The journey to tech entrepreneurship may not be as easy as it sounds—the success rate alone lies between 10-20%.
According to research conducted by Harvard University, “entrepreneurs with a track record of success are more likely to succeed than first-time entrepreneurs and those who have previously failed.” In short, they have a 30% chance of succeeding again in their next endeavor.
On the other hand, first-time entrepreneurs have an 18% success rate and entrepreneurs who failed in their previous endeavors have a mere 20% success rate.
However, these statistics should not discourage you from enjoying the perks of tech entrepreneurship.
We have some tips to give you a head start and become one of those in the 10 – 20% group.
Tip #1: Do not overspend your investment
Most startup owners rely on their bank balance to keep the cash flow steady in the initial years. Even then, choosing the right resources (small and angel investors) and distributing your funds wisely will set you up for success from the start.
However, the common tendency of startups is to immediately go for extensive hiring and increase their hands to meet aggressive growth goals. As a result, they tend to invest in invaluable assets, which one can avoid in the early years.
Such irrational moves will only burn your cash and overburden you with debts. Instead, invest wisely.
That brings us to our next tip.
Tip #2: Hire talents, not numbers
Even though an entrepreneur has to sport different hats simultaneously, a human brain can only perform so much at a time.
Overtaxing yourself trying to cater to multiple responsibilities will only exhaust your energy. Instead, focus on hiring real talents who are good at what they do and sport other hats like you when needed. Do not go on a hiring spree immediately. There is always time to expand your numbers.
Initially, focus on hiring people who can really add value to your business and not just eat away your money.
But, before you hire talents and look for funds, you need to do something very important.
Tip #3: Do your homework
This is a time when you will understand why our teachers always insisted upon doing our home tasks daily.
To stay prepared all the time, right?
The entrepreneurial journey is similar to graduating from junior high school to high school. You are growing every day, learning something new every second, and facing challenging tests often.
Only proper research and homework can get you through, just like old school days.
We are not asking you to start mugging a chapter from History or solve a complex arithmetic problem.
We ask you to study the market, the customers, their behavior, the key players, your competitors, and so on. Then, understand whether or not your tech idea understands potential customers’ pain points and has solutions to help them better.
Hiring experienced players can help you gain insight into customer behavior or what is currently in demand.
Businesses cannot survive without end buyers. But, if your tech idea fails to create that demand in the market, you need to return to the drawing board again.
Tip #4: Are you building solutions or features?
Your idea should address customers’ most pressing needs. The next tip would be to focus on what exactly you are building.
Is your business idea a remedy to customers’ problems? Or, are you building tech features simply because you have an affinity for experimenting with technology?
If your vision, mission, and objectives are not clear, then you should pick up your paper and pen to start re-planning. Your business will never sustain itself for long if the product you develop does not solve real problems.
If you wish to make a change, then start by changing your vision.
Tip #5: Build an MVP to study the market-demand curve
What if we say your business can grow minus the cash loss?
Why do you think WhatsApp and others bring out a prototype before they add and update new features?
Startups and other ventures grow iteratively. They work on user feedback from a constantly improving application and update those changes based on their users’ wants.
Being a tech entrepreneur, you can easily master your coding skills and start working on the idea while sticking to your desk job to pay your bills.
Launch the prototype, get feedback and then work on them. Or, you can take your prototype to potential co-founders and possible investors. They can’t discard your idea because it is more than just an idea.
For non-techs, the journey can be a little topsy-turvy. You don’t have the coding skills, and you don’t have the time to pick it up. The best approach for non-techs like you would be to sell your idea to a prospective CTO (chief technology officer).
If the latter believes in your idea, you can start the engine.
Tip #6: Focus on one single problem at a time
There are always opportunities to grow and expand your business across multiple industries.
But, at the initial stage, if you try to step into two different boats at the same time, you are highly likely to drown and take your idea with you.
With limited resources and too many customers to reach out to, your entire focus should be on solving one particular problem. Also, avoid redirecting your company’s attention to multiple other things.
Instead, each one of you should work towards the same goal—which is to get your product out in the market in the shortest possible time.
This brings us to the next important tip.
Tip #7: Find your niche
When we say you should focus on one singular goal, we also mean that you should identify your niche.
In fact, consider this as one of the most important tips for the day. Understand that there are a zillion other tech companies in the market, big or small. All are fighting for their fair share of land. Also, it is highly possible that someone, somewhere in the world, has the same idea as you.
Or, those similar companies are existing in the market already.
What you need to do is be the differentiator. Do your homework. Your hours spent on market study can help you to develop your idea.
What do customers want?
What are the available solutions in the market?
Identify the gap, if it exists, or problems your competitors overlooked.
The above information will help you to identify your niche. Now, your focus can be to excel in that area and be the ultimate solution provider.
Nothing can stop you from garnering a solid market share for your business if these points are checked.
There is a lot to learn, explore, and develop as an entrepreneur. These tips can help you do so. But, the rest depends on what you do and how you do it.
Reading others’ success stories can clear your doubts, but every chapter has a different story to say.
Yours can be different too!
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