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StartupPro: How to set up and grow a tech business

Book Description

Practical guidance on how to turn your passion, idea, and technical skills into a successful business

  • Turn your passion, knowledge and technical expertise into business success

  • Practical tips on formalizing the company, attracting investors, managing a growing team, and using social media to maximize growth

  • Join the dots between your ideas, your plans, and an ambitious and forward thinking business

  • Think innovative and think disruptive—discover how the tech world is the most exciting area of business today

  • In Detail

    Marty Zwilling knows exactly what it takes to create and grow a successful business from scratch. As the founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, Marty is passionate about helping small business owners and startup founders grow in confidence and profits.

    The most important, if difficult thing for anyone in business is transforming the first small buds of success into a blossoming business. With a large community of followers online, popular blogs dispensing advice on a range of business issues and books such as “Do You Have What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?” Marty here looks at the growing, lucrative – essential, even - world of tech. In this new book he provides you with sharp insights and friendly guidance to help even the most inexperienced tech entrepreneur.

    Demonstrating how to prepare yourself for and navigate the challenging but exciting world of business, this book is an invaluable companion on the journey towards success. Beginning with the attributes of a good entrepreneur, and then looking at how to build a business around your skills and passions, Marty’s indispensable advice also looks at how to formalize a business plan, find investors, and lead teams. Success is often hard-won in the business world, but here Marty attempts to make it that little bit easier for you.

    Today, the fastest growing businesses are built around tech – whether you are building websites or analysing data, the world of business is dependent on tech experts to constantly be one step ahead of the game. Yet while your skills and knowledge may be in demand, creating and growing a successful business can be a huge challenge. With this insightful and inspirational guide, you will find out how to build the business you want, beginning with an effective and formalized business plan you – and other stakeholders – truly believe in, then how to articulate that confidence and belief as you find investors and stakeholders you can trust and build a team you know you can depend upon. You will also discover how to lead teams, driving forward both your business and yourself to the success you always dreamed of.

    About the Author

    Marty Zwilling has a passion for nurturing the development of entrepreneurs by providing first-hand mentoring, funding assistance, and business plan development. He is the Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, a company that provides products and services to startup founders and small business owners.

    He writes a daily blog for entrepreneurs, and dispenses advice on the subject of startups to a large online audience of 750,000 Twitter followers. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur Inc, Business Insider, and the Huffington Post. He also has published two other books, Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur? and Attracting an Angel.

    Table of Contents

    1. StartupPro: How to set up and grow a tech business
      1. StartupPro: How to set up and grow a tech business
      2. Credits
      3. About the Author
      4. About the Reviewers
      5. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. Who this book is for
        3. Conventions
        4. Reader feedback
        5. Piracy
      6. 1. Do You Have What It Takes to be an Entrepreneur?
        1. Personality traits of great technical entrepreneurs
          1. Are all technical entrepreneurs natural-born?
          2. Every entrepreneur needs multiple intelligences
          3. Technical entrepreneurs have to love learning more than money
          4. Technical entrepreneurs learn best from business networking
          5. A technical entrepreneur must build relationships
        2. Attributes to work on for entrepreneurial success
        3. All entrepreneurs are survivors, never victims
        4. Test the startup lifestyle before jumping into it
        5. Missteps to avoid for aspiring technical entrepreneurs
        6. Customers and investors like ideas, but measure you on their execution
        7. Succeeding as a technical entrepreneur is really about you
        8. Summary
      7. 2. Does Your Dream Idea Have the Potential to be a Business?
        1. How to perform a reality check of your opportunity
        2. Recognize the entrepreneur passion trap
        3. The difference between entrepreneurial requirements and engineering perceptions
        4. Assess the opportunity and the risks with a startup incubator
        5. The importance of frequent tuning and daily determination
        6. Feature creep can turn your leading edge into the bleeding edge
        7. Early adopters don't make your market
        8. Check your alignment with today's customer buying habits
          1. Winning customers from big business brands
        9. Women technical entrepreneurs have some unique challenges
        10. Summary
      8. 3. When, Where, and How Do You Formalize a Technical Business?
        1. Startup location – a critical success factor
        2. Picking the right company name
        3. Paying for a domain name
        4. The official start date of your business is an important milestone
        5. Protecting your startup founder's stock shares
        6. Minimizing the red tape and taxes of a startup
        7. Every technical startup needs a website
        8. Business blog – an alternative to a business website
        9. Kick-starting your startup with Twitter
        10. Every business needs momentum
        11. Summary
      9. 4. Does a Technical Entrepreneur Really Need a Business Plan?
        1. When do you really need a business plan?
          1. Valid reasons for not writing a business plan yet
        2. The difference between product plans and business plans
        3. Creating a good business plan
          1. Make it a simple but effective business plan
          2. Focusing on investors' questions
            1. Define the problem
            2. Solution and benefits
            3. Industry and market sizing
            4. Explain the business model
            5. Competition and sustainable advantage
            6. Marketing, sales, and partners
            7. Executive team
            8. Funding requirements
            9. Financial forecast and metrics
            10. Exit strategy
          3. How to do market research on a startup budget
          4. What is your business model?
          5. Financial forecasts – a key element of every business plan
          6. Benefits of using a financial model
        4. Summary
      10. 5. When and How Do You Find Funding for a Technical Business?
        1. Finding cash sources to start a technical business
        2. Crowdfunding basics for technical entrepreneurs
        3. Tips on how much money to ask for from investors
        4. Honing your elevator pitch and executive summary
        5. Structuring your investor presentation
        6. Guidelines for pitching to professional investors
        7. Rules of thumb for startup investment valuation
        8. Every technical entrepreneur needs a startup exit strategy
        9. Getting ready for the dreaded due diligence
        10. Rejection, and how you learn from it
        11. Investors fund solutions rather than technology
        12. Differentiating startup viability from fundability
        13. Summary
      11. 6. After the Funding, How Do You Survive the Execution Risks?
        1. Risks to be avoided
          1. Learn the laws of the jungle for technical startups
          2. Every technical startup needs business accounting and records
          3. Think carefully before taking legal risks and shortcuts
          4. Register all your intellectual property
          5. Know the value and risks of patents
          6. When to use non-disclosure agreements
          7. Risk factors that scare investors most
          8. Other common startup risks to avoid
        2. Taking smart risks
          1. Entrepreneurship success is recognizing smart risks
          2. Using imitation with innovation to limit risk
          3. Follow strategies of other successful risk takers
        3. Summary
      12. 7. Are You Ready for All the Leadership and Team Challenges?
        1. How to be an entrepreneur role model to lead your technical startup
        2. Traits of a great technical startup founder
        3. Finding the right top executive for your technical startup
        4. Importance of having a startup mentor
          1. How to assure a productive mentor-mentee experience
          2. Mentoring your team efficiently
        5. Recognizing and hiring the smartest people for your startup team
        6. How to turn your team members into an innovative startup team
        7. Keys to motivation that every technical entrepreneur should know
        8. Recognizing people who drain energy from your company
        9. Summary
      13. 8. Do You Understand How Social Media is Changing the Business Landscape?
        1. Making the right use of social media
        2. How to begin using social media in your technical business
          1. Differences between traditional and social media marketing
        3. The big three social networks for business
        4. Steps to social media success for technical entrepreneurs
        5. Some old and broken social media marketing uses
        6. Steps to measure technical entrepreneur social media results
        7. How to balance social media costs versus value
        8. How to make a real social media customer connection
        9. Summary
      14. 9. If You Build It, Will They Find You, and Will They Use It?
        1. Planning pivots – you may not get it right the first time
        2. Joining the new breed with a new mantra – nail it then scale it
        3. Validating the business model
        4. Pricing your product correctly
        5. Creating a memorable website for your startup
          1. Optimizing your website for the search engines
          2. Organic versus paid search results
          3. Website ads are not a revenue stream for startups
        6. Building your startup brand
          1. Creating a brand experience for your technical product with digital marketing
        7. Using viral marketing effectively
        8. Above all, maintain a laser focus
        9. Summary
      15. 10. Can You Build the Relationships Needed to Succeed in Business?
        1. Don't work alone
        2. Two heads are always better than one
        3. Partner qualities to test before sharing equity
        4. Why you need business relationships with many others
        5. Don't look to a dating site for matchmaking business relationships
        6. Should technical entrepreneur relationships ever be more than business?
        7. Great relationships are the key to scaling your business
        8. The importance of great customer relationships
        9. Mergers and acquisitions for growth are special relationships
        10. Make your relationship connect deeply
        11. Summary