Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sepehr Shoarinejad, President of Koridor Inc., located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We help startups build their vision by becoming their technical team. We focus on consulting startups in their software business and building their product from start to finish in 3-4 months at a fixed price. Giving the startups leverage to get to market on time and without blowing their budget on product development. We also continue to support our startups by remaining on as their technical team after launch, supporting them in all the roles required to make a company thrive to Series A and B.
Tell us about yourself
I have been an entrepreneur my entire professional life. I started my first company in 2008 while I was still in university. Once I sold the company, I began consulting for SMEs and helping them throughout the departments such as sales, operations, and marketing. I started Koridor because I have first-hand seen the struggles of startup life in software. It is a mixed bag of confusion, reliance, and miscommunication. In my opinion, startups are set to fail from the start with little to no support unless you have come out with your product and have proven your MVP. But what about everything else before MVP? Two-thirds of startups fail at the product level and spend thousands of dollars. Because of cash burn and failure to manage the product scope, they fail before the product is even out. I'm motivated to help those startups avoid the two-thirds rule. I want every startup to have a chance to at least get to MVP without spending all their cash!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My most significant accomplishments as a business owner are seeing all our startups thrive and receiving messages like "you've made my year" or "without you, we would have been lost." I am the type of person who thrives personally and professionally when I see others succeed due to my involvement with them. Some care about money, and some revolve around others' success. I am the ladder of the bunch, and my accomplishments come from consulting and helping startups thrive in a world where they are considered a high-risk factor. Not every company dealing with startups can say this, but we have had 100% successful MVP product launches in our time as Koridor. Without my team, none of this could have been accomplished. I would add that without building such a fantastic team around me, I could never achieve such accomplishments alone. So I'd say building an amazing team is my biggest accomplishment as a business owner.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would say being a business owner, there is never just one thing that is the hardest. But if I were to distill it down to a single item, I would say having grit. Being a business owner is a lonely world a lot of the time, and not many people can understand your struggles. You must choose your business over everything else because it will not survive without you. From my time with SMEs and startups in the last decade, I would say that many of them just gave up in the face of pressure and uncertainty. Being a business owner requires some level of luck. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you they got lucky at some point in their career. That is why grit is the hardest part of being a business owner. If you have the grit to overcome the challenges, you can expose yourself to being lucky and eventually successful. So many people think it is cool to call yourself an entrepreneur, but you have to live the life of a business owner to know what it is to be one. I can immediately tell who has the badge of being a true entrepreneur and who wakes up calling themselves one. I can tell if they have gone through the grit challenge of having their own business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, be prepared for what you will get yourself into. Some preparation and understanding of the challenges that will come your way will help you weather the storms of entrepreneurship.
Secondly, build your team around the business, not around yourself. You do not want to be the smartest person in the room. If you are the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room. Put in the effort in hiring and building your team, and try to be proactive about what you need as you grow.
Thirdly, get involved with communities and find yourself a mentor. As I mentioned earlier, the world of entrepreneurship is lonely. The more you surround yourself with like-minded people, the more likely you can have the grit to push through the challenges of being a business owner.
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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