Every Failure is an Opportunity to Learn - Sneh Soni
I am a 23-year-old woman with bachelors in Statistics from LSR, passionate about women empowerment and equality. I am also the co-founder of FreeStand Sampling Solutions where I along with my team, work hard day in and out to develop technology that will enable FMCG brands to distribute their product samples digitally.
I am pursuing this idea because it allows me to be a part of the changing landscape of marketing, something that truly fascinates me. At FreeStand my daily pursuit is to build a remarkable culture that fuels curiosity amongst those who work on it and innovation for the industry. Everything about being an entrepreneur is challenging and even more challenging is being a young entrepreneur in the B2B space, But one of the challenges for me personally has been, doing a good job talking about what I do, while it sounds simple and almost counterintuitive to realize that one of the hardest challenge about building a company is to talk correctly about what you are building.
I would like to share the story of how we screwed an amazing opportunity, won the opportunity back only to screw up again: We were really excited about talking to this really amazing seed investment firm based out of Mumbai, we sent them an email with our deck (took all night until 6:00 AM in the morning), next morning got a reply back with a request for video call around 1:00 PM and my co-founder still half asleep, yet all excited we took it and screwed it because of a hearing error and then getting super confused, this was followed by us sending a clarification video but then the investors were going to be present at an event in Delhi itself so we rushed ourselves to meet them, they met us in person and liked us, at that time the investor told us they were going to invest in our segment but they were considering between one more company besides us, they asked us to fly all the way to Mumbai the same weekend (the flights did cost us a bomb but you get the opportunity context) we flew there and my co-founder was all sick but we took the meeting WITHOUT A COMPLETE TECH DEMO!! Pitch meetings without a tech demo(complete) for a tech startup is a cardinal sin(this we did not know about at the time)
But here is where the story took an epic turn for us, our brutal passion in talking about our story did well to spread the word around about what we do. We at the time felt empowered by just the sheer attention and willingness that industry demonstrated in learning about us, as a resultant we met some of our industry heroes and a few brands took notice and decided to work with us, which further fostered our confidence in what we are building.
With customer capital we evolved our technology, team and expanded to Mumbai, perhaps our attempt at raising seed funding was the biggest set of learning that took place for us in our startup journey. In essence when you are running a startup you may get a lot of things wrong but if you can tell a compelling story and communicate your passion there is always something good that will come along your way, so always do.
I can’t say that I have fully overcome this challenge, it is a challenge that I work on every day, conversation after conversation. But one thing I have learned about B2B communication is that developing a deep understanding of your offering in all contexts to the audiences is important in getting your point across. It is very important to be able to explain what your company does to people from all possible backgrounds.
From my entrepreneurial journey so far, Investing and developing quality hiring methodologies is the most rewarding thing an early-stage entrepreneur can do. Having a solid culture based on empathy allows you to build a team that is devoted to the mission of the organization. Iterative building is the key to continuation and motivation.
Entrepreneurship is hard and it does take over your entire life.