At MotionMobs, we have the privilege of serving technology start-ups at various stages. We’ve helped start-ups preparing for a Series A round (ex: NutriPilot), building their first product (ex: Not It) and more established start-ups (ex: InstaJob) diversify with a new App product and a marketing strategy.
From these experiences, we’ve identified 3 things to consider when starting a tech start-up:
- When to Hire Your Team – The perfect timing for hiring someone is always a challenge. Starting a company means wearing a lot of hats, at least until you have revenue. If you don’t have a technical co-founder, utilize design and development shops to build your product within your initial development budget. During this time, network with qualified candidates familiar with start-ups, plan for phase two, and build marketing strategies. When your product is finished and you start building revenue, start setting interviews.
- When to Approach Investors – When approaching an investor, timing is the key. Their time is limited, and they talk to several entrepreneurs everyday, who are likely much further along. They don’t want to know about your ideas. They want to know that 1) people will pay for your product 2) your product can scale significantly and 3) you’re already working on items 1 and 2. Once you have a product that has revenue (even a very small amount of revenue), do your research and approach the right investor for your company. Products cost money to build and grow revenue, so you’ll need an initial budget of personal funds or borrowed funds before approaching investors.
- Protecting Your Idea – You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your start-up, and you want to protect it as much as possible… The best way to protect your product is by gaining revenue as quickly as possible. If you’re building a product for consumers, establish focus groups and build a list of beta testers. Constantly think about how your product could be better or more importantly what would make more people buy more of it. If you’re building a product for businesses, focus on how you could scale your product into larger markets as quickly as possible. NDAs and patents will never protect as you much as building revenue for your product. Focus on revenue first, always.
If you’re thinking about starting a new company or need help getting to the next stage, you can contact us here.