We had an interview with Hamed Farhadian from ChimbaWeb – an Entrepreneurial Web Development & Consulting Company.
Find out how he got started, what mistakes to prevent, his top 5 tools and much more..
ChimbaWeb – What and How It Started
It all started in 2008. I had a long road of entrepreneurial experiences; I tried a lot of different stuff on the web. ChimbaWeb got created when I had the urge to put different freelancers from different places into one company that could help me with my business processes. It’s a group of talented freelancers that I have hired throughout the years that provides web services such as web development, content creation, marketing and customer support.
In short: ChimbaWeb is a web development agency with a clear focus on entrepreneurial startups. Our customers are entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to work with real pros who want to shape the future of the Web. We are there with experience and insights to deal with problems, mostly related with WordPress developmentWhat separates us from the rest is the fact that we have own projects with millions of users each month.
Find People That Truly Care
In the beginning, one of the most important aspects was that I could hire people easily, find the right talent and just get the job done. And then I realized that I have to find people who truly care about our organization, our customers, our users and about the energy within the company itself.
I hire most of my staff from oDesk and I’ve hired probably more than 250 people throughout the last 5 years. But as of now, there is only about 13 people who are hired full time and at the same time managed full time via oDesk. oDesk makes it easy for me to manage my team, review their work diary and get their work paid I’m a big oDesk fan and I highly suggest it for people who are starting out and in need of virtual assistance or a developer. oDesk helped this organizations to grow and scale quickly to 5000 employees with the tools that oDesk provides.
To make sure that employees are engaged, I think its very important for entrepreneurs to explain to the team their own situation, the vision that they have and the mission that is driving them. That is only way that people will truly understand your background and what you expect from them. The more you make your staff understand your culture and where you’re coming from, the better that they can adopt to it and the more value they can bring to the team.
Good Employees Equal To Success
It’s extremely important to have good staff. I remember the first 2 years when I was very inexperienced in managing a team. I was having 15 employees and because we had some sites that were doing good revenue, I did not really paid a lot of attention. Now, when I go over what they have been doing then and what we are doing now, I can say that those weren’t good times as a company. The reason was that people were not connected, the staffs were not having a mission and it was just getting the job done.
If you have onetime projects then you don’t have to worry about good employees, just hire the people to get the job done. But if you want to build up a great company that will last for years, then it’s essential to have people in the team that truly care about goals, processes within the company, and about their own and others team members’ performance. The more you build up this kind of culture where everyone tries to help the other and make sure that everyone else is happy, the more it will become a great company. Even if revenue wise we haven’t reached our goals yet, I’m pretty sure that performance wise, in terms of culture, were definitely on the right track. Right now ChimbaWeb is all about providing a lifelong opportunity for people who want to shape their future on the web.
3 Pieces of Advice
I have a lot of ideas in mind, but these are the top 3 advice I would give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
The first thing I would say to “the Hamed 5 years ago” is don’t be scared of failure. That is something I see in a lot of people. People talk about plans for months or years, they go to networking events, startup weekends and all that stuff yet they never get started. And I think the main reason is not because they don’t have the right mind set, the right tools or the right people it is because they are very scared saying “Yes, I’ll do it” and it will not work out and they will get the blame. It’s okay to fail. The more you fail, the better you become and the better you will be able to know what’s working and what is not. That’s very valuable if you want a sustainable business.
Second thing is “Just start”. Of course, you need to prepare. Invest a lot of time and energy into outlining where you are today and where you want to be and from there set up a great plan. Most people stop at that point. They would say that they have a business plan but don’t get to the execution and implementation of that plan. Everyday -even if it’s difficult- ask your self what is the next smallest thing you could do that can bring you closer to your goal or to the place where you want to be. And then just do it,don’t think about it. You have your plan, you have prepared your self, get in the mindset of just starting. You may not see good results but at least you are doing the first step. And as you do it step by step you will discover mistakes and will have the chance to change your plan along the way because things are actually different from the way it should be. You will be able to easily adopt to it, you will learn more, make more progress along the way and you will see the success that you want to reach.
Third is focus on one task at a time. A lot of entrepreneurs, myself included, we want to do everything and implement every feature that comes to our mind. It good but in the long run, it would be a wrong path to take. Focus on your key features and allow yourself to spend one full day on one task that you want accomplished and make sure that you finish it. Don’t do a little bit of everything because that won’t bring any good results. You will feel busy but you’re not actually doing the right thing. Focus on a certain task at a time and learn to say no to applicants, business partners, ideas, opportunities for the sole reason of focusing on what you have identified as being the right thing to do as of this moment.
Top 3 Skills of a Successful Entrepreneur
No 1. Skill – Be a Go-Getter
Don’t worry too much on things that are not important. Make the first step and go and get what is needed. This can be anything, whether finding the right developer to develop a project or thinking about financing and collecting money from other people. Whatever it is, as an entrepreneur you are willing to face the first step and have a go-getter attitude. You should not scared of the challenges that are ahead of you.
No. 2 Skill – Have The Mindset of Constant Learning
Learn constantly about anything. It could be technical like developer-related, sales and psychology, or team management. You need to become a better and more experienced and educated entrepreneur and you can do it through reading blogs, talking to different people of all sort of niches and having a broad overview of what’s going on in your industry and maybe with the industry that you don’t belong to.
The more you understand that learning never ends, the better your own skills will become.
People actually appreciates constant learning. Your team will actually notice that you have skills and they can benefit from it.
The biggest motivation for people who work for an entrepreneur is not usually the money but the fact that they can learn something from that person.
The more you educate your self and the more you can bring value to the table for your team, the better it is.
No. 3 Skill – Be Relentless
No matter what, entrepreneurs will experience failure. You need to have attitude that says “I failed once and I’m willing to fail again, I’m going to stand up no matter what in order to reach my goal”.
Improve your personal mindset of getting the success that you want and that the one that you have in your dreams. You have to be relentless.
The Top 5 Applications
App #1. Asana
This is very goo for project management. It has a great two-eye and helps to micromanage to a certain degree your team and give you an overview of what you need to focus
App #2. Voxer
Voxer helps me communicate easily with my team. It’s a really helpful way to get feedback to your team and at the same time know what’s going on and hear the reports, especially if I’m travelling. It’s great for assigning tasks because one feature of the app is that you can replay the message as many times as you want.
App #3. Evernote
Whenever I have an idea or I need to get something documented and I could not afford to lose it, I just put it in Evernote. During flights or whenever I don’t have Internet, I sit down and I restructure it. Evernote helps me make sure that I don’t lose any idea or thought that I have.
App # 4. Twitter
Today I’m starting to use Twitter in a more professional way. I like the idea of connecting easily with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners without letting them know about my personal life. Twitter is a great way to reach out and connect with other people.
App #5. oDesk
For me, oDesk is the most interesting tool. Being able to get applicants within 2 to 3 hours of more than 60 people from all over the world is a real game changer. Once you harness the power of outsourcing, tools are very important and the most important tool are people whom you work with.
How can we help you?
By combining the experiences, failures, wisdom and successes of more than 15 years of being on the online space, ChimbaWeb can help you in many ways. We have a lot of experience on scaling WordPress projects from 0 to 20000 unique visitors per day. We know a lot about custom post types, Google Maps, API, customization of existing theme and plugins. We also have rapid development cycle in our team, where we take an idea and put a complete project online in less than 3 days. For those who are just starting out right now needs to have a reliable partner at the site and who truly cares about the project. ChimbaWeb is the right team and the right force for them to work on any type of WordPress project within the budget, on time and with highly documented code paste.
Successful Form of Marketing
1st Form of Marketing – B2C Marketing
SEO is my number one marketing tool. Google as the search engine is driving the most valuable leads to your company. if you truly understand content marketing, link building and writing your quality post on your blog, you can reach a great audience with relatively low amount of dollars spent.
2nd Form of Marketing – Reach Out To People In Your Network
As an entrepreneur you have to call people, go to events or even in a taxicab you could tell the taxi driver about your project. Getting in touch with people and talking to them is the highest form of engagement that you can have with other people. Look at them in their eyes while talking to them. Doing this is sometimes worth more than a thousand unique visitors per day if you just have that one right contact.
Find one or two company or people who have the audience or connection customers that you want and you get in touch with them and explain why their customers would benefit from your services . set up a joint venture with that other person or that company and provide those kind of services to their customers. their customers are happy , they make some money and you get more business going on. finding leads or company to work with and building up an affiliate relationship, make a strategic partnership that is highly valuable. we have done this over and over again and sometimes its worth it to focus on this 2 big customer sources than finding the customers your self.
I hope you learned a lot in this article. For questions, you can go to www.ChimbaWeb.com or you can post your comments below.