The tech sector is an attractive prospect for many, as regardless of what is happening in the global economy, history has proven the tech world is largely immune to the jolts of financial crises. In fact, such sectors can often do better in such scenarios, if they are providing solutions to economic woes.
Startup companies are seriously attractive to many, as they have high-growth potential, low start-up costs and have the ability to reshape the world as we know it – think Uber, Spotify, Facebook and the like. All of these have grown into giants and were based on small innovations in technology that led to seismic shifts in the way in which everyday consumers operate. Startups can emerge in any industry, as technology has the ability to refocus and reformulate every sector without exception. All you need is a good idea! But there are some other factors you should be mindful of when looking to launch a startup in the UAE.
Here are some useful things to bear in mind as you get ready to reshape the world through your startup:
Who do you want to help?
Which sector do you want to transform and who are the ultimate beneficiaries of your innovation? Once you know the answer to this question and have key information about who they are, what they do and what they need, this will greatly inform the way you develop your startup.
Development, development, development
Most startups spend a long time in the germination phase, as it can be disastrous to launch before you are ready. Make sure you test and re-test (and re-test!) your platform, app, or product and launching in Beta is a good way to do a soft launch. Take the feedback you receive prudently and wisely and use it to inform the continuous development until you have a better product than you ever expected to have.
Rate your own performance
In order to truly succeed you need to know your own weaknesses better than any of your competitors. You must be brutally honest in appraising your startup as this is the only way to survive in the cutthroat industry – you have to be close to faultless by the time you open the doors to the wider public. Develop key and relevant metrics to monitor performance and have participants rate you on these metrics. Take heed of what the public tell you. Even once you have launched, tools like Google Analytics will provide you with more free information on the way the public is interacting with your startup than was possible in any other period in history. There are other paid analytical services that are also worth investing in; spend some time to see what service is right for you.
Tell us who you are
You can have the best startup idea in the world but if no one hears about it, its as good as dead. You most have a star digital marketing strategy in tandem with your transformative startup idea in order to reach startup magic. Know what you are doing, know your own story and own it. Make sure you have simple messaging that connects with audiences and then find the right platforms to tell them about it. Startup products generally appeal to younger or tech-savvy consumers, so digital marketing is your natural home. Use social media sites, chatrooms and other organic ways to get conversations started. Target social media influencers and journalists and make sure you are on the map. Most people will find better results by outsourcing this task to professionals, but be sure you know your own messaging before you contract anyone else to start this process.
The dream team
Identifying raw talent is a skill and one that could change the shape of your fledgling business. Startups usually work with very lean teams as money is tight in the early days. This means each hire you make has to pay dividends, so understand what it is that your startup needs that it is lacking during the development period, and be ruthless when it comes to finding the right people to come along with you on your journey.
Go for gold
With these things lined up behind you, you are ready to go out and pitch to those who hold the purse strings. The UAE is full of capital and willing investors who have the resources to transform your startup; all they need is be convinced you have the right idea, creative energy and commitment to help make them even more money. Spend time organising your ideas and knowing how to tell a story that will connect, and you will stand out from the rest.
The early days of a startup are crucial to get right, so ensure you think about the future, look for innovation, develop a sustainable business model and make sure you are surrounded by the right people. If all these stars align, startup magic is sure to happen!