As a technoprenuer, Piyush Jain started SIMpalm in 2009 to build custom mobile apps and responsive websites for clients in North America. They have designed and delivered more than 200+ mobile and web solutions to startups, enterprises and government and have built a team of designers, mobile app developers, web developers, project managers, and testers to churn out high-quality digital products. Follow them @simpalm.
Who’s your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
My hero is Steve Jobs. He knew how to use technology and entrepreneurship to improve life. He could envision the future, whether in personal computing or the smartphone area. He managed to be so creative and talented despite personal obstacles. His creativity and innovation have improved the lives of billions of people. I founded a mobile app development company. It was only possible because Steve Jobs had created iOS framework and a need for mobile app developers in the market.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The CEO of a company I worked at once told me, “Always follow up with your customer to close the deal.” I had sent a proposal to a prospect and they had not responded to it. I was just waiting and hoping they would get back to me. My boss told me to follow up with them until they agreed. This advice came in very handy for me when I started my business. In so many cases, we had situations where clients or partners didn’t respond to our proposals and we had to follow up aggressively to get things moving.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Not being very aggressive in sales. When I started the company, I had a good sales strategy. However, after a positive start, I was not very quick to try alternatives. New strategies were expensive and I did not want to risk my money. So I tried it very slowly and didn’t get great results. This affected the growth of my business. I have since learned my lesson and corrected this mistake. I recommend trying many different sales strategies to continuously grow your business.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I write down items I have to do for the day. It’s very important for me to have a preview of my day in the morning. It helps me identify priority and easily shuffle between various tasks that I have to do as a business owner. After my daily task list is prepared, I start talking to my business team to get updates on what is going on and if I can help them overcome any challenge. My business team is my top priority; if my business team is successful, we all succeed. It is important for me to get it done as a priority in the morning.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
As you start your business, make sure to be very conservative and disciplined with your financials. I like Kevin O’Leary from “Shark Tank” when it comes to money matters. When you spend money, make sure to look at multiple places and vendors to ensure you get the most out of it. Don’t go for expensive marketing strategies in the beginning. Start with free or inexpensive ones. Don’t try to hire too many people. Just hire a few, quality staff to set up the base for you.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Follow the guts of the business. Most businesses have been successful because someone had the guts to initiate them and follow their instinct. When you are starting your business or trying to expand, you may have fears or face discouragement from friends and family. If your guts say it’s the right step, then follow it. Once you start something, make sure to continuously review and follow through on it.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
When I am among the top three mobile app/web development companies in the U.S. For me success is always being the leader in your area. I started SIMpalm to build mobile apps and websites using the latest technology. We have gained a good market presence in DC/MD/VA area. I know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but becoming a national leader is the only success metrics for me.