Advice for New Entrepreneurs From a CEO of Tech Company
Do modern entrepreneurs know how to lead their businesses successfully? How many mistakes should a person make until taking advice from other more experienced people? I was that person back in 2010 when I and my business partner founded Visartech Inc., a software development company that helps businesses to create a wide range of software - from hyper casual games to interactive apps and solid enterprise solutions.
Within more than a decade of operating, we've come through a lot of challenges. Initially, our company had another naming and was a game development studio where we've helped many clients around the globe to build games of their dreams.
Eventually, more and more clients kept asking for a mixture of games and apps. We already had a great experience in both directions, so evolutionary we've realized the demand for such solutions. Our focus was moved from only games to 3D interactive applications. Over time, our expertise was extended towards creating business solutions with a gamification touch.
Now there are more than 130 projects delivered to happy clients worldwide. And we continue helping businesses to transform their operations and reach the set objectives.
But all of it takes lots of effort. More to that, as we often cooperate with numerous startups, we receive many questions about the most efficient ways to lead the business. So now I want to shape some crucial points for those who desire to create their own business or struggle to make it profitable.
Let's start with business idea evaluation, how to overcome the fear of failure, get through challenges, and finish with the ways to drive more clients with technologies.
How Do Entrepreneurs Get Their Ideas? How Do They Know If It Is Worth a Shot?
Entrepreneurs are a bit different type of creatures. They are adventurers who see useability in many different aspects where other people see just one use-case. The best comparison will be an artist, who sees a beautiful monument in a piece of rock.
Sounds ideal and easy but, well, it's quite far from it. Usually, entrepreneurs are highly educated people in many different areas, people who like to read and listen. Having so many sources can already give a lot of inspiration and, as a result, ideas.
I think no one knows how things will lay down in the future, but we all can predict something, based on our experience. A successful entrepreneur should believe in their own services first and inspire other people to use them. Without this belief, the idea is worthless in the very beginning.
But vision is only the beginning, everything must rely on numbers and science. A combined effort of many different approaches, like marketing surveys, market analysis, beta testing, and so on.
In order to launch something, you need to build a reasonable plan, set controlling points, understand niches where it is applicable, make beta launches, and only after all of it conduct a full-scale market invasion. If you know what I mean.
So there is no magic, it is all science.
How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome the Fear of Failure?
Fear is an essential part of any human being, this is an invisible force that moves us forward, trying to secure our positions as much as we can.
Entrepreneurs, especially startups have those feelings more often than others as they are adventurers. They lay a new road deep inside unknown territories where others never been or simply failed, so naturally they are scared of things hidden in the dark and sometimes right on their path.
But as we all know, living in a world of fear is a scary ride to take. We should avoid this path as much as we can as in time, fear amplifies and fills your entire being.
The only way out of it is to stop fear unknown and start to predict things before they appear. In order to do so, any person creates some sort of strategy that will lead to a fearless and bright future. Once you have a strategy, let’s call it a business plan, you should start measuring. This will give you a clear picture of where you are now and when it is time to take measures that will reduce risks. Besides the business part and numbers, don’t forget about the legal aspect - the problem can appear out of the blue, even strong bonds are a risky campaign without good old agreement.
In conclusion, I would advise building a system, like a car engine, where each part plays its own role and all aspects are measurable and predictable. In this case, failures become visible from far away and if you see something you know what to do and there is no need to check every corner on your way.
What Are the Best Metrics for Business Owners to Track and Predict Problems Before They Happen?
Any kind of business, in the end, relies on cash flow. Any logical structure must be viable. Is it your own funds or pool of investors, it doesn’t matter. But you must have a positive balance on your account. So first things to start measure, especially for a small business is income and expenses. If your expenses are higher than the income it means you're in trouble and you are using your savings. It sounds easy, but many small business owners do accounting poorly and don’t calculate many small things that affect the Net income as a result.
If everything is okay on a stage of a balance sheet, make sure you have steady sales. Measure your sales and marketing funnels, even basically. You need to know, how many potential clients are entering this funnel and how many leave it as your clients.
In the end, you need to know the average check. This way, you can predict future scenarios. For example, you see that the world crisis is inevitable. So you assume that you’re going to lose 40% of potential clients. You can easily calculate the outcome and predict your strategic moves when doing the required measures in order to avoid bankruptcy.
The third value is the satisfaction rate for your clients. You need to measure it. As you should understand why they are unhappy sometimes and avoid this as much as you can. We live in a highly competitive world, any mistake can lead to a huge disaster, so every business owner must listen to clients and do homework to avoid potential issues in business-to-client relationships.
As you can see, it looks like a spiral. With every spin, we go deeper and deeper inside your business metrics and all of them are valuable, but the numbers mentioned above are a good start.
Why Is It so Hard to Attract Your Ideal Client Online?
Always try to put yourself in the position of your target audience. Imagine you have an idea in your mind. First of all, you go and google this idea, start digging, develop it and at some point find a solution that will lead further. If we even talking about something simple, like a gardening hose, there are so many variants of a simple item, so many aspects of usage not even revealing the color pallet.
Now imagine finding something way more complicated, like service with a price tag of 10 or 100 thousand dollars.
In any case, a client of your dream will start googling, see a lot of advertisements on top of the search bar, find many articles explaining how to choose the provider of their dreams, and so on. So eventually you will feel pretty big competition.
The main thing here is to be diverse and specialize, as a result. The more specific problems you solve, the greater chances you have to catch the client of your dream.
Build the marketing department first. Every business starts with a marketing plan. Without it, you run a headless train. Having a good network will help you, but it will be really hard to catch new clients from outside and attract the attention of a market. The marketing department will help answer your client’s questions, why you are the one, what are the strengths of your solution. The bigger presence you have, the greater your chance of success.
Why Is My Product Not Selling Even Though It's Good?
First of all try to outline why your product is good, get a piece of paper, and write down 5 good points. Try to understand your customer’s journey. Compare how actually your product is used and how you’ve imagined it would be used. This will give you valuable insights into what is wrong with the product. As a result, you can see the bigger picture. Your product may be perfect but due to low marketing activities, customers cannot understand why it is so good and not even try to. There is another aspect. Even if your marketing is great, though sales representatives are lazy and cannot deliver the required values to potential customers.
You need to measure all stages of your funnel. It is very simple. Still, most businesses don’t do it at all. Any type of product or service has its own sales cycle and you need to understand where you lose your customers. It may be in the very beginning and somehow connected to a slow website. Or people can buy your product, use it, but are not willing to recommend it to others just because they misunderstood the usage guidelines.
Try to be involved and connected to your representatives and customers. Conduct surveys, create and check KPIs and you will find out the exact issue that blocks your sales. It's pretty simple but requires a great portion of motivation and passion to implement.
What Is the Future of Businesses?
One word — Technologies.
It is hard to imagine a business without a web page, online delivery, or ordering services nowadays. There are few companies that don't use those benefits. As a result, they are slowly dying or just filling the “retro” niche.
If we’re talking about the next 5 years it is definitely AI and AR.
Augmented Reality is stepping into our lives faster than we've expected. Technology giants like Apple and Samsung predict AR glasses to be widely spread in 2-3 years. For businesses, it means a whole new marketing and sales tool. Buyers will be able to interact with goods before even buying them, get more informative descriptions without allocating the human workforce, and so on.
Another point is Artificial Intelligence. It already shapes our lives. Voice assistance is a must now. We talk more to our machines and they understand us better in many senses. In the next few years, we will face auto-ordering features, where AI will predict what you need and will order it for you. We will see customized items, adjusted for our specific needs.
The core idea of any business is to constantly improve the level of services for their own clients, to raise brand loyalty, glue customers to their own products for as long as possible. Technologies are the best tools for it!
To Wrap It Up
Want to become a successful entrepreneur? Think through every step of the way, though remember about a touch of creativity. Make unique products and glue your customers with real business value.
Don't forget to ask for advice from experienced entrepreneurs and make your own conclusions.