If you’re a non-technical individual who wants to start and grow a tech startup, the prospect may appear daunting. Technical details may sound unfamiliar, and putting together a team of experts from various fields might appear overwhelming. However, with actionable guides, best practices, and resources at your disposal, every entrepreneur is capable of success even without technical skills. To build a successful tech startup, you must be careful with the idea generation process, build a great team, secure funding, market your products, and partner with offshore software developers. This post provides tips and guidance on what you need to do.
Steps to Building a Successful Tech Startup
Here are the essential steps you need to build a successful tech startup as a non-technical founder:
- Build Your Knowledge Base and Network. As a non-technical entrepreneur, you will need to learn high-level technology details. You could take a short course or read relevant literature to help you develop a better understanding of the tech industry. Networking with other professionals, attending seminars and events, and reaching out to mentors for guidance is also essential.
- Partner With the Right People. Partner with people who share your vision, strengths, and expertise. Your team should consist of individuals with complementary skills. Look for potential co-founders at networking events or hire a recruiter to help you identify and contact potential candidates.
- Understand Trends and Market Demand. Before building a product, conduct extensive market research to establish market demand. Getting insights into your target customers’ preferences and the industry’s opportunities and threats can give you an edge over competitors.
- Define Yourself: Startup Identity. Establish a clear focus and values for your startup. Create an identity that distinguishes your brand from others in the market. This identity can project through your company culture, branding, and messaging to attract loyal customers.
- Prepare for Setbacks. Entrepreneurship is not a smooth journey, and sometimes startups fail. You need to be psychologically prepared to go through challenges, learn from failures, and make required adjustments.
- Define and Validate Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP is a version of the product with just enough essential features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for developing further improvements. Identify the right amount of features on the MVP that satisfy your target customers and get access to early feedback.
- Raise Capital. Understand the legalities involved in raising funds for a tech startup. Find the right venture capital firms, angel investors, or crowdfunding platforms that suit your business needs. Make a good pitch that explains the benefits of investing in your startup.
- Manage Your Resources. Bootstrap your startup as much as possible to minimize costs. Keeping accurate financial records and a cash forecasting model is essential. You also need to manage your team, time, and inventory efficiently.
- Get the Word Out With an effective go-to-market strategy, product promotion becomes easy. Develop marketing strategies that appeal to your target market, choose the right channels to reach them, and measure the performance of each marketing activity you undertake.
- Plan to Scale. Once the MVP is successful, plan to scale. Incremental growth and scaling require planning and execution. Identify your business’s supply chain and scalability strategies, establish a profitable payroll, and carefully monitor workers’ compensation payments, taxes, and insurance policies
Best Practices for Non-Technical Founders
In addition to following the above steps, non-technical founders can integrate the following best practices to improve their chances of success in the tech industry:
- Use Technology and Productivity Tools. As a non-technical person, you can benefit from tools that keep your business organized and improve productivity. Use calendar applications like Google Calendar, team management tools like Asana, and time tracking tools like Toggl. Learn how to use productivity tools like Lean Six Sigma to optimize your business processes and enhance problem-solving capabilities.
- Develop a Solid Business Plan. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your startup’s mission, goals, strategies, and financial projections. A well-crafted business plan can help secure funding and attract co-founders and investors.
- Build a Great Team. Consider the skillset and vision of individual team members while building your team. Ensure that they bring unique expertise and passion to the table while being a cultural fit. Establish a clear job description for each team member, and establish regular communication and feedback mechanisms.
- Do Not Compromise Your Business Strategy. Never separate your business strategy from your technical strategy. Keep in mind the technical implications of every business decision you take.
- Validate Your Idea with Potential Customers. Once you have an idea, explore its potential market by conducting market research with potential customers. Unless the product or service meets market demands, your efforts will lead to failure.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Fail. Failure is part of entrepreneurship. Every successful startup goes through failures in the initial stages. Understand that failure is an opportunity to learn and reassess your strategies.
- Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses and Learn From Mistakes. Like every person, founders have strengths and weaknesses. Identify both, and learn from your mistakes. In future business ventures, do not repeat the same errors.
Benefits of Offshore Software Development and Partnering with Full Scale
Hiring offshore software developers comes with numerous benefits for non-technical founders looking to build a tech startup. Working with software development partners like Full Scale provides access to a broad range of top engineering talent that can drive growth while minimizing costs.
- Access to Top Engineering Talent. Unless the business is located in Silicon Valley, finding top engineering talent can be challenging. Working with software development partners can provide non-technical founders with access to top engineering talent worldwide.
- Reduced Costs. Hiring offshore software developers can help reduce the cost of hiring in-house staff. Full Scale provides talent that can help drive business growth while mitigating critical technical challenges.
- Risk Mitigation. Technical challenges like working with servers, security, and software development can pose risks to the success of a startup. Throughout the software development process, offshore software development teams work diligently to mitigate the risks associated with these tasks.
- Enhanced Flexibility. Offshore software development teams can provide strategic help in a variety of ways, including product requirements documents, custom product development, design, innovation, and branding.
Partnering with Full Scale can provide non-technical founders with a productive and effective way to build a successful tech startup.
Success Story: Hourly
Hourly is a people-management platform co-founded by the non-technical entrepreneur Tom Sagi. Sagi had the idea of creating a software platform to help manage the workflow and scheduling of his family’s construction business. With his non-technical background, he faced numerous challenges, including identifying a competent development team, creating a solid MVP, launching the platform, and securing funding.
Tom Sagi invested his own capital to build an MVP, but he faced funding issues while scaling his startup. At that time, he recognized the importance of partnering with the right investors to drive growth and secure necessary funding. He also recognized the need to expand his development team to include offshore talent. As a result, he established a distributed team consisting of top-notch engineering talent from the US and Latin America.
Hourly raised over $7.2 Million in funding from several investors after validating product-market fit with their MVP. Tom Sagi’s experience highlights the importance of partnership with offshore software development teams and investors to drive a successful tech startup despite having no technical background.
Building a successful tech startup is an exciting, challenging, and learning experience for non-technical founders. With the right mindset, focus, discipline, best practices, and an unwavering thirst for knowledge, every non-technical entrepreneur can build a thriving tech company. The roadmap to startup success is not always linear. However, following the advice in this article can help you avoid startup failure and create a thriving business in the tech industry using innovative approaches such as offshore software development and proper vetting of investors.