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What is your biggest startup challenge?


#1

Being busy with my own startup, I know it’s hard work, it ain’t easy. I’m struggling with finding a non-technical cofounder and figuring out which traction channel will work the best.

I was wondering what are the main things other startup founders struggle with, so I made this poll: tally.tl/GQDy3. Let me know what other possible answers you would like to see.

If you know a fellow startup founder, please do forward it to her.
Thanks.


#2

Traction and retention appear to be running away with the lead. Not surprised, marketing seems to be the biggest hurdle, especially for the more technically minded. That probably holds true in any market.


#3

I’d like to see something on there about motivation.


#4

Wow, I’m having the EXACT same issue. I’m considering bringing on a non-technical sales oriented cofounder with domain experience (I have domain knowledge but lack sales person magic).

How do you quantify a non-technical persons skills? Unlike software, you can’t review their code. It’s an ironic situation which is the opposite of the “I need a coder for my brilliant idea” dilemma.

Also, figuring out sales channels in a lot more time consuming than I thought. And I even built up a respectable prelaunch email list.


#5

Wait, is tally.tl your product? I’ll be honest, it’s pretty awesome.


#6

That’s because you never outsource marketing/sales, at least not if you are a bootstrapper. Marketing is one of the hardest things you can do, and as the product creator, you are the best person to do so.

As @aeden mentions, the survey needs more bootstrapper specific problems: motivation, time , a constant struggle to get something out (against things like work, family etc).


#7

Yes, it’s a weekend project. :slight_smile: Thanks for the kind words.


#8

I agree. I’ll keep that in mind for future polls.


#9

I’m struggling with pretty much the same things as well - @filipminev @cpursley.

Non-technical cofounder - at this point since I’ve already began to hit a decent chunk of revenue I think the chances are low that I’d bring on a non-technical cofounder. But it’s still something that I think about a lot - it would be amazing to have a partner. And someone who already had the sales /marketing side of things down so that I didn’t have to learn it all from scratch.

That said it has actually been kind of interesting to dive into marketing/sales and probably a good skill to have all around.

I found myself struggling to figure out what kind of ownership split would make sense. Having put blood sweat and tears in for like a year and a half, and also having some revenue already, I’d hate to part with a significant % of it. But at the same tim offering someone less than like 30% or 40% seems like they really wouldn’t be a partner.

Traction - Also struggling here. I have a decent trickle of new customers and if I just sat back and waited for 3 to 6 months, if it continued to grow at the same pace, I’d probably hit profitability by then. But that’s assuming a lot of things, which I don’t want to do. I want to find a marketing channel that I can really leverage and then just pull hard on the pump :smile:

I’ve done a tiny bit of blogging - nothing really to speak of. I have a few ideas for some more interesting blog posts which will hopefully do better.

And I’ve also begun to focus on direct sales quite a bit. I have a network of people in my niche that I can already reach out to, so I’ve been beginning to do that. I can see myself improving a tiny bit each time with my sales approach, but it’s definitely a slow process.

Anyways, great question! Thanks for giving me a chance to vent!

p.s. did I mention I don’t have a cofounder to vent to? :slight_smile: