Do you have a great idea for a tech solution that the world needs? If so, becoming a tech entrepreneur might be the ideal career path for you!
While setting your own hours and handling all aspects of your business might sound like an exciting opportunity, the reality is that creating a new tech company from the ground up requires hard work, commitment, and a significant dedication to your craft.
Yet, while the input may be great, the good news is the reward can be even greater. In fact, venture capitalists invested more than $56 billion in startups in 2016 alone, and that number continues to rise.
So, do you want in?
Today, we’re discussing five ways to succeed as you step into the world of tech entrepreneurship.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Find Passionate People
As you grow your company, your employees will quickly become the backbone of your business. As such, it’s vital to hire ones that are as enthusiastic and passionate about your solution as you are.
Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying that when making a hiring decision at Apple, he was primarily interested in one thing — did that person love Apple?
When explaining his reasoning, Jobs said, “Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.”
As a tech entrepreneur, you may be at the helm of your business. Yet, your employees will be responsible for many of the processes that keep its gears running smoothly.
As such, you’ll want — and need — teammates that care as deeply as you do about what you’re selling.
2. Survey the Landscape
While you might think your offering is the best new idea to hit the tech market, chances are you could be up against scores of competitors offering a similar solution.
To stand out and get noticed, take a look at what’s currently being provided in your niche. Then, determine how your product or service is unique, and strive to highlight these differentiators.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and pick the brains of your industry peers, especially those with more experience than you. As you grow into your role as a tech entrepreneur, you’ll find that there’s something to be learned from everyone you meet — yes, even your competition.
So follow your passions and pursue your dreams fervently, but don’t forget to look up once in a while to see what everyone else is doing.
Studies show that sharing knowledge and communicating with other professionals is crucial for growth, though only 25% of executives are effectively doing so. Join that one-quarter and see what a difference it makes.
3. Meet a Need
You may have heard the statistic circulating around that Internet that 90% of startups fail. What’s discussed less frequently are the reasons behind this staggering figure.
The chief reason only one in 10 will succeed? Almost half (42%) of founders polled responded that there was no market need.
This reason came in at the top, posing an even greater threat than a lack of funds (29%), a team that didn’t fit (23%) and pressure from competition (19%).
The takeaway? Even if you have all the capital you need, a stellar team, and little to no competition, if you aren’t providing a product or service that people actually need, it could be difficult to secure a spot in the tech landscape.
Today, technology allows us to create software and systems that perform all kinds of functions. From automated floss dispensers to a Bluetooth-connected toaster, there’s virtually no limit to what we can create when given the capacity.
Yet, being a tech entrepreneur requires an incredible investment of time, energy, and resources — not just from yourself, but from your team as well.
To boost your ROI and up your odds of success, pinpoint your target demographic. Then, determine what those consumers prioritize, prefer, and typically purchase.
How does your solution fit into that? If you aren’t sure, it might be time to re-evaluate your vision.
4. Manage Inputs and Outputs
Though much of being a tech entrepreneur centers on following your dream, the all-important, yet less glamorous administrative aspect cannot be overlooked.
At the end of the day, successfully managing your resources can make all the difference in succeeding and barely scraping by.
Especially in the beginning stages, every incoming dollar counts. The way you invest it back into your company is critical. To maintain the balance, you may have to get creative with the way you allocate income.
Are sky-high salaries burning a hole through your profits? Consider if you can offer lower pay but better benefits, offering employees morale-boosting incentives such as happy hours and comped meals to cut costs.
In the same vein, you’ll also be required to sharpen your time management skills. When you’re your own boss, that freedom can be incredibly liberating — and simultaneously overwhelming.
Without set working hours, you can easily become burnt out. In fact, Gallup poll data reveals that 34% of entrepreneurs said they experienced worry “a lot of the day yesterday,” up four percentage points from all other workers. In addition, 45% experienced stress that same day, up three percentage points from the worker average.
In a nutshell, it’s important to focus not only on how you’re spending and investing your money but also your time. A successful entrepreneur will seek balance in both.
5. Plan Your Future
Before making any new move as a tech entrepreneur, make sure you have a detailed business plan in place. Creating one is crucial to making sure your company has a roadmap for the future.
Strategizing how your company will respond to changes in the market, new competition, fluctuations in profit margin, team growth, and more is a valuable first step.
As you craft your plan, be sure to account for some flexibility. What you think will work in 2017 might not be as applicable or important by 2020. In that case, sticking tight to your blueprint could do more harm than good.
Allow yourself the freedom to transition into a new phase if necessary, but build a solid foundation first. A business plan can help you get there by forcing you to put down on paper all the ideas and tangents that have been swirling in your head.
Not sure what to include in your plan? The U.S. Small Business Administration provides some helpful guidelines.
Straight from the Source: Advice from a Tech Entrepreneur
Now that you know a little more about how to succeed as a tech entrepreneur, do you still believe the path is for you? If so, I’d love to share my tips on how to navigate this rewarding, but sometimes tricky, landscape.
I provide relevant industry-related articles to help you ace the business management game. From branding strategies to social media, I’ll show you the ropes as you take each step along the journey.
To learn more, feel free to contact me and let’s connect!