What does a tech startup need to succeed?
Think of any of the big, glamorous names in tech – Apple, Google, Microsoft – they were all startups, once. Steve Jobs famously launched Apple in his parents’ garage.
If you have a big idea for a tech startup, the number one thing you need is courage. And lots of it. Apart from that, pretty much everything else is obtainable.
We’ve worked with lots of tech startups in our time, and we think we’ve learned a thing or two. Here’s our guide to what a tech startup needs to succeed.
The abundance of information available online means anyone with a great idea can launch their own tech startup. The market is saturated with startups that flounder and ultimately fail. To succeed, you either need to offer something completely different, or to do something better than your competitors.
Be honest with yourself about your business offering. Do customers actually need your service? Will they be willing to pay for it? Will they be willing to pay enough for it? If you’re trying to improve on a pre-existing product or service, will a customer chose you over an existing service already on the market?
If the answer to any of these is a big old ‘no’, cut your losses and come back when you’ve carved out a stronger niche for your tech startup.
Every new business will need at least some cash to cover their overheads and get started. Luckily, there are many ways startups can obtain the money to achieve their goals.
For businesses with an extra quirky angle, crowd-funding may be a viable option. This is where you ask large numbers of people for a small donation to help you achieve your project goals. Usually, this only works if your product or service is running for social good, or is really niche. GoFundMe is a popular platform used to raise crowdfunding donations.
If you’re looking for a more traditional solution to your money worries, there are plenty of other funding options to be had. There are currently 533 government schemes offering funding grants to UK businesses. There are conditions attached, and not everyone will be eligible, but they are certainly worth a look.
Alternatively, you may be able to obtain funding and valuable advice from an angel investor. Angel investors are entrepreneurs who provide capital for business startups, often in return for shares or part ownership. There are many options out there, you just need to find the one that’s right for your tech startup.
So you’ve established your niche and you’ve got some funding together – but do you have the right people to help make your business dreams a reality?
In order to succeed, a business needs have a wide range of skills, and the best way to do this is to recruit a diverse and talented team. Think about what your business needs to achieve your niche: is it coding, UX knowledge, copywriting skills, graphic design, animation, or dev ops?
Remember, you don’t have to do it all yourself. If you need an extra pair of hands, but don’t have the budget to hire staff long-term, consider recruiting an intern. Taking a graduate or student on board for a short contract is a great way to get some help on an urgent project. They’ll be tech savvy, so training them will be a breeze, and it could put you in touch with some very talented professionals should you decide to hire more staff in the future.
Check out the CIPD’s advice on hiring interns for startups.
A great website
Think of this as your digital shop-window. It’s your chance to tell people what you do.
A good website will clearly explain the services your tech startup offers, and give a rough idea of costs. If this isn’t possible, make it easy for potential customers to get a quote. Use plain language, and avoid horrible jargon, even if you do something quite technical.
A great way to showcase your skills and services on your website is to put together case studies of previous clients you’ve worked with (with their permission, of course). Outline the problem they were trying to solve, and explain the solution you provided. If you can include some photos or videos here, that’s always a bonus.
Finally, don’t forget to include full contact details for your business on your website. Include phone number, emails, and links to your blog and social media channels.
Having a beautiful website isn’t enough. You need to take steps to get your name out there, and drive traffic to your site.
Blogging is a great way to get your brand name associated with some original and informative content – essential for SEO purposes. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog have 60% more customers than those that don’t. Not sure what to blog about? Sharable, advice pieces are always popular.
Once you’ve published your blog posts, you should be sharing these across your social media channels. Use eye-catching images and relevant hashtags to attract more readers. As well as this, you should also be sharing news stories that are relevant to your target audience, and news and updates about your business.
If you want to keep your customers and prospects up to date with upcoming events and offers, but you’re no whizz at email marketing, try MailChimp. Their basic account is free, and it allows you to build bespoke email newsletters in no time at all. You can use their lovely pre-made templates, or upload your own if you’re feeling adventurous.
Of course, no tech startup comms strategy is complete without a thorough PR plan. While it certainly helps to have the luxury of a PR agency on your side, there are a few things you can do to get your tech startup some well-deserved press coverage. Check out our blog post on how to do a PR launch campaign for some quick tips.
Get a head start
It’s an exciting time to be a tech startup. If you’ve got a bright idea and the drive to achieve, the possibilities are endless.
Do you have any suggestions on what a tech startup needs to succeed? We’d love to hear from you!