Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2:16 AM

Contending With Established Enterprises

As a burgeoning startup, you’ve got a steep uphill climb. Thankfully, you can operate at a loss for the first five years and the IRS will give you a pass; utilize that, you’re likely going to go in and out of debt like a cat deciding whether it wants to go outside. You’ll need every financial advantage you can get.

Success Tips for Young Tech Startups and Businesses

Thankfully, today’s operational environment makes it easier to deal with larger competitors than ever, owing in large part to solutions like cloud computing and associated app development. So though you’ve got an uphill climb, it’s possible to build a strong business engine to get you over the hump. Following are five tips to help you get that engine running smoothly and reliably.

1. Eliminate All Unnecessary Expenses

Your business has got to be lean and mean starting out. You need to pinch every penny until it cries out and divides into another penny. Oftentimes a startup tech company will consist of a handful of individuals who are young and lacking in resources. For the first couple months or years, there may be no profit as service models and innovations are developed.

You need to design cost-projections based on goals, then budget higher than those projections to give yourself a financial “cushion”. From there you need to keep numbers as closely as possible to figure out where your actual expenses are, and augment where possible going forward.

Your time is additionally valuable and must be maximized. One thing that’s crucial is not spreading yourself too thin. Focus on your primary tech service provision, and don’t expand from there until you’re turning a reliable enough profit to absorb loss without impacting your stability.

2. Design A Unique Value Proposition

A car shop providing oil change services quickly can see a steady chain of clientele throughout operating hours, outpacing a full garage across the street who also offers oil changes. The lube shop specializing in one service can afford to offer it more cheaply because it experiences a higher volume of clientele. Meanwhile, the shop must charge more as it doesn’t make as much money on oil changes, but still must expend resources that direction.

As a tech company, you may be able to “itemize”, as it were; to “focus” on one particular area of tech service delivery. Doing this may allow you to offer that service cheaper than larger competitors, as they must simultaneously provide an expanded suite of services. Think of it like In N’ Out Burger in California, Nevada, and the other three states they’ve expanded to.

In N’ Out focuses on a specific kind of food delivery, and has stayed on that track for decades. Now they’ve expanded to four additional states—but they’re still no competition against McDonald’s, realistically. What allows them to compete is their specific provision of a specific food item.

So does your tech business provide website services? App design services? Are you a consulting firm? Figure out your strength, focus on it, trim all the fat around that strength, and build it up until you’ve reached a point where expansion is affordable.

3. Facilitate App Reliability Through Monitoring Solutions

In all likelihood you’ll need infrastructural support of one kind or another from an application that’s hosted through the cloud, or even internally; depending on your startup’s concentration. There are many design apps on the cloud which can be used internally to develop products, or externally as fits your business model.

Whatever you choose here, you’ve got to monitor that application to ensure it’s humming right along as intended. Applications grow and change as you use them, and if you don’t monitor them, they’ll accrue errors which hamper operations. You’ve got to monitor performance.

Here’s a link for how to monitor IIS performance: basics to advanced. This guide will help you ensure the application is running, monitor Windows performance, and use ASP.NET for advanced IIS performance monitoring solutions.

4. Initial Hiring Should Be Management-Oriented

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were at the top of Apple, initially. Wozniak was in the engineering seat, Jobs in the marketing chair. These two went on to maintain position at the head of a globally lucrative company, even as their varying “seats” changed. When you’re working with people at the beginning, if your startup takes off, they’re going to be in upper management eventually.

Some of your initial hires in the first year or two of operations will yield the most long-term employees throughout your company. So give them a career path which will keep them around, and know the long-term game-plan. The first dozen people of a company, if they stay with it, will be partners in its ownership down the line. If you’ve got this reality in mind, you’ll be more likely to hire the right people initially.

5. Keep An Eye On Peers And Competitors To Learn

Competitors act as a market bell-weather, so do peers. You need to learn from their mistakes and successes, and keep a close eye on them to determine where you need to augment operations or retain existing forward directives. Competitors can help you avoid making errors, peers can help you forge partnerships that look good in terms of PR, capitalizing from the latest trends, and help establish you in your community.

A Successful Startup

You’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to have victories. Provided you cut the fat, operate from a unique value proposition, reliably monitor and maintain software like apps, hire for the long term initially, and watch peers as well as competitors, you’ll be ideally suited for success going forward.