Founder Tips. Oleg Gribanov, founder of

    The “Founder's Tips” is back in service and we recall that with the help of this regular column here at Megamind we bring to all readers the subjective experience of the founders and co-founders of Internet projects and growing companies.

    Today, under the light of spotlights - Oleg Gribanov. Since 2000, Oleg worked as a manager of various digital projects, which, according to him, was implemented by a good hundred. In 2011, he founded his own agency, FIRSTEP, which for three years in a row was among the top 100 Russian agencies according to the Tagline version. In May 2014, Oleg decided to do something new - that is how the Darenta service was born , which allows individuals to lease their personal cars for any term.

    Today, Darenta has more than 350 cars not only in Russia, but also in Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, Spain, Crete, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates and so on. We pass the word to the founder.

    Look for an unoccupied niche

    Many start-up businessmen start their business without calculating the demand and do not find out the number of competitors. Before you spend your own money on organizing your business, you can assess the potential of the idea in numbers, that is, rely not on intuition, but on the number of potential customers, as well as on the lack of competitors or their weakness. To assess the demand for your future service or product, you can use the Yandex Wordstat or a similar Google tool. Enter in Wordstat those inquiries which your future clients will enter. If you see a significant number of requests that will generate large profits in the future, then you can proceed to the next step. But if you see small figures in Wordstat that indicate a weak public interest, then it is better to look for another idea for your future business.

    In the case when there is good demand, which you measured in numbers, you can proceed to the second step of analyzing the niche - just go to the main page of the search engine and enter the same queries there that you entered in Wordstat a little earlier. If there are no significant competitors on the first three pages of search results, start rejoicing - you have found an unoccupied niche! If there are competitors, but they have poor sites that do not inspire confidence and do not motivate to purchase or order a service, then you can get involved in the competition and win.

    Who to take to your team

    Remember all the cool specialists you have ever worked with, invite them to your project on part-time, that is, part-time. Usually, great professionals rarely agree to go full time to a startup without an RFP, etc. ... You can also make a post in your accounts on social networks. Firstly, you will get good advice from friends about your project. And secondly, you can get strong specialists, which was your main goal at the time of publication on the blog.

    When searching through social networks, you can come across a proposal from the very best professionals in the industry, having received a recommendation from other people. That is, not the applicants themselves will turn to you, but any outside people who recommend you the necessary specialists. It is advisable to pay for such recommendations: if the recommended one worked for you for 3 months, that is, the entire trial period, then the recommended one needs to pay some amount in gratitude. In this case, your friends will always strive to recommend some good employee. With this strategy, everyone wins. And at the end of my advice about team building, I dare to recommend another action - take a look at the team of competitors. Try to get someone out of there. Give that specialist some value that he could not get, but would like, for example,

    One way to work with a team

    This method has different facets that need to be considered:
    • Transfer of shares in your LLC;
    • Conclusion of an agreement;
    • Immersion in the project;
    • Proactivity;

    What each of the points means, I will tell you briefly. In order to motivate new team members that you will always need in your business, give them some part in your LLC and profit, that is, you will need to share both part of the company and part of the money. In this case, your partners will be motivated to nurture the company and generate profit. Understanding that everything depends only on them, people can work more and more efficiently than if they worked for a salary.

    Let me tell you why you need a contract and what you need to register there: your future or current partners can go out of business during some quarrel and create a competing company, but if you had written that it is impossible to use an idea, trade secret and specialists out of your company, then you can protect yourself. Also, the contract must specify the duties and rights, so that in the future partners, colleagues and subordinates do not have grievances or any far-fetched fantasies. When you have a signed contract on hand, you can train new project participants, immerse them in the project, explaining the strategic goal and tactical role of the specialist in the business project. In this case, everyone will have a single vision.

    How to manage your project

    If you want to control your project and understand how where and for how much money you are moving, then you need to have 4 documents that you always need to keep up to date:
    • Prototypes;
    • TK;
    • Timing;
    • Estimate;

    You can make prototypes of your website and / or mobile application thanks to these services and

    You need to write the technical task yourself, since no one knows your idea better than you. You can ask each of the team members to describe in more detail those parts of the TOR that relate to their work. When the document is ready, you can proceed to scheduling. Make a Gantt chart that will clearly show anyone when you plan to start design development, when layouts will be approved, when you can start layout and programming, and also write down deadlines for tasks related to the advancement of your project.

    And the final document that needs to be done is the cost estimate. Thanks to this file, you can control your budget and be sure that you do not go beyond the amount you have.

    Why you don’t need to do the work yourself

    In conclusion, let me tell you about time management in startups and delegation of duties. If you have timing, then you can divide it into three types of tasks:
    1. Long-term strategic;
    2. Medium term;
    3. Short-term tactical;

    A long-term goal may be, for example, "make a million." You can mark such tasks in green. Medium-term objectives can be one month long. For example, this could be a website development. This type of task is preferably marked in yellow. Short-term tasks indicate what exactly and how will be implemented. For example, the design of the main screen of a mobile application or the layout of the internal page of a site. These tasks need to be marked in red. All tasks should have a responsible person, and also a deadline should be set in front of the task. All red tasks, except for approval and approval by you as a team leader, must be done by the rest of the team.

    If you try to do the tasks yourself, then over time you will become mired in a routine. Delegate all possible tasks to your subordinates, then you will have time for strategy. I can tell you more about all the above things on Facebook if you add me as a friend and ask your questions there on a specific project. You need to understand that now I have written universal tips, and in your business you need immersion and some unique recommendations.

    From the Editor: if you have a desire to participate in the Founder's Tips rubric, write to us at editor (at)

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