The Washington Magazine

The Washington Magazine

What Tech Startups Need to Succeed

The number of tech startups has increased significantly in the last few years, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. New companies are launching every day, and many of them are succeeding while others are not so successful. In order to help your company stand out from the crowd, these three key components will help you make your business a success.

Funding Is Not Enough

People often think that, in order for a startup to succeed, it needs funding and/or investment. The truth is that startups need more than just money—they need help from others as well. Startup mentors, as they’re known in today’s industry, are innovators who have already established their own successful ventures. They know what works and what doesn’t work when starting up a business because they already have experience with it themselves.

A Product Market Fit

A key reason that startups fail is because they don’t have a good market fit. You might have an idea for a product or service that solves a problem, but without market validation, you won’t be able to get off the ground. Take your time during startup planning and research what people want and how much they’re willing to pay for it. Having something customers really want is an essential part of making your tech startup successful.

Great Team

A tech startup’s success begins with its founders. No matter how brilliant your idea is, if you don’t have other brilliant people on board, there’s little chance of your startup succeeding. Keep in mind that a great team is made up of more than just genius coders—you need marketers, project managers, community liaisons and so on.

Valuable Company Culture

One of the most important things that companies have to have when they’re trying to become a startup success is valuable company culture. A solid, positive company culture can be what leads your company through all kinds of uncertainty, and it makes it much easier for you and your employees to know where you stand in relation to one another. To succeed as a tech startup, you need something unique—and that often comes from your employees who are just as excited about your idea as you are.

Realistic Roadmap

It’s important for a startup founder to have a realistic, achievable timeline of what they want their company or product to become. To build your product effectively, you need a plan for when and how it will be released. (As Steve Jobs said: Real artists ship). Having an established release date, or series of dates (milestones), will help keep you on track and keep morale high with your team.

Communication with Investors and Customers

Communication is an integral part of any business. It’s important for startups in particular because they typically have a small team. Communication helps keep all team members aware of what’s going on, which is critical when you don’t have as many employees as bigger companies do. Additionally, communication helps ensure that customers are receiving top-notch service.

Growth Driven by Word of Mouth

One of the biggest advantages tech startups have today is that there are so many ways for users to share their experiences with others. They can connect via social media, post honest reviews on places like Google and Yelp, or talk directly with friends in person. This means that customers hear about new technologies early and often—and they’re able to determine whether they like those technologies enough to recommend them. The more word-of-mouth marketing a startup has going for it, the more likely it is to become wildly successful.

The Right Partnerships

There’s no doubt that having a strong team of employees is critical to your business’ success. You need people who are as invested in your company as you are—people who believe in its mission and will work hard to achieve it. But if there’s one thing startups often overlook, it’s how crucial partnerships can be, too.

Keep it simple!

While founders might love all that technology can do, it’s important not to overthink things. To make sure you keep your business on track, remember to keep it simple. A solid tech startup needs a simple product, an easy-to-understand value proposition and nothing more than what’s absolutely necessary in its business model. That’s it.

Patience is virtue

Your startup has just been created, now it’s time to think about hiring your first employees. You may want to get your business off of the ground as quickly as possible, but you need a team that will stick with you through thick and thin. As an entrepreneur, patience is key: most startups do not get funding until after their third year in business. Focus on growing your company organically by making sure every aspect of your technology is solid before spending too much money on additional features or personnel.