There a few things which every technical business owner or a manager must know in order to run his/her business efficiently. Following tips are written with intention to guide small start-ups with limited resources.
- You must know the available resources and their capabilities. Resources mean the personal as well the equipment, required services and most importantly the time.
- The constraints. Every manager must know the constraints under which his/her work-force is working. For example a small embedded design company must not expect its team of merely two people to develop in-house GHz processor board which contains several BGA packages to be soldered. Ofcourse it needs special technology and for that some outsourcing is required. The manager must understand the technical capabilities and his manpower’s scope of work before indulging into some serious business. The project must be in-lined with company’s technical capabilities.
- Choose the target market which can earn you more with less investment. This is crucial because the difference between investment and return (ROI) is the profit.
- Choose the market carefully which can be captured under small resources. For example trying to design something which is useful but cheaper to develop like electronic sensors etc.
- Try to remain within your domain of expertise. This will ease up the job.
- Try to re-use the work already done. This is extremely important w.r.t. timely marketability and catching the window of opportunity. However, this is not a very simple thing to do as it seems. The hands-on technical experience of several years is required to master this “art of science”.
- Try to sell services as much as possible instead of products because services cost almost nothing and earn handsome while there is always a risk in the success of product after all the investment done. This can be untrue for large companies but for small start-ups, it is a wise thing to do.
- Convert services into products. The experience during the services period is the greatest asset of a technical person. This a very slow and careful process. It is like joining small pieces to bring up something useful. So keep your data protected and well organized. This will greatly help to reuse it.
- Technical documentation has always been a weak point of, especially, the engineers. Technical documentation help to understand something which human memory can not keep-up. Whether it is C code, a PCB design or a CAD library, everything must be “written-in” why it is, how it works and its dependencies.