CouriersFinder: “We Are Trying To Always Be A Few Steps Ahead.”

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Sometimes it's not easy for a startup to convice its customers, partners, even the team that an idea is worth pursuing. Here's how Hristo Bonev, co-founder of CouriersFinder, did it!

Describe CouriersFinder in 50 words or less.

CouriersFinder is a website for comparison and ordering for courier and shipping services, whose aim is to optimize the trade representation of courier and shipping services. It is a convenient platform allowing customers and carriers to have an easy connection for calculation, selection and orders.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

To pressurizing someone else’s dreams rather than your own is like to live someone else’s live, rather than your own. To work for yourself and pursue your own dreams gives you the freedom to live your life the way you want, to spend your time for yourself and to make the things whenever you want and the way you want. Whether you succeed or not, you should, at least, try otherwise one day, when you look back, probably your biggest regret will be not trying.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

There isn’t a typical working day in our office. One day we are dealing with some annoying technical problem, the next day we are celebrating a new important contract. This is one of the thrills of a working in a startup – you never know what’s waiting around the corner. We are trying to keep the working day from 9-5 without overtime because we want anyone in the team to have work-life balance. We appreciate the long lunch breaks when we have enough time to enjoy the lunch with a bottle of beer or glass of wine.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

The digital technologies and the Internet have already changed the world and our startup – just use them to make a part of everyday life easier. CouriersFinder will make the connection between the carriers and their customers much faster and easier, and we believe it will make the courier and shipping services cheaper. We hope the impact of our service to be felt by both by occasional users and the companies, and to extend to the e-commerce, the cargo shipments, and the logistics.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We use the usual performance measurements – the value of the acquisition of new customers, the number of returning customers, profitability of existing customers, conversation, and insights from the social media. If we observe some decline, we analyze the causes and we do everything necessary to get back on track.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the services like you imagined it in the beginning?

Unfortunately, not all of them. Many people make phone calls, instead of making their orders entirely online. However, we’ve worked hard to get them to change their habits and now they have changed. After the first phone call, they see that everything is okay with their order, so most of them start ordering online.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We were bootstrapped at first until we launched our web service, and then we were financed by an angel investor. Now we are looking for venture capital, another angel investor or a strategic partnership, in order to acquire new talents, develop new services and as soon as possible to expand to larger markets.

What were the biggest challenges you faced building your startup?

The first and biggest challenge was to convince our partners and our customers that there is a need of our services and that they can save time and money with our service. Then we had to convince the employees and quality professionals to leave secure jobs and to work for our startup. And finally – now we have to convince the investors that we have created a very useful and service that is desired by customers – but we have a great team with whom we can achieve this success.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We are trying to always be a few steps ahead of our potential competitors. This means we must be more competitive, innovative and user-friendly than others. We do everything possible for our service to be most closely to what our existing and future customers are looking for and at the same time, being convenient and profitable for our partners. While we are still managing to achieve that we are sure that we aren’t going to get lost in the shuffle.

What do you look for in team members?

We are looking for people with unconventional thinking and problem solving. People who not be embarrassed to give creative solutions and new ideas. People who just want to get lost in the crowd and not to worry about their job and their future are not suitable for a startup company, especially in a small market as Bulgaria.

Why would a talent join your team?

Because we treat our team more like friends with whom we started a journey, rather than with employees who work for us. We trying to help them in every way we can and don’t judge them for their mistakes as long as they learn from them. We are helping the talents in our company to implement their own ideas and to see fast results from their efforts.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Our most memorable moment so far was the signing of the first contract with a partner company. Back then in Bulgaria and almost elsewhere in Europe there were no websites like ours, and the courier companies were not impressed at all. They thought that the idea their services to be offered alongside with those of their competitors, side by side, is very bad. After two months of writing emails and making phone calls, we finally found two companies with progressive and modern thinking with which we agreed and when we finally got our first contract signed we couldn’t believe and we spent the whole day celebrating. When the website was launched with those two companies, others saw that the idea wasn’t actually bad at all, and they started to come to us.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Whatever they do, thy must think about the investors as well as the customers. They must do everything possible to attract capital as early as they can, in order to have the freedom to work calmly and with a great team. Without enough financing, even the greatest idea wouldn’t stand a chance in such a competitive global market as this one we have in the 21st century. Furthermore, in addition to money, the investors could help with knowledge and contacts.

StartUs Presents: CouriersFinder


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