How does a brand new logistical data company get up and running in Microsoft BizSpark? Turns out you can use a little bit of searching on the web, and depend on your business savvy partner to get ahead. But it's not easy. Many people in parts of the developing world will want to stay focused on using Excel spreadsheets and calculators, when all they really need is a quick cloud-based data solution.
Our BizSpark member Carlos Eduardo, tells the story of starting Pratical One.
One year ago, my partner and I created Pratical One. Here’s why after some careful research and market positioning, we decided to go forward with the idea to automate the process that manages and exchanges data for cargo transport.
Last August, my business partner Rejane and I were feeling that it was the perfect time to start our plan.
Rejane’s a well-known professional in the logistics market and has worked for the biggest players for more than 15 years. I’ve been developing systems since I was a teenager.
After working on big companies, we thought that we knew how to make Pratical One happen.
Right? Yeah, not so much.
The first challenge was mine to handle as the more technical of the two. It was clear to us that we should use cloud computing. It’s cheap, easy to access and multi-platform. However, after all the years programming on ASP, what would that mean for the business?
How do I change a completely rock-solid business model into something that depends on the cloud? How do I develop? Do I use C# or VB.net?
For all those questions, friends and search engines. I can’t count how many times I’ve spent searching about ways to develop my system. And what to do when I had an error? Blogs, forums and all things possible were all I had to find the answers.
With the basic system ongoing, we went to market, trying our first customer. We have a system, we have expertise on IT and logistic, we have contacts. It should be a piece of cake, but there was a big BUT.
The market is kind of conservative. They are used to doing things on Excel and telephone, so why would they shift to a paid model in a convenient software solution? It’s not as easy of a sell as it looks. Many of them would ask, “Why change the process?”
So we realize that it will take time to show and prove people about the gains of moving to Pratical One. They can be more accessible, more reliable and efficient.
We are now harvesting the first crops. We knew that it wouldn't be easy, and will never be.
As an entrepreneur, the biggest thing that I've learned so far was that with the right information, a good partner like Microsoft, and the work of my business savvy partner, it’s possible to handle the unknown. As an IT guy, I had never thought about marketing, legal, account and other matters, but my will to win makes me move forward.
The only way to be successful is to be able to everything at first. It teaches you about the business and it helps you understand your customers.
Actually I think our ability to be adaptable will define the future. We are creating a big company.