Are you ready and willing to launch your own IT startup but aren’t sure about the first steps to take? It’s a common feeling among entrepreneurs of all kinds, especially when you’ve put in long, careful preparation to develop expertise in a technical area for which there’s high demand. The problem many tech practitioners run into is that they’re not comfortable with the running a business aspect of the whole thing. They’re techies, not number-crunchers, to put the dilemma in demotic terms. So, what’s the most efficient way to launch an IT startup? Here are several discrete steps that work for the vast majority of situations:
Get the Right Education
Perhaps you already hold an undergraduate diploma with a major in programming, development, or a related tech field. To set yourself apart from the competition, obtaining a master’s degree is a powerful move that can pay off in both the short term and long term. An efficient route to a graduate degree begins with securing financing from a private lender to cover all school-related expenses. If you truly want to move forward with your education, private lenders can help you get the job done. One of the main benefits is that you can shop for rates, hunt down the best repayment terms, and deal with a private lender that is suited to your particular situation.
Study the Competition
There are many reasons to study your potential competition. In fact, this technique is common to every kind of entrepreneurial enterprise, from IT and engineering to accounting and legal services. For technical startups, the main purpose of the exercise is to figure out what niche will offer you the least resistance and highest income. Suppose your medium-sized town is awash with digital security providers. If that’s the case, it might be wise to choose another segment of the wider tech field. That’s just one isolated example, but the principle is widely applicable. Gravitate to the niches where there are average or low levels of competition.
Find Your First Three Clients
Finding those first few clients is often the biggest challenge for any startup owner. For technical specialists, there are several techniques that work well, including cold-calling to demographic groups that are on your potential customer radar, offering attractive discounts to new clients, and using an outsourced advertising provider. Keep in mind that most people use a combination of two or all three of those strategies for maximum impact. Keep good records of your activity so you can replicate productive methods as your entity grows.
Specializing has its own rewards. At the outset, it helps you to focus on fewer services, become more familiar with what the competition is doing, and set yourself apart as a true expert within your chose area. Plus, marketing and advertising are much more effective and less costly when you know exactly whom to target for a narrow menu of services. You might consider niches like blog consulting, training on things like Mac hacks and cloud computing, or even simple data entry services. Do not forget to stay on top of social media reviews of competitors so you can know precisely what customers in your segment are looking for.