The life of a tech entrepreneur is a difficult one. Of course, every entrepreneur has a lot of challenges to overcome; it’s not possible to start a business and have the journey be plain sailing throughout. However, as a tech entrepreneur, you’re likely to face a set of unique problems as well as the ones commonly experienced by every business owner. You can help yourself along the way by learning to watch out for certain things that you need to avoid. Here are 10 things to make sure you avoid as a tech entrepreneur.
The tech industry moves at a blindingly fast pace. It’s important to make sure that your business is keeping up with that pace. All entrepreneurship abhors stagnation, but it’s especially unforgivable in such a fast-moving world. Make sure that you’re paying close attention to what’s going on in the industry so you can learn and adapt. If you let yourself stay still for too long, whether it’s in the products you offer or the services you provide, you’ll quickly be overtaken by other businesses.
2. Inadequate funding
The money can run out faster than you think when you’re a tech entrepreneur. That’s why you need to keep your business stocked with all the money it needs to pay for its operating costs. Of course, trying to attract the attention of investors is the best way to do this, but if you’re struggling to do so, then even taking out £500 loans could be helpful for shoring up your capital just enough to see you through a particularly difficult patch.
3. Poor hiring practices
It’s easy to let your hiring practices fall by the wayside when you’re a tech entrepreneur. You’ve got so much to worry about on a daily basis that delegating your hires to someone else feels like the right thing to do. However, if you care about success, you should try to make sure you’re as involved as possible in the hiring process. Getting the right staff on board can be the difference between success and failure, and you can’t run a successful tech business without good people on board.
4. A copycat product
It might sound obvious, but one of the biggest things to avoid as a tech entrepreneur is a product that’s simply a carbon copy of someone else’s. While your business idea doesn’t have to be new and innovative, it does at least have to be different enough to mark you out in a crowded industry. That’s why you should make sure your product or service has a twist on it that makes it unique and compelling. You can use others’ ideas as a springboard, but make sure you move on from that stage.
5. Poor customer service
In the tech world, you’re probably going to have a lot of disgruntled customers who either don’t understand your product or have received a faulty unit. That’s why good customer service is paramount. If you let those customers simply stew in their rage, they’re more likely to leave negative reviews, which will impact badly on you. Keeping repeat customers happy is a great way to shore up loyal business and give yourself a good reputation in the tech industry.
6. A risk-free attitude
Tech entrepreneurs, more than anyone else, must understand how to take risks in their industry. If you’re allowing yourself to make all the safe options, it might seem like you’re making savvy business decisions at the moment, but you might actually be harming your operation. This is because you won’t be looking for the opportunities that truly catapult you out of the minor leagues and into the wider tech world. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to innovate.
7. Overlooking the details
You might have big dreams of being the next Silicon Valley entrepreneur, but that’ll never happen if you let yourself overlook the details. Keeping an eye on everything that’s going on in your business is very important. If you miss one crucial thing – be it an accounting decision or a part of the supply chain – it could lead to the collapse of your entire business. Sound overdramatic? Well, there’s no reason to take the risk, right? Make sure you’re not missing anything.
8. Being overly competitive
Competition is healthy for businesses. It keeps you hungry, helps you to look out for opportunities, and fosters a sense of friendly rivalry among companies. However, being overly competitive – that is, seeing every other tech company around as an enemy rather than a potential ally – is unhealthy. Go into all business negotiations with an eye for making new friends rather than making new enemies. When you’ve got a network of allies around you, you’ll be glad you built it.
9. Overlooking your branding
If you think your product or service will speak for itself, then you’re probably wrong. You need to pay close attention to your branding and what it says about your company. Branding is everything; tech companies like Apple would be nothing without their branding. Sit down with any graphic designers or brand consultants you have and talk thoroughly about what kind of expectations you have for your brand. What do you want it to communicate? What should it say about your product?
10. Giving up too early
One very common mistake entrepreneurs make is giving up too early. They see that business isn’t quite as healthy as they want it to be, and they decide that this means the end of their business. The fact is that every business will go through moments of triumph and moments of hardship. What marks you out is how you deal with those moments. Approach each challenge as just that – a challenge to face rather than an opportunity to quit.