We’ve been working with Chris Hopewell of LogMyHours.com for many years now. His time-tracking service (designed for small business by small business) has become a staple of GBS.
We love collaborating with him! His small business has what’s so rare in the tech industry today: we’re encouraged by his ingenuity and ability to solve problems in personal ways.
Like many small businesses, he’s faced plenty of challenges, especially during the pandemic. We’ve broken down 3 big challenges you’ve probably run into, and how to navigate them:
1. Managing the Competition
Should we try to be bought out by a bigger corporation, or should we risk competing?
“The tech industry is hard,” Hopewell said. “You can create a really neat product, but unless you have a large company and/or financial backing, someone else (with those things) can come along and create the same thing.”
You’d get squeezed out of the market, even if your idea was first, or even better! Bigger companies have whole teams dedicated to making changes and developments that you don’t have the time or resources to make, innovating faster than ever.
“I've thought a lot about it, and seen some new startups struggle with it,” Hopewell said. Ultimately, Hopewell and GBS recommend creating or joining teams of other startups.
2. Standing Out
How can we effectively stand out in an oversaturated market? Should it be through our branding, our services?
For Hopewell, it’s about being unique. You need to “have the marketing and innovation in place when you hit the ground running” in order to stand out. We agree!
While you can’t diversify your offerings as much as you might like to, you have the ability to connect with customers more, screenshare and video chat, and add more value to your services and products that already exist.
3. Lean In To the Advantages of Small
While you might feel a bit disheartened, small businesses can meet specific needs and support communities and customers in ways that big businesses can’t. It’s important not to dismiss the significance of your business or your work, but identify your unique strengths instead, and play them up.
An advantage Hopewell found in his small biz is speed.
“I can move faster on customer requests,” he said, which sets his company apart from other big tracking software companies.
We love working with small businesses, and Hopewell especially, because of the genuineness. The personal connection available with small businesses is the best.
“He’s human, responds right away, is genuine and fixes our issues while helping us understand the problems, too. We couldn't run our business without that!” said Emily Gerber, CEO of Gerber Business Solutions.
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