Tech Entrepreneur

5 Tips on Becoming a Successful Tech Entrepreneur

Aug 14, 2017

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!

co-founder

How to Know If Your Start-up Needs a Co-Founder

Jul 17, 2017

Finding success as an entrepreneur can be hard, but it’s not impossible. With the right connections and enough hard work, success can be achieved.

However, if you’re looking to ease the process a bit, consider a co-founder. A business with two founders is more likely to be successful. Having a business partner can help relax some of the start-up woes.

Before selecting a partner, you’ll want to ensure that you are choosing wisely.

Picking a business partner isn’t a decision to take lightly. Read on to learn about the benefits of a co-founder and how to pick one.

Benefits of a Co-founder

There are a number of benefits to having a business partner. Let’s discuss a few of them.

1. It becomes a team effort.

Managing the early stages of a company can be difficult. From paperwork to networking, there are an endless amount of tasks.

With a partner, you can split the workload. This makes the process much more manageable. A partnership also keeps both parties accountable.

At the same time, you both bring different experiences and knowledge to the table. When it comes to delegating tasks, it’s much easier if one of the founders has more experience than the other.

2. More networking opportunities.

Having connections as a start-up is a must.

As time passes, you’ll have new questions and face new challenges. On your own, you only have your network to consult.

With a business partner, there is another network to tap into. Having two communities for support can make all the difference.

3. One on one support.

Building a business requires plenty of outside support.

With a business partner, you’ll get more personalized help. You’ll receive the benefit of having someone who is on the journey with you.

Ideally, your co-founder will be there to support you and to guide business decisions.

What to Look for in a Business Partner

Once you’ve decided to seek a business partner, don’t take the decision lightly. Your choice can make or break your startup.

When selecting a partner, keep this information in mind:

Your business partner should fill in gaps.

Take a look at your background. What experience or knowledge are you missing? The co-founder you choose should provide what you are lacking.

Maybe you have an MBA, but have no technical knowledge. Your business partner will need to bring technical experience to the table.

Think with the future in mind.

As an entrepreneur, making business decisions is vital. Every decision you make should consider the future. The business partner you choose should be one that makes sense in the long run.

Do your personalities mesh? Do you trust this person? Can you envision long-term business with him/her?

Answer these questions before making your decision.

Business 101 from an Experienced Professional

Are you looking to learn about entrepreneurship? Want to add to your business knowledge? If so, check out Rafferty Pendery.

We offer a wide-range of business information. From advertising to branding, we’ve covered it!

Contact us today for the business information you need.

5 Simple Ways To Stay Focused on Your Business Goals

Apr 6, 2017

It is important for every business to have both short-term and long-term goals. Having goals shows that the business is improving and has plans to keep improving. However, for Tech Entrepreneurs, this is not easy. It requires a variety of skills and, therefore, requires you to use those skills every day.  A tech entrepreneurship requires you to identify potential in people and  business opportunities, and it requires you to use that potential. This creates a busy life.

It gets incredibly easy to lose track of everything that needs to be done or everything you want to do. This busy life makes it easy for you to lose sight of the goals you have in mind, and it makes it seem as if you do not have the potential, skills, resources, or time to make them happen. Not achieving any of your goals, short term or long term, then affects the business in a negative way because not achieving your goals means you aren’t growing, or you aren’t growing as fast as you would like. So how do you not lose focus and keep achieving your goals?

1. Take care of your body.

This may sound simple, but it’s harder than you think. Living a busy life can often mean getting little sleep, so you can get that last project done. It’s the same with eating. It’s easy to skip breakfast when you’re in a rush out the door, and it’s easy to forget about lunch when you’re busy overseeing different tasks and keeping up with work. Next thing you know, you fall on the couch at home, too tired to make dinner. Believe it or not, lack of sleep affects your health in different ways. It can affect your blood pressure, which can affect how you treat your employees or anyone you work with. It can affect your low blood sugar, which can affect how you perform. Taking care of yourself should be first and foremost.

Sleep when you can. Sometimes getting little sleep can’t be helped. As for the food, keep snacks on you. Whether that is granola bars, yogurt or a bag of peanuts keep something nearby to munch on throughout the day, you’ll be surprised how well that keeps you focused. This is important because if you can’t take care of your body, how can you take care of your business properly? Stay healthy, so you can physically achieve your goals.

2. Drink water, and take short walks around the office or wherever it is that you work.

Not moving enough and sitting behind a desk for eight hours will make your brain slow. You’ll get bored and more frustrated than you would from lack of sleep. Remember to get up, and drink water. Water will help to keep you hydrated, and it gives you a nice break from staring at a computer screen or a sheet of paper. Also, it’s nice to get up and walk around for 3-5 minutes. Stretching your muscles will help work a separate part of your brain. Thus, waking it up. Keeping your brain active helps keep you focused on your goals and will help you not to get sidetracked. It will also help you come up with more inventive ways to achieve your goals.

3. Write your goals down.

Write your goals down and read them daily. Maybe have a cork board or a wall somewhere, whether it be in your office or at home, pin up pictures of what your dreams and goals look like. Always have them around to keep yourself reminded of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Quitting is always easy. Achieving those goals are not, but it’s much more rewarding. Keep your goals in front of you, so you have something you can chase after.

4. Find a team of like-minded people.

Have a team of coworkers, employees or friends who want to achieve the same goals. They can encourage you and make sure you don’t lose focus or heart. They will be the ones that remind you why you started in the first place. They will also be the ones that help you develop your ideas and bring in resources to make your ideas happen. You can’t do it alone, and even if you can, it will be much harder doing everything by yourself. Besides, it’s much more fun having a group of people you can trust cheering you on rather than trying to find the motivation yourself.

5. Use the haters as motivation.

Never forget your original source of inspiration, and always be finding new forms of motivation. People are always going to tell you that you can’t or that it’s not worth it. Prove them all wrong. If there is any reason to do what you are doing, it’s to show people you can, and that it is worth it. Someone in the world needs your idea to manifest, and you need your idea to become a reality. Do it for people, but never forget that you’re doing it for yourself, too.

Tech Entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate, but that doesn’t mean you have to take your goals and dreams off of it. Take care of yourself, surround yourself with like-minded people, and keep motivated, and you’ll do just fine. Your goals are possible, and you are just the one to fulfill them.

The Difference Between a Business Owner And An Employee

Jan 13, 2017

Starting a business is a lucrative option more and more people are choosing to explore as a career path. The potential benefits are outstanding, but people often misunderstand all of the responsibilities that come with owning a business. Earning potential and flexible schedules are the main benefits generally associated with entrepreneurship. However, a business owner’s money and time are subject to risk and fluctuation, a departure from the stability and security of being an employee. The rewards of entrepreneurship often outweigh the risks, but it is a lifestyle that will require a certain mindset and skill set to do successfully.

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Why Switching From Employee to Business Owner Isn’t Always What you Imagined

Dec 25, 2016

Let’s take an example of a business owner named Bob. Here is his story: Just last night I was sitting down to examine my tasks for the coming week. I was excited at the prospect of implementing some creative new tech ideas, when my task list reminded me of pressing bookkeeping and personnel management tasks that needed to be handled before anything else. I sat down and took care of them and made note of my new creative ideas, which would have to wait for the time being.
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