Best Success Story:
When I first started my company, my office was no bigger than the size of a closet. I took my last $2,000 and purchased 20,000 local business leads in Phoenix; and away we went with one social media developer and one other sales guy. I was able to grow that in 3 months to 12 sales reps along with two bigger suites, and later secure my first investor based on of my results within the first 90 days.
I raised $250,000 through our investor who made the introduction to my business partner David Sonkin. David had the idea for our PITOOEY! app, as he was a mobile marketing guru specializing in mobile development apps. I soon met his friend Rob Swope and we started working on the PITOOEY! app.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
Finding the right people, building a company around people that are like-minded as myself and my partners has been a real struggle, finding people with integrity and passion who believed in my vision as well. I knew that with my last $2,000 I was risking everything and this was my chance to prove I had what it took to run a successful digital marketing powerhouse.
Throwing in investors was difficult as well. That’s when things went to a whole different level, when we went public. There’s been a lot of very opinionated meetings, many shareholder conference calls and struggles before we went public. But you surround yourself with quality people (like I did) and even when you duke out the battles you know you’ll hug and make-up [in the end]. I’ve never had that one knock down drag out fight with my co-founders, and I think I’m lucky for that.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:
My advice is don’t to be scared to say “No.” Some of the best things I have ever done in business were the the result of things I said no to.
In the initial stages of a startup people will approach you offering you ideas or trying to change up the direction you are trying to go with your company, but it is essential to stay on your own path towards the goal you have in mind.
I always say it’s the things you don’t do that usually end up benefiting you. I’ve had to say no to bringing on certain clients because I knew there would be specific issues. I look at what they want to accomplish — and to some I’ve said no. It’s tough to turn money away, but in the end I knew the problems I would have to face with those clients would far outweigh the revenue I would gain from them.
Connect with PITOOEY! Inc. on Twitter.
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Photo: Jacob DiMartino