that brings funders and tech entrepreneurs together, we know it’s important for your services to have the best possible foundation.

How many times have you visited a website or an online digital service and found it “clunky”? It’s not enjoyable, and you get frustrated because things don’t happen in the way that you expect; you leave that platform without buying. What has to happen to make it an enjoyable experience for the consumer?

What you need to consider

There are two factors to take into account when designing services: user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).

User interface is mainly about aesthetics. It includes colours and fonts, but there are also more technical and practical aspects to it, such as making sure the buttons you need to click on are a reasonable size if you have bigger fingers (like mine!).

User experience works alongside the UI and the software engineering, but you’re less likely to notice it if it’s doing its job well. You can easily move from where you are to where you want to be on that platform. When a UX is poor, people get frustrated or stop using that service. It needs to be a seamless and enjoyable experience for the customer.

Leveraging technology

Understanding how to leverage technology is vital. There are plenty of examples of how organisations have tried to ignore technology in the hope that it would just go away (it never does).

For example, Kodak invented a low-resolution digital camera back in the 1960s but thought it was a threat to business so didn’t launch it commercially.

Blockbuster is another great example. As a kid, I used to love going to get a video or Blu-ray; both fell to the wayside with the advent of digital streaming. If organisations didn’t convert their business and offer streaming services in time, then someone else took the lead. 

Avoid shortcuts when you take the lead

If you’re looking to build your own software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering or platform, you might need to consider bringing in a specialist company to take care of the UI and UX. It requires expertise. You should, however, be involved on a daily basis in the development of it so that your sector knowledge can be transferred into a beautiful user interface and user experience.

Hiring specialists in this area is worth every penny; a good UX and UI will create the best possible impression for your customers; they won’t get frustrated and leave.

To rent or to build?

When it comes to creating the right platform for your online service it’s similiar to deciding whether to rent or build a house.

It might be possible for you to utilise an existing product from a company (just as you would rent a house), which cuts out the massive cost of developing your own. For this type of product the fee might be approx 30% of the revenue you generate, or you might pay a monthly cost to use the system (but you retain all the revenue). This is like renting a house where the initial cost is manageable, you have regular monthly outgoings, and the process enables you to progress quickly.

On the other hand, if you are not a qualified builder, would you even consider building your own house? The same applies to a SaaS offering or platform; you need to source the right experience and expertise and although the initial investment will be far greater you can choose exactly how it will look and feel.

Hopefully this article will help you to recognise the importance of UX and UI (they will win or lose you business) and decide whether to build your own platform or software-as-a-service offering, or rent space on one that already exists.

Successful business owners are embracing technology. If that’s something that you’re willing to do, I thoroughly recommend reading High Frequency Change by Tom Cheesewright to help you develop your ideas.

Whatever you do, get the right support; don’t try to take a shortcut.

If you have a question for EHE Capital or would like to talk to us about mentoring or funding support, then contact me at guy@ehe.capital.

JOIN THE EHE ENTREPRENEURS COMMUNITY

Our first offering is free personalised, curated news, both here on the website, and in a daily / weekly digest direct to your inbox.