It took me a year to buildCalendly free alternative this is what I learned


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Why I even started?​

During my daily job in a corporation, I realized I have a big problem with scheduling private meetings. Some time ago I started to sell programming private lessons. I needed to automate the scheduling process:
  1. My corporation and private calendars must be merged to share my availability with participants
  2. Participants can choose a lesson date
  3. The participant can pay for the lesson
  4. After payment the participant receive invoice
  5. Participant is added to my marketing automation workflow
I used Calendly and it was pretty good but I needed a more complex workflow because I built a team of tutors and I wanted to manage the team meetings, especially giving participants the possibility to choose with whom they want to meet. This is how Zencal began.

1. It’s possible to build startup starting with side-project​

Building a startup is never easy. It takes a lot of time, energy and money. One way to bypass the traditional path is to start with a side-project.

Starting off with the side-project means that you don't need capital and therefore can take time to develop a solid business model. You might have an idea but are not sure what skills you need in order to start it up, whether it's coding or marketing? Start by doing something else first before committing all your time, energy and money into something that may not work out in the end.

2. Co-founder is necessary to reflect ideas​

Without a co-founder, an entrepreneur will not have the same reflection of ideas. Brainstorming different ideas is an important part of inventing a business but one person cannot do it alone.

The co-founder reflects the ideas and provides brainstorming which helps build the company from scratch. So I can recommend you find a co-founder as fast as you can. Remember that you need people who are different than you. Try to look for somebody from whom you can learn.

3. Technology don’t need to be perfect, but support must​

Software needs to be perfect, but what if it’s not? Does this mean you should throw in the towel and go with a competitor?

No! You need to explore other options.

The best option is customer service. What are some qualities of good support that can make the difference between a happy customer and an angry one?

Good support looks for problems, gives a timely response, explains everything in detail, and goes the extra mile for you when needed.

People love software not for perfect algorithms but for the experience that the software provides.

4. Building relationships is crucial​

Some people might think that building a relationship is not necessary for your business and that it’s better to focus on the product. In reality, even if the product is good and the quality of your content is excellent, you will not be succeeding in user acquisition without relations.

Building relationships leads to more exposure for your brand which means more visibility for your content, products, or services. You need to build relationships with users in order to grow a sustainable business.

Building relationships is crucial for your personal brand as well as for building a business. Made people love your product - it's so important!

5. Consistency is so important if you build your project​

In the early stages of a startup, it is not always easy to think about what needs to be done. But with consistency and discipline, you are going to build a product that will eventually make you successful.

There are so many things that need to be put together for a project. From the logo and the name to the tech and marketing, it’s all part of building your brand. As a founder, it can be hard to find time for everything but consistency is key in order to see progress in your startup.

Don't forget to split tasks into smaller parts. You will stay motivated if you will see progress.

6. Prioritizing is hard especially if you work solo​

Task prioritization is one of the hardest things to do and is especially hard when you work solo. There's really no way to know which tasks are the most important or urgent, and the perspective can change depending on what day it is.

So, how can you prioritize your tasks in order of importance?

There's a simple way to do this. Write down everything you have to do on a piece of paper, with all the tasks grouped by their importance level: must be, nice to have, can wait.

And the most important thing - don't be afraid to change your mind.

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