Halian’s managing director and co-founder, Levon Antonian, recently spoke to UKTN about top tips for tech entrepreneurs, drawing from his experiences in building Halian to a £30m turnover, 500-employee multinational company. Here are some of the key pieces of advice he shared for the next generation of entrepreneurs (if you have the time, why not read the full piece here?)
- Remember your product won’t sell itself – you have to differentiate and show how you can add value, or your product will always struggle. Winning new customers and keeping them for the long term is vital whatever you are doing. However, remember that the customer isn’t always right: don’t be afraid to say “no” to a customer who wants you to cut your margin to an unreasonable level. Additionally, as a technology entrepreneur, don’t forget that you should be using technology as an enabler and equalizer when selling your product and growing your business – from email to AI, technology is all pervasive and all conquering if used well. Customers expect to be able to buy from you as easily as from Amazon.
- Don’t stretch yourself too thinly – being hands-on with absolutely everything, at some point, hits the point of diminishing returns. You have to trust others to do what they are paid for, so build a top team of people around you who understand and share your vision. Ultimately, turn to the “beer test” when building your team – would you enjoy having a few beers with this person? After all, you’re going to work with them eight hours a day.
- Don’t get too clever with the taxman – minimising your tax bill is good practice but don’t let the tail wag the dog. It’s always important to have a good finance man in this respect – collecting cash is king – but getting the accounting done well should just be a precursor to allowing you to focus on delivering your business strategy.
- Have a clear business plan and a focused vision of why you are in business and what you what to achieve. Share it with your trustworthy top team and make it dynamic, reviewing it constantly taking on board real-life feedback. In the long run, don’t forget to factor the wider global market opportunity into this plan, whatever’s going on across the world.
- Do stay close to your family – when the going gets really tough, family will always be there for you. Remember: “Money can’t buy me love”. Being a successful entrepreneur can be a lonely job. It’s even more lonely for a divorced entrepreneur.
If you want to find out more about how Halian works to help entrepreneurs and businesses deliver their vision (and stick to the above tips!) then read more on our high-profile partnerships here.