By Jason Woodruff & Danielle Halliday
After 20 years of climbing the corporate ladder in American business my wife and I decided we had had enough. We were burned out on the big business culture. Meetings to discuss what we are going to discuss in the real meeting. Lines of business silos, conflicting compensation plans across company lines and the general organizational bureaucracy that stifles innovation to serve our customers and clients.
We found a problem in the business/ sales world and decided to take action on developing the solution. The outcome was an app for your smart phone. Text Panther is an app that would allow you to send your virtual business card via text message or email, schedule text messages to be sent at a later date, set up text distribution list for easy sending, and send bulk messages that are delivered individually. There is also a referral exchange system on the app that will notify a contact when you share their information.
In the beginning, we looked around for a developer and ended up hiring an app developer from Indiana. The project manager and office was here, but the team of developers was located in the Ukraine. It seemed the most cost-effective way to get our app developed for the investment that we could make at the time.
Unfortunately working with someone overseas, which a lot of start ups end up doing because of the cost factor, was a disastrous decision.
Our app was developed as if it was going to be used in the Ukraine and not the United States. Even with the program manager back and forth with the developers in the Ukraine, it still didn’t turn out right.
I have found this on many other aspects of our business. For instance, trying to market the app, trying to get the website developed for the app, trying to get customers. We believe in outsourcing in the areas that we are not familiar with.
I found myself constantly reaching out on up work and going through the grueling process of reviewing their portfolios and trying to have a conversation with them over Skype. It doesn’t work out that well when you do not speak the same language on a regular basis.
It is a struggle for many other small businesses and start ups as well. People in the United States think that they need to be paid top dollar for their services. Being a start up business you cannot afford to do that, but you still need high quality work performed.
I wish there was a way to connect me and my business with other people here in the United States that need work done and want to do the work.
I eventually will need somebody for customer service and support tickets, but then again where am I to go with this?
Being a business owner requires you have to make a lot of very important decisions. Right now I do not have any sort of system that would allow me to build a team that I could actually trust.
Danielle Halliday and Jason Woodruff