We recently interviewed Josh Melick on his time as CEO of Broadly, where he talked about the challenges facing startup founders.
Josh is an engineer, project manager, and seller who has worked at Broadly.com, a mobile CRM and messaging system. From zero to over 10,000 paying SMBs using his Co-Founder and CEO position at Broadly.com, Josh grew the company from nothing to nearly $30 million in venture capital investment.
After his time with the company as CEO Josh now owns and runs a consultancy that is helping other founders and co-founders get better at what they do.
Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge facing startups? And how did your startup meet that challenge?
A: The main problem we faced was customer acquisition cost. Every day, we had to find new companies to introduce our product or service to and convince them that we could make a valuable change to their business. So everything we did, from the wording of our pitch to where we decided to hold our events, was designed to focus on customer acquisition cost management.
Q: How important is it for founders and co-founders to work as a team throughout the challenges that they face? And how do you ensure that you are on the same page concerning your qualifications?
A: A company is usually founded by a group of people who have different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Some founders make it very easy for everyone to get on the same page by setting the example themselves. However, if someone has an area of knowledge, they might get frustrated when asked to do something out of their area. To avoid this, it helps to have one founder who can take control of any situation and get people back on track.
We had a very clear idea of how we wanted the company to be run from top to bottom, but sometimes people didn’t understand why things were done in a certain way. We didn’t have the bandwidth to get anyone up to speed on our business model, so we had an initial plan of attack for how people should work together before we began hiring.
Q: How do you ensure that everyone is working toward a common goal?
A: Our mission for Broadly was very clear and concise. We wanted to help small businesses easily connect with their customers. As long as everyone was working toward this goal, we all knew what we were working on and how it would impact the company’s greater good.
Q: What’s your motivation for meeting challenges? Why do you get up every day to work on your business idea?
A: Some days, we had to get up at 5 AM, while other days, we might not leave the office until midnight. We worked every day on our business because it was something that excited us. There is no clear end goal when dealing with a startup; new problems appear regularly, so it is really exciting to figure out how to solve these problems and use that knowledge to grow the company.