Integrate your small business with your customers

September 15, 2022

By: Adam Hansen

From production through marketing to integration

50 years ago, effective manufacturing was the key to success. 20 years ago, marketing was king. Now it’s evolving into Integration.

Nowadays, customers don’t need cheap and effective production to be fed with a lot of cheap products. Well, not really. Customers don’t need to be reached out by an enormous number of marketing emails and texts. Customers do need to have a smooth and borderless customer experience. This means – customers should be integrated into your business, borders between you and them should be eliminated, and the cost of consuming your products and services should be beneficially low.

Historically, integration challenges were addressed by the travel and hospitality industry as well as by IT – because of their nature. They were supposed to integrate people and IT systems respectively, and they were first to deal with ambitious goals of breaking borders. So, there is no surprise that one of the most effective approaches that we’d like to share with you, were developed by those who were representing these areas.

Integrate using major vendors’ solutions

One of these people, Dmitrii Selkov, a founder of award-winning ID Hostel network and IT expert at the same time, developed an approach for small businesses that is based on utilizing major vendors’ cheap or free solutions. According to Mr. Selkov, taking Microsoft (Excel, Power Apps), Meta (Facebook and WhatsApp), and Google (Analytics and Ads) solutions as a basis, you can easily create your ready-to-go combination without any programming experience and even a deep knowledge of IT itself.

Pros are: start quickly, utilize most of your customers’ cases, don’t spend on becoming a programmer, focus on your business instead. Just invest a couple of hours into the overview, take free and trial versions and start benefiting from it.

Build the simple tailored integrations by your own

Another expert, Daniel Mishin, the CEO and founder of JuneHomes, is about to stick to another side of it. Instead of coming to commodity solutions, Mr. Mishin suggests building up your own experience. With the tools available on the market, it’s not rocket science nowadays. It is relatively easy to build up your own site with WordPress* instead of taking one from Google, to create a chat bot with Automation Anywhere instead of taking one from Microsoft Azure, etc.

The main advantage here is that you build up a truly tailored solution, utilizing the full power of your unique competitive advantages, so it could be worth investing your time into it.

*All names are mentioned as examples, there are a lot of other options     .

What to choose?

You can take either the approach introduced by Mr. Selkov to ease your start and spend less effort building a borderless solution. In the future, you can enrich it with one of a huge number of capabilities offered by these vendors, and the solution will grow with you.

Or you may follow Mr. Mishin’s approach and spend part of your time building your own solution that will fit all the customers’ needs and be tailored for your small but growing enterprise.

What approach is best? Each person should decide this on their own, but you should obviously start this journey so that your small business will start benefiting from it sooner.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.