Did you know that 90% of the startups end up failing and 10% of them encounter a complete shutdown within the first year of their operations? As baffling as it may sound, but the majority of startups do not even survive three years in the market. Now, while multiple factors can contribute to the failure of a startup, having an unreliable tech partner definitely tops the list. As a non-technical founder, you may struggle to bridge the gap between a creative idea and its technical implementation – and, thus fail to attract any investors (or even potential customers).
One of the ways to avoid this pitfall as an entrepreneur is to find the right technical partner right in the beginning. Irrespective of what you may have heard, having a team of technical experts to accompany you from the first day will bring forth a plethora of advantages. For instance, you’ll be able to avoid unexpected technical hurdles and leave a good first impression on the investors as well.
Now, we understand that finding a reliable tech partner is not as easy as it sounds on paper. Since there are too many available options, business owners often struggle to find the right tech partner for their brand. But, with the right approach and strategic planning, you can get one step closer to making the right decision.
In this guide, we have listed a few factors that’ll allow you to compare multiple service providers and choose the most suitable tech partner for your startup.
Why Does Your Startup Need a Tech Partner?
As we mentioned earlier, 90% of tech startups don’t get to see the limelight in the entrepreneurial world. But, instead of focusing on this high failure rate, you can follow a few tactics to find your way out and embark on a journey of success.
Among other practices, you can hire a technical partner for your organization and let him handle the technical aspect of launching your product. Now, a tech partner can be anyone – a CTO (Chief Technical Officer), a software development company, or a team of freelance developers. Choosing the right partner among these three options will mainly depend on your startup model and the goals you want to achieve.
In any case, however, hiring a tech partner will increase your chances of tasting success and establishing a strong brand presence in the market. Let’s take a look at some of the additional benefits of hiring a tech partner in 2022.
1. Seamless Offline to Online Transition
Irrespective of the idea behind your startup, you would need an online presence to lead the market and draw customers’ attention. No doubt, brick-and-mortar businesses still earn a decent revenue, they are not an ideal choice if you want to scale your business and reach a wider audience. Instead, you’ll have to establish an effective online presence to virtually offer your services to customers living in other corners of the world.
Now, there are different ways you can take your business online; you can either develop a dedicated mobile app, launch a website, or even set up a simple online portal to drive your target users. However, for a successful offline-to-online transition, it would be crucial to hire people who are the required expertise to build user-centric digital solutions.
For instance, if you want to establish a cross-platform mobile presence, you’ll need a team of developers who specialize in development technologies such as Flutter and React Native. Similarly, if you want to enter the market with a feature-loaded web app, you’ll have to look for developers with expertise in technologies like Laravel, Ruby-on-Rails, NodeJS, etc.
2. Tackle Technical Challenges Easily
Here’s the deal; technology is evolving every single day. And, for a non-technical founder (like you), it can get challenging to stay on top of the latest technology trends in the market. As a result, you’ll either fail to incorporate the desired functionality to your mobile/web app or struggle in tackling unexpected technical challenges (which are more common than you think).
A technical expert, on the other hand, will not only resolve such unexpected challenges but also take preventive measures to reduce their occurrence. The team will also integrate the latest functionality to your mobile/web app so that it can keep the customers engaged and result in better user retention.
3. Investors Will Believe in Your Idea
One of the biggest challenges for any startup is to convince investors to invest their money in the idea. Even though investors might not have the required technical expertise, they are well-familiar with the factors needed to be considered before putting in their money. In short, investors are smart and you have no other option, but to perfect your pitch before approaching them.
While this isn’t always the case, the majority of venture capitalists consider the overall team as one of the deciding factors while analyzing the potential success of a startup. And, they’ll most likely give their money when you have a technical partner to handle the technical aspects of the business. Having a technical team showcases that you are serious about your idea and have the required time to handle other essential operations of building a successful business.
4. Avoid Unexpected Pitfalls
Another advantage of hiring a technical partner is their ability to protect your business from unexpected pitfalls. Many startup owners, with non-technical backgrounds, often find it challenging to communicate with vendors and other technical teams.
As a result, they end up making wrong decisions, which affect their business growth in the long run. But, if you have a technical partner to accompany you during these meetings, no one will be able to take you for a ride easily. The technical partner will handle the entire communication with third parties and help you make the best decisions. In fact, he’ll also keep a check on all your employees and ensure they deliver 100% of their productivity.
CTO or a Software Development Company – Which Technology Partner is Right for Your Business
Now, when it comes to hiring a technical partner, you have two different options – either hire a Chief Technical Officer (CTO) or look for a dedicated software development company. Of course, there’s also an option to outsource the entire development process to an offshore development company.
All these options have their own advantages and drawbacks. Ideally, if you can find a CTO who is worthy enough to retain the title, you should go for it without any second thoughts. However, we would like to point out that finding such a CTO will be nothing short of finding a needle in the haystack. Not every person with a technical background can be Wozniak to your Steve Jobs. So, be extra careful while hiring a CTO for your startup.
The next option is to recruit a bunch of freelancer developers and let them handle the overall technical side of your business. Again, this is not the most feasible solution because gathering a team of freelancers who could work in harmony and deliver the desired output can get a bit tedious. Either you have to look for freelancers in the same location or establish a communication channel that could beat varying time zones – both of which are hard to achieve.
This is when hiring a dedicated software development company comes into the picture. When you hire a dedicated organization to manage the overall development cycle, you get a team of designers, developers, QA experts, and in some cases, marketers as well. All these professionals work together to validate your idea and turn it into a working digital solution.
And, since there are dedicated managers to look over the entire project, you can shift your focus towards core business responsibilities to expand your customer base.
Key Attributes to Look for in a Technology Partner for Your Startup
Now that you are familiar with the importance of hiring a technical partner and how to choose between freelancers, CTOs, and dedicated software development companies, let’s take a look at the values that you should look for in prospects before making the final decision.
1. Industry Experience
How long a particular development team or CTO has been working in the industry is an indication of their expertise. People with years of industry experience have usually worked with different industries and are familiar with the best practices to devise business-centric digital solutions. They also know how to incorporate modern-day technologies with existing infrastructure to achieve maximum productivity.
When it comes to building a startup, working with an experienced tech partner becomes more crucial. Why? Because you don’t have millions of dollars to waste on experimentation and more importantly, someone else has invested their money in your idea. So, right from the beginning, make sure to look for tech partners who have been serving their respective industries for a while now and have worked on enterprise-level projects.
You would also want to evaluate the complexity of projects the team has developed throughout the years. Having a team that never backs down from resolving complex issues will allow you to tackle any unexpected technical challenges down the line.
2. Ability to Meet Deadlines
Beating tight deadlines is something that defines the true expertise of a technology partner. Even if someone has been working in the industry for several years, if they aren’t capable of meeting deadlines, you wouldn’t want to hire them for your startup.
As opposed to well-established businesses, startups can’t afford delayed product deployments. Because the same idea can also strike someone else’s mind and if they beat you to the market, your product will have no value whatsoever. That’s why it’s crucial to hire technology partners who can make delivery commitments and fulfill them on time.
One of the ways to evaluate if a development company or a team of developers is capable of meeting deadlines is to analyze their previous work. Ask questions like what was the expected time-to-market for a particular client and whether the team was able to achieve it or not. You can also get in touch with the business owners who have worked with the team and ask about their experience.
3. Prioritize Transparency
After technical expertise, transparency should be the next deciding factor to join hands with a reliable technical partner. No one wants to work with a team that responds after days or refuses to share their development practices. As a business owner, you should always know what’s going on with your product so that you can ensure that everything is on the right track and plan your final deployment accordingly.
To do this, look for technical partners who follow a completely transparent development process and share every single update on time. Ideally, such teams follow a single point of communication, which means you’ll have a single person to communicate with and get every detail on the overall progress.
4. Ongoing Support
Finally, ongoing business support is something that should always be on your list while hiring a technical partner for your startup. Mobile apps and websites are prone to unexpected failures and downtimes. However, frequent shutdowns can possess a serious threat to your brand’s reputation.
But, with a dedicated technical team in the picture, you can easily avoid these downtimes or resolve them at the earliest to ensure your customers can enjoy an uninterrupted user experience. Look for technical partners who also specialize in ongoing technical support. This way, the team will continue to monitor the overall performance of your website/mobile app, even after its final deployment, and implement the required changes to avoid downtimes and unexpected technical errors.
There are nearly 23 million developers across the world. So, instead of learning to code yourself, it would be better to let experts handle the technical side of your startup. Even though finding the right tech partner will be nerve-wracking, especially if you are from a non-technical background, having technical expertise by your side will bring forth a multitude of benefits. So, to make the right decision, make sure to follow the above-mentioned tactics as they’ll help you compare different service providers and hire a team that best suits your business objectives.