Aspiring tech entrepreneurs may well think there has never been a better time to start their own business. In 2009, I co-founded Manchester-based mobile app developer Apadmi. In this article, I'll share my top ten tips every startup should know about.
1. Ensure you have a viable proposition
70% of businesses fail within their first twelve months of operation. Whilst this can be down to a combination of factors, it is essential you spend time planning and establishing a strategy to avoid risk and uncertainty.
By defining a plan, you will be better prepared and have an understanding of what direction you want your business to take and whether your ideas are plausible or not.
What are your plans and how are you going to make them happen? Once you have a clear focus, you can start working towards goals to get the business off the ground.
The initial stages of starting a business are always the most difficult so look for solutions that will simplify problems and also save money. For example, set up a corporate cloud computing account such as Dropbox or Google Drive instead of buying your own servers to host your data. Everyone on your team will be able to access the data and it will free up some money that can be used for other aspects of your business.
2. Relationships are important
Go into business with people you like and trust.
It is important for members of a team to have respect and understanding for one another so that they can all work together on achieving success for the business.
You will be far less productive if your business partner is someone who you don't particularly get along with compared to someone who complements and enhances your talents. You will also find that you don't open up to them as much as you would if your relationship was stronger and this could result in a breakdown in communication or reluctance to share ideas.
Do one thing very well rather than lots of things poorly.
Slowly enhance your offering. By focusing on one aspect of your business, you can ensure that you are applying all of your attention and concentration to this one area and consequently, the task will be completed efficiently and effectively.
In the initial stages, avoid working on a series of tasks at the same time as this may cause distractions and lengthen the amount of time it takes to complete a job.
4. Pick the right location
Surround yourself with similar people and businesses as this will allow you to join a network of likeminded business owners who already know the industry.
One way of ensuring you're setting up in the right location is to look into tech hubs in your area such as MediaCityUK in Salford and Tech City in London. These are clusters of tech businesses situated in one area. You'll be at the centre of the tech news with access to a wealth of knowledge and contacts.
5. Don't be emotional
Take the emotion out of business and stay calm!
You will encounter many situations – some will be tougher than others and you may find yourself in positions that you have never dealt with before, but you need to remain in control at all times. The ability to control your emotions is key to success.
A small level of stress can keep you alert and helps increase attention but the problems occur when these levels rise or the stress becomes prolonged. If you feel like your emotions are taking over then try and put together a coping strategy. This may include steps such as thinking positively and taking time off from the work that's making you stressed.
6. Value continual professional development
Get yourself a mentor that is right for you and absorb as much information as possible from other business leaders.