Information technology is one of the hottest industries to be engaged in business in. In the early 1990's, the DotCom boom made millionaires out of dozens of people and companies who sold anything from software, services, and even brands. They banked on the popularity of Internet use and the ever-changing trends in technology. Of course, as quickly as people got rich, the bubble had burst, leaving a lot jobless and even penniless. It's a cut-throat business, and you have to always be on your toes to succeed in this industry.
Here are a few tips and insights that could help you succeed in running an IT business.
Have a good idea and nurture it. Most successful IT businessmen started their business from an "itch" that they needed to "scratch." This means that they had a need, and found a way to fulfill that need. Perhaps you need to improve on a business process, or you want to be able to do something online, but you cannot do it with today's current technologies. The solution then is to create your own! Build your own software. Or improve on software that's already available.
Google's founders thought it was cumbersome to categorize everything on the Web under directories. So what they did was create a search algorithm that will enable users to just type in keywords to search among the millions of websites and pages out there. And they now have a multi-billion dollar business!
Keep a good business and personal network. Most IT businesses succeed not because of a great idea. Actually, great ideas are often surpassed by even great ideas. The secret to succeeding is being able to get people to know about your business and actually use your service. It's all about networking, and in many cases it's not how many people you know, but it's who you know. For instance, many small IT businesses fail within the first five years. But if you know people in the big leagues, like investors and even big tech companies, you can get backing or investment from them. Your company could even be bought outright. Take for instance YouTube. Google bought them for more than a billion dollars, even when Google had its own video service. Take Flickr. Yahoo acquired them even when Yahoo had its own photo service.
Keep innovating. Brick and mortar businesses can remain competitive even when they sell the very same products for decades on end. This is not true in the IT industry, though. You have to keep innovating to be competitive. Other companies will keep on coming up with faster, better software and services. So you need to be on your toes to keep your edge. It's not enough that you have the most users, because if your product is stagnant, your users are bound to move elsewhere. You should be open to change, and take these as opportunities to grow.
Running an IT oriented business is very exciting, because of the potentials and opportunities involved. You don't even have to have a lot of money to start an IT business. All you need are the right ideas, the right people, and the right mindset, plus a bit of luck.