Photo by Arnold Francisca on Unsplash
No-Code: The Ultimate Guide For Your Business
The no-code approach to building software has taken the world by storm. Here's everything you need to know before using it for your business.
9 min read
Table of contents
- The ultimate guide to no-code for your business
- So, what is no-code?
- What can you build with no-code and how?
- Benefits and potential drawbacks...
- When should I not choose no-code and what should I do instead?
- Thanks for reading!
You're an aspiring entrepreneur with the next billion-dollar SaaS startup idea. You believe your idea will disrupt the global market, and change the lives of the whole world for the better.
But there's just one tiny problem: you don't know how to code.
I mean, why would you want to learn how to code? You want to focus on providing value to your business, not the technical details that no one ever sees!
But what if there was a way that you could build that billion-dollar SaaS idea without ever having to write a single line of code?
Well, it's possible now, all thanks to the emerging trend of no-code technologies! In this article, I'm going to provide you with the ultimate guide to no-code, defining what it really means, what you can do with it, some pros and cons you need to consider, and most importantly, how you can get started right now!
Finally, I'm also going to be discussing when no-code isn't the right option for your business.
The ultimate guide to no-code for your business
So, what is no-code?
Basically, no-code is just what the name implies! It is a tool that allows you to build out applications without ever writing a single line of code, or even needing to know about coding in general!
This makes no-code tools extremely simple to use, even for non-technical people, lowering the barrier of entry to building complex applications, and allowing businesses to focus on the problem at hand without worrying about the technical details!
For example, let's consider a no-code tool that allows you to build out emails. Traditionally if you wanted to make a nice-looking email, you would need to know how to code in HTML and CSS.
Mailerlite is a no-code email marketing tool that helps you to solve this problem. Using their platform, you can create beautiful looking emails using a drag-and-drop interface, no coding skills required! An example of how Mailerlite achieves this can be found below.
What can you build with no-code and how?
Ok, so now you know what no-code is and you're intrigued, I bet your mind is racing with ideas of business ideas that you once thought to be impossible.
But slow down there for a second, and let's take a look at some examples of what no-code can actually do.
Please note that these are just a few examples of no-code tools. If you need something that isn't on this list, your best bet is to Google what you need to achieve with the phrase "no code".
By far the trend that sparked the no-code revolution would have to be website builders, and for good reason.
Before no-code website builders existed, the only real way to build a website was using something like Wordpress or code, which made having a website pretty inaccessible for most small businesses.
Here are a few examples of some no-code tools that can help you to build a website.
- Wix free tier
- Shopify best for ecommerce
- GoDaddy free tier
Depending on what kind of service or product your business offers, having a mobile app can be absolutely essential to the success of your business in comparison to a traditional website.
Normally, mobile apps are a lot more expensive and difficult to build out in comparison to a website, even for an experienced developer. As such, the no-code revolution has led to the creation of plenty of tools to make the process of building an app simple and code-free.
Here are a few examples of no-code tools you can use to build a mobile app.
Despite the increase in social media, did you know that email is still the most effective way to reach your audience?
In terms of overall performance, you may be surprised to find that email typically produces better results than social media. - AgencyAnalytics
So what you need is a no-code tool to be able to build beautiful emails which you can send to your subscribers without ever having to touch a line of code.
Here's a list containing some of my favorite no-code email builders:
- Mailerlite my favourite free tier
- Mailchimp free tier
Forms are an essential part of any business. Regardless of if you need to collect leads, or are just looking for customer feedback, there is a no-code solution that can help you out.
Here's a list featuring some no-code form building tools:
- JotForm free tier
- Google Forms super easy 100% free
- Survey Monkey best for surveys free tier
The core of any business is receiving money for the value you provide to the world.
Whether you're sending an invoice to a consulting client or are selling a product, you're going to need some way of collecting payments from your customers.
Luckily, there is a great no-code tool that will take care of all of this for you called Stripe. It's completely free to get started with and they only take a small commission on any payments you make with them.
You can send invoices and sell products without ever having to write a single line of code using their simple user interface, but they also support more advanced integrations if you need a custom solution in the future.
When you're building no-code applications, you might need different services to be able to communicate with each other. This can be a little tricky and is typically solved using code.
However, a no-code tool called Zapier (with a generous free tier) will allow you to connect your different no-code applications together, allowing you to create complex systems with an easy-to-use interface.
For example, let's say that you need to create a Slack message whenever you get a new lead on Facebook. You can set up Zapier to automate this process for you, as shown in the diagram below.
Zapier has integrations for hundreds of different services and is integrating with new services every day, so I highly recommend checking them out if you ever need to connect some services together.
Benefits and potential drawbacks...
Just like every new technology, before you get started, it's really important that you consider both the pros and the cons.
Luckily for you, I've outlined the main things you need to consider when deciding if no-code is right for your business below.
Benefits of no-code
When you have an idea, the most crucial thing you can do is get feedback on it right away.
This is where no-code truly shines, as you can have a working MVP (minimum viable product) up and running by yourself within hours of the idea's conception., allowing you to test the market and pivot if necessary.
Low technical overhead (focus on the problem instead)
For a lot of companies that use some sort of custom technology as a part of their business, it can be a nightmare to manage and maintain this technology.
By using a no-code solution, your business no longer needs to worry about the many problems that comes with managing custom software, allowing your business to focus on providing the most value for your customers possible.
A few drawbacks to consider
Limited functionality, lack of customization and configuration
It should be no surprise that since no-code solutions simplify the process of building a piece of software that would traditionally require coding, that you will not have the same level of control that you would otherwise have if you had built that software yourself.
When using a no-code tool, you may find yourself limited by choice of design, integrations, or just overall functionality and configurability of the tool, leaving you unable to create what you envisioned.
Vendor lock in
To sum it up, vendor lock-in is
when someone is essentially forced to continue using a product or service regardless of quality, because switching away from that product or service is not practical. - CloudFlare
What this means practically is that once you integrate with a particular no-code platform, you may become highly dependent on it, and if something were to happen to this tool in the future, it could potentially jeopardize your entire business.
As an example, let's say you're a writer and you choose Wix to build and host your blog on. Over the past 3 years, you've published over 400 blog posts and have numerous articles ranking #1 on Google.
Now imagine if Wix went bankrupt and had to shut down. What would you do? How would you switch platforms? What happens to your SEO rankings?
Vendor lock-in is very important to consider when choosing a no-code tool essential to your business. As a rule of thumb to reduce the risks associated with vendor lock-in, favor tools that:
- Are "too big to fail"
- Allow you to backup your personal data
- Are easily replacable
- Have a lot of competition
When should I not choose no-code and what should I do instead?
So now that you've heard the use case for no-code, what about the use case against it?
Well as mentioned in the cons section, you probably wouldn't want to consider a no-code solution if your business either:
- Has a heavy focus on technology OR
- Is very unique
In the event that you do need a custom piece of software for your business that can't be achieved using a no-code tool, you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Plenty of code-based services are out there that can help you to achieve your goal without needing to rebuild existing software from the ground up, allowing you to minimize your costs whilst getting an awesome solution.
If you need help figuring out how you can implement a custom software solution for your business, send me a message on my LinkedIn and I'll provide you with some tips on how you can go about achieving your goal!
Thanks for reading!
So that's my ultimate guide to no-code tools!
If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, I hope I've just helped you connect the dots on how you can go about building that billion-dollar business idea, and if you already own your own business, I hope you've got some ideas on how you can use no-code to solve future business problems.
I'm going to be creating more of these types of articles in the future so that you can stay up to date on modern technology and how it can help your business, so to be notified of when I do, follow me on all my social channels here, and subscribe to my mailing list here.
Thanks for reading once again and good luck with all of your present and future business endeavors!