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Name: Andriy Obrizan
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
LeanyLabs is a company that provides custom web application development services. We either integrate our skilled developers into the client’s remote teams or develop custom software solutions from scratch. Our clients vary from small startups that leverage our engineers in their core product teams to enterprises for which we build custom apps to automate their processes more effectively.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
One of the products we developed for a client is now used by millions worldwide. It’s a sophisticated platform, and we’ve delivered 100% of the development in constant iterations with the designer and product manager on the client side. The software works stably and has had zero major issues since its launch.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
We started the company right before COVID hit. That was hard, but we still thrived and grew. Now, the war with Russia is the biggest challenge. There’s no way to solve it other than win.
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We actively volunteer, donate to charities, and help our soldiers in different ways to speed up this process. We also support our team members by providing everything they need to get through this more comfortably. Of course, we must keep the business going even with regular power outages. Our remote employees have enough batteries to last through the day and either stable optic-fiber internet or a 4G backup. We also have many internet backups in the office and a generator to support all the tech.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
I would say Google Meet. We’re a remote-friendly company, and most meetings take place there. Also, all our clients live abroad, and we can only provide outstanding service with regular communication. While there are other tools for video conferences, Meet works both in the browser and on the phone, which is convenient. With Google Calendar integration, scheduling a meeting is a breeze.
We’re also big fans of Notion. Recently, we moved almost all of our internal documentation, processes, and some of the data there. It’s both powerful and convenient for managing and visualizing data. Having everything in one app is pretty awesome. We lived without it for almost three years, and things weren’t that bad, which is why it’s not my #1 pick.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
Mostly word of mouth. Usually, our happy clients tell somebody about us, or some of their employees change jobs and recommend us. That’s how we got like 90% of our clients. A few prospects who left their contacts on our website also became clients.
To be honest, though, we have yet to invest much in marketing—only some content marketing articles so far.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Fear is normal—don’t let it stop you!
In entrepreneurship, you constantly deal with unknowns and probabilities. You can’t say for sure if this product works, what the best marketing channel is, or whether this article or ad is worth it. Just do it; you’ll have much higher chances of success by taking action. In fact, 100% inaction equals 0% chance.
You’ll encounter obstacles along the way and unexpected problems you need help solving or overcoming. Relax and stay cool. It’s probably not the end of the world and likely not the end of your business. Reach out to people who have faced similar problems before, google, ask people online, or use the services of a specialized company. Don’t be afraid to get some help.
Also, organize all your tasks in software like Todoist. At our scale, I have many small but critical things to do daily, and task list software is necessary to catch all of them.
What does your company’s trajectory look like over the next five years?
We plan on growing three to five times during the next five years to help more companies with their software development challenges. Our rigorous hiring approach was worth it—it’s our key differentiator from similar companies in our industry. We can deliver high-quality products thanks to incredible developers, which means zero client churn rate in almost three years. Even clients with small projects return to use our services when they have new needs.
While we know how to hire good people, we need to put more effort into sales and marketing to make this happen. And, of course, win the war as soon as possible.
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