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There have been major layoffs in the tech industry, and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been affected.
You may even already have an entrepreneurial spirit. You probably already have an idea, you have a hybrid work balance and you know how to turn complex, technical ideas into concise and usable platforms.
As you plan your next steps, imagine what could be. Start small and build from there. You are not alone, many are starting over now. This does not mean that you are not applying for other positions. However, given the state of big tech in early 2023, new tech job opportunities are becoming scarce. As with other economic downturns, now may be the best time to explore your entrepreneurial opportunities.
Make a blueprint
What is the core of the idea (or ideas) you have? While working in technology, a business idea has come to your mind. What problem does it solve, what is involved in implementing it and how can it be done with potentially little to no investment support or a slow start-up?
Start by visualizing how the idea can be refined and improved and what the next step is to build your strategy. In addition, start investigating whether this idea already exists and whether another company is already acting on it. If so, how will your service or offering stand out? While many startups will be in stealth mode, take a look at what’s already public and how that might affect your plans.
2023 will be a year of more new ideas and innovation than ever before, partly due to the increasing number of former tech employees doing exactly the same as you. While the space can be crowded, you may be the only one with your specific idea or willingness to put effort into the concept.
After such a huge change in your life, it’s essential to take time for yourself and think about what you want and need to move forward. Consider what would give you the most satisfaction in your next job – whether that be money, meaning, or something else entirely.
Understand what strategy is needed
Even if you have experience in the tech industry, you still need to have a strategy to pursue your idea. No, the strategy does not start with getting venture capital or creating a big exit.
Start with a minimum viable product. Before you define a scaling strategy, you first define a sales strategy. How many people would pay to use the service or product you are developing? What are realistic customer acquisition costs?
Long-term planning (LRP) should start with a detailed analysis of feasibility, structure and available resources, combined with realistic expectations based on current external conditions. The reality is that building a winning strategy will take more patience than it did in the past. Without access to capital investment for long-term projects to flourish, a well-designed roadmap is needed that makes the best use of available resources.
You need to understand how each move affects the next and plan for contingencies. Creating a successful business in times like these requires intense focus and foresight to ensure that every essential element remains intact. Fortunately, by implementing an effective LRP process, the organization can maximize potential success while still emerging from turbulent financial waters.
Engaging a trusted brand strategy expert for your team isn’t something to be taken lightly – it’s a critical step to ensure the success of your innovation. A strategic and well-thought-out approach to building, operating and scaling the brand can spell groundbreaking triumph or complete disaster.
A non-disclosure agreement is an important additional factor that helps protect both parties, as any interference or breach could jeopardize the current business and future partnerships. In short, it pays to engage a valued brand strategist and ensure that all relevant details about your innovation remain confidential until it is ready for launch.
Evaluate after the initial strategy. It is acceptable to view this venture as a side job or to grow incrementally. The prevailing thought in tech is that you should only work on the next unicorn or build something for the next big exit. But what if your idea can become cash flow positive, grow at a pace you can handle as a solopreneur, and eventual revenue can pay for more extensive growth?
Secure the name and structure
Deciding how and when to start your venture can be a looming question in your mind. However, there are practical steps you can take now — even before you’ve settled all the details — to get you closer to success.
The first step is choosing a name and setting up a suitable structure around it so that other companies or organizations will not use it. You should also consider what framework and processes are needed when you start out.
In addition, an important factor to consider is a group of people who can come together to make this venture possible – from development teams to potential partners. If the project allows, consider hiring remote teams occasionally instead of taking on a full-time payroll that could add up to overheads sooner than expected.
Build and validate
Having a well-thought-out plan for an idea is one thing, but actually realizing that idea is quite another. Before venturing too far down the path of investing and building out the product, it is vital to ensure that the project will generate some return. To do this, you need to validate the idea: find out whether or not people are interested in your product or service. Above all, make sure the messages match what potential investors want to hear.
Doing all this before reaching out to potential investors is essential, otherwise you could exhaust all possibilities without gaining traction.