How to Start a Technology Business
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Tech companies have ruled the business world for the past couple of decades. In 2023, it’s nearly impossible to do business without it being anchored in technology. So, if you have your eye on spearheading a successful startup to get your piece of the proverbial pie, here’s some insight into how to start a technology business and make it happen.
What Kind of Technology Business Can I Start?
Tech encompasses a variety of businesses, ranging from sales to services and everything in between. Here are a few examples:
- Data analytics service
- Web design business
- Extended reality tech business (think augmented and virtual reality)
- UX design
- Robotic engineering
- AI, or artificial intelligence, business
- Creation of a new streaming service or online venue
- Software development
- App development
- E-commerce platform
- Starting a podcast
- Drone videography
- Development of a new social media company
- Cloud computing
- SEO consulting and other media services
- Computer repair service
- 3-D printing
- Antivirus developer
- Computer programming
- Internet cafe
- Smartphone repairs
These are just the tip of the iceberg of potential technology businesses you can start. If you’ve made your way here, you likely already have an idea in mind.
Ideally, the type of technology startup company you’ll start will intersect between two factors – something you’re an expert at or highly skilled in and a technical service or product that is in demand or will provide a solution.
In the tech world, you never know what the next big thing will be. When you consider that some of the world’s most successful technology businesses – Microsoft, Amazon, LinkedIn, Uber, and others – first began as ideas and concepts and became the successes they are today, nothing is impossible.
As long as you have a viable idea that shows you understand and can solve your consumer’s pain points, you can create a business model and implement a business plan that can take your idea to the next level.
With that in mind, you may wonder what’s needed to get a technology business started.
How to Start a Tech Business
Serial entrepreneurs understand that starting any business requires a lot of forethought and planning to ensure that your venture sustains long-term success. But even if you know how to start a business, a technology business requires special consideration.
That’s because wheels are continually in motion in the tech world. There are always new technologies and obsolete trends. At the same time, the tech industry has a lot of competition. You’ll want to position your tech business to stand your best chance of reaching your business goals.
Here are some steps you can take before, during, and after starting your tech business.
1. Define your vision.
Begin your vision by having an entrepreneurial mindset and acknowledging the power that it gives you. This will help you determine the strategies needed to bring your technology vision to life. Determine your tech business’s value proposition and what you can offer that no one else can. Decide what you want your tech business to offer while defining its short and long-term goals.
Then, let it guide you as you try to reach the objectives you want to achieve. It’s important to remember there will be hiccups when running your business. A well-defined vision will keep you anchored through difficulties without losing sight of your long-term business goals. It will also assist in helping you to outline your company’s principles and values and prevent you from compromising them when the going gets rough.
2. Become more familiar with the tech market.
As you develop a detailed vision of your business idea, assess whether it is a good Product-market fit. Essentially, that means ensuring your product can satisfy a need and provide a solution in a particular market. Ask yourself:
- What are the needs of the market you want to impact?
- Do you have a product or service that will meet those needs? Define your MVP or minimum viable product, and even pitch potential target consumers on your idea, identifying what problems it will solve.
- Is there a market for your tech idea? Who is your target consumer?
- What are the pain points for consumers in that market?
- How much competition will you encounter? Is the market oversaturated?
The general idea is to become more familiar with your market and the tech industry in general and understand where it’s heading. It will also help you ascertain that there is a reasonable expectation that your tech business can thrive in that market.
3. Test out your product or service with early adopters.
These are usually people within your personal and professional networks that fit the profile of the consumer you intend to market your product to. Ask your professional contacts, including your lawyers, accountants, investors, etc., if they can recommend early adopters who might have a need for your technology. Then sign them up for an early trial of your product.
4. Build upon your knowledge and expertise, but get a team together to fill in the gaps.
Ideally, your tech business will utilize your talents and area of expertise. But rarely does anyone excel at every facet of running a business. Chances are, there are many areas where you will benefit from putting together a team to make your business vision all come together.
For instance, will you be the sole startup founder, or would you be better served to have a co-founder with you at the helm? If you are developing a product, who will build it?
Or have you considered how you will market your product or services? Is there someone who can help with mentoring you through the process of starting your business? Also, do you have a great idea but lack the funding to put that idea into action? In that case, you might consider bringing an angel investor on board or getting a business loan.
The point is that tech entrepreneurs can rarely fill every role in their startup. Depending on the specifics of your tech business, you’ll likely need to bring several technical team members into your organization to fill vital roles.
5. Get a business plan together.
Your business plan is your most valuable commodity in getting your business started. You need a business plan to get funding for your technology startup. Being armed with a business plan will show investors and loan providers that you have done your homework and are prepared to run a business.
A business plan should document the details of your proposed tech business, define its market, summarize its operational goals, outline financial projections, and lay out how you plan to accomplish those goals and objectives. These include many of the things we’ve already discussed in the first three steps.
Your business plan should be formatted in the following way:
- Executive summary
- Description of your tech company and its product development or services
- Market research and analysis
- Management and organizational structure
- Marketing and sales plan
- How much you’re seeking
- A financial plan and projection
Before pitching your idea for funding, you need to prove that you have a solid business plan that will give them a profitable ROI or return on investment. Not a writer? No worries, you can always hire an expert to help you craft a winning business plan that will help you with the next step—getting funding.
6. Get funding.
Once you have a business plan, decide how you’ll raise capital. Maybe you’ll get initial funding through crowdfunding or seek support from venture capitalists or angel investors. Or perhaps a business loan is a better idea. Some entrepreneurs utilize both approaches.
Compare your options to ensure that you’re choosing the best option for your needs. At the same time, you want to make sure your financing option comes in a timely manner that helps you get your business off the ground at the right time.
Funding rounds can take time to secure investors. On the other hand, going with a seasoned technology business loan provider like Biz2Credit could get funding to you sooner.
7. Remain prepared for setbacks.
Setbacks will occur at all stages of your business, from the early stage to after you’ve been running your business for several years.
It’s always good to have backup contingency plans to mitigate the impact of those setbacks. For instance, if you have more competition than expected, what can you do to differentiate your tech business from others and bring more value to your consumer?
Or if funding falls through, do you have a secondary funding source, particularly when time matters? Anticipate and identify potential setbacks and have other solutions beforehand to soften the blows.
In the end, though, remember to remain calm and deal with complications with the most level head possible.
8. Plan to scale and grow your business.
One of the biggest mistakes in entrepreneurship is failing to grow your business. Many businesses do quite well in the beginning.
But real, sustainable success is planning for the long term. And how you plan to grow your startup will depend on your specific type of tech business.
For example, if you have an increase in demand, is your production line able to meet it? If your tech business has a lot of online traffic, will your business have the servers to handle it? Do you have the size team you need to meet deadlines and handle new, incoming clients? Are you willing to hire to meet the increased demand if need be?
You should never settle for remaining stagnant. The goal should be to grow your business so it can have continued, long-term success.
9. Seize opportunities that are too good to turn away.
In the tech industry, there will always be opportunities to propel your growth. These might include hiring a new talent that can help your tech business reach new heights. Or it can be acquiring a competitor that is ready to sell.
The point is that unexpected turns of events aren’t uncommon and may require you to be flexible enough to consider options you may not have thought of before.
What is the most common mistake entrepreneurs make when starting a tech business?
Many tech startups fail because they don’t hire the right people. This is a common error made by tech entrepreneurs because they’re often too busy trying to get their startup ideas off the ground or they don’t have experience as hiring managers.
The problem is that according to Embroker, tech startups have the highest rate of failure among startup businesses. So not bringing the right people on staff, to begin with, can further increase the chances that your tech business doesn’t make it. They might not have the right drive, the right experience, or the right skills to help you focus your money and your attention on the right things.
Moreover, inadequate staffing can lead to lower productivity, higher turnovers, wasted resources in terms of time and money, and lots of frustration for you.
Some technology businesses overcome this problem by hiring a CTO or someone experienced in hiring the right candidates for the job. They can then onboard new employees properly and ensure they have the right training to succeed in their roles.
How much does it cost to start a tech company?
There’s no single answer to how much you can expect to spend to start your tech business. There are many factors to consider, first and foremost, what type of tech startup you’re planning.
Are you creating a new product or service such as a mobile app or a software app or hardware? Will there be development costs in creating it? Will you need to hire a developer or other IT professionals? Then, consider the marketing costs to launch your business.
Finally, there are operational costs of running your tech startup. This includes real estate or office space if your business has a physical presence, salaries for employees, furniture, equipment, and more. There could be other cost factors to consider when pricing out how much it will take to begin your tech business.
All that said, it can cost as little as a few thousand dollars to a few million. But, $1 million will typically get a more sophisticated tech business off the ground and running for the first year and beyond.
Many tech startups also fund their businesses at different stages. For instance, some seek initial funding of up to $250,000 through a venture capital firm and raise more capital later through a second round of funding or a business loan.
Some skip funding rounds and finance their tech business initially with a small business loan. Many tech companies also start smaller and expand as their business grows, seeking funding as needs arise.
The Bottom Line
If your goal is to start a technology business, the possibilities are endless. But, you’ll need to narrow down your vision and get to know your target consumers. You’ll also need to have a high level of commitment and prowess in staying the course.
Having continued access to funding is also an asset as it can help you grow and scale your business when unexpected opportunities come your way.
Danny Star of Website Depot grew his digital marketing agency across state lines with financing from Biz2Credit. With Biz2Credit, he has been able to build and grow the full-scale marketing and advertising firm of his dreams.
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