If you own a tech start-up, it’s possible you do everything yourself in the beginning. But at some point, it’s impossible to do everything yourself and you might even be hindering your company’s growth by being responsible for everything. After all, you can’t be good at everything! In this article, we talk about the external professionals or companies that can make your tech start-up even more successful while taking some work off your shoulders. It’s a win-win situation!
A marketing agency
Google and social media like Facebook and Instagram make it really easy to put ads online, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can spend a lot of time and money on your ads… and barely get any clicks. There’s a reason there are ads specialists that spend their days tweaking and testing ads to see which ones have the best results. The same goes for scoring in the normal results of Google: everyone can write content on pages, but to score in the top results, you need a content/SEO strategy. A marketing agency can help you with that.
A recruitment agency
Everyone knows that the strength of a company lies in its workers. If you have a team that wants to give their all every day, you can move mountains. Unfortunately, hiring processes can take forever and if you’ve never done it before, it can be difficult to know what you need to ask. Furthermore, at a certain point, you might want professionals that work for your competitors or that have grown other start-ups/scale-ups. How do you try to poach them? A recruitment agency can help you out.
A debt collection agency
Everyone loves making money and sending out invoices. But if your invoices are ignored, you can lose out on a lot of money. In that case, it’s a good idea to have a collection agency on speed dial. A collection agency (Dutch: incassobureau) knows exactly which steps to take to retrieve your money: from sending a bailiff to taking your case to appeal (Dutch: hoger beroep).
Internal TECH startups
Simply put, an internal startup is a regular startup that is started from a (large) existing company. The advantage of this method is that larger companies already have the building blocks to support startups. Think, for example, of skilled employees, capital support, intellectual property (patents), contracts, office spaces and strategic guidance. In other words: most large organizations usually have the complete set of tools to launch internal startups, so that expensive external acquisitions are not necessarily necessary.
Internal TECH startup: Trip Advisor
An example of an in-house startup is travel platform Trip Advisor, which was launched in 2004 and at the time was part of Expedia, a travel booking website. Trip Advisor became independent in 2011 and has been disrupting the business model of traditional travel agencies in a unique way for some time. For example, the well-known digital platform promotes services from hotels, restaurants and other recreational destinations and also allows travelers to advise each other on what is or is not worth visiting. This makes Trip Advisor an early example of a platform that has user-generated content that serves consumers. Several travel accommodation providers – such as parent company Expedia and Booking.com and Hotels.com among others – now offer their services through Trip Advisor.
Internal TECH startup: Google ‘Uptime’
Another example comes from Google, which is quite advanced in terms of internal startups. For example, the tech giant’s in-house startup incubator – name: “Area 120” – unveiled last year has so far led to the creation of many projects, including the personal stylist app “Tailor” and the voice messaging service “Supersonic.” More recently, Area 120 has launched ‘Uptime’, an app for watching YouTube videos together. At the same time, ‘Appointments’, an online reservation system for companies such as hairdressers, beauty salons and therapy practices, was launched on the market.
Typically, about 50% to 90% of external startups will go bankrupt within the foreseeable future, which corresponds to the proportion of internal startups that ultimately fail to keep their heads above the water. Research shows that there are five reasons why both internal and external startups have to file for bankruptcy more than once. For example, there is often no market demand for the products or services that a particular startup offers (1), the young company’s money has simply run out (2) or the wrong team members have been hired in the beginning (3). Furthermore, many startups are being outcompeted, mostly by larger organizations (4) and finally, some startups simply incur too much high costs (5).