When is the Right Time to Start Web Crawling?
Growth and competition are two key factors that can boost or stall a company from achieving success. The rate at which the corporate world has grown shows tremendous potential to absorb a new venture and let it thrive. Say you had a great business idea to start an online service or a new technologically advanced data backed application that could skyrocket the performance of other enterprises chasing the same path to success.
How do you identify if your pricing strategy is right? What is the current market demand for such a product or service? How many competitors are there in the industry and what have they been up to? How do you gather the basic data to build/test your prototype or draw some conclusions from? You could do all these tasks manually to some extent, hire additional labor, yes but to what opportunity cost? You start a company, you focus on it. You do not get into the alternate business of scraping data – Period!
Data is a crucial drug to be monitored in regular and safe doses. You do not want to be overwhelmed with your choices on your first truce with the world of Big Data. Take too less, you lose out on important information. Take too much you are lost in a sea of numbers, unaware of what to do with it. Then how do you control your data consumption according to your requirements? Simple, order only what you can consume. Just like nature, there is an order to the business cycle and its stages and related requirements.
The Business Cycle
Before putting your money on a horse, it is best to evaluate his previous race history and other horses running on the track alongside him. Based on that you formulate a judgement whether betting on a particular horse would be a safe / risky bet. Once you place your bet, you cannot change your option mid race. Hence evaluation is a critical stepping stone to decision making.
Similarly Startups are the young bred stallions ready to run on the corporate track. But before investing your time and money on any particular idea for a startup, it is essential to research all your options well. Ideation requires extensive research and domain knowledge for which you would require data and information. Data in the form of structured data sets could help you realize the demand supply gap in the market and gauge the threat to new market entry well before in advance before you go all horns blaring on the track. Thus Big Data could really pep you up for the coming challenges and requirements in the market you wish to enter and help you prepare a plan to overcome those meticulously.
First of all, we would like to tell you, starting a new business is no easy task. Smallest of the issues like electricity, inefficient website, server failure or even an unproductive employee could jolt your business back by few days if not tackled properly. On the other hand, you have been depleting all your resources just to kick start your venture into the next big thing in the industry with almost negligible inflow of orders or output. How do you cope with such basic issues under constant pressure of trying to stay afloat when all the factors are pulling you down? Simple. Why not try to foresee such issues well in advance? You can scrape job boards to hire the right fit employee who could boost your productivity right from start. You can frequently send out crawl requests to validate your website paths and any server issues and rectify immediately in case you find a broken link. The electricity issue? Now, for that you will have to find the right real estate guy or portal, which can direct you towards a 24×7 power backup property within minutes. Still wondering where data could help? Check out some use cases here.
After putting in a mountain load of effort, time and money into your startup, there would come a time when you start seeing results. This is the stage where your business has been recognized as an authentic product/service provider by the public and you can say that you have succeeded in building a bond of trust with your potential customer base. Now you can see an opportunity in growing the business and investing the profits back into the business to reap greater benefits. In simple terms now is the time to expand! It is thus essential to clear your mind and focus on numbers. Which sector can benefit from your offering, what people are you reaching out to, what are the best mediums to connect to your audience on, analyzing the sentiment of your audience conversations on social media and formulating the right strategy to move ahead with so you can garner the public interest and capture their suggestions and reactions to modify your offering accordingly to suit their need. The constant urge to grow and expand your business shall go a long way in developing your small venture into the next big corporate giant.
Now that you have done all your ground work efficiently, in a couple of months, the orders shall start pouring in at a fast pace. So brace yourself for an imminent successful growth at a set acceleration. But this growth spurt will be short lived unless you make an effort to sustain it. Big Data can come to your rescue here to monitor any competitive changes, price modulations or upcoming new product designs that could be a future threat to your company. It is a cut throat competitive word and you have to be not one but five steps ahead of your competitors to climb the ladder of success. Acquire ready to use sets of structured data for your in house analytics to decide the future direction and strategy of your firm, customer opinion gathering or simply to stay ahead of the competitive price curve. You name it and big data can help you achieve all your goals quicker than you expected.
All that number crunching and data shuffling got you tired? By now we believe you have grown into a full-fledged corporate firm with multiple business centres and a brand name that could endure all odds. But it is still not time to end your startup story. It is time to ideate newer products or offerings, create new business relationships, acquire more customers and yet keep working on your old idea to make it better. Data can never be far away from your mind.
Be it any stage of business or any part of your growth cycle, it is never too late to crawl and extract big data from multiple sources for your competitive advantage. Data in today’s time has become the fine line of distinction between a winning business and an investment loss. You have to decide for yourself, whether you wish to acquire data and run your next business strategically and define all sharp moves at your terms or would you seal your fate and hang on to the first world term for business acumen – Intuition!