Did you know that there are 66,200 computer engineers in the United States? This can be a very lucrative career path. However, you may have an easier time starting your own business.
For many engineers, creating a computer engineering business is the best way for them to maximize their career potential. But the startup phase of these endeavors requires significant decision-making to get started on the right foot.
If you’re taking a serious look at what you need to start a business in computer engineering, this article is for you. Many engineers make a great living as consultants. Read on to learn our best tips to create a lucrative company in the field you love.
Successful Business Plans for Computer Engineers Businesses
Like any other industry you want to start a business in, you need a plan to guide your company to success. While you may not have a complete picture of where you want to take your computer engineering startup, this document can help these goals take shape.
Because a business plan acts like a roadmap to your operations and financial strategies, you can avoid common mistakes made in the decision-making process. This can save you funding and help your service establish itself as an authority in this competitive industry.
From revenue forecasting to employment needs and operational cost expectations, having this guide in writing will help you attract investors when it’s time to expand.
Know What Competition You’ll Face
Starting a computer engineering firm in your community or on a national/global scale requires a thorough understanding of your market and the competitors who are dominating it. Researching what helps them find success and capitalizing on any weaknesses in their business strategy can help your company get a head start early on.
Network with Successful Entrepreneurs in the Industry
While it’s true that you will take business from your competitors and generate your own, networking with other business owners in your niche is important. Naturally, you won’t likely connect with those in your local area, but creating a professional bond with successful entrepreneurs outside your competition is essential.
Not only will they help you navigate through challenging experiences, such as a supply chain shortage, but you might have additional business opportunities fall in your lap from these associations.
Deciding on Creating a Startup or Acquiring an Existing Computer Engineering Business
When one thinks about owning a business, one often imagines starting from scratch. The idea of purchasing an existing business doesn’t even cross their minds. Believe it or not, though, the better choice may be to acquire rather than build.
The fact is that existing companies provide known quantities, whereas startups have more uncertainty due to outcomes being based on estimations. In addition, existing businesses typically come with a client base, tools and equipment, facilities, and staff. A startup requires you to go through the process of deciding on the options and purchasing what is needed.
Of course, creating a new computer engineering business from the ground up has advantages too. For instance, when you onboard staff, you won’t have to break existing operational habits, the supplies and tools you purchase will be newer, and you have more options about your location.
Computer Engineering Insurance is a Must
Working in the technology industry is a risky business because of the ever-growing theft of cybercrime and the devastating financial harm these acts cause to businesses and consumers. As a result, computer engineers face significant risks that range from hacking their networks to making professional mistakes that cost their clients thousands of dollars in damages.
Fortunately, business insurance can mitigate these threats and absorb the expense of claims and settlements paid out to injured parties. Whether you plan to operate as a solo entrepreneur or create an agency with several designers, engineers, and support staff, make sure you have the following coverages:
General Liability Coverage
When you think about general liability policies, you probably imagine a storefront where a customer slips and breaks their ankle. While this is a common third-party claim covered by this insurance, it can also prove indispensable in defending against claims of libel, slander, and property damage.
Professional Liability (E&O)
This coverage is especially important for a business that provides professional services. Computer engineering certainly falls under this category. It’s important to understand that general liability doesn’t cover mistakes you or an employee makes in your services. It’s one thing to upload incorrect coding that creates a security vulnerability leading to a ransomware attack compared to an employee spilling a bottle of water on a client’s hard drive.
Professional liability coverage (aka Errors & Omissions insurance) is specifically designed for situations involving:
- Failure to deliver services as promised
- Company misconduct
A great example of how these policies protect computer engineers are situations where you give a client professional advice that was mistaken or erroneous. Your client files suit for damages they suffered because of your recommendations. This policy would not only cover the financial fallout but also provide you with legal defense coverage to defend your company and reputation in a lawsuit.
Cyber Threat Insurance
As a computer engineer, you are responsible for safeguarding the sensitive information your clients entrust you to store. Cybercrimes involving hacking, ransomware, and malware infections are a regular threat in the tech industry and will be a regular threat you need to be prepared to handle.
Cyber liability insurance provides compensation for damages your clients suffer due to data breaches and data theft. It also goes further by helping your business respond to these incidents and recover. This includes the cost of breach management fees, repair/replacement of damaged systems, monitoring costs, and more.
Computer Engineering Insurance: Well Worth the Investment
If you are curious about the cost of a comprehensive insurance policy for your new computer engineering business, your best option is to call around and request quotes. You may find that premiums don’t range too greatly, and that may be due to a few common factors that influence the pricing:
- Your business location
- How large is your organization is
- Any previous claims history
- Projected annual revenue
- Type of business you conduct
- Industry risks your company faces
If you are hesitant to buy a policy, remember that any engineer insurance cost you pay will be far less than a single uninsured incident.