How to Build a Successful Tech Business
With famous founders such as Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel in the news almost every day, it’s no wonder that many people around the world are feeling inspired to start their own tech business.
It’s a rewarding job, but it can also be difficult. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the best methods to build a tech business and share our top tips on how to get ahead.
Build a Basic Version of Your Product
It’s known in some tech quarters as the “minimal viable product”, and in others as a “minimal viable technical validation.” Put simply, it’s vital to find a way to build a cost-effective, working prototype of whatever your product is to prove that it’s going to be possible to drive it forward – without breaking the bank.
This can be tough, but it’s necessary. Once you’ve found a way to develop your product’s basic version without spending too much cash, you need to find a cross-section of your target market, demonstrate it to them, and take on their feedback.
While this process is important for long-term profitability, it’s also important for getting investment in the short to medium term. Without demonstrating that your product is viable, it’ll prove tough to get support on your side as you grow.
Have a Little Patience
Many tech companies rush into growth, but sometimes going more slowly is necessary.
This is especially true in the “hard tech” sector of the industry, which is one of the tech world’s most promising segments. As Jason Rosenthal (CEO of camera technology company Lytro) says, ensuring that a small but targeted group of initial customers find value in your product and become brand evangelists for it is crucial.
Rather than rushing to get lots of customers and then watching in dismay as many of them fail to get value out of your offering and hence refuse to become brand ambassadors, it’s better to have patience and build something that customers love.
Get Your Loved Ones On Board
The vast majority of tech founders would agree that it’s almost impossible to build a successful business without the support of friends and family.
That was certainly true for the chairman of electronic signature solution firm DocuSign. Keith Krach’s wife, Metta, supported him throughout his journey at the company and was the one who encouraged him to take up his previous role as the company’s CEO. She even served as an unofficial member of the company’s team, understanding the business’s core proposition and pitching it directly to people she met!
When people like Metta give their solid support to the entrepreneur in their life, it means that the founder can get on with running the business without having to also take on sole responsibility for issues in their personal lives. Whether it’s your partner, your parents, or your friends, ask your loved ones to be there for you as you embark on your tech start-up journey.
Optimize Your Start-Up for Future Investment
When launching your tech business, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking about your ultimate end goal – such as changing the world or selling for a profit.
First, though, you’ll need investment from venture capitalists (VCs). With San Francisco alone offering around $8.5 billion a year in VC cash, it makes sense to build your start-up with the needs of VCs in mind.
Ensure that you have a deep understanding of the market in which you’re operating: if you can see the end goal without seeing how you can move through the market to get there, VCs will not be happy. Knowing inside out the problems faced by the customers that you want to attract is vital, so don’t lose sight of what matters.
Network Like Crazy
It’s an often-overlooked part of being a founder, but it’s vital that you build your network.
The internet is full of opportunities for offline meet-ups, and most importantly, networking events are usually free! Tools such as LinkedIn mean that you can go out there and locate the people that you need to meet at the touch of a button, so don’t miss out.
Attending events is another great idea. If you have a particular strength, why not send an email to the organizers asking if you can speak or help out? You have nothing to lose, and with a little persistence, you might find a golden opportunity to build your business’s brand and find that vital connection that your new business needs.
Whatever sector of the tech industry you find yourself in, building a business from scratch can be difficult. However, by planning ahead, staying patient, and getting friends and family on side, you can give yourself the best possible shot at success.