You don't need to be a tech expert, but you should be aware of what you don't know.
Because so much of today’s successful products and services rely on technology, everyone tends to equate a passion for technology to the entrepreneurs behind these businesses. However, you can be successful without being a technology-oriented entrepreneur, as numerous entrepreneurs have illustrated. Here’s how…
Locate the talent
You can have a great business idea that involves technology you don’t build yourself. Instead, you outsource what you need in the tech field or hire an in-house team of talented developers to bring your business idea and talent to life. Let this trusted team take the lead for you. After all, the founders of Airbnb were designers and had no technical inclination so they knew they could hire those tech-minded individuals to turn their business idea into a viable product.
Take a moment and understand the success of the great Airbnb company. You can’t help but admire it. As an entrepreneur, you may only have a budget that allows for outsourcing the work, but a budget which can provide a great platform that will help you build out your business so that you can eventually hire developers, as well.
Get a co-founder that does love tech
Since you may be more about operations, strategy, and traditional business processes and less about technology, consider getting a co-founder who believes in technology and has the ability to guide this part of the company. You can look for potential co-founder candidates at networking events, conferences and trade shows, or online through job sites. You may even find a co-founder at a hackathon or incubator.
Rely on a mentor or consultant who knows tech
If you don’t want to have a co-founder, you can rely on a mentor or a consultant to offer the same knowledge, skill, and experience in this area to cover the gap in your own background. These mentors can also be found at various industry events or through networking via connectors. This type of support can help propel your business forward despite your own disinterest in technology.
Amass information and research
Become more informed to help shape your business decisions related to how technology plays into your company. See if your idea does align with a technological solution by researching and amassing information. You can do this through secondary sources, primary data you gather through surveys, and through other people who you network with at events. Ask others about their successes and failures related to technology to get a better feel for what you are facing.
Focus on what you know
While technology is what drives a lot of product and service sales, there is much more to business than only the technical part, and it’s those other areas that you may know extremely well. By making customer service, strategic development, marketing, business plans and talent development your focus because you excel at that, you can become a wildly successful entrepreneur that just so happens to feature a tech-based product or service. That’s because your competition may be focusing solely on their technology and have let those other, equally important areas wane, giving you the opportunity to truly differentiate your company.
Delve into technology anyways
It’s hard to imagine anyone actually hating tech because it is so exciting. Any aversion to it could be more about the fact that an entrepreneur just doesn’t understand the concepts behind it. You may need help with the learning of certain portions of technology. With that in mind, it’s good if an entrepreneur dives into anything technical and learns some of the basic technology concepts themselves like coding, especially if their company is going to build a mobile app or website.
Do something that doesn’t need tech
Sometimes we get so caught up in technology that we think it’s everything when you could be an entrepreneur and develop a non-tech solution for a consumer or business problem. An entrepreneur is someone who has a vision and creates something that fills a need or demand in the marketplace, using creativity and ingenuity. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to involve technology but can be a new way to use an existing process or product.
Still an entrepreneur
You can be an entrepreneur as long as you see and do things differently, choosing to innovate and step outside of the normal way of doing business. There’s nothing to say that a business has to do with technology or that an entrepreneur has to like technology to accomplish it. Whether you or your business is relying on others to handle the technology, focusing on what you can offer, learning certain technology components and adding a little bit of many of these tips and tools, you can be an entrepreneur without feeling passionate about technology.