One of the often unsung parts of being an entrepreneur is the fact that you can build products to help your fellow entrepreneurs. The focus, more often than not, is on the product you build, not how it impacts others. Being an entrepreneur is all about growing a product – and a lot of it has to do on outside factors. When living in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area of the country it can be extremely common to meet fellow entrepreneurs. It happens daily. You’ll meet one in line paying for groceries, on the bus, your neighbors, and people you may not have ever guessed. Building a product can help each one of those people. Creating an item, physical or otherwise, can have wide ripples for other entrepreneurs. It’s a cycle that some entrepreneurs overlook, but an important one nonetheless. It helps keep the field innovative and fresh.
Quy Vo founder of Bloomforth, built a platform which helps independent sellers reach the right audience. For any entrepreneur trying to find and connect with customers it can be an invaluable tool. “Bloomforth is a unified commerce platform. We provide a marketplace for independent sellers – mom and pop stores. We really want help connect them with people who support independent businesses. We also have a platform that provides things like point of sale, inventory management, employee timekeeping, etc. It’s all unified and connected so there’s really no need to have other platforms for services.”
Connecting small, independent businesses with consumers can greatly impact how these businesses operate. Vo realized this sort of platform was needed after working with small businesses. “It’s a long story but I used to be a stockbroker and some of my clients were small business owners. What I realized after the market crash in 2008 a lot of them are struggling to find funding. That’s the number one issue. The other issue was the lack of technology. Things like point of sales are extremely expensive. If you wanted to manage everything then you had to go through different channels.”
It doesn’t matter what you’re building as an entrepreneur – there will always be highs and lows. How you deal with obstacles reflects on how far you’ll go. Starting a business is taking a huge leap, “Anyone starting a business is taking a risk,” Vo says. “It’s a lot of hard work. There are going to be ups and downs…during the first year there will probably be a lot of downs. My advice is just to keep plowing through. Don’t get discouraged. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. If the first part doesn’t work then just keep trying and trying again.”
With a supportive team and determination your business has a much better chance of going the distance. Living in a hub of small business and entrepreneurism can definitely help you succeed. Quy comments on how beneficial living in the DMV can be. “In terms of the prospects here it is just great. You’re surrounded by a lot of the government sector. You’re not going to get the same kind of funding in other areas. This is a great area to start a business in.”