How many startups succeed? Just 10%.
That’s a stark number, but it’s not there to bring you down, it’s to show how critical it is to get your approach in order so you can pull ahead of the 90% that don’t make it.
Anyone can do it, if they go about things the right way, so here’s what you need to fire up a successful tech business in a crowded market.
Provide solutions, nothing else
Customers don’t go out, or online, searching for features, gimmicks, or lifestyle tweaks. The majority of people, the ones you need to attract, have a problem and are looking for a fix. They will go with whoever can provide an efficient, safe, easy-to-access solution, at an agreeable price point. Your priority is always to provide that solution.
Think about times when you’ve needed something, and what you spent your money on. Consider famous successful businesses. What do they do? You’d be hard pressed to find one that isn’t providing a solution, and doing it well.
Create your name and logo
This part is fun. Some people might leave it until later, but for many it can be inspiring, and so is worth addressing early. Once you have a vibrant brand identity, you can really start to perceive your enterprise taking shape.
You can use a business name generator to help pick a name that has impact and longevity. It shouldn’t be hard to spell or pronounce, and it should represent what you do, while having flexibility should you diversify in the future.
Get yourself a beautiful logo too, and you’re good to go.
Build your MVP
Now we’re getting down to business. Here’s where you put together your Minimum Viable Product, meaning the minimal version of what you plan to provide.
This will attract customers, serve a purpose, and allow you to gather feedback and make improvements.
The MVP concept can apply to all products and services. You’re pushing something out there, garnering attention, and receiving user data to convert into refinements.
The key here, at first, is functionality, followed later by design. When it works, you can style it.
Get an eye-catching website
Tying in with the name and logo, this is where your business comes together as a trustworthy, professional package.
If you have the coding and design skills, you can build from scratch, but while this saves money, it’s time consuming, highly specialized, and not the best option for most people.
A viable, affordable route is to look at freelancer sites and find the best deals by hiring a developer directly. You can get great work at reasonable rates.
If you’re on a larger budget, you can go to a web development agency. While it costs more, you’re guaranteed a quality product, customized to your specifications, with ongoing support.
Alternatively, try a do-it-yourself website builder. These don’t require coding skills, are cheap, and give you a professional-looking site, although you’re limited by their parameters, and will have to expend some of your own time.
Team up and network
Do this internally and externally. WIthin your startup, do you want to do it all by yourself, or can you bring in like-minded, motivated people and make it a team effort? A small, tight-knit group, each with their own speciality, but all on the same page, can make mind-blowing progress.
Externally, network, partner up, and collaborate. Put yourself and your ideas out there. You never know where a conversation will take you, so follow every lead. And at all times, while recognizing the importance of being confident and driven, stay humble. Learn from those who are successful, and when the time comes and you’re that person, pay it forward.
It will always feel like there is a better time, a skill to be mastered, something else you need to think over.
But in reality, the best time is now, so get started immediately, and adjust as you go. Things move fast, particularly in tech, so rather than watching the currents pass by, it’s far better to be among the action.
You’ll be amazed at how much you learn by doing, and how much better you’ll retain what you pick up. You’ll find paths you’d never heard of, around obstacles you didn’t know existed.
Fail, learn, become stronger
Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Take the losses, and learn from them. It’s important to understand that setbacks are inevitable, and what matters is how you respond.
In tech, you can never be entirely sure how something will work until you try it, and it’s usual to spend time removing bugs and ironing things out, or even to start whole sections over again.
The key is your mindset. You execute, something fails, you correct and execute again. You repeat this process until it works, with the difference at the end being how much you learned and innovated, and how much stronger your project became.
In this way, over time, losses are gains, and so above all, enjoy the ride.