Pop Quiz, Monday with Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Brian Matthews

Brian Matthews
Photo credit: Brian Matthews

What is your job role?
I’m the Founder and CEO of BizText

Tell us about your company?
We help businesses increase their customer relationships and boost their bottom line with a unique SMS-based service. Consumers would prefer to send a text when they need to talk to someone in business — for example, if they need customer service or want to schedule an appointment. However, most companies (particularly SMBs) lack the ability to accept texts.

As a result, consumers are forced to leave messages and play phone tag, which is inconvenient for both the consumer and the company.

BizText provides a business number which companies can use to send and receive texts from their phone, or from any device via an online portal. Customers can also receive voicemails and calls, and set automated text replies, such as “Out of Office” notifications. This helps businesses be more responsive, which leads to better customer relationships and more revenue.

What do you love most about your job?
I love being my own boss and setting my own hours. We are a remote team, so it’s great to work from home and wear what I want while I’m on my PC. I’ll admit, I’m in my pajamas a lot!

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
We are building something of great value, leaving something important behind and doing things in new and ingenious ways.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
With their creativity in solving problems and the ability to see things in unique and different ways. No matter how smart you are, cumulatively, the people around you will be more intelligent and know more. You need them to be genuinely successful.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Fun? What’s that? We try and go out for dinner and drinks now and then, where we mostly talk about work.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Every great effort requires a lot of work and commitment. Startup life is like moving a mountain. You better be motivated for a long fight, because you’re not going to get this done in a day or even a few months of hard work. It’s one shovel at a time, and you need to be ready for doing that over and over again for a long time.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Release things in stages, don’t wait for big releases and shoot for perfection. Getting your product out there is what gives you an opportunity to learn what’s important.

Most of the time, you’re not going to nail it regarding market fit the first time. It’s important to treat your releases a chance to learn and get feedback from customers or users, even if you don’t get it exactly right.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
No matter how good your idea, selling it is going to be the hardest part. Startups often fall in love with their features and how their product or service is going to improve the world and focus exclusively on building something great. When their friends, family and initial users praise their product, they feel their priorities are validated.

But even if your idea is every bit as good as you think it is, you still need to put your greatest effort into getting people to sign up or buy it. The central question for any startup should be: how are we going to get users? Don’t let yourself fall so deeply in love with your idea that you assume it will sell itself!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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