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Andreas Stokas

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

9

2

Niche applications for small businesses and freelancers

Business applications are designed for large businesses and then they are downgraded for smaller ones. This is like buying a large truck to deliver pizzas in a small town; useless and very costly. 

Assets

  • A new method to approach database design which leads to simpler and more effective programming and maintenance (at least 70% less time in design and programming applications).
  • The passion, creativity and experience of our team in usability and simplicity.
  • The extremely happy users which give us the courage to move forward.

Goal

  • To set a new standard in small/medium business applications in terms of usability, cost effectiveness and integration.

Scalability (stages)

  1. We have already up and running 3 custom made applications for small business and the users love them. It took less than an hour to train them, even for the most complicated one (car dealership).
  2. We have an application (in Greek) for independent beauty salons (not large franchises) which is now at the first month in sales.
  3. Depending on the results of the pilot app, we are qoing to build the multilingual beauty salon application during the next 6 months.
  4. In a year we will create similar applications for niche markets (such as lawyers, engineers, technicians).
  5. Next stage is; research and create applications for small/medium businesses to compete with ERP's and CRM's

Value Proposition

  • Easy to use (less than 30 minutes installation and training)
  • Confidential data treatment
  • Customization (niche app)
  • Low cost compared to competition 

Customer segment (beauty salon application)

  • Independent beauty salons with facebook page

Pain

  • An efficient tool to control their business and keep track of their customers.

Gain

  • It makes them look more professional.

Resources

  • Stage 1: Seed - Most of the activities are handled by the three of us
  • Stage 2: Startup - Hire personnel for programming, customer care, accounting. Outsource legal and marketing activities.
  • Stage 3: Grown up - Hire more personnel or outsource all activities except database design which is our asset. 

Funding

Up to now we spend only a few hours per month for the project since we need to feed our families.

We need money for the beggining only (about 12-18 months) to be able to work solely on the project and cover marketing expenses and 2-3 employees.

After scaling we believe that we will be able to bootstrap our company without any additional funding.

Our gross margin will be more than 60% and we believe that we will start paying back after 21-24 months.

Since we don't need too much money (less than $300,000), we seek Angel investors who can realize what we are doing and the potential of the project.

Selling the company is not our priority now. We are going step by step because we need to focus on products and customers.

Hiring

The first employee we need is a mobile app programmer. 

The next is a customer care

We are going to find these employees through personal connections. We will give them a project first and if they succeed then we will hire them.

We are going to build a ROWE (results only working environment) and the employees will be evaluated upon results and customer satisfaction. Remote work is not only an option but a neccesity when the multilingual apps will be running.

We are going to have quarterly reviews of personnel based on the evaluation. The first review though will be on the first project before hiring.

Talking about the uncomfortable will be straightforward but polite because our belief is: Respect and demand to be respected.

People's work should be a mix (depending on the position) of routine work and exploration.

Naming

Our company name is flows. We name our products using a part of the name of the niche market we target each time with the suffix dfs which is our method to create the apps; e.g. salonDFS.

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