The Information Technology (IT) industry in Bangladesh has improved drastically in the last few years. Currently, the sector is contributing significantly to the country’s economy.
Although the growth of IT industry has been rapid, entrepreneurs in this sector inevitably face challenges like all other areas of business. Some of these are common with other sectors, some are unique and it’s important to know them all.
These are some of the essential do’s and don’ts for beginning and sustaining a successful IT business:
Skill matters: An entrepreneur should never jump into a venture for which he doesn’t have the right skills and experience, especially in case of an IT business. Merely employing skilled workers cannot make a business successful if the business owner has no domain knowledge of what he/she is dealing with.
Mission and vision: Having proper vision and mission statement and synchronizing that with all the staffs of the organization is very important. A broader objective that include helping communities actually helps companies achieve greater success.
Diversify and update: All businesses need to be in tune with the needs of the time and be prepared to adapt to changing times. When it comes to IT business, keeping up to date is the name of the game. The products and services should be periodically revised with particular attention to existing trends.
Going beyond the beaten path: Companies providing website, software, mobile-app development, digital marketing, etc – known as a ‘service delivery agency’ – stand to lose business with time, as enterprises are increasingly inclining toward building their own IT teams to manage these tasks in-house.
So, it’s a good idea to focus more on software-as-a-service (enterprise management system), platform-as-a-Service (Heroku, Azure), infrastructure-as-a-service (Digital Ocean), customer-to-customer platforms (Amazon, Ebay, Uber) or digital aggregator platforms (SMS gateway, payment gateway, demand side platform).
Smell the future: It is clear that big opportunities await for those that are braving to venture into Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), big data and artificial intelligence (AI). These will have applications in IT businesses across the spectrum whether or not it is the specialization of the business. But many companies are not looking into this seriously. It is imperative to understand how to make use of them to be future-ready.
Never rush: It is very natural for customers to require delivery of projects in the shortest time and within the least budget. But an IT entrepreneur should always stay sharply focused on quality. And any quality delivery needs adequate time and budget. It’s never a good idea to rush in order to impress the client. At the end of the day, if the quality is found poor, ‘whose fault’ wouldn’t matter. Ultimately, you will end up delivering a sub-par product, earning you bad word of mouth.
After-sales service: Providing post-delivery support to the customers is half of the business. It is also the secret to recurring business. Companies risk losing customers even after providing top-notch products if the after-sales service is not satisfactory.
Fund is not for over-spending: Many IT startups lose sight of the bigger picture after acquiring fund and begin spending more than they should. Unnecessary recruitments, luxurious office decorations and so on hinder their way to break even. Lack of proper ‘need assessment’ before spending money is the main reason behind such blunders.
Money where it will matter: An entrepreneur’s intention should be facilitating his employees, because they are the power of the company. If they are satisfied with remunerations and benefits, they will perform well. So, an entrepreneur should focus more on employee benefits rather than unnecessary spending.
Nirjhor Anjum is Chief Analyst Officer at REVE Systems Limited, CEO and founder of XoomServer and Faculty Head at PeopleNTech Institute of Information Technology.
Newspaper: DhakaTribune.com; 14th June, 2019