Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in consultancy but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Devon O'Rourke, Founder of Fluvio, located in Denver, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Fluvio provides flexible consulting services to help software and technology businesses find product-market fit, establish go-to-market strategies, and deliver high-impact marketing campaigns. We provide extensive B2B and B2C product marketing expertise on-demand for software and technology companies looking to find product-market fit and deliver sustainable growth.
Our boutique consultancy model allows companies access to experienced product marketing talent for both strategic guidance and exceptional tactical execution. With niche experience operating within startups, global enterprises, and everything in between, we replicate proven product marketing techniques that excel in fast-paced, high-growth environments.
Tell us about yourself
Before founding Fluvio, I'd been in technology product marketing for about a decade, having worked at companies like Tremor Video, Etsy, and Amazon. The concept for Fluvio began in 2019 while I was at Amazon. I began interviewing candidates to grow my team, and I was surprised to find a limited talent pool for seasoned product marketers. Finding the right candidate could take as long as a year. I thought if it was challenging for Amazon to find experienced product marketers, how were smaller companies faring? It was hard to imagine just how difficult it must have been for the many small and mid-sized tech companies to find, hire, and retain quality product marketers. After months of mentoring a number of these companies and their founders, I confirmed that many of them were failing to build out their product marketing practice and were desperately searching for faster, more efficient alternatives to hiring full-time employees or working with traditional consultancies that lacked the niche expertise they needed. I recognized there was a solution companies could successfully acquire experienced, niche product marketing talent on a contract basis to help with strategic and execution-based projects. Fluvio was born.
I absolutely love growing a company and culture and am motivated every day by my team. I am at my best when I am problem-solving and truly enjoy the ups and downs of running a business.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm super proud of the fact we have been able to grow the business to over $2M in revenue in 2022 with $0 of outside capital in only our third year of business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Knowing where to invest your time and being honest with yourself in terms of where you add the most value to the company. You can't do it all; break down what needs to get done, prioritize, and focus on what matters. It doesn't hurt to have an amazing team with diversified skill sets that can pinch hit as well.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Firstly, just start now! It doesn't hurt to draft a business plan or go-to-market plan, but you can pretty much guarantee that that plan will not be relevant in a year or so. There is no perfect moment to start a business, but time is the most valuable resource, so don't waste any of it. Get going.
Secondly, I recommend thinking about building a team right away, which could include co-founders (not the case for me, though). Again, the hardest part of growing a business is knowing where to invest your time and being honest with yourself in terms of where you add the most value to the company. You'll want to add key players around you that are complementary to your skills and personality. If you think you'll need someone to confide in or pick you up when times get tough (they will), then a co-founder is a great idea.
Thirdly, you need to build networks. Founders are the face and story of the company in the early days, and you'll need folks to trust you, follow you, help you, and push you to the edges. If you are starting a company, it's highly likely that you are passionate about the mission and are the de facto head of sales (if you're not, then you might want to find a co-founder that can be). Therefore, networking shouldn't be a burden or difficult. You'll need to put yourself out there, offer guidance, and ask for advice. Don't be shy about asking for what you want, and don't be discouraged when you don't get responses. Time and effort will allow you to build a trusted network, and it's amazing how important that network will become.
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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