Your tech startup may have an abundance of fresh, brilliant ideas and a skillful team eager to get to work. Before jumping into things, there are several aspects of the tech startup world worth knowing beforehand that can help you avoid or face obstacles with savvy preparation.
Immerse Yourself in Knowledge and Terminology
Technological expertise and great ideas certainly help fuel great beginnings for a tech startup, though there are some aspects of building a startup that technical expertise does not entail. Specifically, if your startup is in the tech sphere, yet you lack technical expertise, strive to become comfortable speaking with developers and acquainting yourself with relevant technical jargon. In addition to books, you can sit in on local classes, spend time each week with developers and pay an experienced developer for personal tutoring.
You’re not seeking to match the level of coding and technological expertise of developers, though conversing with utmost regard and knowledge for relevant terminology can lead to office-wide respect and easier communication. Do not make a situation where developers feel the need to dumb things down for a superior. Otherwise, your employees may feel like you’re unqualified for a leadership role.
Going further, engage with tax and financial professionals to learn tricks of the trade within the industry. For example, web designers and software developers have potential tax breaks to consider. Representing this knowledge can result in significant savings for a startup.
Start Investor Relations ASAP
Patience is vital for a tech startup, with several aspects of the process requiring time to complete. However, striving for quality investor relationships can start right away with charisma and good ideas. Oftentimes, an investor will let you know precisely when to follow up, whether it’s something vague like “keep me updated,” or more specific, such as “let me know when you hit $30,000 in revenue per month.” Compiling a list of such investors puts any startup in a great position for when the opportune time for investors comes, whether it’s a month into the formation or years later.
A Designer Can Wait
Any successful startup needs a savvy designer at some point, though it’s not one of the first positions to fill for a tech startup. One of the reasons why is that most developers can handle basic mockups and sketches. If not, designers are always available via contract work. A startup may eventually find the perfect designer, but this often happens when a clear vision establishes itself and the designer’s tastes align. Some designers also charge early based on UI/UX, which can be wasteful for a new startup.
Crowdsource Valuable Data and Insights
Just like investor relations can start in the extremely early stages of a startup, so can crowdsourcing useful consumer data. Today’s abundance of social media platforms makes asking polls and questions easier than ever, with many people willing to provide free insight. Ask consumers about their opinions on recent trends in a relevant niche, or about how they perceive strengths/weaknesses of competitors in the niche. Collect and analyze this data, moving onto different questions each week. In addition to compiling data, consumers will feel like you value their opinions and are a part of the startup process.
Hire the Right Way
Hiring a quality team may sound like a no-brainer, though not enough startups put ample thought into the hiring process. In a tech startup especially, it’s worthwhile to consider the many distinctions between a startup and a corporation. A startup is starting from the beginning, so bumps in the road are imminent. As a result, entrepreneurs should prepare to stay very late and go the extra mile. Seek out employees with a similar level of passion, knowing that the startup’s potential growth is reason enough to put in additional work.
Also, strive for an eclectic range of individuals in both skills and appearance. An office with employees who all look the same is unlikely to inspire the best and brightest to apply if they look different. Similarly, find a balance between the idiosyncrasies of many techies and a more standard approach to working. Typically, somewhere in the middle works best for tech startups.
These five aspects are pivotal to consider when forming a tech startup. The interesting and promising sphere of tech prompts many unique elements, from terminology and investor relations to savvy hiring techniques. In all, foresight and embracing potential are great practices for any startup seeking success.