Getting a Startup off the Line
Our rise to the top of the daily construction reporting world – and a recent designation by the San Diego Business Journal as one of the year’s hottest tech startups – didn’t come without some growing pains.
We at Raken faced the usual challenges in raising capital (assuaged by an infusion of $2 million in capital funding this spring), assembling a quality team, and increasing our brand awareness.
But we met many of those challenges and are poised for even greater growth as the leading mobile daily construction reporting application. It should be noted that many startups don’t enjoy the same level of our success, according to Forbes. But we can offer some keys to prosperity based on our own experience.
Here are four challenges we overcame starting a new technology company in an increasingly crowded digital application market. You can do it, too! Use these helpful startup business tips!
- There are more new tech startups than ever. Just browse the Apple app store for proof. Startups will fare better if they focus on a niche market – like our daily construction reporting software.
- Some start-ups become victims of their own success. They simply can’t keep up with the demand for their applications or products, and customer service falters. Don’t neglect your niche, and stick with what works. It takes time to build out a product; it doesn’t take long at all for customers and clients to take their business elsewhere.
- A need for more talent will come with increased demand. This is often described as one of the most daunting challenges an emerging company will face. One key is to recruit during both the capital phase and growth phase of your company. Granted, you need more seed capital before ultimately bringing people on board, but you should NEVER stop recruiting. Identify the talent, engage them, and then tell them how and why you are going to be the next big thing. If you tap good talent ahead of time, that can also make it easier to raise capital. Competition in a crowded marketplace means more competition for the talent needed to grow and expand a tech company.
- Some startups fail spectacularly because they spend capital too freely, even in seemingly incremental and innocuous ways. Do you really need to drop $10,000 to send two developers to a conference that may yield few, if any, leads? Do you want to fly a prospective client from London to San Diego and cover food and lodging for a week with no guarantee they’ll sign on to your product? The chief technical officer of a former French digital marketing firm recalls bringing in a hugely expensive LED television to promote the product to customers. The first paychecks bounced soon after – six months after an infusion of $500,000 from investors.
These notes of caution are not meant to scare you away from entrepreneurship. As we have shown through our own experience at Raken, there is still plenty of market to tap in the tech start-up world, and there is plenty of room to grow. There is no one map to success. But keep looking, and stay on the path, and you can find it.