What are the most useful skills to learn as a non-technical founder of a tech startup?
What are the most useful skills to learn as a non-technical founder of a tech startup? In today's video, I break down the six skills that I feel have had the biggest impact on me being able to build, launch and grow my startup Unicorn Factory.
One thing every business needs to know how to do is get in front of the right customers from day 1. A skill that I learned very early in my professional career that has been paying dividends until today is Facebook advertising. Paid advertising like Facebook or Google has really levelled the playing field for businesses with smaller budgets or just getting starting. Simply set up a Facebook Business Ads account, select your key target audiences and serving ads to them through platforms like Facebook or Instagram. An alternative to Facebook Advertising is Google Ads. Google Ads allows you to serve ads through their display network, Google Search and YouTube.
Another crucial skill that I feel every non-tech founder should learn sooner rather than later is how to build marketing website. Now, I talk about building websites on my YouTube channel a lot and it is also no secret that my tool of choice is Webflow. What tools you use to build websites is really not important though. What is important is that you can empower yourself, your design and marketing team to be agile with your marketing, and a crucial component of that is being able to control your website. Not just does it allow you to move faster when it comes to updating website copy, layouts or specific landing pages - it also allows you to give your developers (if you are working with them) enough breathing room to work on projects where there is currently no suitable solution with No Code tools.
A lot of people feel like Sales is a dirty word, but let's be real for a moment. If you want your business to survive, you are going to have to make revenue. If you want to make revenue, you are going to have to learn how to sell. A big problem with Sales, especially for people starting their first business is that it feels like it is something that you are either good or not. You are either extroverted or not. Over the last few years of doing courses and learning how to sell, I can tell you that that is just plain wrong. Sales is like any skill - something that can be learned no matter who you are.
Systems are another thing that are crucial for early-stage businesses, especially if you want to scale fast. Without systems, you are just making stuff up on the go and that just leaves a lot of room for error. The best place to start to learn how to build systems for your business is by learning how to automate day-to-day tasks using No code automation tools like Zapier, Integromat or Parabola. Not just will you save yourself and your team a lot of time, you will get into the mindset of setting up systems that will allow you to do a lot more with a lot less. And if you can't automate a workflow, you can give very specific instructions and outsource the work to local freelancers.
Hiring and getting help is one of the hardest things to do for new entrepreneurs. Perfectionism, imposter syndrome and the need to be in control of every aspect of your business are oftentimes the most common reason why people don't get help. But if you are going to scale up your business, take on more clients, you are simply going to have to get help. The best place to get started is by hiring contractors that can work with you on a project basis. The big upside of hiring freelancers rather than employing someone full time is that, the labour cost is variable to the amount of work you have. You only pay when you are taking on more client. Another crucial skill within hiring and subcontracting is learning how to write great project briefs and knowing what questions to ask.
The last thing that I recommend every founder spend some time learning is accounting and finance. Now, this again is not something you need to become an expert in, in fact I would recommend hiring a great accountant as soon as possible, but it is crucial to understand cashflow, your balance sheet and how certain financial decisions affect your business as a whole. The best place to start is by using software like Xero and then hiring an accountant to explain to you the ins and outs of the finance side of your business.
Obviously there a lot of my skills that are important to learn, but these are the six skills that I have found to have the biggest impact on my own business.
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