What Does a Tech Entrepreneur Do?
In simple terms, tech entrepreneurs build businesses that are powered by technology and innovation that aim to solve real customer problems.
In recent years, this concept has evolved and is not limited to building big companies we’ve come to love like Facebook, Google, and Airbnb. Tech entrepreneurship is about building technology for just about anything and at any size. Whether a web development firm, SaaS application, e-commerce business, or digital marketing agency — to become a successful tech entrepreneur, you have to know how to create the technology and reach your target market.
Let’s explore the steps you need to take to become a tech entrepreneur and succeed at it!
#1 – Come Up with an Idea
The foundation of your tech business will be based on a business idea that addresses a real customer pain that people are willing to pay you to solve.
This is one of the most challenging steps, yet the most important one. It’s not enough to be good at coding or math. Instead, you should focus on what problem your product will solve and who will benefit from it. This could be something as big as global warming or something as simple as a smartphone charger.
Ask yourself these questions and write down your answers for clarity:
Is there a problem you can solve for people?
Is there a market for your product or service?
Are people going to pay for what you plan to create?
You cannot create a sustainable business unless you know what problem your product solves and who it helps. Focus on coming up with an idea that will solve a need, rather than just focusing on your skills or interests.
#2 – Set up Your Business for Launch
Once you get an idea of what business idea you want to work on, you’re ready to launch. No, wait, not exactly. Before you jump into the market, there are some things you need to work on. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Start with Customer Development
Customer development is the process of talking to potential customers, before you launch your business, to understand if they have the problem you seek to solve. This largely involves one-on-one interviews. There are tons of resources available about customer development, but in a nutshell, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:
Never tell potential customers the problem you plan to solve or the solution you are building – ask open-ended questions to get them to confirm the problem and suggest the solution. This will help you avoid false positives and give you more confidence your idea is on the mark.
Ask people to tell you stories about how they work, live or play – stories are a great way to hear about the problems people have and the ways they’ve attempted to solve them. This is the best approach to learning about real customer needs without leading people to your idea directly.
Make a Business Plan
When starting a new business, there is always a learning curve. It is better to take time, in the beginning, to study the niche or industry and come up with a plan or strategy for the coming months or years. A well-structured business plan can double the chances of success.
The start-up costs for a new business can be daunting and it’s crucial to have a source of funding to execute operations. There are many sources of capital available, but your best bet is probably going with an angel investor or equity crowdfunding.
Angels often invest their personal funds in exchange for equity in the company. Equity crowdfunding brings together investors into one pool of money that’s used for a specific campaign. With both options, don’t forget to consider how much you’re willing to give up when you cash out down the line!
Here are some other possible options to secure funding for your tech startup:
Raising a business loan or line of credit
Self-funding from saving accounts or tapping into the 401k
Using crowdfunding or Kickstarter
Everyone knows that Silicon Valley is full of tech-entrepreneurs who started with a little funding and have made it big with their innovative and paradigm-shifting products. Don’t let your head swell up too much. Start small.
Find a funding source that works for you and make sure to follow all the legal considerations associated with raising funds from a third-party source. There are plenty of online legal services available to streamline things for you.
Register Your Business
The location and the structure of your business will be the determining factors while you’re registering your business. Many small companies can be registered with state and local governments.
You also need to work out your business structure; some of the most preferred options are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).
Deciding which business structure is best for you requires thorough planning and research. Make sure you do your research before finalizing one.
#3 – Market Your Business
One of the biggest challenges of a new start-up is customer acquisition. According to a survey conducted in November 2020, 13% of small business owners report that attracting new customers is a higher challenge and the main difficulty in making money online.
#4 - Be Persistent and Patient
The road to success is full of obstacles and problems. Most people do not see success because they give up too soon. It may take several months or even a few years to build a stable and profitable business.
When starting a new business, there are always risks involved. Failure and success are part of the game. A persistent tech entrepreneur doesn’t stop at the first sign of a problem. You need to stay in the game for long enough to fail, try again, and keep trying until you succeed.
Here some great tips to help you be persistent in your journey:
Push your dream and vision through
You have to be willing to do what it takes to realize your dreams. If you are not prepared to do it, chances are you won’t arrive too far.
Do not listen to naysayers
There is always someone on the journey to success who will try to pull you down. The trick is to use them to your advantage and use them as motivation. Get used to the fact that it will happen and continue to grow.
Surround yourself with positive people
It is also true that having support from others will help your business succeed. Many have their spouse pushing them and encouraging them. Others have friends or partners. It is vital to be surrounded by people who push you up.
#5 – Hiring
Hiring is an integral part of building a successful tech business. You need to build a smart, experienced, and trustworthy team that helps you achieve your vision.
To avoid picking the wrong people, you need to create a process, especially if you are new to leadership and hiring. Here are some tips for hiring tech personnel:
Be extra clear about the technical skills required for the job
Attract the right talent by tailored job descriptions and postings. Don’t hesitate to talk about your start-up vision for the latest technology, better work-life balance, and positive company culture.
Use social media platforms to boost your reach and attract better applicants
For the parts of your business that require outsourcing, you can hire experienced freelancers from platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour.
There are other platforms where you can find rising tech talents like Dice.com, Crunchboard.com, GitHub, TechCareers, and IT Job Pro.
Once you have found a suitable candidate, make sure you select them based on what they have accomplished in their past projects and the necessary expertise to do the job.
There has never been a better time to become a successful tech entrepreneur; the tech industry is booming and it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Along with having the technical expertise, you would need to have strong leadership, keen vision, passion, innovation, humility, and persistence to succeed in your business.
There isn’t a sure formula for entrepreneurial success, but there are proven methods that others have used with excellent results. An idea backed up by hard work, education, marketing strategies, exceptional team members, and the willingness to solve problems will aid you in your journey.