The Agile Entrepreneurship podcast is where the most successful entrepreneurs share their entrepreneurial journey. Ramesh Dontha interviews these successful business owners on why they started their businesses, what helped them succeed and what mistakes they made that they don’t want you to make.
Ramesh Dontha is an entrepreneur, author and a blogger. He also shares his experiences of starting and building 4 successful companies. Contact@rameshdontha.com
Building a digital marketing agency with Brian Meert
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: Brian Meert Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:09Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneurial video cast and podcast. And today I'm really excited to introduce a gentleman who is a CEO and founder of www. AdvertiseMint.com and it's a clever play of the word advertisement. So he took the E out and they put an AdvertiseMint. So the cleverness and then the creativity is, as you can see, it's coming right with starting with the name itself. And his name is Brian Meert and I happen to run into him in Los Angeles. And this gentleman, so Brian, welcome. So I’ll introduce you in a much more personal way in a second.00:48Brian: Oh, I love it. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm excited to be here. I'm excited to talk about business and marketing today.00:56Ramesh: Great. So Brian is the founder of AdvertiseMint. and AdvertiseMint. is an advertising agency for digital media, right? So they focus extensively on Facebook, but of course they also have other platforms and Amazon tik tok you know, Pinterest and all of them of course, which is really, really hot right now. So, and then secondly, I found out that Brian comes from the same town that where I live in Sacramento. Fantastic. Yes. Yes. Okay, so tell us a little bit about your company AdvertiseMint.,01:28Brian: Man. So, I mean, we're an advertising agency. We specialize in digital. We worked a lot with Facebook advertising is what we're really known for. A lot of people come to approach us because of that. And we're very robust. But we work with other platforms like tik tok, which is really hot right now. YouTube ads, Google ads, Facebook ads, or Amazon ads. So there's a lot of other platforms that we work within. Basically, you know, companies that need help either they're growing and they're like, we need someone to help us in this area. Or we've worked with big teams like Viacom that have 20 people in their marketing department, and they're like, we need an expert to handle this one aspect for certain events or shows. So we need you guys to take care of it. So, you know, we work with a range of different clients, but basically, we're helping businesses grow every single day.02:20Ramesh: Okay. So is it fair to say that your focus is much more on the paid advertisement space or do you also in the broad social media presence, you look at the entire picture for the companies, Hey, you know, what do you need to do from a social media presence and then advertisement is one piece of it.02:38Brian: Oh, it's great. It's a great question. We work a lot on the paid side. So, you know, companies come, goes with ad dollars and they're like, we need to have this objective met, you know, a certain number of people come to an event, certain number of sales and we work with them and say, here are the best platforms and outlets to be able to reach your goals. So we very much work on that. We have partners that we work with on the social side. But there's so much changing within the ecosystem of just digital ads. It keeps us very busy with just that.03:10Ramesh: Okay, fantastic. So then, how did you get into this space? And actually first let me start, when did you start your company?03:17Brian: Man this was about 2013, 2014 when Facebook launched ads manager. I'd been a digital marketing manager and I was a vice president of a financial company overseeing all their digital media spends. When Facebook's ad platform came out when they launched ad manager. And you know, back then it was very quiet. No one was really paying attention to it. And I was managing millions of dollars a month for this company. And so we, I just like, Oh, let's t
Building an online boutique business with Becky Beach
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: Becky Beach Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:03Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today we'll be talking to an entrepreneur who has weathered through tough times before she made a very successful business by herself. Her name is Becky Beach, and by the way, I love the name Becky Beach, Becky Beach is a mompreneur who was in debt up to $150,000 before she started her online boutique. She was actually living from month to month and was barely making ends meet before her business. After the online boutique though she was debt free. So Becky nowadays helps other moms start their own businesses, save money, and live from home through her blog www.mombeach.com That's another interesting name there. So Becky, welcome.00:59Becky: Oh, thank you. I'm really excited to be here.01:03Ramesh: Fantastic. So Becky, so let's get straight to it. What were you, what was the work that you were doing when you were in that much of a debt around $150,000 if you could explain how you, not necessarily how you got into it, but essentially what were you doing? And what was the transformation?01:23Becky: Well, I was working for a small pain and injury clinic as a web developer. Like that's what I was doing, and they weren't paying very much. Like I was probably making like $20 an hour or less, you know, those weren't paying that much, you know, so I was like scraping by and I’ll work like 60-hour week. Sometimes it was just a lot of stress. Then I got pregnant with my little child, you know, when I just couldn't, it just was really so much stress, you know, and hard to deal with, you know. They just weren't paying very much at all, you know.01:51Ramesh: So then what happens? You are in debt and then the work, you're not enjoying it. It's stressful. Then how did that switch come on that Hey, no, I need to start something else. I need to do something else.02:04Becky: Well, I got pregnant with like, we had a child, my husband, and I just said, I just can't go back to work. I don't think I could work 60-hour days you know in this condition, you know, when I was, I had a little child that I was taking a daycare. It was after three months he has already gone to daycare, you know, that's just too short, you know, and I was just worried about him all day. I couldn't focus on my work, you know, because I just had a little baby that I wanted to be with. So I said, cause I got to do something. So like one day I went in, I was watching YouTube and I was like saying, oh gosh, I heard this, trying to unwind. And then this video came on for how to drop ship. And it was really interesting. So then I started watching it and I was like, you know what, I could do that, you know, there's no money up front, because I had no money, you know. Yeah. So I thought I could do this, you know, and it seems pretty easy.02:56Ramesh: And then what happened? Did you take any training course or how did you start your business? If you could just go through a step by step.03:05Becky: Oh, sure. The gentleman advertising was Kevin David and he had a course, so I decided to buy the course. It was like $997 and I used a credit card and it was probably almost maxed out. So I decided to go through his course, and I learned all I could, you know, he had so many videos. Like nowadays he talks mostly about how to make money other ways, but back then he was like all about drop shipping. So I got reallyinto his videos and other influencers on YouTube. They were talking about drop shipping as well. And I learned all I could. And then I started my own drop shipping website on Shopify.03:43Ramesh: So Be
Helping small businesses build and scale with Erin Shea
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: Erin Shea Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:00Ramesh: Excited about you know, talking to Vistaprinting and of course you.00:04Erin: You too, I think it'll be great.00:06Ramesh: Yeah. So I think Adam and Erin, I would like to introduce Vistaprint as a leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. Is that fine or is there anything else you want me to do?00:20Erin: No, I think that's appropriate.00:22Ramesh: And then Erin, I think you as a marketing director for North America for Vistaprint.00:28Erin: Correct.00:29Ramesh: Okay. So good. All right, so we'll get started and then pretty much we will get into you know, the areas that you know, you really drive, which is the marketing for small businesses. And then we'll get into some of the study findings as well. And we want to take, you're welcome too. And [00:50 inaudible] you want to mention, okay. Thank you. Alright.00:59Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur video cast and podcast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today, I am especially excited to talk to Erin Shea, who is the North America marketing director for Vistaprint. For I think almost all of you know about Vistaprint. Vistaprint is the leading online provider of marketing products and services to small businesses. And in full disclosure, I am a customer of Vistaprint. Every time I do my business cards routinely, I go there and then, so without thinking, so they gave me so much flexibility. So that's what I do. And then that's where I start as a customer andthen I go into some other areas as well. Erin, welcome.01:42Erin: Thank you. Thank you for having me.01:44Ramesh: I know I introduced Vistaprint, but in your own words what is Vistaprint do and then especially what you do for Vistaprint?01:53Erin: Sure. Vistaprint is a company that's been around for over 20 years now and we are so proud to say that we've helped over 17 million small businesses really live their small business dreams. We started out as a startup, a small business of our own, and then have kind of grown to an international company. But small businesses have always and will always be our full passion. And it's why we kind of come into workday in and day out. We did start with sort of business cards as our core product. And then as small businesses have evolved, and the customers' needs have evolved we have expanded our assortment into a number of different printed marketing materials. So everything from so, your flyers and your brochures, your signage, and then of course, into digital. So websites, search engine marketing, and then of course design services.02:50Ramesh: Oh, excellent Erin. So how long have you been with Vistaprint?02:54Erin: I have been with Vistaprint for a wonderful 10 years. And I find that you know, I'm so passionate about partnering with small businesses day in and day out.03:08Ramesh: So in the 10 years, I mean, I can't imagine, but you must have talked to so many small businesses. So if I could start off with one question in the small business marketing, what are the things as small business like a successful small businesses do versus a small business that don't do too well? so what different it makes.03:31Erin: Sure. So I am a big proponent of really focusing in on where the value is for your small business. And so I think we see this, we find this tendency to juggle all the balls in the air and to do a ton of different things. And what I think is really the difference between success and sort of feeling daunted around your small business is really kind of choosing those top two or three things that you think are most valuable for your business. And that could be an
Building an online timesheet & invoice software business
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: William Roberts & John Holmes Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur video cast and podcast. And this is your host, Ramesh Dontha. Today, with the very first time I'm going to talk to two co-founders, John Holmes and Will Roberts. Both of them are co-founders and executive partners at www.weworked.com. It's an online timesheet software company. They have bootstrapped it built into a company that serves customers in what, 120 countries. That is phenomenal. All right guys, John and Will welcome.00:41Will: Thank you.00:41Ramesh: So, John, can you introduce the company please?00:46John: Sure. I'm a little bit about weworked, we started, weworked about nine years ago. My time may be off a year or so. It goes back pretty fast, but not years ago. When I started, weworked we both worked for small companies and weworked basically as a time sheet invoicing payroll/ leave tracking software that we developed with the focus of small business clients. And it's kind of morphed into something much bigger. But from the beginning, that was the initial focus.01:27Ramesh: Okay, great. So Will how about you, if you could introduce yourself and then the side of the business that you focus on as well?01:35Will: I am Will Roberts; I am a cofounder here at www.weworked.com. I've primarily focused on the technical support team, database architecture, database management and some marketing.01:53Ramesh: Fantastic. So all right guys, so welcome. And so let's talk about the nine years ago before, right. So that's when you guys started. And how did you decide to start a company? What were you guys doing before that? So let me start with Will. So what were you doing before you guys started www.weworked.com?02:14 Will: I actually was, I had started my own consulting firm, I think back in maybe2005. And I was, you know, pretty much serving as a contractor to the federal government.02:32Ramesh: I see. So John, how about you? What were you doing before that?02:36John: I was a software programmer for small businesses. And I did some government contracting work as well.02:47Ramesh: Okay. So then how did you guys meet up and then how did the thought of starting a company come, who started and then who followed up?02:57Will: Well, firstly we met on the job.03:02John: Yes, we both met probably back in 2000, 2001 we were both working for a smaller tech company that created software for the government on the department of transportation. And Will and I kicked it off right away from beginning. So years later after Will started his business and I was probably two jobs moved from where we met. I had reached out to Will regarding weworked. So its kind of, I kind of had the initial brainchild of it. I was out of work for a few months and sat around thinking about what I could do to kind of change the projection of you know, my future with respect to jobs and businesses. So having worked for small businesses most of the time, one thing that I noticed was none of the small businesses had in house Time sheet software. And it was a struggle for a lot of them back in the early two thousands, because a lot of the software was developed for large enterprises. So started working on it, developed a good starting point. And then realized I needed a lot of help to pull this thing off and went through my mental Rolodex who I could call upon and Will was the first guy. And that's how, that was in short. That's how it kicked off.04:50Ramesh: Fantastic. Okay. So let me ask you this guys. Whenever a software company like this gets formed and you have an idea for a product, the challenge is always you know, we build it, th
Building a hyperspeed Bluetooth-enabled mobile dating app with Lori Cheek
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: Lori Cheek Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:15Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast and video cast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today I have an exciting guest. Her name is Lori Cheek. She's a New York city based architect turned entrepreneur and she's the CEO and founder of Cheeked. It's a hyper speed Bluetooth enabled mobile dating app. I know what you guys are thinking and I'm also very, very curious to know more about Cheekd and Lori Cheek. Lori, welcome.00:50Lori: Hi.00:52Ramesh: All right, so now you picked our curiosity. So what is Cheekd hyper speed Bluetooth enabled mobile dating app. Can you please go over what Cheekd is?01:05Lori: Well, yes, we are an app that helps people connect in the real world. So we are leveraging technology to try to get people off their phones. So if you walk into a crowded bar, a gym, a cafe, and anyone else with the Cheekd app and their Bluetooth turned on, you'll get an immediate notification that that person is single and potentially ready to mingle in that moment. So you can either walk up to them and say hello, which is what people used to do back in the olden days and it seemed to work. Instead of swiping through strangers from the comfort of your home online, so you can spark a conversation face to face and hopefully take it from there.01:50 Ramesh: I see. And do these people need, both of them need to be on the Cheekd app for them to.01:56Lori: Yes. I mean, I'd love if there was a way to connect with people that weren't on the app, but that starts to get a tiny bit creepy.02:06Ramesh: Let's see how we could you know not get creepy, so and then people registered on Cheekd and then you'll find, it seems pretty, pretty exciting. So, Lori, let's say go through how could you, I mean, when did you think about this app?And so let's talk about the journey.02:27Lori: I mean, it's been a pretty long journey and Cheekd has been through several different iterations, but I was an architect in New York for 16 years. Just walking around thinking, how do you find love in a city of 8 million people? I mean, everybody in New York is like crossing each other's paths, but no one really speaks to each other. Like it was just so difficult for me to understand what was missing here. And one night I was out to dinner with a colleague and he slipped his business card to a woman and he'd written on the back of it, want to have dinner and he left with a date and I left with this idea of sort of handing notes to people. So I started this business soon after called Cheekd and it was dating cards and they had a code on them. And a funny pickup line and the recipient of that card could go to our website and type in the code and find that person's profile. So we called it online dating and reverse. So you actually saw the person and then you connected online. That's how it started.03:26Ramesh: Okay. So then, I mean how did you actually launch it? How did people come to know about it? You had a website and all that stuff. But then what happened?03:35Lori: Yeah. So I mean, I came up with that idea one night and I could not stop thinking about it, you know, just still running around the streets of New York city. I thought, I want these cards. You know, I realized it was something I was missing and really wished I'd had. So I just went around talking to everybody I could possibly talk to about it. I mean hundreds and hundreds of people and then, you know, weeks later some of these people were like, that's a great idea. There was some woman on the subway, I wish I'd had one of your cards that you told me about. So I decided there's one shot in life
Building a Career Hub business for engineers with Vartika Manasvi
Subscribe & DownloadListen onApple PodcastsFollow us onSoundCloudListen on Google PlayListen on SpotifyGuest: Vartika Manasvi Episode Transcript (Click to expand)00:04Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast and of course the video cast. And this is your host Ramesh Dontha. So today we will talk about career. We're going to talk to a women entrepreneur with a fantastic background and her name is Vartika Manasvi and Vartika is the second time founder of a company called stack raft as a career hub company. And she's the first woman entrepreneur from the South Asia to be granted a startup visa in Canada and right. So she took a one-way ticket to Canada and to start a company in Canada. So let's find more about Vartikas' journey. So Vartika welcome.00:44Vartika: Thank you. Thank you, Ramesh, for having me.00:47Ramesh: Vartika let's start with your company stack raft. So what is it?00:52Vartika: So Stack Raft is you know, a shorter version of that is like LinkedIn for engineers and, but we're not LinkedIn where people spamming each other. We are what recruiters and stuff like that. So it's like a career accelerator for software engineers around the globe. Who are looking for meaningful jobs and better opportunities? So the problem that we found was that the talent is everywhere. There are so many talented people around the world. But getting that job you know, it takes on which country you are in, what time zone are you in. How do you look, how do you speak? So these are the things that comes in between of your skills and talents and that is a problem that we are solving.01:36Ramesh: So how do you solve? Is it a marketplace where the software engineers put their resumes up and the skills something like a guru or up work kind of stuff? Or is it different?01:45Vartika: No, it's not like a Upwork or a career guru kind of a thing. Yes, it's a marketplace where software engineers create a profile. They put their skills, their personality indicators, like what's important to them and who they are like, what’s their career intent. What as for them they want to be and what kind of stuff they want to build. Now based on that deeply challenges on our platform. And these are skill-based challenges and they get connected to senior mentors and senior developers, we call them as talent coaches, who give them concrete feedback on these challenges so that these engineers can be better engineers. I mean, even ifthey do not get a job or they do not get selected, they're getting concrete feedback. Now imagine for one job, like 250 people apply for that particular job. For one seat, right? And 20 people get a call, 10 get invited, and then finally one person is hired and rest of them get a standard emails. Sorry, we couldn't select your profile. That's a standard email. But it doesn't give a reason why. I mean, okay, do not select, but tell me why. So that I can at least improve myself. So this is where we come in, where we give concrete feedback to every single person which helps them self-learn and grow. There's so much content and information out there on the internet. Our objective is to give them a little guidance and give them a little back towards to how to think about certain things.03:19Ramesh: Okay. So this is primarily intended to improve you know, to help improve the software engineers with respect to how they can get a job. So then where is the money coming from?03:33Vartika: Well, the money comes in from the companies and you know, so my background is building social networks and communities and I really know how scores the attention of a user is in today's times. So you know, and recruitment, look, we are in the business of like three decades old problem. And we are completely flipping the
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