by Carlo Pandian
Being able to code has become an essential part of many businesses, and not having this golden skill has been seen to put otherwise strong and effective businesspeople at a disadvantage. However, there is no reason a non-technical senior staff member or even a startup co-founder can’t add value to your business. There are many things that a non-technical co-founder can provide, which allow the more technically skilled in the company to focus on their talents.
While the technical co-founder can focus on developing the business in the “back room,” your non-technically minded co-founder can focus on building the brand’s voice “front-of-house.” They can essentially be the face of the brand on the web and also in person if that suits your business. Building a consistent voice for your company is essential to attract customers, as well as retaining them.
When you’re just starting up it can seem like your non-technical co-founder is sitting around doing nothing while you work to build the product. However, this is the time when they should also be at their busiest, drumming up support for your development and bringing the customer’s through the door. Getting excited potential customers lined up is something you can delegate to the non-technical partner as they can ensure that when the product is ready, the customers are there waiting.
Administration and Recruitment
It may not be the most interesting of jobs but in the beginning while the technical partner is focused on coding and developing, the non-technical partner can ensure the business is set up legally and work from an administrative perspective. This includes recruitment if necessary and ensuring the necessary accounts system is in place. Using accounting software is a clear and decisive way of ensuring all accounting elements of your business are covered and can be easily managed by a non-technical partner in the company.
As your business is brand new you are unlikely to be able to employ an army of trained sales staff so make use of the bodies you do have. Getting new customers is near impossible without direct sales and contacting potential customers directly to interest them in your business. In the early days this can be something that is central to the role of your non-coding trained partner.
Social Media Manager
Social Media management is absolutely integral for new digitally based businesses. It’s a quick, easy and free way of drumming up interesting in your business and to appear professional and approachable, you need to ensure the already present brand voice, which your non-technical partner has developed, is broadcast through as many appropriate media as possible. With a strong and recognisable voice your brand can be guaranteed to be noticed and this is before your product is even launched. Once its live you can use these channels as a great way of discussing popular opinion to your product with customers as well as answering customer queries.
Many businesses have decided there is no use for a non-technical partner but then find themselves overloaded with tasks that detract from their time to spend coding. This in itself is a key reason to utilise the skills of a non-technically experienced person.
Carlo Pandian is a keen observer of the start-up world in Asia. He writes tutorials on small business accounting software by Intuit and has previously spoken at the Google Campus about entrepreneurship and inbound marketing. Follow his rants at @carlopandian.