The disruptive entrepreneur: Fredrik Grönkvist
We have created a new series at Neat, interviewing entrepreneurs from around the world to share knowledge and advice on why they decided to start their own business, what challenges they came up against and any advice they would give to a new entrepreneur!
Our entrepreneur this month is Fredrik Grönkvist. Fredrik has a been in Asia for several years and is well- versed in starting a new business. Let’s hear from him directly…
How did you come up with the idea for your startup? What pain point were you solving?
I have worked with product development and manufacturing in Mainland China, and to a lesser extent Vietnam, for several years. Early on it became clear to me that both manufacturers and buyers struggle to understand product safety standards, labeling, certification, and testing requirements. Both sides assumed that the other party had it covered, which is not always the case.
I realised that this was a huge problem, not only for businesses, but also consumers who get their hands on unsafe phone chargers, products containing high amounts of certain chemicals and other safety issues.
I concluded that the best way I could contribute to a commercial solution, was by providing both buyers and manufacturers with information about compliance requirements – in a way that they can understand.
This is the basis for our Product Compliance Information Tool on www.compliancegate.com/tool.
What did you find most exciting about starting a new company?
I think most business owners thrive on the energy one gets from developing a new product or service. Personally I tend to look at things from a macro perspective, rather than creating detailed business plans.
The prospect of launching a new great product, and hopefully generating meaningful revenue from it, is enough to motivate me and why I put in the hours.
What are some of the challenges you faced?
Building a product is one thing, selling is another. Other than developing our own product, we also invest a big share of our time and money into producing content. This means that we publish articles on our own websites, and also produce videos for our YouTube channel. I strongly believe that organic traffic is the lifeblood of most internet businesses.
That being said, traffic alone is not paying the bills. Hence, we also work with optimising our sales funnels. This includes calls, webinars, email broadcasts, and website conversion optimisation.
What advice would you give to others thinking of disrupting a market or wanting to start something new?
Creating a product or service is not enough. Sales and marketing should never come as an afterthought. It should be the central part of your plan.
If you cannot figure out how you will get new customers for a certain product or service, then you should take a step back and work on your plans.
Another thing is to not to over deliver. Regardless of whether you plan to launch a software product, e-commerce business, or service business, you should try to get a simple version of your product or service out on the market as early as possible. It’s easy to get stuck on features or details that don’t really matter. Even if they do matter, you’ll have a lifetime to work on improvements.
You need revenue to keep going, and the sooner you get that – and product validation to some extent – the better.