Technology continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the startup business. More and more entrepreneurs and tech experts are venturing into the world of startups because of all the possibilities and opportunities.
As with any business, however, it is not easy to build, much less nurture and maintain a startup. About 90% of startups fail — that may be a grim statistic, but it is also a guide and a challenge for those who want to take their tech idea or product to the market.
If you are planning to build your own tech startup, it pays to do your research and be well-informed. Here are some simple-but-essential tips on how to build it from scratch and help you get off on the right foot.
1. Go over your tech idea or product
A great idea is not a competitive advantage. It has to have a unique selling point (USP) that can be tested when turned into a minimum viable product (MVP), the most basic version of your product that includes all the features for the consumer problem it is trying to solve.
Define the USP and the MVP by asking questions such as:
These and other questions will help define your goals, product features, and the viability of your startup endeavor.
2. Have a solid business plan
And we mean a solid, airtight one. This plan should outline what your business will look like, how it will be funded, how decisions will be made, and how day-to-day operations will be run. A solid business plan helps you get back on track when you do not know what to do or where you are supposed to head to next. It also gives you something to pitch to investors or banks for funding.
More than the essentials of a regular business plan, do not forget to highlight the tech part of the endeavor. If you have a tech idea or product you think is worth developing into a startup, you need to make sure it is viable, it can grow, attract funders, give people jobs, support business operations, and be useful to consumers.
3. Surround yourself with the right people
Mentored startups grow faster (3.5x faster) and raise more money (7x more) than non-mentored ones. Seasoned tech professionals and entrepreneurs help keep your organization on track once it has hit the ground.
The stability, growth, and success of your start venture will be amplified with the knowledge and support of the right mentors, leaders, and team members. When you hire a freelance programmer for startup or a business consultant, you get to tap their experience and network, which gives you a roadmap with a higher probability of success.
Especially since you will be starting a tech-focused startup, make sure to do your homework when hiring designers, coders, engineers, consultants, and other team members. For the entrepreneurial side of the business operations, do look for reliable leaders to handle the marketing, accounting, sales, legal, and other aspects of the organization.
The key thing to remember is if you are unsure about any aspect of the startup operation, bring other people on to help.
4. Lock in funding
In all types of business ventures, you will need enough capital to start. For startups, there is the added pressure of locking in the funding you need to scale. There is no set number that applies to all businesses — it varies from industry to industry, as well as what resources (equipment, manpower, overhead costs, etc.) you will need.
The most common sources of funding include: personal savings and credit, friends and family, venture capitals, angel investors, banks, and even crowdfunding. If your business acumen is not strong for this part, this is where the knowledge and support of other people come in handy.
This is where you will get to test not only one’s entrepreneurial skills but also the marketability and viability of your proposed product or idea — especially as a startup looking at several rounds of financing.
5. Pair the product with memorable branding
Create a strong, rounded branding strategy not only for the product you are trying to sell but for the company and everything in between. Top IT consultancy company DevsData emphasizes the need for well-rounded branding, which includes:
These and more help build and strengthen your brand, especially as a startup in need of exposure and credibility.
When it comes to business, everyone has ideas. Not all ideas, however, can be realized successfully. Keep these five things in mind when building a startup and you are sure to get off on the right foot to success.