Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meera Dolasia, CEO of DOGOMedia Inc., located in Tiburon, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
DOGOnews is the leading publisher of academic current events for Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. We pioneered the use of educational current events as lesson plans to help students develop into socially aware and responsible global citizens. We are used by over a million elementary and middle school students and teachers weekly.
Tell us about yourself
The idea for DOGOnews came about when I was helping my 3rd grader look for appropriate and exciting current events to present at school. Unable to find a suitable news source for kids online, I started a blog to cover news that was relevant and written for school-age children. The blog was an instant hit with both students and teachers worldwide. We outgrew the size requirements within a year and had to migrate to a custom web publishing platform. Our sister site DOGObooks.com was launched a few years later.
DOGOnew and DOGObooks have grown virally and now rank among the world's largest and most popular kids’ current events and book review destinations. My biggest motivation comes from seeing the kids’ engagement with the news and reading their opinions on each topic.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Helping students become informed and responsible global citizens while developing their reading, critical thinking, and analytical skills.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Our team is constantly dreaming of ways to make our products more cutting-edge. But as a self-funded enterprise, we are resource-constrained. My biggest challenge is prioritizing the initiatives to fit our limited budget.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Believe in yourself and your mission — I faced many naysayers when I started. Some thought my idea would fail because kids were not interested in the news. Others thought I was not qualified for the job. I persevered through that because I was passionate about my mission.
- Focus on creating the best product — PR buzz may help your company temporarily. However, long-term success only comes with a compelling product. Since the start, our focus has been on creating the best possible content and experience for our young audience. And it has paid off. We have never spent a penny on marketing. Our growth has been fueled by word of mouth - from kid to kid, teacher to teacher.
- Be ready for highs and lows — Startups can be extremely rewarding, but they are grueling. Be prepared for some successes and many disappointments. While they bring you down, you must learn to shake things off and keep going. A strong team that believes in the mission and a supportive family helps me through those times.
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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