How to Build a Software Startup if you are a Non Technical Founder?
Software-driven businesses have been around for a while now, but are here to stay in the long run. A lucrative business opportunity awaits if you have a great startup idea. However, what stops some idea innovators is the dearth of technical know-how. Being a non-technical founder of a software company sounds like a plan that is destined to fail. In reality, this should be on the last on the list of their concerns. Having the right mindset, skills and passions even a non-technical founder can be a successful entrepreneur.
Here is a detailed post that can help non-technical founders in building a software-driven start-up based on the ideas they believe in.
Step I: Learn The Basic Concept. Forget the Coding Skills
While you don’t need to compete with a professional developer and write better codes for your software, it would be beneficial if you develop an understanding of the technology on which your business operates. You need to know the components that go into building a platform. This will also help you communicate with the tech team to achieve desired end products.
Step II: Find a CTO You Trust
A knowledgeable CTO or Chief Technology Officer can be a boon for any software start-up founded by a non-technical founder. He/she can tackle the coding part and can educate you about the process. Thinking a bright business idea and passing it on to a tech founder is not all. Your tech co-founder needs to put thought and dynamics into the process as much as you. A good CTO is someone who knows how to code and also possesses a strong business acumen. The CTO and a non-tech founder must be able to translate the needs for a solution into the product being developed.
Step III: Target the Right Market
Using your business skills is the right way to make up for the absence of tech skills. Make sure you use skills and contacts to leverage experiences and connections for the benefit of your new startup. Explore opportunities and think from a different perspective to unearth new markets for your product.
Step IV: Possess the Necessary Skill Set to Make Up for the Lack of Coding Knowledge
Thriving businesses are built upon creative ideas, contagious drive, relentless hustle, and great visions. These are all the things that a non-technical co-founder must bring to the table. As a non-tech founder read books, blogs and write-ups about other successful entrepreneurs and how they did it. This is necessary to keep the faith in the project alive. All ideas begin in your mind and must be penned down as a rule. It is hard to believe how keeping business idea journal can turn the direction you stir your business towards. Showcasing your work through writing a blog online can pave the way to a dedicated community online. Building a loyal audience requires excellent communication skills and as a non-tech entrepreneur, this can be a significant contribution to the project.
Step V: Network Diligently
The strength of your network can often be an indicator of your strengths. Most tech founders or partners are consumed in coding the app product right, the non-tech founders must leverage by collaborating with the right kind of people. Use every networking opportunity for the benefit of your startup business. Share your ideas with the industry veterans at networking events. Do not hesitate to ask for honest feedback, and record their insights. This can help you create a better product and simultaneously create a buzz for it in the market.
Step VI: Start Selling from The Start
Don’t wait up for the tech team to be done developing the app product for you to begin selling it. This kind of ‘one thing at a time’ approach can end you in troubled waters. We all know the development process consumes a long time, you can use this time judiciously to create a customer base for the product being developed by the tech team. Pitching can be done with the help of presentation, mockups and prototypes. Pitching at earlier stages of app development also ensures that you know exactly what a customer expects out of the product, which can then be incorporated at later stages. What sells is the story! Convey your ideas to your audience in the form of an interesting story instead of a goody-good list of features of your product/service.
Step VII: Pay Attention to Your Own Strengths
Being the non-tech founder of the app startup your main contribution is finding the right customers for the business. Make sure that you do not interfere with the working of the tech team and channel all of your energy in the non-tech aspect of the business. Your role is of just communicating clear cut guidelines at the beginning of the project and it ends at that. Too much meddling into the tech aspect without adequate tech knowledge can demoralize the whole team.
Step VIII: Be Wise with Finances
The harsh reality that kills more startups than one can imagine is that money doesn’t pour in like seasonal rains. As the non-tech founder, it is your responsibility to look into the financial aspect of the project and to ensure those budget projections allow enough time for the wholesome development of the product. Have a practical one-year road map and encourage your team to meet milestones in time.
IX: Hone Your Product Management Skills
Lack of technical know-how can be well compensated through developing project management skills. Do take out some extra time to learn the basic terminology related to the tech product. This will help keep the communication channel with the developer clear.
X: Know How to Communicate with the Tech Team
Your tech knowledge needs to be limited to the very basics so that you are able to easily articulate what you want in your software product. It often happens that non-tech founders jot down their product requirements casting a complete blind spot on the backend of the app. This increases the time consumed in app development. Know the basics of app coding so that you comprehend the problems that the team is facing and you can explain to them what the target customer expects from the product very clearly. Even if you are not the one designing the actual app, having a layout of what the product should look like also helps to keep the tech and non-tech team on the same page.
If you are an entrepreneur with a vision to have an app startup, you do not need to learn how to develop an app, instead, you should know how to get things done. App coding is just one of the many tasks that go into building a successful business. There is a hoard of other skills like market research, selling acumen, fundraising, monetization strategy and recruiting that go into the success of a startup. As a non-technical founder can contribute to scale the company by pursuing the business aspect of the app, leaving the development procedure to techies. Strong vision along with avant-garde creativity is the hallmark of successful entrepreneurs.
A technologically qualified mobile app development company with vast experience like Promatics Technologies Private Limited can be your secret weapon. We have helped our clients build MVPs and apps from scratch and even helped some app business improve their user experience. If you are a non-tech individual struck with an app idea you think can make it big. We are all ears!
Disclaimer: This article first appeared at: How to Successfully Build a Startup When You are a Non Technical Founder?