Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Olivier Audino, CEO and Co-Founder of Smartlink, located in Tallin, Kristiinelinnaosa, Estonie.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Smartlink is a decentralized escrow payment gateway solution built on the blockchain, providing trust as a service for Web3. Our platform allows users to mint non-custodial peer-to-peer escrow smart contracts for e-businesses and offers seamless crypto payment integration into any eCommerce platform. We also provide arbitration and oracle networks for added security. Our customers include businesses that face trust issues with their clients, companies involved in overseas transactions or catering to the unbanked population, and industries requiring privacy and confidentiality for their buyers.
Tell us about yourself
I've always been passionate about technology and its potential to revolutionize industries. The idea for Smartlink came from my own experience with my first company Buy Made Easy, where I managed B2B transactions and faced challenges associated with trust and security. I was motivated to create a solution that leverages the power of blockchain technology to provide a secure, efficient, and seamless payment experience for both buyers and sellers anywhere in the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, my biggest accomplishment as a business owner is the development and launch of Buy Made Easy and its Source-to-Pay platform called Sourcing Force, which has been well-received by our target market in Europe. The platform's innovative features, such as the e-Procurement workflow, Contract management, or Spend analysis modules, have set us apart from our competitors and allowed us to gain traction in the market quickly. We are proud to have helped numerous businesses worldwide, such as Accor, Corning, Medtronic, Michelin, and Procter & Gamble, improve their procurement processes, enhance trust with their customers, and grow their operations.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is managing the constant change and uncertainty in the market. As technology evolves rapidly, especially in the Blockchain, we need to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and adapt our business model accordingly. This requires continuous learning, innovation, and a commitment to always staying ahead of the curve. Additionally, building a strong team that shares our vision and values is another challenge, as the success of our business depends on the collaboration and dedication of our talented team members.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My top 3 tips for anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business today would be:
- Focus on solving a real problem with a very large market and avoid narrowed niche.
- Invest in building a strong team, better than yourself on other competencies (and try to pay for them).
- Embrace change and adapt your business but do not accept any opportunity. Stay focused on one single business model long enough to really test the market.
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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