Am I able to start a tech business if I don't have an IT background?
I am in the process of exploring my options to start a digital insurance hub where costumers and insurers will be integrated. I want this to be a web based market platform. Is this possible for me to start if I don't have a background in IT? If not, what can I do to move forward with this?
I am so much thankfully for the answers which you have given me. I am appreciating every contribution and each one of it carry a significance contribution in what i am working on. My sincerly and kindly gratitude to all of you. I would like to be in touch and to ask for a formal expert consultation.
You dont have to know eveything yourself. Als long as you know what is needed to know, and as long as you find people who do know, to work with you. You can organise and develop their knowledge and skills. tip for you is to read the two books by alexander osterwalder and build a viable business model. Or hire a good business modeling coach to help you. If you are really serious about this, you can contact me, and we"ll discuss.
Good luck. It can be done.
Of course you can. But its better if you try to reach some help from someone who has expertise on this field.
Hi Lwitiko, As Dr. John Elcik already replied, the answer to your question is YES. You do not need IT/Technology background to start Insurance business on web.
I can vouch for this because a lot of my clients started their business with little to no technical background and have grown to million dollar businesses.
The key here however is to find the partners or team who have time, skills and experience in implementing successful web businesses.
Here are some of the businesses which I helped build their complete web and mobile applications are:
Infact, the Listboom.com founder has a background in Insurance and Mortgage, but his web business is actually an email scheduling and reporting platform. He came up with an idea in the air and I worked with him to fully strategize, plan, design, build and maintain the whole project.
So go ahead, find the right team. Do let me know if you would like any assistance. I love to work with people and new ideas.
certainly its possible, feel free to connect with me lets discuss exactly how you envision this interaction and what it really takes to be successful online. From there you will be in a better place to make informed decisions. Many companies only provide a piece of the puzzle, leaving many things off the table until you have point one only to find out later that abcd and e were necessary, leaving many entrepreneurs over budget and frustrated at a lack of success.
I am happy to provide my feedback and expertise, and I do not charge for addressing questions. From my stand point it is something that we should all doing one for another. Simply because we can.
You are able to do this, but If you have a partner or trusted full-time team member with web development background. Otherwise, If you hire web development company or freelancer for the development of the platform, it is most likely for you to lose a lot of time, and they will develop the platform as the most easiest and profitable way for them, but not for you. Then you will need months to debug the platform and make it a really good working and profitable...
Hi, This is deliberately a different perspective from other answers you've got! Personally I would say that it depends how much you understands about the technical requirements of the project, and who you can trust. A business, after a certain point takes, on a life of it's own, and while an idea is the heart of a great business, being able to demonstrate that a large portion of the work that made it happen, and more importantly keeps it going, is the deciding factor in weather you'll still be part of that business after the first round of mezzanine funding. You need to have a either a good grasp on the technology at some level, be delivering ideas that will make that work, or be creating some other important deliverable, investment opportunities, team building, being a great leader. When it's all dream money everyone talks about how they aren't going to be the kind of people who shaft each other over a couple of points on stock price, but when those option start to look like real money peoples attitudes soon change. As someone who's been through two successful start ups you need to at least have a good idea of what what your system does, and why it works the way it does. For instance saying "A great idea would be to scan the road ahead of the car for bumps, then have a computer adjust the wheels alignment system to alter the suspension" is a great idea, but if you don't know how to implement that, and have no input into the design, at some point someone is going to say "what does he do again?" You need to be able to do something that no one else can and assemble a great team. A great company is a little like a street gang, it's built on loyalty! If you have everyone's loyalty you have a company [that and expected profit and a great product]. Not being technical doesn't mean you can't start a tech start-up, it just means you have to think about long term strategy really carefully before you make a move.
Hope this is in the area you where after and it's helpful. If you need any more help contact me by all means...
My view is that, in many ways, you are not disadvantaged. You will need web and, perhaps just as importantly, specialist skills in social marketing that can tell you the technologies and trends that are out in the marketplace. You will need this to facilitate you brainstorming the outline of the business system you need to support your business objectives and that will reach your target audience. I believe you need to have this outline as clear as possible in your mind to have meaningful dialogue with the developers of your future system
When it comes to the technical aspects, again, my view is that you should be defining these requirements in business terms rather than technical, modified by any potential technical constraints fed back by your advisors/developers, as well as the normal constraints of budget and time to market.
You should, from the outset, insist that your developers outline for you the technical strategy/framework within which they will be developing your solution. Stop them if they try and overwhelm you with jargon and reduce the conversation to obtaining their assurance that they will be using industry-standard products and platforms as the basis for the development that are scalable, extensible and that will not require rocket scientists to maintain the system post-development. The subject of system maintenance, system extensions and bug-fixing should also be discussed and agreed as, in some cases, developers use this phase of the overall process as the cash cow that keeps them in Mercedes.
As you know, the look and feel of a web site is just as important as its technical functionality. Not all developers have the artistic flair necessary to create a user-friendly web site and the converse is also true. This means that whoever you select to help you bring your platform to market will need a combination of skills to realise your goals. Unfortunately, not all developers have good skills in estimating time and therefore cost and go-live dates. Look on the internet for project assurance checklists that may help you identify risks. One example is whether the technology being used is very new, etc.
In conclusion, your chances of success will inevitably be governed by the skills and abilities of the team you put together, as in most aspects of running a business, and I therefore recommend you take your time to choose the people you will be working with. Sometimes, it's more important to feel comfortable with the team than ensuring they all have PhDs from Harvard. Manage the technical effort to achieve the objectives as you would any project: set clear goals and objectives, identify and manage risks, avoid the dreaded scope-creep, and monitor progress carefully.
Yes. You can start any kind of business you like and hire in whomever you please if you hit the wall with what you know. Marketing is the real key, that's what kills businesses, it's a costly mistake to not invest in showcasing what you can do.
Of course, I did it.
Passion is the greatest motivator.
I'm going to share with you and advice I got from my mentor long ago, You enjoy your dinner better if you are sharing it with other people.
Meaning: You already know your weakness! invite people with strengths to be a part of your business and vision. The right team guarantees success, don't try to do it all by yourself.
Good luck and remember, nobody could ever tell you what is and what is not possible.
Yes, but use caution in selecting experts and determine if you want those people to help set up or participate in your endeavor. A great web designer may not the person to be a great CTO. Use the "Obamacare" web site as your cautionary tale (NY was an immediate redirect, so the State site worked fine). It took a long time (and a lot of money) to create a system that did not work well. It took a team of outside experts to come and fix it. When the fixes were made neither the first group or repair group were the people left behind to run the site.
What is important to your customers is that the business which you intend to create is the one that they experience. You may go through several steps to make things right and you will need talented people to help you express your concepts and create a business that grows to a success. If some of your developers seek to hold a stake in your company, you must choose if you are looking for a contractor or something more.
More important, find an SBA Library or Small Business Development Center and work with resources there. There are many great (and free) resources and research capabilities. I tend to be more cautious when I am referred to outside consultants or incubators (my own preference is to stick to the basic help).
Yes - Technology is a tool. You are not in the technology business; rather your business is insurance services. Hire expert technology people to breath life into your vision.
Here are some resources that speak directly to the insurance business in a digital world. I think they may interest you.
Understanding Insurance In A Digital World by SeymourSloan
Website Smackdown : Insurance Website Builder vs. WordPress by Laird Rixford
Haven Insurance Group – WordPress Website Design & Development by Allison Boaz
Best wishes for a successful venture. No one I know has regretted starting their own business. They universally say they should have started sooner. Both are true even for ventures that failed.- The Pragmatic Web Designer
Yes, you can do this without being technical but obviously you will need to have some technical and marketing help to execute.
For some in depth guidance on what you should do at this stage, I would suggest getting these two books and reading them front to back.
They will answer many of the questions you have today and the questions you don't already know you will have to answer along the way.
Startup life is fun, challenging and a constant learning process.
You can do it if you want it bad enough. Good luck.
In my opinion, yes. (in agreement with Brent Lymer) It is possible for you to do so. To move forward, you will need to surround yourself with people who understand the online platform and how to position and place your buisness/products or brand. Two of my icons in business didn't have any background in their business field but understood how to make other people with the expertise come on board and work with them. Their advice as always was, "surround yourself with positive people who have the knowledge and share your vision" and assuming you have a sound business knowledge and are a people's person and can lead by first serving them, you will make progress. Good luck in your endeavours
If you are Performance Based you don't have to Sell anyone, Just simply Make it Do What it Do!
Yes - You're proposed business is not a true "technology" business it is a business that utilizes technology to achieve your business vision. Having said that, you'll need to partner or hire individuals who can take your vision and create the appropriate web infrastructure to deploy it. This will allow you to focus on the business tasks - incorporation, partnerships, business development, venture funding, legal tasks, etc.
You're actually at an advantage as where a technical background could actually hinder the potential of your design. Where you need to start, is by determing the market needs and then building features that target the specific market demands. Don't expect your development team to perform market research for you. Also don't expect them to design a unique and proprietary user experience without any guidance from you.
You need to start by planning your growth stategy, customer segments, and marketing channels from the very beginning so you can build that into your business model and prepare your company for maximum growth. Then you determine your revenue streams, automation processes, goals, and milestones so you can integrate your sales funnel and marketing automation into your user experience.
None of this requires any actual technical knowledge and is vital for a successful launch. By the time you recruit a technical team, you should have a solid business model, with a unique advantage and plan of action.
For more info, make sure you get registered for my upcoming webinar "Growing Your Startup". Go to startuplaunchprogram Dot com or click on the link below to get started
Then click on the "Get Started" button to register for the free training, you don't wanna miss it.
Hi Lwitiko , All you need is a Web Platform to be developed in lines of Policybazaar.com.. Get some agency to build the platform and the content can be done by yourself.. It should not cost more than 3000$ for a good platform.. You could use Magento
Focus on the part tasks you do have the right skills for and find a partner or an employee to handle the tasks you can not do yourself. If you are not sure what sort of person you need (the level of education you need for example), ask an independent party that has more knowledge and experience for some advice. Sometimes it helps to talk to representatives from school faculties, they know what their students are capable of.