Starting any new business is risky and demanding, for both entrepreneurs and investors. Before you launch your tech start up, check out these tips from a personal finance software biz owner.
In this job description, a personal finance software owner describes the ups and downs of running his own online business.
“Tech start ups force you to go outside of your comfort zone,” says Francois. “The job pushes you to give your very best all the time. I’m always up for a challenge so I guess it suits me well.”
In 2008, Francois and his team of co-founders started PocketSmith. Here, he gives the inside scoop on the ups and downs of starting a tech biz – including career tips for entrepreneurs.
What You Need to Know Before Launching a Tech Start Up
Do Tech Start Ups Make Money?
Francois is a co-founder of PocketSmith, a technology start up specializing in innovative personal finance software. He is in charge of Marketing, and Business and Customer Development. His income is based on the overall performance of his company, so his earnings vary (as do all entrepreneurs’ — whether or not they’re in the tech biz!).
If you’re more into money than technology, read How to Know if You Should Become a Financial Adviser.
The Best Parts of Starting a Tech Biz
Francois loves his job because “it gives me a chance to do what I’m passionate about and get paid for it!” Working in this tech start up job gives him the opportunity to learn lots of new skills, as it requires him to get involved in every aspect of the technology business.
Francois also loves the flexibility that his job gives him. New technologies allow him to work remotely from virtually anywhere in the world, as long as he has access to the internet.
The Downside of Working as an Online Entrepreneur
Francois say that stress is definitely an issue. Starting up any new venture is certainly not an easy task. Everything (income, sales, clients, press, media, etc) is uncertain, and it always takes way more time than you expect to achieve anything.
Though there were times Francois wanted to give up on his tech start up, he says, “I’ve always kept working hard, thanks to the unconditional support of my amazingly talented colleagues, as well as my friends and my family.”
The flexibility that comes with starting a tech biz comes with a price.
“People think you can take breaks and go on holiday whenever you feel like it, but in reality, it is the opposite,” says Francois. “Your customers wouldn’t wait two weeks for you to come back from vacation, so you have to keep working long hours for years before you can actually take some rest.”
If you’re serious about being an online entrepreneur, read Martha Stewart’s 10 Business Start Up Tips.
Surprises About Running a Tech Start Up
Older people and those who are less internet savvy often fail to understand what Francois does. He’s not a “techie” but he understands tech businesses really well. “It is still hard to explain what my job consists of sometimes!” he says.
Some people are also surprised of the lack of glamor in the tech biz industry. For instance, “The Social Network” was a great movie but it failed to show how the majority of tech start up entrepreneurs live on a daily basis.
Career Tips for the Tech Biz
You have the “oomph” to start a tech biz if you can handle “long hours, eating noodles, and lots of time sitting in front of a screen”! All small business start ups are the same way, whether you’re consulting, computing, or creating.
“If you want to a successful start up, you need to find people who share the same passion,” says Francois. “In the tech start up industry, you need developers, designers, marketers and many more. You need a large range of skills to get a tech biz running, so make sure you surround yourself with talent! These people will also understand you very well (as opposed to the vast majority of your contacts) and will know how to cheer you up when things do not go according to your plan.”
This biz whiz encourages tech start ups to “Never ever give up. Failure is no drama, as long as you learn from your mistakes.”
If you aren’t sure you want to launch a tech start up, read Want to Work From Home? 30 Home Based Business Ideas.
Francois is a young French entrepreneur living in New Zealand. As co-founder of PocketSmith – a tech startup specializing in innovative personal finance software, he enjoys learning new skills everyday. He’s passionate about web and business development and believes strongly in the power of community. This job description was written by Paul Callaghan, a New Zealand based freelance writer.
Do you have any questions on starting a tech biz? Comments welcome below!