’’From struggle to success’’ Focus is everything
There are many factors, which influence over how successful is or will become your startup. In the article ’’From struggle to success’’ Adapt or become irrelevant”, we agreed on how important is to be flexible and to adapt. In this article Martin Andersen will share why a company must stay focused.
He is a co-founder of the Danish company called Kommunikationsportalen (‘Kommunikationsportalen’ means ‘Communication Portal’).
1. What is your idea/business about? How the idea was born?
The idea is to bring students of higher education closer to the business life, in order to increase the level of practical experience of the students. The ‘Kommunikationsportalen’ is specialized within the fields of communication and marketing, thus been much focused on a particular area. Students are connected with companies through regular student jobs or internships as well as freelance assignments or projects, these last mentioned being more flexible.
The initiative of bringing students of higher education closer to companies was born back in 2014, where the founders wondered why this experience paradox had to be a real thing. The experience paradox is that the experience a student is required to have in order to get a particular job is experience he/she will get by getting that particular job. The first step toward solving this was the ‘KARRIERESTARTER initiative’ where to ‘Kommunikationsportalen’ is the first seed planted from that initiative-tree.
2. Tell me about yourself and your team?
Our team consists of four people. We have Benjamin who is in charge of all the design and marketing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Mail etc.), whereas Andreas, besides having the IT as the primary responsible, he is in charge of the technical marketing (SEO and AdWords). Emil is, together with me, in charge of the sales and operations, where I am furthermore in charge of the financial aspect. We are involved in the business development.
3. What are the main struggles that you have experienced?
The ‘Kommunikationsportalen’ is a product of the ‘KARRIERESTARTER initiative’ (‘KARRIERESTARTER’ means ‘Career Starter’). The main idea with the ‘KARRIERESTARTER initiative’ was to introduce a new project concept, which combined elements of a student job with elements of an internship.
But we experienced the struggle of propagating this concept. No matter whom we pitched the project concept to; every single company would resort to understand the concept of constantly referring the project as an internship, while when they created a project advert on our platform, they would write they were looking for an intern, which was not the point of the project concept. The point of the project concept was that, as with a student job, it should be possible to complete it beside studies and at any time of the year, and not 37 hours a week as with an internship.
Another main struggle closely related to the struggle of propagating was that when introducing the project concept through the ‘KARRIERESTARTER initiative’, we sought to include all kind of students toward all kinds of businesses, thus a lack of lean focus.
4. How did you solve your problems?
This propagating struggle was so challenging that we revised our strategy, and added student jobs and internships to the portfolio as primary options. ‘Kommunikationportalen’ is the solution to the struggle. Because when all comes to our core value proposition is to help students achieving practical experience, why the goal justifies the means. We have still kept the
project concept as a freelance / project category, but we will not spend means on communicating this category.
The struggle with the lean focus was solved, together with the struggle above, by launching a more focused platform. The platform is very focused upon specific students and assignments,
and now the propagating is of more ease, as the concepts of student jobs and internship are generally known among companies.
5. If you had a chance what would you do in differently?
One could wish one had the learning experience beforehand, so that we already back then had the business concept composition that we have today.
But again the learning curve achieved has really developed us personally and professionally, individually and as a team.
6. What was the best advice you got and what was the worst?
The best advice we ever got was: Focus. Focus is everything.
I do not remember any bad advice; probably because we did not take it.
7. What will be your advice to the other entrepreneurs?
I would like to pass on the advice of focus. Learn to focus. Start with a small dot; focusing on something very specialized. For example, with our project concept and combined with trying to
connect all kind of companies with all kind of students, we could risk to have 10 projects within economics, whilst having 100 communications students. This gives a clear miss-match.
Now that we have adapted a more focused strategy when we have 10 student jobs, internships or projects, these will be within communication and marketing, and when having 100 students these will be communication and marketing students.
If you want to learn more about the company, you are more than welcome to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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July 22, 2016