Non-techies: people who are not completely adept with technology, including those who know how to create and manage blogs but are not coders or programmers. These people are considered non-techies. For a lot of non-techies, especially those who have products and entrepreneurial vision but do not have developer skills, starting a software company is a challenge.
Even if a non-techie has a good business background, if he or she does not know how to manage the technical aspect of his company, he will have a difficult time achieving business goals. In some cases, non-techie software business founders can even be considered unqualified, and this makes it hard for them to find partners, investors, and potential employees. For many industry insiders, a software business owner should know how to make software for him to be effective.
However, there are things that you can do to ensure the security of your software business. If you want your business to be successful, you need to follow several tips that are meant specifically for non-techie founders and leaders.
What Non-Techies Should Do
A non-techie software business owner needs to consider doing the following:
- Find/Identify your ideal market. As a business person, this is important for you. With your niche or market clearly targeted, you will be able to easily identify your clients or customers. And this, in turn, will help you decide what your company should focus on.
It will be a good idea to start by catering to a small niche so the company can build opportunities and offer products to a dedicated customer group. Product development will be easier, too, as you won’t have to contend with a large market yet. Later on, as your company develops, you can start expanding and catering to a larger niche.
- Find a technical team that can dedicate their time to building your company’s software product. You cannot start your business without creating the software you are offering. As you are a non-techie, you have to find someone—or several persons—who can take this role from you.
Additionally, your technical team will be responsible for responding to customers’ needs and requests. The team’s task is to develop the company’s product and keep refining it until it becomes the best fit for the market you have targeted.
A dedicated technical team, one that is tasked only on this particular project, is the most ideal.
- Do not wait for your technical team to finish what they’re doing before you go out and find prospective clients. You need to talk to possible customers even when the software or product is in development, because this is the best way to build interest in what you are offering. If you give prospects a good picture of what they are to expect, curiosity will build up and by the time your product is finished and is ready to be unveiled, you would have created a buzz. And prospective clients will be eager to sign up with your company.
Pre-selling your product is a good way of drumming up interest and building anticipation.
- Remember, first and foremost, you are a business person. As such, your focus should be on the business side of things. It is, of course, all right to keep an open line of communication with your technical team. It is all right to fish for updates. But, always remember to leave all the technical details to the team. Do not meddle with their work; do not control them. You can provide guidance and help them understand what the clients want, but never interfere with their expertise.
What you should do instead is support them, try to understand what they are aiming to achieve, and give them your trust. Your task is to sell the product. Their job is to execute the company’s visions.
- Before you decide to push through with your software business, you have to make sure that you have the budget for it. And this does not pertain to a budget that’s “just enough.” You need to have more than enough so that your technical team can keep working on the company’s product/s.
In the planning stage, you have to visualize your company’s development for a period of at least one year.
- Finally, make sure that your expectations are realistic. In setting business goals, try not to go overboard. Focus on what can be done and what needs to be done. Do not yet focus on multiple goals. As yours is a new company, your main goal should be to make the business take off, attract customers and investors, and survive its first year. In addition, continuous product development should also be in the list.
While it’s true that you do not have 100% technical knowhow, it is possible to build a software company and translate your business dreams to reality. All you need to do is focus on your non-technical tasks and leave the tech stuff to the tech experts.