The Vancouver Technology Arena is quickly evolving and drawing more business players into the marketplace. Many technology entrepreneurs have built great companies with a positive and lasting impact to our communities. At DMCL, we’re strong supporters of entrepreneurship and we love a good success story. Most of the winners in the tech space did these ten things early:
1. Create a compelling story and strong business plan that speaks to both internal and external stakeholders. A clear value proposition, realistic numbers and a roadmap to growth are must-haves if you want to raise money.
2. Reward key employees with stock options or equity incentives to keep them around.
3. Consider obtaining some assurance on your financial statements to provide users and investors with more confidence and trust when relying on your numbers. Proper bookkeeping is one of the strongest perceived indicators of a well-run company from an investor perspective.
4. Protect your source codes and intangibles with trademarks and copyrights. Your hard work needs to be properly fenced.
5. Build a budget for your development cost and benchmark with available market data. Cost control and diligent spending allows you to reinvest more back into your business.
6. Develop financial projections and set milestones to track your progress, measure your success, see tangible proof of effort and know where things didn’t go as planned.
7. Develop a system to keep your financial affairs in order and stick to it. Buyers will usually perform due diligence, so getting your ducks in a row early on will expedite future sale or investment processes.
8. Creditors and investors expect a level of return to commensurate the perceived risk. Look for ways to continually improve your offering and maintain open lines of communication with those who have contributed to your company’s success.
9. Know the tax incentives out there for Technology start-ups. They’ll put more cash back into your hand to reinvest into the company, be it more assets, more people or more markets.
10. Surround yourself with a team of professionals to guide and navigate you through the complex intricacies of accounting, tax and legal rules. Mistakes can be costly to fix so it’s important to get it right from the outset. Professional assistance will be critical as you grow. Even if you’re willing to put in the work, it’ll be for naught without a proper strategy, the comfort to make decisions and the ability to course-correct quickly when necessary.
Clarity. Proactivity. Access to expertise. If you have all three, you’re a lot closer to success than you think.