The tech industry has made countless millionaires, billionaires, and perhaps may be responsible for the world’s first trillionaire (before you click that link, yes, it’s exactly who you think it is).
There’s little mystery to why this exponentially growing, rapidly changing industry is so attractive to entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Perhaps you’re interested in launching a tech startup or a service-oriented tech company, but you’re not quite sure if the time is just right.
As they say, fortune favors the bold…. but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared and make well-informed decisions. Let’s discuss a few important considerations you should seriously chew on before getting your feet wet in the tech industry.
#1 — What Kind of Credentials Are Necessary?
Here’s the thing about being an entrepreneur that makes it so appealing: you’re essentially hiring yourself. You don’t have to have any credentials (did you know that Richard Branson never graduated high school?).
This doesn’t mean you should toss your diploma in the shredder, but as with all things entrepreneur, it does mean that you have to take personal responsibility for your own success.
What kind of credentials, skills, or education would help you the most?
Those are the ones you should get.
#2 — Have You Explored Growth Opportunities?
The technology industry changes rapidly, but not so rapidly that you can’t spot trending opportunities and ride the wave. At the time of this writing, 3-D printing, augmented/virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are all growing exponentially and presenting many new opportunities to entrepreneurs that didn’t exist even a handful of years ago.
The technology industry requires some degree of fluidity. Be prepared to stay up to date with current industry trends and adjust your strategies as necessary.
#3 — Do You Have Enough Funding?
“Do I have enough money?” is one of the biggest questions most entrepreneurs find themselves asking. While the technology industry certainly makes it easier to get started on a shoestring budget compared to, say, opening a restaurant, you should have a very solid idea of your budget, projected revenues, and overall financing.
Whether or not you explore venture capital or other funding sources, a good rule of thumb is to be as self-sufficient as possible for as long as possible.
#4 — Have You Done Market Research?
…And then some more market research?
…And a little more after that?
Having a deep understanding of your target audience will help you develop your product and service with customer satisfaction in mind from the very beginning. What specific pain points will your product or service solve?
Never make assumptions about what your potential customers want. Whenever possible, reach out to them directly and ask. Run surveys, email your followers if you have them, you can even ask on Facebook. Whatever you do, don’t “go in blind.”
#5 — Have You Begun Building a Network of Industry Contacts?
Networking with other entrepreneurs and business owners is incredibly important. Very few “lone wolves” exist in the business world.
Networking allows you to discover new opportunities, receive feedback from peers, and, especially if you’re in the B2B sphere, perhaps even develop new client acquisition opportunities.
Start meeting people in your area of expertise however you can. Attend conferences, meetups, and never hesitate to pick up the phone. You might be surprised who accepts an invitation for a free lunch.
Becoming an entrepreneur in the tech industry isn’t as hard as you might think, but it’s also not as easy. Carefully think about your strategies and fully utilize the opportunities that come your way.
Be smart yet fearless.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the world’s next quadrillionaire.