Why We Started SMEGurus….
“Sometimes you have to look beneath the surface, and sometimes things are as obvious as the nose on your face”.
In life, somethings are as “plain as the nose on your face”, others, are a little more hidden beneath the surface. Here is our story of how we got to where we are.
For the last decade, Rodolfo and I worked with entrepreneurs, developing business, marketing and feasibility plans. We, like many of you, tirelessly coached, advised and helped clients develop their business concept, get funding and launch their business ideas. Some entrepreneurs were easy to work with. They followed every recommendation and were a joy to coach. Others, literally made my life a living hell, if you pardon the expression, challenged me at every point, and disregarded every piece of advice I gave them.
One thing that was common to working with entrepreneurs, was the accountability factor. It is difficult as an entrepreneur to be accountable. There are so many things they do in the course of a day, that keeping on top of everything is difficult.
There were also no good tools for Business Advisers. Sure there was coaching software, business planning tools, marketing tools, business model canvasses, and CRM’s, but no centralized means that I could use to manage my clients, check their progress and give them access to the best world class tools. I found I was sending them all over the Internet, just to get them from idea to business plan.
No one out there, was focused on the needs of business advisers. No one was giving us the tools we needed to become better advisers, to keep our clients accountable, and build a community for them. At a government level, we keep talking about wanting more entrepreneurs, but we don’t have accessible, affordable tools, that help us to develop more. Our existing programs stop at business launch. We don’t offer support during the most crucial periods, then we wonder why businesses fail.We don’t give the people who work with entrepreneurs the tools to do their job better. There is software for teachers. Software for doctors. There is even coaching software. But being a good business advisory is more than being a coach. It is about being part technician, part cheerleader, and part teacher. Some us also have to be artists. We are mentors, coaches and collaborators, but no where did the tools exist to reflect this.The need for us, with regard to developing software, was as obvious as the nose on your face, as they say. We needed a way to manage entrepreneurs, other advisers within our network, and to provide our clients with the best and latest in tools, to take them from idea all the way to business succession when they finish their entrepreneurship career. Our software needed to follow the life course of an Entrepreneur.For the last 4 years, we have gone from business plan writer, to goal tracker to our final version of SMEGurus, due out in the next few weeks.
We almost didn’t make it this time. During our journey, we tragically lost one of our key team members to a long-term fight with mental illness and addiction issues. In May of 2016, Chad past away. Rodolfo and I were out of the country at the time, and were shaken to the core. We decided to shut everything down. We had conversations with our other team members. Everyone was tired, emotionally drained. Chad had been such an integral part of the team that had functioned so well together. We were ready to give up.At that moment, some of our advisers, encouraged us to keep going. It was in our hardship that we realized the immense need an entrepreneur has for support. So often, you fight it out alone, with no one around. We knew we had to provide our entrepreneurs with a better system and give tools to our advisers that would let them identify when and where an entrepreneur was having trouble. Both in Chad’s memory, and in our desire to finish the product to help other Entrepreneurs, this version of SMEGurus was born. It took longer than expected, but it will be here soon. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you are not the first to the finish line, what matters is that you tried and did what you could.
So what you will see in January of 2017, is the result of our journey that began four years ago with our first product. The product has changed over time, as have we. This platform now, does more than our first tool could ever imagine. We want to thank you for joining us on our journey and we hope that with your feedback and interaction over the coming weeks and months, you will come to love this product as much as we do.
Carmen Reis, Co-Founder, SMEGurus
Rodolfo Martinez, Co-Founder, SMEGurus