A large percentage of startups fail before they even pass their first year. Beginner mistakes are endless, and while they’re normal, in the majority of the cases they can be detrimental to the company’s success. By following eight guidelines, you can keep your IT startup afloat long enough to see the results.
1. Creating a Plan
Before launching any type of startup, you need to have a decent plan. It should answer a couple of the most important questions – which needs you’re going to be addressing, who your target audience is, as well as how you’ll differentiate yourself from others. To accomplish any of those goals, a startup requires quite a large budget, especially in the IT sector. If you’re having trouble raising the capital by yourself, think about how you can attract investors. Your plan should follow the SMART criteria – it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timebound.
2. Choosing the Necessities
A solid website is one of the prerequisites for the success of your IT startup. You might put all your focus into the design and forget about the basics which include the domain, hosting, and platform. The website’s domain name should reflect the main activity of your startup so that potential visitors can find it more easily. As far as hosting goes, its most important characteristics are reliability, speed, and storage. While you might be tempted to save some money on the hosting services, it can cause you a lot of long-term problems.
3. Hiring a Developer Team
There are three ways of outsourcing software development – onshore, nearshore, and offshore. If your top priority is good communication, no language barriers, and you’re not worried about your budget – onshore is the way to go. On the other hand, offshore development is cheap and you can find incredible experts all around the world, but you’ll have more trouble with maintenance and scheduling. Nearshore tries to combine the best of both worlds such as lower expenses and near-identical timezones, so the choice depends on your priorities.
4. Investigate Competitors with Spokeo
To be better than those offering similar products/services, you need to become familiar with their business practices. At first glance, your options can seem fairly limited, but there is a certain tool specialized to help you with that task in particular.
Spokeo is a reverse phone lookup tool that retrieves all information related to a phone number that you provide it with. This doesn’t mean that you’ll simply get all the readily available data that you could find by yourself on the Internet. Instead, Spoeko extracts private information from its extensive database, including the owner’s phone number, criminal records, social media profiles, etc. You can also run an additional email search to see if you get additional results. After that, it’s up to you to analyze their strategies and differentiate your product.
5. Take It Slow
No tech company grew large overnight. The only thing that can lead you to success are satisfied, recurring customers which are attracted by innovative, high-quality products. Don’t simply invest in the first thing that comes to your mind. Instead, try to think about how you can solve their problems more effectively than your competitors can. Of course, you’ll more than likely fail on your first attempt and it will take a lot of refinements until you get any noticeable results, which is why it’s crucial to remain patient and persistent.
6. Implement QA Testing
QA is a process that involves finding and fixing errors before they cause problems while verifying that a certain product meets quality standards. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve your product and prevent any large, unexpected expenses. QA engineers are tasked with identifying weaknesses, providing data about quality, and testing the program throughout its development cycle. Even some arguably minor inconveniences can ruin the reputation of your startup and set you up for failure, and QA helps prevent that.
7. Release a Beta Version
A beta version is a version of a piece of software that’s globally available but still under development. Their importance comes from the user feedback that you’ll receive concerning all the errors, bugs, and glitches that are still plaguing your software. While QA testing is there to prevent major issues, it can’t be done on a scale that’s going to uncover all the tiny details. Different users will use the software in many different ways so that when you release the final version, it will be as polished as possible.
8. Form a Marketing Strategy
It doesn’t matter how good your product is if there’s no one to use it. A lot of low-quality software gained widespread use simply due to the fact that it was well marketed. Spike your potential customer’s interest, whether it’s through a blog, a social media platform, or another type of advertisement. Most importantly, don’t stick to one approach only, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.