5 Common Mistakes by Non-tech Entrepreneurs
By Nelly Yusupova
When I speak to entrepreneurs, I often feel like a “tech doctor” listening to horror stories about their tech projects getting out of control. I have spoken to thousands of entrepreneurs in my workshops and seminars at conferences across the country.
The most asked questions that I get are:
• Why is my tech project costing so much?
• How can I find the right tech person?
• Why has this project fallen so far behind?
• What in the world is my tech person saying?
• Why do I get promised one thing but delivered another?
• I hope I am not getting ripped off!
Here are the five most common mistakes that non-tech entrepreneurs make:
1. Not validating your idea
Entrepreneurs have thousands of ideas a minute on how to improve their products and services. Most people go from idea to development before validating whether the idea is actually solving a real customer problem. By adding this step in your development process, you can ensure you don’t waste valuable development time and money. For tips on lean ways to test your new business idea, Balsamiq or Omnigraffle. If you need more help, you can hire a user experience designer to help you with this process.
3. Not managing the project properly
Poor project management is the cause of many project failures. Often, entrepreneurs check in with their developer every few weeks or so. Later, when the website is not how they envisioned it, they have to go back and fix it. Or even start over! If you learn the process of managing the project better, you will be able to keep track whether the project is going according to plan. You will be spending unnecessarily on re-coding things because they were not done correctly the first time. Watch this introductory video to learn more about the agile development process. Make sure the developers you hire use it in developing your project.
4. Not knowing how to build the right technology team
Hiring the right people is necessary in any organization and the hiring decisions you make will have far-reaching effects on your business. Knowing how to attract the right people to work for you and how to incentivize them to stay is an art that can be learned. Here is a good place to start.
5. Not knowing the tech jargon and missing parts of the conversation
Spend some time learning about the infrastructure of the web. Also important – which programming languages are used for front-end and which are used for back-end development. Understand what a server does. These are small things that will allow you to stay a part of the conversation with your development team instead of being rendered to the sidelines.
Entrepreneurs who understand TechSpeak and the process, can spot the red flags earlier and therefore catch mistakes earlier, which will save them lost development time. Ultimately, you can save a ton of money.
Nelly Yusupova is the CTO of Webgrrls and the founder of DigitalWoman. For more than a decade, she built and maintained all the technology at Webgrrls and developed tech strategies for a variety of companies to help them grow. She will be running a TechSpeak for Entrepreneurs event on September 20-21.
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