What to Watch for When Running a Startup

Launching a tech startup is no easy feat. There are so many different ways companies can fail and not live up to their potential. Not only do they need a good idea that can be turned into compelling software, but they also need the resources to make it possible in a reasonable time frame.

This is where various hiring practices can make or break startups. Hiring IT outsource services is a great way they can focus on their product or service while saving resources or funds they may or may not have at their disposal to hire in-house developers.

Remote Developers Should Be Considered from the Outset

This is a great option to save capital costs by not having to rent out office spaces and the equipment necessary for each developer to work in-house. Outsourced developers and remote freelancers can work independently of local teams while in their own offices and on their own schedules.

Startups in particular often only estimate the time and manpower that will be required to release their product to the public. Thus, saving on capital and labor costs can make or break their chances to succeed. The early phase is then crucial to long-term success.

This doesn’t mean that a startup shouldn’t have a core local team in place. It should include the founders and developers, as well as some other personnel, they know and trust. However, outsourcing development talent for most tasks, particularly mundane ones, can benefit them during the crucial early phrases of operation. 

A remote team can help a startup grow by being easily scalable and readily available for all kinds of tasks. By scalable I mean a company can choose to get rid of or add additional developers to a workload anytime. 

On the other hand, companies have to deal with various labor requirements and amenities for in-house developers. This includes medical coverage, 401k, visa requirements if the developer is from abroad, paid sick leave, vacation and a two-week wait period if they wish to let them go in many cases. 

Thus having a nice balance of remote and local teams is a good way for startups to function and be scalable in the long run.

Having Secure Funding in Place Can Be Paramount to Success

Another thing startups should watch for is to have the funding necessary from the outset to function until the product is released. Thus, they need a compelling pitch that will sway investors onto their side. These investors will usually come from venture capitalists, but they can also include crowdfunding campaigns arranges in platforms like Kickstarter. 

Funding is a fundamental aspect for a startup. The founders can easily misread the figures necessary for it to function properly – in terms of the necessary labor and capital – before the company-defining software is finally launched. That happens because software development often includes delays that stretch the work schedule. In fact, these delays can be so frustrating that a lot of people choose to launch a half-baked product, which is a mistake that can destroy a startup’s momentum.

Instead, the startup should take those delays into account from the get-go to ensure the launched product is of the highest possible quality. This increases the chances of successful launch which, if it happens, will let the breathe and work more calmly. 

That’s because the company can use the software as an example of the type of work they can produce and convince further investment for future versions, updates or projects. It can also use the sales generated from the software’s sales to fund future projects and expand as a company.

All of that can only be possible with a strong start. That’s why it’s a good idea for startups to have processes in place that will allow it to respond to different market conditions quickly, addressing the changing demands accordingly.

At one point there may be great potential for growth, while the next moment it can look disastrous. An example of a good momentum can be when a lot of interest in the software is generated in the media, social media and by the dev community at large. Another example is when a startup looks at positive market trends that provide a favorable context for the product to find its target audience more quickly.

However, sometimes these trends reverse within a short period. For instance, when another startup launches a very similar product or, worst, when such an offering comes from a big enterprise that has much more marketing muscle. 

Also, there are times when certain technologies get out of style giving way to the next popular thing to take off. Thus, sometimes it can be hard to predict whether something will take off like the signs point to and sell as promised.

Know Your Audience Just Like Your Product 

To create an interesting product that can appeal to people, it’s wise to know your audience well. This means being in tune with what they are looking for in software to meet those needs. Knowing the basic data about your ideal user (such as age, sex, education, tech-savviness, etc.) will let you build a stronger product that takes that user’s needs into account.

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and create something new and compelling that they may not know they need. Apple excels at this. A good example can be seen in the launch of the original iPad in 2010. 

The public did not know whether it needed a large iPhone or a tablet that functions essentially as an iPhone did back then. However, the marketing behind the iPad combined with its ways of use, larger battery life and other features made it a success.

It takes knowing your audience to achieve something similar since that will let you predict their behavior as customers once your product launches. This is a lot harder at the outset without any software under your belt, especially when trying to break into a new market. 

Over time, it gets easier. Practices such as big data analytics, data science, and predictive algorithms can help in reading market trends and predicting future scenarios. In that way, you can use those tools to make more informed decisions, increasing your chances of success. 

Knowing your audience will also help you to market to them effectively. You should never brush aside effective marketing campaigns as sometimes this is all that divides success from failure in competitive industries. Apple, again, is a good example of how far successful marketing can take a company. Its legendary 1984 ad for the original Mac and even today’s iPhone campaigns show what good marketing can do. 

Nothing is guaranteed but startups can go a long way in making sure success is achievable. They can find ways of making it possible regardless of how crowded or competitive the industry they are entering is.

Anik is an IT professional and Data Science Enthusiast. He loves to spend a lot of time testing and reviewing the latest gadgets and software. He likes all things tech and his passion for smartphones is only matched by his passion for Sci-Fi TV Series.