5 Tips All DIY Tech Businesses Need to Prevent Failure

If you haven’t hired an IT team, you’ve got your hands full. If you only hire outside professionals when there’s a problem, you’re spending more money than you realize.

Despite the evolution of the internet, Google doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes you need real people to solve your problems.

GearDiary 5 Tips All DIY Tech Businesses Need to Prevent Failure

If you don’t have the money to hire a complete full-time team, it just means you need to be diligent with the few people you do take on board. Here’s how your tech company can succeed without hiring a full-time IT team:

1. Don’t hire different website developers

If you don’t have a dedicated web tech, whenever possible, contract with the same website developer for future updates. They’ll know your website better than anyone and will get work done faster.

If you’re considering another developer due to lower rates, consider the extra time it will take them to learn how your website is set up. You’ll be paying them for that time.

Keep in mind that many website developers are particular about their code. If you hire a developer to build your website, they might refuse to work on it later if you’ve allowed any other developer to mess with it.

2. Use visual SQL server management tools

Did you hire your college roommate as your systems administrator to save money? It’s okay to hire people with entry-level experience and knowledge in the beginning – just be sure to set them up for success.

Your systems administrator will do well with all databases from a single install. Using software from a company like SolarWinds, they can access a multi-dimensional view without being a database expert.

They can troubleshoot bottlenecks and complex performance problems through the Response Time Analysis feature that will tell them exactly what to fix. Overall, it’s okay if your team is made up of your friends – just be sure to equip them with the right tools so they can minimize downtime and prevent dissatisfied customers.

3. Hire an admin to oversee all positions

You don’t need to hire a manager for each department to be successful. Instead, hire a single admin to oversee all departments. Not the kind of admin who walks around making sure people look busy. You need an admin who will communicate with all staff members to understand their process and help them set, manage, and reach their goals. They don’t need to know the departments, they just need to know how to work with your people.

4. Hire a jack-of-all-trades techie

Instead of hiring a full marketing team, a PPC ad manager, and a full-time copywriter, hire a jack-of-all-trades with the ability to learn new roles and software quickly.

A jack-of-all-trades techie will get you out of unexpected, sticky situations.

If you don’t have a full-time web developer, a jack-of-all-trades with limited HTML knowledge can fix a broken web form that you just linked to on a live webinar, saving your contacts from going into a black hole. They can quickly correct price discrepancies on your website, and fill in for others who need help meeting their deadlines.

When you don’t have the capital to hire a full team, your jack-of-all-trades will be your biggest asset.

You might have several jacks in your office that you’re unaware of. Before looking for one, ask your team what they’re good at beyond the duties they were hired to perform.

Don’t expect everyone to offer up all of their skills on their own. Sometimes people like being invisible, and others are afraid they’ll come across as a boaster. Approach the conversation in a way that makes them feel like they’re being a valuable contribution to the team by sharing their skills.

5. Understand the limitations of outsourcing software development

In the beginning, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your software development, especially when your budget is tight. However, an in-house developer will be able to capture your vision more completely. You’ll be able to connect face-to-face and work on the project together, share ideas in person, and you won’t have to wait for status updates. Your software will also be easier to update and patch with an in-house developer because they will know their own code.

No business is immune to failure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent some common failures and mitigate their effects. These tips are designed to help your business succeed with limited resources.


About the Author

Jenna Cyprus
Jenna is a freelance writer and business consultant who covers business, technology, and entrepreneurship. She's lectured for several universities, and worked with over 100 businesses over the course of the last 15 years. She's a mother of two kids, and loves to go camping, hiking, and skiing with her family.