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Building a Business in Science and Tech

– Contributed content –

Microscopes

(Ousa Chea, Unsplash)

5 Jan. 2019. Having a brilliant idea and having a marketable idea is not always the same thing. In fact, the two ideas could be completely at odds and more often than not, it is those in science and tech who have this problem. While the main aim of research is to discover new things, the main aim of business is much more prosaic: to make a profit. So what happens when you want to merge the two?

New science and tech companies emerge all the time but though some manage to find the balance between innovation and finance, many fall at the first hurdle and end up dealing with Chapter 7 filings knowing they won’t get a second chance.

Here’s what you can do to prevent that happening to you.

Ask the obvious question: Who will buy this?

The first question any business in any industry should ask is the most basic and obvious: who will buy this? Whether you are selling your consultancy services or you have invented a cool little gadget, you need to know who your target audience is and how you can hook them in.

Until you know who will be interested, you won’t know whether your idea is a feasible business premise. You also need to know the spending power of your audience – especially if what you plan to sell will be expensive. The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor your products to appeal to them and the more likely it is that your business will be a financial success.

Focus your attention on one idea

When you spend all your time experimenting and inventing, it can be difficult to focus your attention on a single idea. The urge to create is a strong one but in business, you need to be much more methodical in your approach and work to a set of rules.

Businesses are now much more wide ranging than they used to be so you might also need to outsource support functions such as HR and IT. Outsourcing is now much more common in the business world as more companies choose to specialize (as you should too). Similarly, hiring freelancers to complete short term projects is a smart idea, especially for developing companies with tight budgets. Which brings us to…

Be smart with your spending

It is all too easy to spend money in business and if you don’t keep to your budget, you will quickly run into trouble. Keeping down energy costs is a big deal for science and tech companies in particular because it is likely that these will be your biggest bills. But don’t stop there! Shopping around for things like printing, materials and marketing strategies will also save you big.

The more you can save, the easier you will find it to make a profit but don’t let that stop you investing. Being smart doesn’t always mean spending less; instead, you need to think in terms of adding value. An expensive material that outperforms a cheaper material could be the difference between a feasible product and a disaster.

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