Small Business Month Cyber Forums: Tyler Arnold (KTVA.com Exclusive)
On Thursday, Tyler Arnold of Simply Social Inc. was the guest for the second KTVA.com Small Business Month Facebook forum.
KTVA: We'll start at square one (and feel free to chime in with questions of your own). Tyler, tell us about your business: What's the underlying concept, and where did you find your inspiration?
Tyler Arnold: Hello all! Glad to be here. We founded SimplySocial Inc. in October of 2011 with an international team: Jerome Erne from the Netherlands is our COO, and Valentin Bora from Romania is our CTO. The three of us had previously all run successful consultancy businesses, and were tired how time and time again we saw individuals struggling with social media. We wanted to make it easier to use! After eight months of development, we launched to the public on May 1. Since then, we’ve offered 25 exclusive licenses of our software to key clients locally and even internationally. The tools and services we offer make it easier for businesses to be more active on social media. We assist in crating content, responding to their audience and so much more.
KTVA: Let's talk money: You already had experience running a business before SimplySocial, but what financial challenges (if any) did you face founding your most recent venture, and what pieces needed to be in place to get you where you are now?
TA: Previously, I was exposed to a local group of mentors through an individual I reached out to named Allan Johnston. From there, I started growing mentoring relationships with "been there done thats" which led to a small fundraising round with my first business. Naturally, when it came time to start SimplySocial, I approached that same group for an angel funding round in October of 2011. They were interested, and from there we were off to the races! I think entrepreneurs in general can do a better job of asking questions. There's a line I really enjoy which says, "If you ask for money, you'll get advice. If you ask for advice, you'll get money." If you're seeking investment, look for alignment with investors long before you start looking for cash.
April Merchant: Do you work with non-profits?
KTVA: Good advice! That brings us to our next question: What's your number one tip for young entrepreneurs, especially those pursuing a small business goal right out of high school?
TA: April - Thanks for the question. Currently we're working with a few key clients as we continue to make our offerings more robust. We do plan to support non-profits as we continue to roll out our product over the next 3-6 months! My number one tip for young entrepreneurs now would be: find mentors and start listening. It's never too early to start learning about business, and it's never too early to start doing. No matter how small an idea, lessons learned can be substantial and help you later in your career. Remember that most big companies started with an idea in a back room!