How to Start an RPA Business: a Beginner’s Guide

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    According to Gartner’s forecast, around 90% of organizations worldwide will have implemented RPA (Robotic Process Automation) by 2022. And despite the economic pressures that the pandemic has brought to businesses, the interest in RPA keeps growing. 

    What’s more important, it is not only end-users who consider investing in RPA as a rather forward-looking strategy. The competition in the RPA vendor and service provider market has grown rapidly, as more entrepreneurs see RPA as a lucrative investment opportunity. 

    Are you among them? Then sit back and enjoy your flight. 

    In this article, we will provide you with tips on creating a successful RPA implementation business. Whether you are going to build an RPA startup from scratch, or are considering providing managed RPA implementation services, this guide will help you focus on the most important steps and decide which business model is the most suitable for you.

    Starting RPA business: 2 paths

    Path 1: Building an RPA business from scratch

    Step #1: Find your niche

    Step #2: Think like your customer

    Step #3: Build a detailed business plan

    Step #4: Resources

    Step #5: Build a dream team

    Step #6: Build a demo

    Step #7: Take care of your customer data and security

    Step #8: Constantly improve your product

    Step #9: Build your brand and go global 

    Path 2: Becoming an implementation partner

    Step #1: Choose an RPA vendor

    Step #2: Choose a licensing model

    Step #3: Training and building pilot projects

    Step #4: Set up an agreement with your vendor

    Conclusion

    Starting RPA business: 2 scenarios

    So you’ve found yourself stuck in intensive RPA market research while thinking about starting an RPA business. Basically, you may choose one of the following scenarios:

    1. Build your RPA business from scratch (which includes both the technology and business aspects of the future company)
    2. Become an implementation partner (to learn more, scroll down to Path 2)

    Let’s look at the steps that differentiate these scenarios from each other. We will start with the more difficult one.

    Path 1: Building an RPA business from scratch

    Step #1: Find your niche

    While you may have clear business targets in terms of revenue and ROI, defining your RPA business mission is a fundamental starting point. Select areas where your business can be particularly helpful. It can be a specific function, like providing automation services to healthcare or financial services only, or a concrete area where your technology can be useful, e.g. you may have the best OCR tool in the market that can become a magic wand for document processing tasks for any company anywhere in the world.

    Step #2: Think like your customer

    No matter which business model you choose, whether it is a B2C or B2B, it is always a human who makes the decision. That is why it is crucial to think like a decision-maker, to set up a list of questions that they may have, and try to find the answers to them in your product.

    The questions will vary for each specific case, but here are the most common ones:

    Step #3: Build a detailed business plan

    Like any other business, Robotic Process Automation requires a well-thought business strategy that includes a deep understanding of the goals, needs and stages required to achieve success in the growing automation market. 

    Though the points below may seem too general, it would be more accurate to call them generic. The ideal business plan for 3-5 years contains the following components:

    Executive Summary

    Describe the business expectations in this section. Though it is listed first here, we recommend writing it last, after you’ve completed the rest of the points given below.

    Business description

    Includes highlighting your company’s unique value proposition, strengths and weaknesses, goals, and target customers.

    Market analysis

    This section reflects an understanding of the RPA market, including trends, predictions, the biggest players, habits of buyer personas, and buyer preferences. The information should be supported by proven statistics showing the prospects and contributions of your specific business.

    Management and organizational structure

    Here you need to outline the company executive positions and describe their primary functions.

    Competitive Analysis

    The section includes your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, as compared to your company. Describe the technology aspects, licensing and implementation costs, target audiences, and offerings. By doing so ,you will have a better understanding of your own gaps. 

    Marketing and sales strategy

    Marketing and selling your product is another big challenge. In this section, you need to set sales and marketing tactics, define channels that will be used, as well as identify marketing KPIs and sales targets.

    Product

    A detailed description of a product, the positioning and cost. The potential to meet customer expectations and demand is another vital aspect of creating a solid business plan.

    Funding

    Here, disclose your strategy regarding the amount of money you and your team will need to build your business, how you plan to raise funding, and how it will be used line by line. 

    Step #4: Resources

    You may have a great idea, but if you don’t have the relevant resources, all your RPA initiatives and hard work may go down the drain. It is important to have a clear vision of possible gaps in your resources at the very beginning of launching an RPA business. This may include:

    With a trusted vendor some of those gaps can be easily filled. For instance, with ElectroNeek you will need to have only a JavaScript developer to start. 

    The training, marketing and sales collaterals will be provided by ElectroNeek as well. 

    It’s also worth considering 2 options when it comes to RPA software purchase: you can either invest in RPA software and provide flexible pricing to your customer, or work with vendors who pass the technology costs to your clients. The 1st option is more preferable as this offering opens a blue ocean of SMBs for you as an MSP as small businesses cannot afford automation due to the unaffordable pricing. Hence you will have a huge competitive advantage by offering them RPA technology. 

    By the way, with ElectroNeek business model with free bot licenses, you can leverage this option and grow your business exponentially.

    Step #5: Build a dream team

    At first, your team can be small, but small does not mean weak. Gathering a team of dedicated RPA champions is a challenging task; however, it is one of the key ingredients of success.

    The positions above can be reduced to 3 key roles at the very beginning: RPA Developer, RPA Solution Architect and RPA Marketing Manager. However, having a broader picture in mind will help you better structure your business. And again with ElectroNeek you will need to have only a JavaScript developer to start. 

    Step #6: Build a demo

    The simplest step on creating a minimum marketing product will be leveraging the software that you already have, or you want to have expertise in. Think of the routine manual tasks related to data upload or download regarding this software, then record a quick video where you can show how these tasks can be automated by using an RPA vendor platform. Building a demo will help you understand the viability of your product and contribute to forming your customer base, testing your hypothesis, and attracting more investors. 

    Step #7: Take care of your customer data and security

    Apart from elaborating a great product, any technology business owner should ensure the safety and convenience of data storage and transfer for the customers. Keeping all the relevant security concerns in mind will help you decide on the best security measures, e.g. hosting bots in your client infrastructure or your own infrastructure. Cloud computing may become a great solution as it helps easy access, sharing and storing data, and does not require vast infrastructure resources or costs.

    Step #8: Build your use case library

    So you’ve built your first low-hanging fruit project and identified gaps and opportunities. It’s time to scale the first results and gradually grow the number of use cases. This is a vital step as most of your clients will have a better understanding and a growing interest in an RPA technology only when they see it in action.

    Step #9: Build your brand and go global 

    As the RPA market becomes more and more competitive there is no need to keep this technology local. The best way to build a truly successful RPA business is to grow your expertise and go to the global market where your services can gain the greatest recognition and bring higher paychecks.

    Path 2: Becoming an implementation partner

    Becoming a partner of a specific RPA vendor is a great way to benefit from the brand, community of developers and a product. This scenario is for those who want to take a simple path and at the same time see maximum profitability. With the emerging competition in the RPA market, earning money while being an intermediary has never been easier. And the whole process is way quicker than establishing a whole new RPA business from scratch. Let’s see 4 simple steps of becoming an RPA implementation partner.

    Step #1: Choose an RPA vendor

    This step is similar to Step #2 (Find a niche) in scenario 1, as to choose the RPA vendor you need to define the category your current specification falls into:

    1. Are you a managed service provider and do you have automation implementation practice within the services that you provide to your existing customers? 

    2. Or do you see the demand from your customers and want to start the provision of RPA implementation services? 

    3. Or perhaps you do not have a customer base yet and want to start an RPA implementation business from the very beginning? 

    Answering these questions will give you a clear picture of what to seek in terms of offerings from a future RPA vendor – it can be training, networking, or any other related options.

    Step #2: Choose a licensing model

    Once you’ve decided on the training requirements, it’s time to estimate your potential profit, which will mostly be connected to the vendor’s licensing approach. 

    Whether you want to be a fully fledged implementation partner or a simple reseller, you need to be careful when checking licensing options provided by a vendor.

    Step #3: Training and building pilot projects

    If you answered yes to the second or third question in the Step #1 above, then training will be one of the initial stages in starting your RPA implementation business as a Managed Service Provider. Finding an RPA vendor with extensive training opportunities and expertise will help you dive deeper into automation, while pilot projects will give you more confidence in providing implementation services to your customers. 

    Step #4. Set up an agreement with your vendor

    Here we are. You are almost set. Last but not least, take care of the documents by entrusting the legal aspect of your managed RPA implementation services to a seasoned legal officer.

    No need to reinvent the wheel: Choose ElectroNeek

    In the scenarios above, we’ve revealed 2 paths for entrepreneurs: the standard (and tough) one and the easier (more enterprising) one.

    Though the idea of starting from nothing has always been romanticized, we believe that sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel. 

    ElectroNeek closely collaborates with Managed Service Providers, System Integrators, and Technology Consultants by helping them reach their business goals. Regardless of your level of expertise in RPA, choosing ElectroNeek as a vendor is the right decision, and here are just a few reasons why:

    1. We offer the best value and ROI for clients.

    2. We bypass IT procurement (as no commercial software is required for client use.

    3. We help you access the blue ocean of RPA implementation opportunities in businesses of various sizes due to the scalable cost and affordable solution in the market.

    4. We provide secure stable solution and tech support available in 5 time zones.

    5. We offer best-in-class training opportunities (Online academy, RPA certification, Knowledge base).

    Want more proof? Book a demo and see how we can help you begin your successful journey in RPA.