One thing that you will always need is persistence.
Rahul Aggarwal is among India’s youngest entrepreneurs and Co-founder of Designhill – a graphic design crowdsourcing platform. Designhill is already doing rounds in the business community across the globe. Rahul along with his brother Varun Aggarwal started Designhill in 2013 and have since grown it to a successful and the most reliable interactive marketplaces for custom graphic design solutions.
Where did the idea Designhill come from?
My younger brother Varun Agarwal, being a freelance designer himself, had worked on some platforms and found that none of them were completely focused on providing graphic design at affordable prices and a quicker pace. It was then that we decided to build an open and innovative graphic design marketplace Designhill for dedicated freelance designers and design seekers who place creativity and ingenuity above everything else.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Well, I have a continuous round the clock to-do list on my phone and slack, so the first thing i do is go through them every morning. Early hours are focused on managing the team and daily tasks while i like to reserve the second half of the day on research and meetings. Finally, majority of our customers are US based, pretty much the entire evenings and nights are spent on building contacts and exploring new customer acquisition strategies.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I eat, dream, sleep my idea. But I always do thorough research before I take the plunge. Besides, an idea is always pilot tested first as to make a product or service a success, one needs to know if there is a demand for it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The way marketing has evolved and become more creative and digital excites me; there are some great ways of reaching out to your customers such as interactive videos, live chats and being omnichannel. I always look out for more interactive tools to help my clients, as well as designers, understand the process of working.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I maintain a to-do list and keep on updating it throughout the day. I prioritize my work – what I need to do today with what can be done later.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be over-ambitious. It is good to dream big but one should not be over ambitious. Have a long term vision but set short goals and go about achieving one at a time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
One thing that you will always need is persistence. It is a quality that will take you further. It does not matter if a prospect is not responding. Just don’t give up. Building a relationship takes time in any business. Therefore, persistence is important for turning prospects into clients. They might not want to work with you today, tomorrow they might.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
If you wish to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to eat, dream, sleep your idea. But, don’t forget to do proper groundwork and research before you take the plunge.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Expanding to the internet. It has helped us grow our business manifold. Right from landing our website in search engine results to designing and programming it according to the needs of the people, we have done a lot for our presence on the net. Also, I would like to say that our content strategy has played a vital role in attracting visitors to our site, giving us excellent search results.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Being an Indian Startup, attracting businesses in the US and Europe was perhaps the most difficult part of the journey so far. Invoking confidence amongst people towards an Indian Startup was challenging for us. However, I think, we managed to succeed in it as today we have thousands of happy clients with us. Also, the way we market products in India is quite different from what works in the western countries. Therefore, it was a daunting task for us to learn and understand what digital and content marketing is. Today, we have some leading social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn as well as other blogging sites.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If someone could create a referral bot for affiliate marketing. Users can talk to referral bots at a site about a product or service. In turn, referral bots can come up with an affiliate link that will redirect the user to the product they want. It’s time bot-loving developers jump into this game.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Going out with my family to an old delhi food joint on the weekend. This is my conscious effort to disconnect with work which I do almost during all hours of the day. It relaxes my mind and helps me start the week with fresh ideas.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Slackbot and Trello. These two softwares are a smarter way of managing work amongst employees. They help in communicating with the team and operate more productively.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It tells you what exactly it takes to succeed in business. The book gives you a completely new perspective of how you should run a startup. The strategies and the mindset that it requires.
What is your favorite quote?
“It ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.