Every single tech product has begun with a simple idea that turned out to be great. However, it’s not enough to just come up with a potentially excellent idea and hope that it’ll somehow turn itself into a money-making business with a lot of customers. My name is Naomi Burgess and I’ve written this post in the hopes that it would help potential entrepreneurs develop their ideas into something more tangible and profitable.
Think of investors to invest in your business
First things first – of course, you would need some money to get started. You might have some saved up, but in my experience, it’s never enough. You need to find yourself some investors who are willing to back you up. In order to do that, you need to create a solid, clear and concise business plan. Before you do that, however, you should carefully think your pitch through – why would anybody want to buy your technology? Who would your target audience be? Is there a market for such technology and would you be able to create the demand? And last but not least – would the profits cover your costs? Market research is not something to take lightly, and if you don’t have the figures that prove that customers would want and need your product, no investor would be interested in backing you up. Make sure to get started as early as possible –quality market research takes time.
Carefully plan your business strategy
When you finally have written a business plan with clear figures and a pitch that you believe to be “perfect”, read through it at least twice. You need to make sure that the plan answers all the questions potential investors might ask, and if it doesn’t, you should be the one with the answers. Chances are that those questions would be difficult and tough to answer, because no investor wants to put their money into something full of risks. For instance, if you don’t have any potential contacts in your network, how would they know that your idea even has potential? If, however, you can show that you’re trying to build a network of clients and suppliers, it would demonstrate that you’re interested in future opportunities and long-term relationships.
Outsourcing can help improve ideas
Don’t spread yourself too thinly however; choose one or two central areas of application for your technology and develop them as well as you can. Take the time to analyse all the options before choosing the best one. Make sure to show your investors that you’ve carefully considered all the variables in each case and the process by which you’ve come to a decision. Customers, as well as investors, would be interested in a supplier who creates credible product, and if they see that you’re all over the place, they’d have no reason to trust you. The same also applies to how you run your business on a daily basis – doing everything yourself is not the best idea, particularly if you have very few people on your team. Outsourcing is one way to go, but you should evaluate all the options and carefully draft confidentiality clauses in your service contracts. If you can present a careful analysis of how it would be best to run your business day-by-day, the investors would have a more complete vision of what your brand is going to be and it would increase your chances of them investing in it. After all, they’re investing more you and your brand than your technology.
Decide throughly before you take actions
Your plan should also contain the means of how you’re going to protect yourself and your business assets. For example, you should choose as to whether you’re going to be a sole trader, a partner in a partnership, or register a company with limited liability. Also – and this is of particular relevance to tech start-ups – it’s quite possible that there’s someone else out there who’s got the same idea and is working on pitching it to the same investors. English intellectual property law allows for quite a few means of protection for technology – such as patents and registered design rights. You should ensure, however, that all the requirements for a patent or a registered design application are met because otherwise, you’d lose a lot of money on the fees. Confidentiality is also a means of protection you should definitely employ.
Maximizing creative business ideas for start ups
The good thing about tech start-ups is that they can create anything and there are so many ways you can demonstrate your product to potential investors. A graph or a chart with all the functions described in detail is the most basic option that might nevertheless work for some technologies. You can also create a prototype of your product that can either be a small version of it that’s only semi-functional, or a detailed model that serves as a 3D image of the final product. Alternatively, you can invite the whole team to assemble it in front of the investors so as to show them how it works. Of course, with digital content on the rise, you can easily incorporate a video presentation into your business plan that presents a clear view of what your product is. Whichever way you choose to present your technology, make sure that it’s supported by commercial and technological findings in the appendices to your business plan.
Give investors great options
It goes without saying that your network should include your prospective manufacturers, and it’s up to you to choose which option is best for your product. As I mentioned earlier, you need to convince your potential investors that you’ve made an informed choice based on your product, your capabilities and other industrial factors. You should also show the investors that your chosen manufacturers can meet the set targets and deliver to the best of their ability. This analysis of prospective manufacturing options takes just as much time as market research, if not longer – the industry is very competitive but it would be hard to find someone who works really well with you.
Plan and be confident about your business documents and essentials
Another important thing you should take care of is approvals, permits and licenses. Depending on your product and the countries you’re planning to sell at, you would need various sets of those documents. It is best to get started on that as soon as you can because some of them can take a long time. When you submit your business plan, it’s not vital for you to have all the permits on hand, but make sure to clarify which stage you’re on to your potential investors. It is important to follow the law, and investors are ought to know that you understand that.
Research and plan your product
Having the “right” product is very important as well, but it’s quite hard to answer what that means without first and foremost having as much knowledge and experience with the industry and the market as possible. This is why I’ve told you to do as much research as you can and learn what you can about the industry if you haven’t already done so. Your technology must be verified and validated – the former means that your technical specifications and your architectural designs are complied with when the product is created, and validation refers to the product being right for the market that you’ve researched.
Analyzed and decide carefully your plan before taking upgrade
The process of turning the idea into a viable product that interests the investors is quite long, as you can probably tell from this post, and it would likely take a while before you receive all the permits and licenses, IP protections, and most importantly, the money from the investors. It’s hard to give an exact estimate of how long it would take, but I’d say that you should at least plan for a year before your product actually hits the market, if not longer than that. Therefore, before you decide to go forward with your start-up and begin drafting a business plan, you need to carefully analyse whether your idea is worth investing that much time in. If it is, don’t rush it and don’t stress out about it more than necessary – patience is a virtue in this case, and if you worry too much about it, chances are that you would eventually resent the whole thing and decide to call it off, leaving your team and your networks hanging.