In Pakistan nowadays, software startups are all the rage. The majority of Pakistani entrepreneurs focus on software because it has a low entry barrier, frequently requiring only basic coding experience. Depending on the type of software you’re developing, you may even be able to do the task alone or with a small team.
On the other hand, developing hardware is significantly more time consuming and requires more work to bring a high-quality product to market, especially in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. Additionally, it is likely to cost more. Nonetheless, astute entrepreneurs see the advantages of hardware startups. For example, a higher barrier to entry suggests a less competitive market, which means a company will likely be able to maintain its market share for a longer period of time. Additionally, clients are often more loyal, if only due to the complexity of replacing hardware devices, which prevents them from readily switching on.
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These and other factors contribute to hardware manufacturers’ continued dominance in their respective sectors. For entrepreneurs wanting to create and scale hardware firms to comparable heights, the following are some critical considerations.
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1. Work with the right manufacturers
Unless you’re a billion-dollar company like Tesla, it’s necessary for the majority of startups to select a manufacturing partner whose job it is to convert your team’s designs into actual products in their factories, as it’s simply not feasible to set up a full assembly line for a product’s initial run. The manufacturer with whom you partner can make or break a product, and thus the startup.
The first factor to evaluate is the manufacturer’s competence. While many manufacturing companies advertise their desire to make private-label products, it is critical to verify that the company has expertise making the products you plan to have manufactured. Integrity is another critical factor to consider, as outsourcing manufacturing will inevitably necessitate the sharing of patents, designs, and other intellectual property that is critical to your business’s survival. It’s critical to review a manufacturer’s past to ensure they have an impeccable track record in that area. Additionally, it is critical to ensure that you have strong legal agreements in place to safeguard your business.
2. Build your community
One of the reasons crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been so successful with the firms they’ve helped launch is that they make it incredibly easy to establish a community around a new product, even before it’s fully launched. This assures that a potential product has a ready market and that its client base is prepared to share their experiences, so persuading more people to acquire the product.
Even if you’re not planning to use a crowdfunding site, it’s critical to invest time and resources into establishing a community for your product through a variety of social media networks. There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but the optimal plan would be to combine viral content marketing with influencer alliances to ensure that your product is viewed by those who are already predisposed to become buyers.
3. Rigorous quality control
Customers dislike delays, but what they despise most are things that do not function properly—or, worse, inflict damage. A excellent illustration of the latter is the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone series, which frequently catches fire for no apparent reason. These phones were shown to have caused bodily harm and were even barred from flights, resulting in a significant decline in Samsung phone sales during that time period.
While a giant like Samsung may survive such an event, it is highly improbable for a startup, which is why it is critical to implement rigorous quality control processes to guarantee that your products perform as advertised prior to being distributed to customers. Additionally, a dedicated customer support system should be in place to address any difficulties that arise after a product is sold, as well as to ensure that customers remain satisfied and willing to submit favorable reviews.
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While it is true that hardware businesses require significant effort, they also provide enormous benefits to entrepreneurs who can overcome the initial obstacles. By cultivating a community around your business in advance of your product launch, you’ll attract customers eager to buy, test, and provide feedback on your products—and, as long as your products solve the problem for which they were designed and maintain a high standard of quality, scaling successfully will be inevitable.