Nellie shares some of the mistakes she made starting out and also the importance of using the right business model in today’s market.
Nellie Akalp is the CEO and co-founder of Corpnet, a document filling service company dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs. Today, Nellie talks about some of the mistakes she made starting out and also the importance of using the right business model in today’s market.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting out with your business and if you could start over what would you do differently?
Nellie Akalp: My tops 3 mistakes were:
1 – Following the Same old Business Model
Since this is my second business in the same industry, it was easy for me to want to go back to my origial business model I used to use. I mean, why not? It brought me success! However, I soon learned that it’s a new time and the industry is very different than it was when I first started back in 1997. I found that when I started turning new corners and exploring new spaces, I changed my business model along the way to better fit with the clients of today instead of those of yesterday. Our new business model has brought Corpnet.com to the forefront of leading online incorporation services out there and I hope to bring us all the way to the top soon.
2 – Hiring Based on the Person and Not the Position Being Filled
I am a people person. Always have been and always will which s why I love each and every day going to work and helping entrepreneurs in their business journeys. One thing I had to learn along the way, however, was to put this aspect of my personality on hold when hiring for my company. It’s so easy to interview someone, and like them as a person but know they are not a good fit for the position at hand. Sometimes in the past, I would overlook that gut feeling and hire them anyway. Now, I make sure that the person I hire is a good fit for the position, my team and as an added bonus, I like them on a personal level.
3 – Resistance to Change
As I mentioned, I have been in this industry since 1997 when I started my first business, which sold to Intuit in 2005. When I started Corpnet.com in 2009, it was a whole new ball game and it took a few bad experiences to learn that if I didn’t change my ways to keep up with the new era, I would fail. It was a hard lesson to learn but now I know that it is absolutely vital to keep your business up to date and change whatever is necessary to get there. If I had to start Corpnet.com over again, I would have started it off with a strong social media presence as I do now. I think that has helped us stay ahead of competition and would have helped even more when we first got started.
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