The tech sphere is notoriously competitive. For every business that makes it, there are so many failures that it might feel like you’re never going to be able to get a foothold in this fast-paced, aggressive industry. The truth, though, is that with a little application, a lot of dedication, and some luck, you’ll be able to build a tech business that lasts.
Of course, not just anyone can create a tech business and expect it to succeed. It takes a certain kind of entrepreneur, but you can be that entrepreneur if you work hard enough at it. Here are 10 things you’re going to need if you want to build and maintain a successful tech business in the modern climate.
1. A solid product or service
In the tech industry – perhaps even more than anywhere else – a solid product is the foundation of a successful business. Whatever you’re making or providing – be that support for existing tech, a new idea that will fill an underserved niche, or a competitor to an established product – it needs to be the cornerstone of your strategy. After all, without a great product, all the marketing in the world won’t save you. In the end, if your service isn’t top-notch, people will realise.
2. A great digital marketing strategy
While a good product will stand you in excellent stead in the tech business world, it’s equally important to have a great digital marketing strategy. This should encompass all of the aspects of marketing, from content generation to advertising and outreach and everything in between. There are lots of companies out there, like iNET VENTURES, who will help with blogger outreach and content creation, so if this isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry – you’ve always got options.
3. An understanding of the market
Since the tech world is so cutthroat, you need to know where your service or product fits into the industry as a whole. If someone else is already offering what you are but at a lower cost or a higher quality, you’re going to seriously struggle. Similarly, even if your product is the greatest ever made, if the niche is already well-served, then you won’t be able to find a foothold. Understanding the market and undertaking appropriate research is absolutely crucial.
4. A willingness to fail
No tech business has an unbroken history of successes. Ask any major tech CEO – from Tim Cook to Satya Nadella – whether their companies have ever had any high-profile failures, and they’ll give you a litany of their most embarrassing slip-ups. You need to go into your business with an understanding that you will likely fail at some point, and a willingness to learn from those mistakes instead of dwelling on them. That’s the only way you’ll ever grow, after all!
5. A friendly but competitive attitude
You’re in this business to win; you don’t want to accept second place or compromise your desire to own a successful company. That’s understandable, and that competitive spirit is likely to win you more than a few battles. However, it’s also important to understand that other businesses are your rivals, not your enemies. There’s a distinction, and sometimes, it can be helpful to network with those businesses and talk to them rather than holding them at arm’s length.
6. World-class customer service
Tech is one of the industries that benefits the most from top-class customer service. Since your product may not be entirely intuitive to certain demographics, it’s important to have good staff on hand to help people when they need it. Customer service is integral to any business strategy, but it’s even more vital in tech, where not understanding the product can be the difference between a five-star review and a one-star company assassination.
7. Momentum and motivation
You can get bogged down in the specifics when you’re starting your company up, but the best way to get on with business is…well…to just get on with it. Open up and see if you can attract customers with your current plan and strategy. If the customers or clients aren’t coming yet, then you know you need to make adjustments. Similarly, you won’t be able to adequately test your operational parameters until you start operating. At some point, it’s time to stop conceptualising and start doing.
8. Service knowledge
Which team task management software package are you going to use? Do you favour Asana or do you prefer Trello? When it comes to cloud storage, will your team use Dropbox or OneDrive? There are a handful of pieces of software that are absolutely essential for businesses, and as a tech startup in particular, it’s crucial to know what they are. After all, if your tech empire isn’t well-optimised, then can you really call yourself a tech company?
9. The right staff
It stands to reason that without the right staff to populate your business, you’re simply not going to achieve the results you want. You need to make sure that you’re looking for the right people. Obviously, since tech is such a knowledge-heavy sector, people with the right expertise are very important, but you should also be looking for innovative thinkers and those who are willing to learn quickly. The tech sector changes at an accelerated rate, so your staff should be able to match that pace.
10. A never-give-up attitude
It’s not over until it’s over, and nowhere is that more true than in the tech space. Your company hasn’t completely failed just because things are looking a little dicey; the tech sphere can be notoriously unforgiving, but by rejigging your MVP (minimum viable product), you might be able to survive. What’s important is that you don’t throw in the towel until the absolute last minute, because many tech companies have been saved by Hail Mary efforts in the past, and yours could be the next.