Starting a tech startup is a goal many young tech-savvy people strive for these days, and you can ultimately see why, they turn on their TV's all they see Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos all looking extremely wealthy, intelligent and successful. No wonder everyone's Facebook says they are a serial entrepreneur.
I'm going to take you through all the struggles I faced in marketing, sales, and tech when I started my tech startup. Firstly, to put all that information in context, I'll just briefly tell you a little about what my startup does. My startup is called AMZ Link Checker, and it helps Amazon affiliates find all the Amazon links on their website that are costing them money by linking to unavailable items, out of stock items, moved items and items that now have poor customer reviews.
Now you know a little about my startup I'm going to walk you through all the struggles I had and how I solved them.
#1 No capital to invest or seed funding
If you have capital, you are willing to invest in your tech startup, that's great. If you can use other people's money in the form of seed funding, that's also great. For me, I didn't have those luxuries, so to make an MVP (minimum viable product), I had to keep costs as low as possible. Not having that initial funding source restricts how fast you can grow, you won't have much of a budget for funding. I used to Amazon AWS free for a year tier for my SSL. I used Cloudflare's free SSL to keep my costs as low as possible.
Marketing is where the real competition starts. It's effortless to build a software product if you are a developer yourself all it costs actually to make the code is your time. Do market to your target audience on a large you need a large budget that many tech startups don't initially have. There are, however, a few free ways you can market your product. For me and my amazon affiliate targeted web application, I started with SEO, which included writer good blog content that helps Amazon affiliates earn more and then building useful links from niche relevant places towards my website. After that, I focused on joining internet marketing forums and sharing my service when appropriate. Just remember not to appear too spammy and always be professional when dealing with other members of these forums, or it reflects poorly on your business.
#3 Knowing your audience
If you launch a tech startup without really knowing your audience, you are going to have a tough time. Know exactly where your customers point pains are (what they are struggling with) is where you can provide a solution. If that solution works well, they will be willing to pay for it. However, I've lost count of the times I've been people think of a business they think is a great idea, but there isn't really a demand for. Don't just create a solution for a problem that doesn't exist; make sure there is a demand for it first. Ask on internet forums, call around, and ask people already in the niche.
#4 You have to learn to sell
Selling to people isn't naturally part of a typical software developer's skill set. It makes us feel awkward. But if you want to start a business successfully, the first thing is that you have to learn. If you don't learn how to sell, your startup will run out of money and shutdown. It's hard, but it's doable. My advice would be to learn how to sell a product by showing off its benefits rather than its features. For example, my solution finds broken Amazon affiliate links, but I wouldn't pitch it in that way to a potential customer. I'd say something like "increase your Amazon affiliate commission by up to 50%". See how I'm selling the benefits rather than the features of the product?
I hope you've enjoyed reading this post about how hard a tech software startup actually is. As you can see, you'll have some pretty hard aspects to overcome if you want your tech startup to grow and be a success, but there are many free methods of marketing, and if you have the time and passion, your tech startup can absolutely be a success.