Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Argast, Co-Founder and CEO of Kobalt.io, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Kobalt.io is a rapidly growing company that manages all aspects of cybersecurity programs for small and medium-sized, cloud-native businesses. Our team acts as an extension of our clients, considering their unique limitations and needs and supporting them with services ranging from security program-as-a-service to privacy management and 24x7 monitoring. Ensuring our client’s security and helping drive their business growth are our top priorities.
With security being such a significant and layered operation for businesses, often small and medium businesses have been left out. This is why Kobalt.io seeks to provide solutions to these businesses, making big-budget security accessible to smaller organizations. Kobalt.io’s clients are mostly tech-based. They come from many sectors, such as Healthtech, Greentech, FinTech, and many more.
Tell us about yourself
Cybersecurity is my passion. I have played many roles throughout my career, taking up technical, sales, and marketing roles. I believe the biggest problem in the market is that small and mid-sized businesses are underserved. While they are mindful of the potential of a cyberattack, it is unfortunate that they lack the resources to have their business secure. This is why Kobalt.io focuses on providing end-to-end cybersecurity solutions to SMBs.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One of the items I’m proudest of is the real impact we’ve had on our client’s businesses. Once we’ve had a client in a program for a little while, they experience security incidents and events at a rate far lower than industry averages. This shows the value of investing proactively in security and the steps we help clients take.
Another is the team we’ve built - we have team members with all different experience levels in cybersecurity, and we have a great, engaged culture, and the members are really dedicated to our mission and helping clients. This is especially difficult in a remote-only environment, and I’m thankful to work with this group.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, how successful, or the struggles you face; ultimately, you are the one responsible for the success, failures, challenges, and pitfalls. You need to keep your team happy and motivated even when you are struggling personally. You need to answer to clients, investors, and partners and keep the organization focused on its values and mission. It is all-consuming, and you need to invest in personal habits to find balance, health, de-stress and manage through all those challenges.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Building relationships with clients.
- Encourage your team to improve continuously.
- Carve out time in a week to do deep work that moves the business forward.
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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