TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
ExpoTor.com is the exposure connector, connecting the expo world and businesses with those who are offering services before, during, and after a trade show. Often, the exhibitors are looking for the best quality at the best price for services provided by companies/freelancers or students working as interpreters, florists, models, designers, bartenders but also PR experts, bloggers, distributors, brand ambassadors, sales agents, booth building companies, photographers, etc.. They can post what they need or offer as well as posting articles about their expo services and own products. We do the work by connecting the supply with the demand and generating them the needed results.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA? WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
For a few years, I had an event agency organizing exhibiting booths at international trade fairs. It means we had German exhibitors in China or Italians in France, Argentinians in the US, etc.. I had to put together the best solution for an all-in package including logistics, printing, catering, PR and often contracted event staffing. I do prefer to keep the supply chain short and work directly with small companies and freelancers but those are not easy to find. Try to find online a German-Chinese interpreter. How long do you need? And the second question is how do you know if their services are qualitative enough? The same issues had the exhibitors or visitors I was talking to. So, I decided to create this open expo platform helping them find each other faster.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
To be honest, I rather say chose the work you love to do, if alone or with someone together. I am not a fan of sole founding as it is really really hard but it also depends on the complexity of the product, of course. It is a nice trend, I call it CEOnomy from CEO and economy – everyone trying desperately to start a business. I am wondering why are not more people putting ideas and skills together and building it bigger and more stable?! I am looking forward to a startup/founders merging trend – which I am sure it will bring more successful outcomes.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:
I was a solo founder and it is not an easy way for an online SaaS product. I decided to co-found and now I earn the positive results.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Being educated to be proud only at the top of the top, own achievements at this level will still arrive but still, a few weeks ago, we have been nominated with the “Seal of Excellence” for the SME Instrument by the European Union.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
My work is my lifestyle and the trade shows are my home. There are no barriers in my life and I love to do my work from anywhere but I´m always happy when I see small businesses and talented freelancers and students benefiting from our billions industry.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
I get my inspiration from my customers, my co-workers, and, of course, my family.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
This career had chosen me. I am not that kind of person telling “I want to be a boss”. I see everyone in our startup company as co-workers and stakeholders. It is all about collaboration and going together in the same direction.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
Hard work has always been my “best friend”. I worked as an employee in the same way as it would have been my own business. I am results oriented and this is what I offer and expect.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Yes, in two languages. It is not something I really like to do but it is a must. Peter, my co-founder, is a great help. It also depends if you write it for you, for investors or for partners. It can be an effective tool if you update it at least once a month. A canvas slide on the wall and the right excel sheet can help as well if you do not need to pitch investors & co.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
As always, it depends. There are a lot of factors that can influence your success or failure. Starting with your background, over the industry, capital, and the most important is the existing needed connections in the own network. In Germany, we use to say: “You always need Vitamin B (from Bekannte = Connections)”. It would be vitamin C in English. Partner with the right people. This can really make your business succeed.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Trello is a tool for administration. It has a great UX. For the business plan, I can also recommend the liveplan.com and for finance and KPIs, Lili Balfour did a great job by offering financeforentrepreneurs.co
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Follow your heart but focus, focus, focus and find the right partners and co-workers. For the most founders, it is very difficult to focus because at the beginning they wear more hats and on another hand because of the information overflow. You get a lot of business advice around but you need to select, focus and apply the right advice for your business model. In the end, is not about starting a business but about building a profitable one. I am wishing you all lots of success and best results!