Pop Quiz, Monday with Rory Crawford

Rory Crawford

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?
Rory Crawford

What is your job role?
I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of BevSpot. I run day-to-day operations and am involved in all aspects of the business.

Tell us about your company?
BevSpot builds easy-to-use online technology solutions for the global food and beverage industry. Through BevSpot’s food and beverage management software, customers can take control of their entire operation–from the bar to kitchen–on any device, all saved to the cloud.

What do you love most about your job?
Every day is more challenging than the last, and the job never gets old because it is constantly changing. Going from idea to product to business is an incredibly challenging journey, and it always keeps me fully engaged.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The sheer size of the opportunity in front of us to empower millions of people every day with beautiful and easy to use mobile software in one of the largest industries in the world. In addition, the challenge incumbent in helping one of the most antiquated industries in the world adopt and benefit from mobile software is extremely motivating. It is not easy and every day is a challenge, and that is very motivating.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with many amazing people. Early on it was my Co-Founders’ ability to roll with the punches and stay positive through the inevitable ups and downs of a very early stage company. Now I’m more inspired by my co-workers’ hard work and extreme focus on succeeding as a company. These co-workers inspire me every day to be better, and that is incredibly important in helping maintain high energy and effort year after year.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We’ve got a great team of fun people. Most important is finding opportunities to make jokes and have fun and make sure we aren’t taking things too seriously. There is a lot of pressure and intensity working at a startup so finding opportunities to lighten the mood is always important. We do so in meetings, on calls, or at all-hands events. We also make sure we are scheduling enough social time for the team to spend together to get to know each other and develop a comfort level where employees can be themselves in the office and develop strong relationships with each other.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Learning on the fly. Especially as a first-time Co-Founder and CEO the truth is this is my first rodeo. Everything I am learning I am learning on the fly. And while I try to surround myself with great mentors and experienced CEOs that can help me develop I find that most of the lessons have to come the hard way on the job. This can be very difficult to deal with because I can’t help but feel like I am letting the team down as I make mistakes, and this is certainly one of the largest challenges of the job.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I think one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from many projects is that it is a marathon and not a sprint and that things almost always take more time than you think (whether it be a sales initiative, marketing initiative, product initiative, etc.). This means it’s important to set your expectations appropriately so that you aren’t demoralizing yourself or the team when it does take longer, and it’s also important to incorporate into your budgeting and plans to ensure you are providing enough time for things to develop. I have learned this the hard way a number of times, unfortunately.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
Make sure that whatever product or service you are delivering to your customers in this industry is as simple and easy to use as possible. The F&B industry is an incredibly challenging industry, especially at the restaurant level, which means that anything you are trying to deliver must be very easy to use, simple to implement, and highly valuable. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to bring your product and service to market.

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:
twitter: @bevspot
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/bevspot/
facebook: www.facebook.com/BevSpot/

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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