Recently, I’ve interviewed a broad sampling of tech company owners and consultants. Objective? To find the biggest challenges they face today in terms of finance, organizational placement, production, and service-oriented issues.
There was a lot to uncover; nothing like being surprised along the way.
What ARE some of the bumps in the road between “Oh, boy, we made it!” and “Now we can buy the car, home, land, plane,” OR simply hire some help smarter than us?
It Starts With Cashflow
Whether the business is new and just beginning, or up and running with accounts receivable growing faster than sales, consider whether or not to work for someone else while you build up a cash reserve. A modest family budget will allow you to keep your home and family afloat while bills get paid, and you’ll have some working capital to pay the inevitable expenses associated with building a tech company.
Some Struggle With The Deliverable
It’s easy to fall in love with a certain program, find a user, and service that account until it is replaced. One challenge startup tech companies face is finding time to develop new and improving programs, services, or customers while satisfying the ONE they have and may be using for a beta launch.
In the technical industry, it’s important get to market on time and before anyone else does. The staffing, designing, marketing, selling, servicing, and follow-up can potentially land the company right in the swamp – a day late and a dollar short.
Stay current, don’t ignore your concerns, and be aware of concerns held by your favorite niche in the market.
Finding, training and retaining a great motivated staff is another trip step. With experience you will recognize capable people who you may have enjoyed working with previously – hopefully living a modest lifestyle and in a relationship, less likely to be drama bombs in the office. (Just my observation …)
The Business of Running The Business
A business is not a job with no boss. There is accounting, banking, benefit management, reporting to various government agencies – human resources responsibilities must have regular maintenance. What about the lease or purchase of your work space? Startup tech companies may not have all these issues, but with any level of success, they are right on the doorstep and trip up many great ideas.
Making sure everyone feels valued is a challenge to many of these companies. From customers to staff, working with PEOPLE to accomplish a goal can be a difficult transition for a keyboard junkie. And oh, yes – the forgotten long-suffering family who is wondering why you don’t just get a job like everyone else does …
Don’t Let Any of That Stop You, There ARE Happy Stories
Consider the consultant looking for a company to fix or buy. He finds one with great software but a toxic company culture. There are customers, a history of success, and an owner who wants to sell and move on down the road. The consultant calls a cousin, they study the company, determine which software stays, and which personnel need to find opportunity elsewhere.
They buy the company with owner financing. One of the partners focuses on the business and gets an MBA from SMU, the other recruits capable software designers, installs a ping-pong table, and they do business. In a couple of years, the company grows, a buyer finds them and buys.
The partners stay on to run the company, have a new business plan, and will stay on to find other venture partners. They build dream homes on acreage, have really cool cars, and run a squeaky clean shop – and still do!
Here’s what the SUCCESSFUL tech companies never forget:
- Get some help, education, and coaching.
- Hang out with entrepreneurs who have and still are fighting the good fight.
- Return calls within 24 hours.
- Show up on time, do what you say you are going to do, and be sure to say, “Please” and “Thank you.”
- Keep your expenses low, and track them daily.
- Stay up to date and be sensitive to the market, your current and future customers.
- Be extra kind and attentive to family whenever you are home or with them.
- Consider it all joy, and be a learner.
John Checki Jr. and John J. Checki III specialize in wealth management for baby boomers and have been serving their clients in Plano, Richardson, and Frisco for about 30 years. Located at 2435 N Central Expressway, Suite 1508, Richardson, TX 75080, reach out to John at 972-437-4089 or www.JohnCheckiJr.com. Member FINRA and SIPC, Advisor services are offered through Securities America Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, John Checki, Jr. Representative.