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Getting a tech startup off the ground is both terrifying and wildly exhilarating. Even if you’ve been considering it for years, once you decide to run with your idea you’ll be forced to make hundreds of small decisions and hope that you get most of them right.

That’s why it’s so important to consider the advice of tech entrepreneurs who have already achieved success in order to plan for the hurdles you’ll have to overcome. Here are 5 tips to help with your tech startup:

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Manage Your Finances from the Beginning

When your company is brand new, it’s easy to throw your own money into the project without giving it much thought or keeping accurate records. However, once things take off, unraveling your business from your personal life will be time-consuming and frustrating. It’s always better to start by setting up a completely separate identity and accounting system for your company.

If you’ll be working from home, create a clearly defined work area with its own equipment and internet access. This way, by the time you begin looking for investors, you’ll already have a track record of excellent accounting and money management which will only help your cause.

Make It Easy for Customers to Contact You

Even though your operation may be small in the beginning, it doesn’t have to feel that way. Customers like to reach customer service quickly and know that their problems are being handled. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your email and social media accounts.

A great way to do this is by providing every employee, including yourself, with the tools to stay connected on the go. You don’t have to spend a lot here; for example, the Simple Choice Plan from T-Mobile makes unlimited text, talk and data simple.

Use Social Media to Actually Listen

Most startups use social media to promote their products and services. In fact, if you do a quick Google search you’ll find tons of articles about how to do just that. While marketing is an extremely important piece of the puzzle, you should also use social media to listen to what people are saying about your company.

Consumer engagement is so much more than just a trendy buzzword. Look for ways to connect with your customers, thank them for tweet mentions, Facebook page likes, and make your customers part of your culture.

Do Everything Yourself

Although it seems like you are doing everything yourself in the beginning, this is a very valuable learning experience. Resist the temptation to hire someone to do tasks you can do yourself. We learn by doing, and it’s important that you know the ins and outs of your business.

That’s not to say that there won’t be certain situations where you’ll have to outsource tasks or that you won’t ever need to hire someone. Just remember that it’s your business, and you need to know how each job connects to the bigger picture.

Have Fun

This tip is probably the most obvious, but it’s the one most easily forgotten. When stress is building and you feel you’re in over your head, don’t forget why you decided to launch your startup to begin with. Have fun and enjoy being your own boss. Listen to the successful people around you but toss their advice out the window if it doesn’t resonate with your own ideas.

Stay true to your vision, and don’t let the pressure of the day-to-day problems cloud your view. Remember that the 10% it takes to finally get your tech startup launched requires as much effort as the earlier 90%.

Launching a tech startup is an amazing accomplishment. However, unlike a house where once you build it you can relax and enjoy it, once you launch your company you’ll be faced with new and different challenges. The secret is to lay the proper groundwork in the beginning with an eye toward growth.

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Miles Young