What are your top five tips for founding a tech startup? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
So you want to enter the lion’s den and start a tech company?
Well, my friend, there is a lot to think about and it can be hard to know where to start. So taking the time to do some research and planning upfront can make a huge difference in the success of your next great venture.
Tip #1: Know Your Audience (I mean really know your audience!)
Before you even start thinking about your product or service, it’s important to understand who your target market is. What needs does this market have that your product or service can address? What are their pain points? What keeps them up at night? Where do they hang out? Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start to develop a product or service that meets their needs.
There is a fantastic story from legendary direct-response copywriter Gary Halbert who once asked a class of hopeful young entrepreneurs:
“Imagine you’re opening a hamburger stand on the beach and you could have just ONE THING to help your business succeed, what would it be?”
Students offering all kinds of answers:
- High-quality meat!
- A killer location!
- Delicious, secret sauce!
Gary told them how wrong they all were…
“You need… A STARVING CROWD!”
You could have the greatest product or service in the world — if there isn’t a starving crowd to there to consume it, it will be hard to keep the lights on.
Tip #2: Go Outside And Do Mad Scientist, Stalker-Like Research
When you’re starting a new business, it’s really important to do your homework. This means researching your industry, your competition, and your target market. This will give you a better understanding of the landscape you’re operating in and help you to make more informed decisions about your new business.
So many failed businesses are started “indoors.” Meaning that the founders don’t leave the office, they don’t leave their bubble, and they don’t open their ears to the market. Instead, they create products and services that sound great to them, spend a lot of money hoping to turn it into a business, to then realize nobody wants it. There’s no starving crowd.
Leave the office, go and speak with your target market, and build your startup based on what they want… What they truly want (not the type of “want” that gets provided in a basic email survey sent to family and friends who tell you what you want to hear!)
Tip #3: Create A Rock Solid Business Plan
A well-thought-out business plan is essential for any new business, but it’s especially important for tech startups. How are you going to actually… do business?
This document should outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. It should also include financial projections and a marketing plan. Having a strong business plan will give you a roadmap to follow as you launch and grow your new business.
Tip #4: Raise Capital (Or Not?)
There are a number of ways to raise the capital needed to get your new business off the ground, such as angel investors, venture capitalists, and crowdfunding. Doing some research on the different options and finding the right fit for your business will help in securing the funding you need.
But not all tech startups need funding – and some renegade startup founders work hellbent on being profitable from day one.
One interesting way of pulling this off is creating info-products (such as eBooks, video content, virtual events, etc…) around your core business and selling those products to consumers digitally to help raise the cash needed to push your new business forward.
Tip #5: Build A Team Better Than You
One of the most important things for any startup is to build a strong team. I also believe that the players you have on your team should be lightyears ahead of you in their respective departments.
This means putting together a group of people with the skills and experience who share your vision for the business. Having a great team in place will give you a better chance of success as you launch into the marketplace and grow your tech startup.