Competition in the tech industry is very fierce. This competition, coupled with economies that are weaker now than they were a couple of years ago makes the tech industry a battleground with more than its fair share of startup casualties. One major difference between those tech startups that succeed and those that fall by the wayside is a business plan. According to a survey by Bloomberg, almost 90% of of startups that objectively viewed their product, weighed it against that of the competition and then made a comprehensive plan from their findings were still doing business after three years. If you’re a young entrepreneur starting your first business, getting as much strategic advice and feedback as you can is always advised. You can save your tech startup from failing in the early stages, but you need to optimize your business plan and do your research to help you make decisions. Here are some tips to help assure you that your tech startup stays healthy and afloat.
- Don’t be about the tech alone: Even if you’ve built an app that solves a real problem, tested it an gotten stellar reviews, you still haven’t got it made – until you sell it, that is. The best tech product or service would not be able to keep your tech startup afloat if you can’t convert it into a business. If you are not good at business, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your venture. Seek out business experts that can provide you with the expertise that you need. You’ll eventually need a business-savvy person on your team, or you’ll end up one of the countless tech startups who lose funding because they can’t monetize their idea.
- Manage your money well: Lean is the name of the game when it comes to tech startups and money. Simply put, the longer you can make funds last for, the longer you can stay afloat. Even if you’re master fundraiser who can convince investors all over the place that your tech startup is cooking the next big thing, spending more than you can raise is trouble for you. Learn to manage what you have – even if it feels like a lot at the moment. Operate lean and use resources strategically and only when necessary so you can keep your tech startup afloat much longer. Proper money management early on shows investors and those whom you hire that you are aware of the bigger picture and are planning for it.
- Get a co-founder: Several businesses that are still thriving till this day were founded by more than one person. Even though what happens to the relationship when the tech startup becomes a huge success is debatable, these companies would not have grown to such heights if the person with the idea tried to go it alone. Consider what strengths you bring to your business and think about what kinds of skills you may not possess that could help the startup. The path of the entrepreneur can be a long one and having someone else keep you accountable, motivated, and constantly on your grind can be invaluable in the long run. Though, this isn’t to say it’s impossible to foster a single founder tech startup.
- Location and timing: When looking for a spot to call your headquarters, look for a location that is within a reasonable distance from a hub where you can network, access resources, and meet with clients and investors.Be strategic in where you locate yourself so that you can attract talent and access an established ecosystem that can help your business.
Another important aspect is timing. There can be such a thing as waiting too long and starting too soon. Even though you trusting your instincts is not a bad idea, the decision to launch or wait should be based on some research on what competitors are doing and whether the marketplace is looking favorable at the time you intend to launch. The perfect time may not exist, but preparing ahead of time can save you, your team, and investors unnecessary headaches and heartache.