6 Things Every Tech Startup Needs to Succeed
Starting a tech startup is now easier than ever, but succeeding certainly isn’t. You could literally go on any freelance site and find a programmer who could build you an app for under $100, but that doesn’t mean that it’ll be the next Uber or GrubHub. Successful tech startups do not happen by accident. They happen because there was the right mix of expertise, insight and research, and proper execution. It’s also about building a solid team, having good leadership, and making the right decisions at the right time. Let’s take a look at a few things all tech startups need to succeed.
Good timing is extremely important in a business, but especially in tech. Trends come and go and something that’s relevant today might become totally irrelevant tomorrow. If you identify an underserved niche, waiting too long to make a move could also result in lost opportunities and the market getting saturated before you get a chance to capitalise on it.
Lots of startups end up failing because they get stuck in research and development for too long. We’re not saying you should rush your decisions, but do not fall prey to analysis paralysis. Not everything has to be perfect in the beginning, so flesh out a rough idea first and start working on the next stages and your project will eventually fall into shape.
The Willingness to Delegate
One of the biggest mistakes new tech startups make is trying to wear too many hats at once. They often do so because they feel they can handle things better themselves or assume that they’ll be making savings. But that’s a huge mistake for many reasons. First of all, if you handle things that you’re not completely qualified for, there’s a strong chance that they won’t get done properly. Second, you’ll be wasting time that should be spent on growing your business.
There is no reason for you to handle things like website design and maintenance or social media marketing if that’s not your forte. You could easily delegate these tasks to a freelancer or virtual assistant. You definitely shouldn’t be handling things like accounting or payroll yourself either if you don’t have the expertise.
You should take a hard look at your operation and see what you could outsource. Everything from IT management to HR could be outsourced, so don’t be afraid to explore your options.
The Proper Set of Expertise
You can’t delegate everything, however, and getting into tech without knowing a single thing about it is a sure recipe for disaster. So, you should at least think of getting some sort of formal education. One of the best degrees for tech startup owners is computer science. Having a computer science degree will help you in so many ways. Not only will you have a chance to be involved in every step of your project, but you’ll be able to provide insight on things like cybersecurity, and even help with things like online marketing and design.
You should also know that getting a computer science degree nowadays is much simpler than ever thanks to online classes. Universities like Wilfrid Laurier have a masters in computer science that you can get completely online while you keep your current profession. This is also a good option for entrepreneurs who want to learn on the go.
A Sound Budget
One of the biggest mistakes startups make is mismanaging their budget or making it an afterthought. Or they get overwhelmed the minute they get funding and spend it in the wrong areas. This is why you need to have some understanding of finance before you start any business. And, if you don’t have that expertise, you’ll need to find someone who does. Things like how much you should be paying for your location, what equipment you should buy, and your production costs, should all be kept under control if you want to succeed, and this can only be done with a well-detailed budget.
No tech startup can succeed without good leadership, but not everyone understands what leadership means in tech. First of all, it will be very tough to be a good leader if you don’t have expertise in tech, which is again why it’s so important to consider getting a formal education that will allow you to talk about a project’s details without looking like you’re out of your element.
Good leaders also know how to delegate, are great communicators, and know when they should take responsibility. They also have good foresight and can anticipate issues before they manifest.
If you lack any of these skills, you’ll have a lot of difficulty being the head of a startup company. Your business and employees will lack direction and start to lose their belief in you. This will push many of them to leave and make it harder for you to get new talent. Know, however, that not all leaders are born and you can develop leadership skills on your own and through education.
Great Social Skills
You may assume that social skills are not that important to run a successful tech company, and there are indeed a few examples of introverts that were able to make it, but they still had to pay for it in one way or the other. Having good social skills will allow you to build a solid network you’ll be able to leverage later on. It will also allow you to be a better negotiator, whether you’re working with suppliers or financiers.
If you feel like your social skills are lacking, you’ll need to improve them immediately or you’ll be at a great disadvantage. No startup is an island, and the best startups succeed because of the partnerships they’re able to build, so you need to make developing social skills a priority.
These are all things you’ll need in your startup if you want it to be successful. So, before you start, make sure that you have everything in place and that you have what it takes to be the head of an organisation.