Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Giovanni D'Addabbo, CEO of Rhubbit, S.r.l., located in Bari, Puglia, Italy.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My activity deals with system integration and the development of cloud solutions for optimizing business processes. My clients are other companies in the commerce, earthmoving machinery, and large-scale retail trade sectors.
However, over time, the company has also developed products, and currently, we are working on two products in the luxury goods trade and large-scale retail trade sectors.
Currently, after almost ten years as an entrepreneur and an exit, I also handle projects in startups, where I often act as a specialized partner in the business analysis and growth phases.
Tell us about yourself
Before starting my business, I worked first as a software engineer, then as a consultant on financial management projects for both public and private sectors, and finally landed in the fintech world. Only after that, I decided to open my own company. I felt ready, but I wasn't at all! In a few years, I had to learn the language of lawyers, accountants, and entrepreneurs while making sure that the company generated revenue!
However, the desire to do business was too strong, and I stubbornly moved forward. Over the years, I started three other companies, two of which no longer exist, while another saw me make an exit.
The reason that drove me to start my first company was the realization that companies need adequate, technologically advanced, and tailor-made software for specific needs to compete.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As an entrepreneur, I consider my greatest success to be bringing extremely positive results to almost all the companies we have worked with, in some cases even achieving a 12x increase in revenue over a span of 4 years. Being able to choose clients and projects, but above all, being able to manage my time better. I believe that being an entrepreneur today means constantly educating oneself to have a better understanding of things.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the most difficult things as an entrepreneur is dealing with Italian bureaucracy. :)
The second most difficult thing is staying true to your company's identity. Let me explain. In the ICT sector, it's easy to do everything for everyone, but in doing so, you aim for the lower part of the market, which is an enormous, extremely poor red ocean. Instead, what an entrepreneur must do is give a precise identity to their company and maintain it strong and constant over time. This, despite the obvious initial difficulties, leads to the ability to choose clients and projects to work on, but above all, it leads to the creation of products and products scale, which consultancy does not.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
These are all things I have learned through experience and that I recommend to anyone who is vaguely thinking about starting a business:
- Pay attention to customers' problems.
- Build products and processes.
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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