Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mark Fiebig, Founder of The Closing Docs, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Closing Doc is an automated income verification that accelerates and simplifies the delivery of trusted net income analyses for property managers, consumer lenders, and their applicants. We eliminate days of wasteful telephone tag and produce 100% bank-verified income analysis in as few as three clicks.
Tell us about yourself
I've managed dozens of properties and lived through the torture of tracking down pay stubs to verify income. When I realized every property manager in the world wastes hours for each applicant, it occurred to me there had to be a better way. Saving a little time for tens of thousands of property managers was my first motivation.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Absolutely the team. My co-founder, Stephen Arifin, and I knew that the first few people who joined this mission would make all the difference. We are beyond lucky to find exceedingly capable engineering talent and business people with decades of industry experience. In the pandemic era, none of us met one another face to face until last week. Watching the team gel at our two-day offsite was magical.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Re-prioritizing tasks for myself and the team presents hourly challenges. A founder needs to build the team to build the product, raise the capital, and delight the customer. Any of those could be a full-time job, and finding the right balance is tricky.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, be motivated by the solution you hope to deliver and not the economic value of some end-game calculation. Financial rewards are a transitory illusion, so focus on how you are making lives better for as many customers as possible. Second, find your complement as a co-founder. You need someone with the skills and perspective that you are missing. This is not the same as your opposite - it's also important to mesh at a personality level. Third, it's all about your team. Even though it feels impossible in this Zoom-centered world, the personality of your crew is everything.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you must pick a guiding mantra, I suggest you adopt learning by doing. There is always a temptation to spend another hour at the whiteboard, trying to design the perfect minimum viable product. Instead, I suggest you go find a customer who is willing to act as something like a co-development partner and put something in their hands. Never forget that shipping your solution leads to the most valuable lessons you'll learn for both you and the customers you hope to help!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.