What’s my next step?
While it may seem as if getting investors to fund your FinTech start-up is the hardest part of the process, executing your business plan successfully is a much more daunting task. The vast majority of FinTech start-ups fail after securing funds, and although some of this may be put down to attracting the wrong investors, some of these failures are caused by a lack of business strategy or acumen. More specifically, a successful business is driven by the right talent. As such, one of the first steps to take after securing capital for your start-up is to ensure that you have the right staff to move your business forward. As a FinTech start-up, you need skilled people able to straddle both the financial and technology industries. As such, hiring people will take time, and in business, time is always money. The longer you take to employ the right people for your business, the longer it will take for your start-up to finally get off the ground.
Sunil Rajaraman, CEO of Scripted.com, explains that it takes at least two months to hire technical or skilled staff for a business. Considering FinTech is in its infancy, it can safely be assumed that it may take you even longer to employ the right people for your business. “If you did not run your hiring process in parallel [to securing your capital investment], hurry up – you’re already behind,” says Rajaraman.
Rajaraman also says that you “need to be cheap” when it comes to everything business-related, except the development of your product. Of course, this means that you may have to pay more to hire the right developers, for example, but this does not mean that you should meet every demand of your workforce. “The work itself should be motivating and interesting enough to keep employees engaged; if it’s not, the company is likely not sustainable, to begin with,” he explains.
Hiring the wrong people is thus an expensive mistake; not only can this set you back in terms of direct expenses, but it can also set you back in terms of time, the development of your product, and the product’s eventual launch.
While it may seem obvious, one of the first most essential steps you need to take as a start-up is to market your product and brand. Marketing is an important tool for all businesses and involves far more than simple sales or advertising. Indeed, marketing is generally a part of the business that may not have any direct or immediate measurable return. However, building your company brand and image will require a lot of effective marketing.
As Cogent Analytics explains: “Marketing can promote a certain brand, product, and people. Even though you provide quality goods and services, it can be useless when people do not know about it.”
However, marketing requires a particular set of skills, and may not always be easy to find someone who can fulfill this role. An important aspect of marketing also includes brand presence; in this respect, you need employees who are able to speak about your product with knowledge and confidence. If potential users or investors (and yes, start-ups are always looking for more investors) are not impressed by those paid to represent your company or brand, your business will likely never become particularly successful.
Mambu Communications, in an interview with Lucy Woolfenden, founder of The Part-Time CMO, says that a marketing campaign for a FinTech start-up, however, is more complicated than for start-ups in other industries.
“It’s a dance, it’s intricate, it’s a juggling act and it definitely requires some balance,” says Woolfenden.
This is partly because FinTech is an emerging market. However, Woolfenden explains that once you find the “sweet spot”, marketing your brand may become easier.
But, this is not to say that it will be smooth sailing from this point onwards. As Yahya Mohamed Mao, founder and editor of scientya.com explain: “Once FinTech organizations manage to reach their audience, they face the daunting task of building trust, educating consumers, and growing their business.”
In an industry as niche as FinTech, a bad reputation is likely to stick. As such, it is important that you invest in people not only skilled in your particular product but who are also able to promote your business professionally. Moreover, as much of your beginning interaction may be through business-to-business (B2B) marketing, it is particularly important that your brand representatives are able to effectively communicate the purpose and long-term vision for your product.
Don’t do it all yourself
As hiring the right talent for your start-up is a crucial step to launching your business, it is prudent to enlist the services of a company such as TalentintheCloud, which can help you find the right talent for your team.
Each aspect of your business requires different skills and different types of people, and this is why the hiring process should be the first step to getting your start-up off the ground. You cannot do everything in the business, and you need people you can trust to not only develop your product but also to sell and represent your brand.
As TalentintheCloud specializes in FinTech recruitment, it knows the experience and skills a candidate may need to take your business forward. Its vast network of professionals can help you choose the right people for your business, whether this is in development, marketing or sales. It also means that the responsibility for the hiring process is not entirely on your shoulders and that you are able to focus your energy on parts of the business that are tailored to your specific skillset.
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