9 signs your tech start-up will fail before it even begins

22nd July 2015

The London technology business sector is growing faster than ever – and that means countless tech startups are popping up.

But before you invest your life savings, take a moment to decide if your tech startup is actually going to succeed.

Here are 9 signs your tech startup is going to fail before it even gets going.

You don’t actually have anything to sell

You have an idea, but have you actually turned that idea into a viable product or service that you can actually sell and earn a revenue from?

If you haven’t even got a working prototype, don’t even think about trying to raise money from an outside source. First look for customers who’d actually spend money on your product.

Your product is completely revolutionary

Okay, this one seems weird.

Technology is all about making things that are completely new, right?

Well, most successful new tech products serve an existing market.

If your revolutionary new product does something that’s never been done before, customers will wonder why they’d need to start doing it now.

You don’t have any relevant skills

So it was your great idea to begin with. But actually being able to run a tech startup business to implement the idea is a different matter.

If you find that you’re not actually contributing to the business in any significant way, walk away and let the people who know what they’re doing get to work.

You take an existing idea but it doesn’t work in a new market

Not all tech ideas work in all markets and countries.

You might have copied an idea from abroad, and are now trying to sell it in your own country, but can’t work out why it’s not selling when it was so successful in its country of origin.

Some things are just like that. You need to find another way to market it, or just cut your losses and give up on the idea.

You give yourself fancy job titles before you’ve even made any money

Before your startup tech business has made any significant revenue, you’re already calling yourself things like CEO and COO.

Anybody can start a business and give themselves fancy job titles. But what really looks impressive is a well-run business with a great idea at its core, so work on that first.

You’re not thinking about your customers

It feels good when you’ve finally built your product, and everyone you know loves it.

But what about everyone else?

If you haven’t thought about how you’re going to persuade the wider public to spend their money, neither your business nor your product will get very far.

You’ve registered your business before making any money

Anybody can go to Companies House and register a business.

It can be exciting. You get to be fancy business people, allocating shares amongst the co-founders.

But there’s one problem: you don’t even have a product yet, nor have you made any revenue.

How do you know what percentage of shares each of you should own if you don’t even know what each person brings to your startup business?

Wait until your tech startup has actually started before you decide what everyone is worth.

You don’t actually know what you’re doing

Do you spend most of your working day reading “How To” guides on the internet? And not much time actually doing any work because you don’t really know what you’re doing?

You’re probably not going to grow your tech startup business into a global corporation any time soon.

Either give up trying to run a tech business, or let it go for now and come back when you have more experience.

You don’t have a technical person on your founding team

This is last because it’s probably the most important.

Are you trying to start up a tech business without actually knowing how to develop the product without hiring web developers?

Lots of technical problems pop up when you’re developing a technology product or service, and if the founding team can’t get their heads around it, the business probably won’t last long.

So learn to code, or start up a business in an industry you actually understand.

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