| by Seminda Rajapaksha | No comments

Why Your Startup Needs a Tech Partner

How to move your project forward without an in-house team and CTO

We all live in a magical time, an era of innovation, in the age of unicorns. Everyone who reads tech news at least once in a while can’t help but get inspired by startup success stories. In reality, though, it turns out that building a tech company that will last is not as easy as it may seem, and stories of failure are much more common than journalists lead you to believe.

While there are sucssful start ups, as many as 70% of startups fail. Other stats can be even worse — consumer hardware companies fail more often, with a shocking 97% rate. Startup Genome analysts shows that 90% of all startups will sooner or later die. As bad as it sounds, there may be a way out. Instead of focusing on the sad side of entrepreneurship, let’s think of what can be done to prevent those failures. What can startup owners do to make their journey easier and more enjoyable? Is there someone to help them survive, concentrate on their goals, and succeed?

Why Startup Companies Outsource

At first glance, outsourcing is not a startup thing and is usually associated with big business. Yes, large companies have enough personnel and other resources to get their work done, but they often choose outsourcing as the best way to maximize their profit, increase work efficiency, and improve the quality of their products. On the other hand, startups, afraid of additional expenses, tend to cut corners constantly. The truth is startups should outsource as much as big companies do, if not more.

Many well-known brands have outsourced their development to get their business off the ground, and many of them continue to delegate at least part of their work. For example, Skype’s success would be impossible without three Estonian developers who created the company’s application back-end. Back in the day, one of the most popular corporate communication tools, Slack, outsourced the design of its web interface to British MetaLab, and as it turned out, it was a very good idea.

If we think about the long-term perspective for businesses, scarcity of the resources means that you have to prioritize. This is particularly relevant to IT-related tasks. Another important point is that newborn companies often don’t have enough hands to solve their challenging tasks effectively. A startup may have a brilliant idea, and its CEO may be very ambitious, but even the most talented specialist cannot build a company alone. The third problem follows from the fact that startup projects are often based on innovative business ideas. This often means a lack of know-how both in the development team and in the local market in general.

There are many other obstacles a startup may face both in the beginning and throughout their entire journey. They’re precisely the reason why startups should outsource. Let’s name the most challenging ones:

Starting fast

You may have the most innovative idea and be very passionate about bringing it to life. Yet, if you don’t get your product to market quickly, you’ve lost the game. If you deliver your product quickly, it gives you a big advantage over your competitors.

Scaling up

In the fast-changing competitive world, a business should always offer more today than it offered yesterday. This includes providing new services, serving more clients, or bringing fresh ideas to life.

Scaling your business, though, requires high-quality specialists capable of performing complicated tasks in a short period of time. In other words, you should scale your team first. Obviously, not all startups start to earn money at once, so they cannot handle the overheads of expanding their staff internally. Every new hire comes with onboarding time, purchase of office equipment, and requirements for renting additional space. Outsourcing eliminates all of these issues and allows businesses to expand their design, development, and QA staff.

Saving costs

Every penny counts, and this is especially relevant for a startup. Even if a startup is lucky enough to raise a big round of venture capital at the beginning of its journey, it should spend wisely. Sticking to reasonable budgets and reducing startup costs should always be one of the main priorities. At the same time, a startup can’t sacrifice the quality of its product as it can lose the game from the start. Therefore, the only viable option for startups is to develop a cost-effective approach in their work and pay only for what they really need.

Hiring top-notch specialists

No matter how passionate young entrepreneurs are and how much they want to do everything by themselves — their time and skill set is limited. Startup founders may be businessmen in nature, but this doesn’t make them programmers, designers, or project managers. They can’t write any code or create a polished visual concept. Sometimes a startup is entering a very niche industry or building a very complex product, and they need specific rare expertise necessary to perform the challenging tasks. Sometimes this expertise isn’t available locally. No matter what the cause, the truth is that a lack of hands can become a real problem for a young company.

Being flexible

What defines a real startup is their flexibility, agility, and the ability to scale an innovative business model confidently. Being a startup means maintaining a healthy workflow in stressful phases — adjusting the workforce according to the immediate business needs but still remaining focused on the main strategy and core tasks. This can happen before the product launch, when new ideas must be implemented quickly or when a startup is expanding its business and enhancing its growth. In other words, startups should embrace flexibility, so they can pivot when necessary, without things falling apart.

No matter how awful those challenges may look like, startups have good chances to tackle them successfully. The answer to many problems of a young entrepreneur is called outsourcing. Even if you are building your first startup, you don’t necessarily have to make every beginner’s mistake by yourself. But with no experience, how to avoid these mistakes in your own game? The simple answer is to find a technical partner.

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