Tech Companies seem to be popping up all over the place these days. The reason for this is that the creators among us have realised the simplicity with which we can get things moving in the market place (and we have more time for development now that everything is so easily accessible). Users also have more time to discover them (during daily commutes and general browsing time). It seems that everyone with a USP is getting it out there and reaping the rewards.
To start a Tech Company, you have to have a product. The knowledge we possess is our ‘product’. Selling this knowledge is the way we can start a business with no initial outlay.
There are key factors to keep in mind when initially deciding what your Tech Company is going to sell.
Create an App
RESEARCH! Before you even start, look at what is needed or what is trending. There is no point re-inventing the wheel UNLESS your offering is better and the benefits and improvements can be easily seen and marketed.
Once you have decided where you are going to go with the App, put together a user group (even if it is only a group of friends). Get them to test and try and every point of development. Feedback is probably the most underrated part of development, remember if people don’t like a certain feature it could be detrimental to the entire project.
Once you have a fully working app ready for release, this is when you approach the people for money. You are going to need marketing and funding channels to get it out there in the right way. If you don’t do it right the first time, you could jeopardise the App completely. Do a realistic list of how much you need and look at different ways of getting it.
You could just approach a well-known app provider and negotiate a deal if they are interested. However, after all your hard work do you really want to hand it over? If this is the way you decide to go, try and keep as much ownership as you can as this will also show your confidence in the success of the app.
Alternatively, you could decide to use some sort of funding online (e.g. Business Funding Circle), or depending on your knowledge of the financial side of things, you could try and get investors yourself and giving part ownership in the app as payment (although it is always recommended that you keep the majority ownership). This is possibly the best way to get the app out and seen as, investors would probably take the form of other IT Entrepreneurs who have access to many channels of marketing.
If you have a propensity for solving problems and have worked in a busy and varied IT environment before (or even if you are a specialist in one particular area), you could set up a service business. This would probably be started as a self-employed endeavour to allow you to drum up the business and get the clients on-board and to establish whether there is a requirement for the particular services you offer.
Once you have decided that this is the way to go you should set up a website detailing all of the services available from your company. Present a Special Offer to get people interested.
The beauty of this type of business is that nobody knows that you are currently a one-man band, unless you over-commit – so DON’T over-commit.
There are no particular overheads for this type of business as you can work at home…but you will need to be disciplined. You will also need good customer service skills in order to thrive in this business, and probably the ability to ‘dumb things down’ on occasion.
If you are thinking of setting up a hardware help business then it will no doubt be run in your local area…for the simple reason that travelling a long way for a small repair just isn’t economically viable.
If you know how connect, troubleshoot and build computers then this is the one for you. You don’t have to have a business area to work in as such – although many would feel safer dropping a computer to a shop. To counteract this, you could offer home visits to fix the problem. More importantly, contact the small business in the area and offer them a call out service for an annual fee. You don’t have to commit to just one client and you could specify that anything over a certain amount of call outs carries an extra fee (to make sure you are not called out to insignificant queries where, for example, they have not turned the electricity on!).
You could also offer a phone service whereby you can talk them through certain issues where possible. As previously stated, the costings of this would need to be explored. For example, what are people/companies paying for a similar service at the moment? Are they happy? What would make it better?
Start small with just a handful of large clients, so that you don’t let them down, but also take on individuals who have issues with their hardware.
Establish a business relationship with a decent and well-priced supplier, who will invoice you monthly – after you have collected your fees. But, more importantly, will give you a good price now and in the future.
There are many other ways you could start a tech company with no money, these three ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, to be successful in any new business venture you should research, plan and keep motivated.