Many entrepreneurs are wanting to find the next great business idea but don’t know what product or service to sell. I find that working as a freelancer can lead to new business ideas. For me, I was a freelancer in 2015.
I decided to go to a networking event for scientists in Southern California one day. At the event, Dr. Steve, a well-known doctor at a very large science research company called Scripps was speaking. After the event, Dr. Steve was available for questions.
Many people in the audience approached him. I also approached him. Even though there were many people in the crowd, I quickly gave him my business card and a 10-second introduction to my small company. We built APPs for clients and I explained it to him. He took my card and thanked me.
A few months later, Dr. Steve sent me an email and asked me into a meeting to present my company and solution. So I prepared. I invited some friends to join me, and we made a nice presentation to show my company and solutions.
Dr. Steve and the Scripps team was very impressed. We discussed many ideas for an APP project. Finally, after another month, Dr. Steve had an idea. He asked us to build an iPhone and Android App for the Scripps Business events.
They have two business events every year and they wanted to provide a custom Scripps APP for their attendees so they could find all the speakers, meet new people and read about the different topics. So Dr. Steve asked me if we could build it. I say YES, and we signed a contract, which was a very happy moment for me.
My budget was only $10,000 US Dollars and I needed to hire software engineers to build APP. I didn’t have the money to hire professionals so I hired 3 students from the local university.
We spent six months building the APP. We worked very closely with Dr. Steve and his staff to make sure they were happy with all the features of the APP.
Finally, the business event happened later in the year. Every attendee of the business event was given the APP to download on their phone. It was a great success. Everyone loved the APP and found it very useful.
Dr. Steve and the Scripps team was very happy and extended our contract for many more years. They were our first major customer! Even Dr. Steve wrote a nice reference for me and we post on our website.
After the success with Scripps, I decided to make a more general APP for all business events in science, not just for Scripps. So we used the same technology and my team built a new APP called Oconnect. It was for promoting all science business events. We signed 10 new business events in our APP and each paid us $2,000 to use our APP!
Later, we were accepted into an accelerator program in San Diego and spent one more year working with very experienced business professionals that help us with the strategy to make our company ready for private investment. It was a very good learning experience to work with senior professionals to improve my company. Finally, we were ready to approach investors with a lot of money to fund our company and grow it.
At the time, I was not ready to take the next big step, but the entire experience was a great learning experience for me. And my most important lesson was that my freelance effort and networking to find Dr. Steve led to the development of my own product and growth of my company.
Raj Oswal – Sales and Business Development
20+ year sales business development executive with a rolodex in North America, India and China, specifically within the mobile telecom industry. Demonstrated significant success in launching direct sales, new business development and client-sponsored MVP development initiatives. Raj has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School Of Business.
For those that works like to connect with Raj for Business Sales Coaching or a Consulting engagement, please contact him on Wechat : ointerface2019