Don’t let the bubbling tech industry and robust venture capital opportunities kid you into thinking surviving as a tech startup is going to be easy. It’s true that it’s never been easier to turn a great idea into a booming business, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to work hard, make sacrifices, and select the right choices along the way.
We are in an economy where digital transformations are slowing aging businesses down, and it’s created an opportunity for lean emerging tech businesses to swoop in with disruptive technology when they’ve got an idea people can get excited about.
If you’re committed to turning your tech idea into a booming business, here are some tips to help you become successful:
Get clear on your core purpose
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and even experienced business leaders get burnt out and throw in the towel. Statistically speaking, most businesses are going to fail - it’s just a matter of when. If you expect to survive the heartwrenching ups and downs that come along with the startup life, you’re going to need to get clear on what your core purpose is.
What are you passionate about? What’s your why? Knowing the answer to these questions is what will push you through the hard times. There are going to be countless make-it or break-it decisions you have to make, and if you want to have a better chance at making the right ones, you always want to lead with your core purpose in mind.
You need to be fearless
Bold, brave, courageous, audacious - you get the picture. If you think you can’t, you’re right. If you are chasing after big dreams, you need to truly believe that you are capable of the unthinkable. You can’t uncover new and innovative paths if you let anything stand in your way.
Steve Jobs said it best: “Those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world, are the ones who actually do so.”
Become relentlessly curious about your ideal customer
A deep and genuine understanding of your ideal customer is absolutely essential if you want to turn a tech startup into a thriving business. You need to understand your customer’s pain points, in order to satisfy them with your product.
The thing is, they aren’t stagnant. Customer wants and needs will change and it needs to be your job to stay in the thick of it. Get out of the office and the boardroom, and make a commitment to being surrounded by your ideal customers every single day. This is the only way you’ll ever really get what they want, and find innovative ways to give it to them.
Know what you don’t know
You might be doing this alone in the beginning, but it can’t stay that way if you want to scale. Understand what your own strengths and weaknesses are, and build a team around you of people who have what you don’t. Look for people that have the skills you need and are complimentary to your own skills, instead of hiring people that are just like yourself. You need a well-rounded, balanced team to support your growing business.
Be patient and don’t give up
It’s unfortunately very common for entrepreneurs to give a business their all, including their life savings, and then give up two-years in. Know that this is going to take time. It’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to be easy. If you’re committed to your core purpose and to serving your customers, you’ve got a solid shot at making it. You don’t technically fail until you stop trying, right?
There is no clear-cut recipe for tech startup success, but these foundational elements will help send you in the right direction. There’s never been a better time to be in the startup industry!