The last few years showed an unprecedented rise of small and medium-scale startup numbers. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reports show this to be in excess of 100 million globally each year. This means that, every few seconds, someone out there starts a new business. What’s more, a fair number of them are tech-based startups. According to the 2017/2018 report, nearly a third of total early-stage entrepreneurship activity was based on ICT and other professional services.
A new startup usually contains uncertainty and complex challenges. While few aspects, including the outcome, may be certain, there are some factors that you can control relatively easily. Better yet, these are factors that enable entrepreneurs to maximise their chances of success. Best of all, though, a fair number of these startup factors link directly to advances in available technology solutions.
Startup service commodities are at your disposal
The commoditisation of some ICT and other services makes starting and running many business types easier. Think about the work functions tied to a service helpdesk, or a sales pipeline, or even accounting systems. You can source, run and optimise these from and within a cloud computing environment – the bar for entry is lower than ever from these points of view.
Furthermore, keep in mind that, when sourced correctly, ICT services are professional services. They have their own regulatory bodies and must comply with service standards and regulations. This gives a startup a certain peace of mind regarding reliability of such services and their employees.
Don’t forget, however, that providers don’t create all services with a business focus at their core. Where you face such related options, you should seek guidance from a trusted source regarding what service levels are and aren’t acceptable for a business, particularly a startup.
Some things won’t change
No matter which or how many parts of your startup are tech-based, remember that certain elements remain the same.
For example, you’ll still need reliable infrastructure, be it desktops, mobile devices, servers, peripherals and so on. Such elements require proper connectivity, protection from unwanted access, solid backups and possible a managed services element to keep them running smoothly.
Although much remains in the cloud, modern cloud services need consistent and speedy connectivity to function at their best. In an ideal situation, connectivity should have both a primary and a secondary option. This is easily possible and financially feasible with current solutions.
Security and backups, naturally, remain paramount. A recent article highlights the need for proper security and backups, not just as a precaution, but to allow for easier compliance with local and international data regulations. It also points out that data-based attacks (and the associated data breaches) are still on the rise.
Don’t forget, a startup is about people
Whether you’re hiring or hoping to promote and sell your marvelous idea, remember that it’s people who will make this possible. Thankfully, technology enables you to reach out to both in a beneficial way.
When it comes to the people alongside you, you should make sure they understand the technological components backing up your startup. This is important, because during your incubation period, people don’t yet have definite roles. Thus, the more they understand the tech, the more they can contribute and ensure it does the same.
When considering your target market or audience, two things are vital. Firstly, make sure you build the best possible user experience. There are multiple ways (and many experts) to help you with this, so if it isn’t what you do best, outsource to the right tools. Secondly, start collecting and using big data from the very beginning. This is repeatedly being shown as one of the most effective ways to give your end users the best possible combined experience.
Keep the startup mindset
Throughout this process and for the first long while, the focus is on building up your product. This means you’ll be using making use of what is out there to enable your people to do just that. In his book The Serving Leader, co-author and business leadership expert John Stahl-Wert says “Get the very best tools to serve your people, not just lots of tools”. This approach makes sure that you and your teams focus on what differentiates you; a winning formula for startup success.
You should also look for a service package that suits your needs without forcing your commitment. Using our own array of offerings as an example, it is possible to have fibre-based primary connectivity, LTE-based backup connectivity, hosting services, an Office 365 productivity suite, antivirus services AND a backup service, all without minimum-term contracts and scaled to individual business requirements
Adept has a long history of enabling startups of all sizes to reach their maximum potential and grow into fully-fledged SMMEs and Enterprises. Helping our clients succeed and achieve is in keeping with being people-centric, one of our core values.