It’s hard to be an entrepreneur. You give up all the comforts to embark on a journey without a map to stay on the course and sometimes you need a little push. We talked to Fred Cary, CEO of IdeaPros, who’s been answering your questions for a while to help you navigate the entrepreneurial adventure.
1. When your product is ready to launch, what does it take from the entrepreneur, and what goes into it?
It takes heroic efforts, a lot of resilience, patience, and the attitude of not giving up. When it’s time to launch, you are the one making decisions, and you have to find a way to make things happen.
“When the lights go on, you can’t forget your lines.” – Fred Cary
The lines take you from zero to hero that means you have to be prepared and know your minimum quantities, what you need to start selling, where and how you plan to sell it, where you will store it, and how you will deal with customer service, etc.
“As an entrepreneur, it’s your obligation to your dream to make that dream a reality.” – Fred Cary
2. What are some rules of thumb for business that you could share with us?
The number one rule of thumb is that nothing’s ever going to work out the way you planned it. If you plan for things not working out as you planned, you will be able to stay sane a lot longer.
“The unexpected is always going to happen.” – Fred Cary
Rule number two is that nobody’s going to work as hard as you. If they are, you are not an entrepreneur. To make your project work, you will work day and night, but you shouldn’t expect your employees to do the same, as they don’t have the same vested interest.
Rule number three is that you need to find a way to let it go. Entrepreneurs tend to be terrible leaders, as they are used to doing everything by themselves. As you start bringing higher-level people, you need to learn to depend on them. This is how you go from entrepreneur to leader.
“Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are in their given fields.” – Fred Cary
3. How do you come up with a figure when offering equity-based investment for your startup business?
It’s a game of power based on how badly the investor wants to get involved compared with how badly you need the money.
“If you have a well-designed product with a competitive advantage in a growing sector, the likelihood of getting a higher valuation is good.” – Fred Cary
Remember that valuation means nothing if you don’t have the capital to execute. If you’re getting a hundred thousand dollars and you can get a million-dollar valuation that’s a good deal when you’re not making anything at all.
4. Can you explain the different ways that you can make money with apps?
It depends on the type of app you are building, but most apps we use today are free. You can’t start charging people for something they can get for free. Free apps make money from advertising. You build a portfolio and when you reach a significant number and advertisers will come. An option where you charge a fee if people don’t want to see the ads is called the freemium model.
With service apps, you have an opportunity to make money with every single transaction that happens on your platform. Then you have monthly subscriptions for some apps, for example dating apps. Be careful to build the app the proper way, with documentation that you can patent, so you have the intellectual property rights over it.
5. How does crowdfunding work?
There are two basic types of crowdfunding: traditional and equity-based. In the traditional one, people are paying for something that doesn’t exist yet. You are using the money to finish building it and deliver it to them with a benefit. People who do it have a mindset of backing up entrepreneurs and contributing to their success. Have in mind that around 70% of all things that go to crowdfunding don’t raise any money. It is expensive. You need a marketing budget to succeed.
Equity-based crowdfunding works the same way as when you are selling equity or stocks. There are special SCC regulations that allow this type of financing. It is a good solution for apps where you can’t do regular crowdfunding as you don’t have anything to sell yet. You can check out the WeFunder platform and see how it works.
6. You talk a lot on your Instagram page about life and not just entrepreneurship. Why is that?
I don’t want to create an entrepreneur. I want to create an environment where you can have a better life all around. Some of the most successful companies in the world blew up because they didn’t have the ethical fortitude to do things the right way. If I teach people how to be entrepreneurs without teaching them how to make the right decisions they will fail, either in their business, or in their relationships.
“We need to create good human beings that can become great leaders at really awesome companies.” – Fred Cary
7. How do you build a team to support your idea, keep them happy, and productive as you scale? Anything to avoid?
Avoid micromanaging and try to hire people through a referral system. If you can get those core people around you that you can trust, you’re going to use their experience to start bringing people in as you grow as an organization. Don’t bring too many too fast, though. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need to let people go because it creates moral issues in the company.
8. What growing pains have you personally experienced in IdeaPros since its inception?
We are doing something nobody has done before. There is a strong emotional component to it as we are a startup ourselves. Every entrepreneurial journey is painful. We are carrying the weight of 300 other journeys, so the burden goes beyond the business element and right to our hearts.
This is why we want to train our partners and our audience to become world-class entrepreneurs who have experienced the pain and know what to do when the time comes to take over the reins.
Use the fortitude, strength, patience, and dedication that made you become an entrepreneur in the first place, and you’re going to get there.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.