Tell us about yourself, please.
My name is Charles Kehinde Dairo. I have over a decade of experience comprising tech entrepreneurship, design and product management. I have always had an interest in computers. When I was young, my dad bought a computer for my siblings and I, and that sparked my interest in the field. When it was time to choose a course of study in university, I naturally chose Computer Science.
This is awesome; I love the fact that you have an inkling of technology even before you got into the higher institution. So, fast-forward to today, what exactly are you working on now?
Sure. For the past eleven years, I have been running a web development agency called CKDigital. I started this business immediately after I finished school, designing websites for friends, family members and anyone who was interested. More recently, I’ve been focusing on building products.
I am currently working with my co-founders to develop a software called Beezop. It is an interactive training manual that helps businesses document their processes and easily share them with their teams. This helps them to systemize their business, train faster, and run their business more efficiently.
With Beezop, business owners and managers don’t have to repeat themselves so much; it generally helps them to run their businesses better. That’s what I’m focused on right now.
That sounds very interesting. Can you tell us more about who Beezop is meant for and what exactly it does?
Beezop is B2B software primarily for businesses, organizations or teams. The idea behind Beezop is that when you’re running a business or managing a team, there are certain tasks and processes that you repeat as a routine.
The software helps document these processes and make them easy to digest so that when you need to train someone new, they can easily follow the steps and understand how to do the task.
This makes it easy for teams to delegate responsibilities, and for companies to upskill their employees.
That’s quite interesting. There must have been a reason for Beezop. What exactly is the back story?
While I was running my web development agency, I was looking for a way to systemize the business and make sure that as I added more people to my team, it wasn’t increasing my workload. I was struggling with how to document processes and make sure that my team was following them.
A business consultant friend of mine, Marieanne, had been solving this problem for her clients. She came up with the idea to build software that solved the problem at scale. We decided to work on it together, and that’s how Beezop started.
Alright, one would have thought you had it all rosy because you started from CK Digital, you moved to this. So, have you had any failed business before?
Yes, I’ve had a couple of ventures that didn’t work out as planned. A few years ago, I joined a team that was working on a platform for educational funding, similar to GoFundMe. However, the business model wasn’t solid and it didn’t work out.
I also attempted to start a chain of private barbershops called Haircot. The first outlet wasn’t profitable enough, so I decided to shut it down.
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Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced building Beezop or throughout your entrepreneurial journey and how you navigated those challenges?
There were a number of challenges I faced. One of the biggest was validating that I was solving a real problem. I’ve had ideas in the past where I was excited about the solution, but didn’t realize that there weren’t enough people who had that problem to make it a viable business.
Another challenge was funding. I haven’t raised money for any of my ventures and sometimes that lack of resources made it difficult to move forward with certain ideas.
Additionally, I’ve learned to look at things objectively and make the difficult decision to shut down ventures that aren’t working, rather than trying to push through.
Great. Tell us your thoughts on whether an entrepreneur should bootstrap or seek funding immediately.
It depends on the specific circumstances of the business. If the entrepreneur is able to build the business on their own or with a co-founder, then bootstrapping may be a viable option. However, if the business requires a significant amount of resources to get off the ground, then seeking funding may be necessary.
It’s also important to consider the potential for generating revenue and the overall goals of the business.
While bootstrapping can be difficult, it can also lead to a more sustainable business in the long run.
Thank you very much Charles. How has the progress of your current product been?
The progress has been positive. We are focused on solving a specific problem and are committed to doing so. We are pleased with the number of people who have subscribed to our product and the businesses that are currently using it. However, it’s been a long process, as we had to take some time to do additional engineering work before we reached our current state. We are focused on continuing to improve the product and getting more people to know about it.
Awesome, in 5 years where do you hope to be?
Our goal is to continue building a business that we are proud of and that is helping people run their businesses more smoothly.
We aim to have a sense of accomplishment in solving the problems we set out to solve and to expand our reach beyond Nigeria to other parts of the world.
Additionally, we hope to see increased revenue for the company.
Excellent. So, what are the learning resources that are keeping you motivated? Where do you learn from? What are some of the podcasts you listen to and the books that you read? Can you share some of them with us?
Some of my favourite podcasts include Startups for the Rest of Us, The Rework Podcast, Lenny’s Podcast, and The Entreleadership Podcast. In terms of books, I recently read How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen, The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, and Obviously Awesome by April Dunford.
What is the advice you have for upcoming entrepreneurs that are already doing this tech business and trying to weather their way to success?
My advice to upcoming entrepreneurs in tech is to understand that building a successful business takes a lot of effort, consistency, and perseverance. Don’t expect it to be easy, but also don’t think it’s always going to be hard.
Different businesses face different levels of challenges, and sometimes problems can become opportunities for growth and learning.
No matter where you are in the world, building a company is tough. You can have a lot of money and still fail, or you can have no money and still succeed.
What’s important is to remember that anything worth doing is usually hard, and to be prepared for the challenges that come with entrepreneurship.