As we move out of the most recent financial crisis and the global economy continues to strengthen, more people are being drawn to the idea of working for themselves, taking that exciting first step towards becoming an entrepreneur and setting up their own start-up. The tech sector is a particularly fertile and attractive area for such individuals as innovation is highly valued here and there is huge potential, and indeed precedent, for people with good ideas and sufficient ambition to turn their dreams into reality.
There are, of course, risks for start-ups in the tech world. Investors are nervous about the unknown and may have had negative experiences of technology which fails to deliver on its promise or is actually created by a remote party. The first step is always the hardest as you need to overcome any initial sense of doubt or uncertainty caused by such risks. Fortunately, others have already achieved what you are setting out to do and the processes are well documented. By following some basic steps you can be sure of laying the right foundation for future success.
What is your offer or service, and what makes it special? This should be your focus point, a reminder of what you are setting out to do, as well as the cornerstone of all your marketing. Everything you do should be built on this, so make sure it is clear in your mind, that you have confidence in it, and are able to articulate it clearly to others.
Money is an essential ingredient for turning a concept into a reality, and very few entrepreneurs are able to provide all their own capital. Shop around for sources of funding to make sure you are getting everything to which you are entitled. Banks and investors are, of course, sources of funding, but local authorities and government agencies may be able to help as well.
Get organised by making a comprehensive and definitive list of everything you need to do to support the actual development of your idea – facilities and staffing, for example. As you start out, consider enlisting the help of an umbrella company who can help with the supply of essential resources such as IT contractors, while minimizing the time and effort you need to put into HR issues such as tax and payroll.
Get out there and sell your product. Identify your audience and talk to them in the forums you are most likely to find them. As well as the more traditional marketing techniques such as print ads and social media, utilise your own professional network to try and generate some buzz around what you have to offer.
Creating your own start-up can be an intimidating idea, but ultimately one that could be hugely rewarding, both financially and personally. Too many people dismiss it as something they could never bring themselves to do, despite having something unique to offer. The best way of managing such doubts is to research what has been done before, and follow the processes that have been tried, tested and proven to work.