With 10% of startups failing in the first year, making wise and future-proof decisions for your new cybersecurity venture is essential.
Building the perfect cybersecurity startup
As society adapts to an increasingly digital world, opportunities for cybercrime and attacks are also mounting. Consequently, more and more cybersecurity businesses are popping up, and the market is becoming more saturated with each quarter that passes.
While there’s no blueprint for building the perfect cybersecurity startup, there are tips and tricks that can set you on the right path and help you avoid falling into that dreaded 10%.
Which three decisions could help your cybersecurity startup on the path to success? Let’s dive in.
Establish your security credentials
Security and trust go hand in hand, so if you want a customer to buy your security product or service, they will need to trust you. However, trust isn’t given – it’s earned. Earning customers’ needs to be a top priority for startups, but getting the first customers through the door can be a challenge.
By displaying your array of security certifications you can instill a deeper level of trust in your customers. While startup owners may have a variety of industry experiences, you need to prove that you and your team have been evaluated and can demonstrate your cybersecurity skills and knowledge clearly to consumers.
The top three cybersecurity certifications requested across LinkedIn, Indeed, and Simply Hired are:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA)
- CompTIA Security+
These three certifications are often regarded as the industry standard, so depending on the type of cybersecurity startup you have, you’ll likely want to broaden your expertise by earning those.
Securing these qualifications early in your startup’s journey can make a significant difference in acquiring a client base early so that you can achieve your financial goals while growing and scaling the business.
Get your marketing strategy down from the very start
Check Point Research shows that cyber-attacks increased by 38% in 2022 compared to the previous year. With statistics like this, it’s easy to see why many cybersecurity startups use scare marketing campaigns. However, in a saturated cybersecurity market, this is a typical selling style—it’s predictable. As a startup, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition, and scaremongering people into buying your product and services won’t cut it in this climate.
Instead, if startups focus on educating instead of selling, they can enhance their brand image as industry experts, instilling trust within their audience and potential customers. And with a Euromonitor Lifestyle survey finding that 54% of consumers said they’d only buy from brands they trust entirely, building solid relationships with customers has never been more important.
Furthermore, consumers interested in cybersecurity services and products are looking for a company that can protect their data, meaning trust will be at the forefront of their minds.
If your budget allows, try to find a marketing strategist while you’re in the product development stage, as gaining their wealth of knowledge this early on can make all the difference. The strategist can conduct thorough market and customer research and identify market gaps and customer pain points. They can also study customer habits to help identify your target market and align your marketing and business goals.
This assistance and guidance in the early startup stages can ensure you’re not just designing an ingenious service or product, but that it’s needed and sellable.
It’s never too early to start networking
It’s no secret that networking offers invaluable opportunities, from practicing communication and sales skills to meeting potential customers, suppliers, partners, and investors. Involving yourself in industry events allows you to build credibility within the industry, and these meetings and conversations can lead to new ideas and opportunities.
By networking as soon as possible, you’re increasing your chances of success by building relationships with those who have deep industry knowledge and can provide mentoring. These contacts can lead to investors.
With the world finally returning to the status quo post-pandemic, global cybersecurity summits and conferences are back in full force. While attending events and summits is a great way to network, this type of travel and expense may not be available to new cybersecurity startups. So, with the world becoming more digitized each day and as we move into the metaverse, online networking is a must for all businesses—especially startups.
Startups must leverage business-focused social media as it offers unlimited access to business professionals and potential customers. By staying active on platforms like LinkedIn, you can keep an eye on competitors and build a brand following by posting industry insights and promoting your product or service.
Furthermore, with millions of unfilled jobs in cybersecurity this year, it’s the perfect place to monitor the rise of the newest talent in the industry and get your hands on some. Remember to not underestimate the power of a connection on LinkedIn.
Recent data from Crunchbase has shown that funding to cybersecurity startups dropped by a third in 2022 compared to the previous year. While this brings more challenges to new startups in the industry, focusing on the right branding and marketing, frequent networking, and building your credibility gives your cybersecurity startup the best chance of success.