Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Zacharias Reinhardt, Founder of CG Boost, located in Salzwedel, Germany.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We provide online courses, teaching 3D animation for storytelling using the open-source 3D tool called "Blender" (blender.org). Our main customer base is made up of hobbyists, freelancers, and a small portion of studios that want to tell their stories using the nearly infinite possibilities of 3D animation.
Tell us about yourself
I began learning 3D as a hobby in 2004 and have been hooked ever since because it allows you to bring all of your imagination to life. In 2010 and 2011, I started creating my first YouTube tutorials teaching Blender 3D since I saw that there were nearly no resources available to learn it. Then, besides freelancing in the 3D animation field and teaching Blender in live workshops, I began to see the great demand for online training.
I started to create and sell my first Blender courses in 2012/2013. Later in 2019, I decided to leave freelancing and live workshops behind and go all in on online courses since I saw the huge potential they have. As it turned out, it was a great move, and ever since, I've successfully run the business with a great, growing team by my side.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Really early, I realized that I loved teaching 3D using Blender. Now, many years later, being able to do this as my full-time job, earn a good living, and see the great impact my courses have on other people's lives is very fulfilling and my greatest accomplishment so far.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, the hardest thing is to keep everything simple, so I can focus on the things that matter. Having an online business means you have to work with many different online tools and services and make them all seamlessly work together, manage your team, and work on improving your products and creating new ones. So organization plays an important role here, but luckily I enjoy doing this quite a bit.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Make sure you have a solid foundation to test your business idea. In other words, the less money you have to worry about, the better you can work on developing a good product or service. One way would be to be employed with a safe job and start building your business on the side. Only when you earn enough from it can you reduce the hours on your day job and spend more time on your business.
- Try to finish your products and put them out sooner than later. It is better to go live with a product with some rough edges than never publish it since you will always find something to improve. In this way, you can get feedback from your customers and improve the product step by step.
- Grow organically. Don't try to be the same as businesses that have been on the market for many years. Start small and simple, then, when the business needs it, you can expand in the areas necessary. For the first few years of my business, I worked alone; only when I had so many customers that I couldn't handle it alone did I begin to build a team and expand my tool sets.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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