Supporting businesses to connect and collaborate…
As a web developer it’s good practice to have side projects to further develop your skills. I am currently mapping out a project that will support business networks. We already have a strong interest in membership type business models for two reasons.
- If you haven’t already, then have a read about our education membership web app - Club Roy.
- I used to look after the marketing for a thriving business network. I did this for 12 years. I was part-time and coding interactive education apps during the rest of my week.
During this marketing role, I managed many aspects of running a busy business network. Some of my tasks included organising:
- Networking events
- Public relations
- Directories (online and printed)
- Social media broadcasts
- Email marketing
- Recruiting for members
- Marketing coaching
The main challenges of any paid-for business network include…
- Awareness: Creating awareness of the network and its benefits to recruit new members
- Conversion: Converting prospects into members
- Engaging members: Ensuring that members engage with activities. Disengaged members are always more likely to drop-off the radar and not renew.
- Networking and collaboration: Encouraging members to network and collaborate with each other.
- Identifying disengaged: so communication can focus on them and encourage future participation.
- Reporting on engagement so that members can see their return on investment
- Offering tools that will benefit the membership
- Profit: Creating value for the members whilst creating profit to ensure sustainability. And minimizing the admin overheads along the way!
Using my coding skills, and first hand knowledge, I am going to build a solution to tackle these issues.
It’s going to use the best of the modern web. So, that will include a front-end framework and a serverless approach.
2. Membership web app wish-list
- SEO optimized front-end (high performance and accessible)
- Embedded social media
Network Management Features:
- Top level super administrator
- Network staff logins for viewing member info
- Quick and easy sign-up process
- Automated subscription payments (monthly or annual)
- Searchable directories: businesses, events and jobs
- Discussion forum
- System notifications, e.g. when staff post an activity. Or when a renewal is due.
- Member dashboard with engagement reporting
- Member profile management with admin moderation
- Messaging (member to all members, member to member)
- Chat with network staff
- Tendering management
- Event management (promotion, sign-up, automated remind, attend and post-event follow up). Paid for option.
- Assets for sale board
- Recruitment board
- Member only content areas
- Data management for app
- Surveying services needed by the membership
- Recently viewed content by member
- Engagement levels
- Surveys for tracking satisfaction
- Advertising banners for members and others
- Sponsorship management
- Event management for associates
- Paid-for listings for members within directory
- E-commerce - sell products
I’m sure this list will grow!
Customization for the network business will include:
Development specific features
- Mobile first!
- Built as a progressive web app, i.e. with offline capability
- Log in authentication with Google or Facebook account - forgot password functionality
- Static site pages generated with the Scully static site generator
- Serverless architecture
- Bespoke content management or via a headless CMS
- Recurring payments through Stripe
3. Tool list
I will be using the following tools to build the web app.
- Adobe XD for wireframes
- Angular 9
- Scully static site generator
- Bulma CSS library - as Sass
- Firebase’s Firestore NoSQL database
- Netlify’s content delivery network
- Git and GitHub
- Twilio for email and SMS
- Flamelink Headless CMS system? Or not?
I look foward to updating you on the system as I scope, wireframe and the progress as I code it.