5 Tips For Young People Looking To Launch Small Tech Businesses
Throughout the varied challenges of 2020, the tech industry has gone from strength to strength. Remote working demands both hardware and software to keep companies going, after all, plus we rely on technology for everything from entertainment to online retail. Software providers in particular have performed well: the software-as-a-service industry is bigger than ever before.
Due to this (and the diminished appeal of conventional employment in a time of furloughs and firings), many young people are interested in launching their own tech businesses. Outside of the unavoidable risk of entrepreneurialism, it’s among the safest routes imaginable since there’s no plausible scenario in which technological development stops being a top priority.
This level of interest does mean that the level of competition is going to be challenging for the foreseeable future, though. Anyone who wants to build a thriving tech business will need to take it extremely seriously right out of the gate (even if it’s their first try). Here are five handy tips.
The perception of every modern business is heavily shaped by its website, and that applies doubly for tech businesses. They’re understandably expected to possess considerable expertise in development. Would you trust a tech company with a mediocre website? Most people wouldn’t. Due to this, an early focus on website optimisation makes total sense.
This should stem from choosing the right platform (the CMS, or content management system, affects much about the site built on it) to working on the user experience. A great business website isn’t about posturing and showing off advanced features. It’s about quickly and professionally getting to the point in a way that shows expertise. It’s always worth looking at some well-established tech brands to see how they construct their websites.
Internet users today are far more cautious about the sites they visit, and for good reason. Online threats have become more widespread: as noted by the Bristol-based Edge Cyber Security experts, mobile malware in particular has grown by a huge 600% in the last year. Any tech company that doesn’t make security a priority will struggle to polish its brand.
In addition to using a secure CMS, this means following best practices (factoring in things like GDPR) to confirm that all user data is suitably protected. This is essential for every type of organisation, whether business or educational facility. Allowing such information to leak would be hugely damaging for an established brand — and for a startup, it would likely be enough to ruin its chances of getting off the ground.
One of the key business benefits of the social media world is that it’s increasingly easy to get in touch with people who are influential in a given niche. It’s particularly important for young entrepreneurs because building a good company and offering a compelling value proposition isn’t enough: without promotion, no one will know that value proposition is on the table.
Through sites like Twitter and LinkedIn (and relevant research tools — Industry Marketing Hub has some useful suggestions), it’s simple to find relevant influencers and message them directly, but it’s also viable to get involved in existing conversations and build up recognition incrementally and by association. Furthermore, there are major advantages to speaking with accomplished tech entrepreneurs: they’ll likely be willing to share some insight.
Business networking isn’t solely about finding people who’ve already achieved success. It’s also about locating other tech entrepreneurs with compatible businesses (not potential competitors, of course, since they’re to be avoided whenever possible) and finding ways to pool resources, share knowledge, and generally provide mutual support.
Suppose, for instance, that you were planning a business providing convenient automation tools intended for business use. If you found another startup offering a great communications tool, you could team up to offer your compatible tools as a combined package. Two small companies can punch about their weight by teaming up until they’re big enough to operate independently. It isn't guaranteed to go well, but it’s a solid bet.
Much is made of so-called elevator pitches: brief encapsulations of budding businesses that are intended to stoke the interest of potential investors or clients. It isn’t usually the case that a pitch needs to be made in a specific amount of time, but it’s certainly true that people don’t want to hear lengthy and laborious pitches.
The issue here is that the founders of tech businesses tend to focus on the technical aspects of their operations — aspects that may well go over the heads of the people they’d like to reach. A great pitch won’t remove all technical complexity, but it will make it accessible, simplifying concepts where necessary and concentrating on the net value on offer.
To wrap up, then, there are five things that every aspiring young technical entrepreneur should do as a matter of urgency if they intend to launch a tech business: create a top-notch website, secure all their data, become familiar with industry influencers, look for chances to partner with other startups, and figure out what a good pitch looks like.
These steps certainly won’t guarantee success, but they will markedly improve the chances of success — and that’s the best anyone can realistically hope for.
18 Jan 2021, 16:36 PM