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How to deal with difficulties related to technologies as a startup?

Jul 26, 2019 6 min read

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How to deal with difficulties related to technologies as a startup?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

I am excited about my startup, my idea, and my vision. But all startups are not tech startups. So as mine. When I think about executing my strat-up technology is the enabler.

But as an entrepreneur, I have queries in the mind,

  • How will the product be developed? 
  • Who will develop it? 
  • Whether it will come out as expected? 
  • How will I validate the development tasks?
  • How do I find the right IT vendor, as all claim the same?

Ugh! Too many worries! 

Relax. Calm down.

If you are doing or going into a startup where you know your idea but don’t know technical things that other people might know it, you try to seek their help. But in this case, you may have below worries,

  • They may dominate you as you are dependent on them 
  • Sometimes, startups are misguided by the technical salesperson and try to push what they have instead of what is right for you
  • What is the good cost and bad cost? It is tough to decide as all look important
  • Deciding based on demo or website, again a challenge, as all look beautiful and presented well

Now, you don’t have options, but to keep calm and deal with the situation patiently. You need to learn many things simultaneously. It seems very easy sometimes but when you go in detail, it takes much more time than expected, it seems much more complicated as well.

No need to go in much deeper in technicality but you must understand what’s going on, why it takes time, how it will go further, and what you can expect as an end result.

What are the technology challenges faced by startups?

Being a startup owner, not necessarily, you have technical knowledge in which you need a website or a mobile app to sell your products/services.

Most entrepreneurs are aware of the workings of a particular site or an app. But, they don’t know what needs to be included and what not as a component or technology stack, when you go out with your business requirement. 

That’s where you face difficulties. Let’s first find out what all the technical challenges you may encounter while developing your product.

1. What do you need in your product/app?

You know what your product/service is all about. Also, you want to sell them through a digital channel. You also know the target audience and promotional rules you want. 

The thing that you don’t know is how you’re going to place them in an app and sell them online. 

So, when meeting a technical person/team, they ask you the first question – how do you want your app to look like? What will be transaction flow? Give your business requirement document? Or what is the scope of work?

And, your reaction is,

technology challenges faced by a startup - what do you need in your product/app

2. How to create a workflow?

Now, another difficulty most startup owners face is that you’ve no idea about where a user will land, where will he/she go on website and app. You know how the transaction will flow. But explaining to IT vendor in their language is a different game. 

Until and unless you’re from the technical background or your startup idea is not unique, you don’t know anything about the workflow.

But, what about the startups who have a new idea or creating innovation where you don’t have examples to show. 

You become blank, and you’re like-

technology challenges faced by startups - how to create a workflow

I came here with the expectation that only the technical team needs to know how the app’s workflow should be.

Answer to it is- go for Design Sprint. Create a storyboard, prototype, and user journey.

3. What technologies are required in your web/app?

Development agency will ask, 

  • Do you want your app to be developed in Native (iOS, Android) or Cross-platform (React Native, Flutter) technology? 
  • For e-commerce – which platform I prefer to have a website – Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or Magento?

Your reply,  “I mean, how would I know which one is the best one for my startup. As all sites are loaded with features and all claim to be the best in the business. Shall I look brands, which use them or cost?” 

technology challenges faced by startups - what technologies are required?

And the answers I get are mixed. Sellers are vouching for the technology they work with. And when you are with salesy people around, you don’t get the right advice.

4. How to plan your customer experience?

Being a startup owner, you know that you want to bring customers on your app/ website and want them to make a purchase.

“But, what will inspire the customers to make the purchase? Have you planned any feature that would help you with this? Maybe, we can use any of these conversion hacks

  1. Highlight a product scarcity
  2. Emphasize on product popularity
  3. Highlight an offer scarcity
  4. Load your web & mobile store in 2 seconds
  5. Improve your organic growth with SEO
  6. Keep your store content less but strong
  7. Have high-quality product pictures with zooming functionality
  8. Have easy filter options
  9. Include audio and visual search
  10. Allow customers to sign up easily
  11. Allow customers to checkout as guests
  12. Incorporate user-generated content

Which one would you like to integrate?” Someone from the technical team shares this.

I feel Wow! A few of these are still understandable. But, the rest went over my head. And they are like toppings on the pizza. More I add, it adds the price. You’ve such a thought crossing across your mind. 

technology challenges faced by your startup - how to plan your customer experience

It seems difficult to decide. Because I want everything and don’t want to leave anything behind…!

5. How to choose the right IT development vendor?

You want your IT vendor to be your partner and help you sail through. But, the challenging part is – which is the right vendor? You might have met a few ones, definitely from your references. But, which one is the right fit for your business?

Every vendor will try to convince you to become their customer. But, as you don’t know about technical things, you worry about not giving your startup plan in the wrong hands.

How to overcome technical difficulties in your startup?

Here are the ways you can overcome the technology challenges you face while building your startup app:

1. Stay calm and positive

These technical difficulties are quite depressing, and they might bring negative thoughts regarding your startup idea. But, that is when you need to stay positive no matter what.

If you are looking for startup positivity ways, here I have gathered a few tips on the same.

2. Don’t trust every vendor

You can call this a mistake as well that most startup owners make. It’s like whenever you meet an app development vendor, you are convinced with whatever they say and show.

You need to stay away from that.

Gather the information that the vendors share with us, their portfolio, their proposal, and more. They are trying to sell their services, but we need to be careful before choosing them as it could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Pick the one which has credentials, experience,  past exposure of your industry and gives client references to validate. Trust companies, not any Freelancer if you are serious about your business. 

3. Learn about some technical stuff online

First things first- start reading a few of the articles online. For that, Google is your friend.

If you are looking to understand the workflow, check out a few competitors’ sites. Also, you can see other successful websites in different segments to understand how they excel in customer experience.

Check out various apps and websites of your industry, list great features, see user journey and points for attention to detail. 

That’s how you need to learn about workflows. But, the best way to overcome the technical difficulties for your startup is the #4 point.

4. Hire a business coach/startup consultant

Yes, I believe consultants are the best people to have for your entire startup journey.

Business consultants do not favor any vendor and give you genuine feedback for each of these vendors.

Also, they know the technology industry in and out and hence help you choose the right vendor, set the workflow, design team,  write scope, set the cost, and more to put your idea into reality.

Technical challenges should not stop you.

The technical difficulties are going to stay for the whole life. So, you need to adapt to learning and a business consultant to keep things moving. Otherwise, you end up paying for something that you might regret later.

Do you face any other technical difficulties while building your startup? Share with us at [email protected]eeda.com, and we will come up with a personalized solution.

Disha Shah is a co-founder of Pragmatic Consultancy and DIMC and has contributed to the success of various service-sector startups and SMEs for 15 years now. She has been faculty to various business schools and ran her own institute for 13 years. She has expertise in cost-benefit analysis, GAP analysis and guiding team to increase efficiency, reduce cost and increase profitability. She conducts various training programs on team motivation, leadership, costing, and process improvements. Apart from being a foodie, Disha is fond of dancing and reading books.