Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Julius Kuznetsov, Founder and CEO at FINSTICK Innovations LLC:
What does your company do?
FINSTICK Innovations is a startup in the emerging fintech and blockchain space. We have designed a blockchain-based innovation to unite the fragmented Loyalty market into a single, healthy eco-system. Called LiqBo, it is a utility token that activates dormant customers who are subscribed but don't participate.
LiqBo shares the conventional economic model of traditional loyalty programs with the additional incentive of accumulating Liquid Bonus tokens that can be monetized or exchanged for a discount in the traditional way at participating merchants. Based on blockchain, it will be operated based on consensus of participating brands and retailers forming a unique, global, loyalty infrastructure based on distributed ledger. We are headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with an additional virtual office in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We have been in business since 2017.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I'm the founder and CEO of FINSTICK Innovations. Creating my own start-up is an exceptional feat for me, after a career working in the technology sector. I enjoy being at the forefront, solving seemingly unsolvable issues, and even more importantly - turning the most unusual ideas into reality for the benefit of our business partners and end-users. I derive great satisfaction from the challenge of creating something new, designed to improve the loyalty market space. Belief in my team and our products gives me the necessary drive to push this forward.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
There are two significant challenges to overcome. The first is funding. We have just announced an ICO to raise investment for our solution and have so far managed to raise enough financial resources to go through incorporation and create a proof of concept for LiqBo - our flagship solution for the loyalty industry. We reinvest all funding and consulting profits into R&D but need an infusion of financial support to take Finstick to the next level. The other challenge is linked to regulation. The jury is still out on the legal approaches to the use of cryptographic tokens and blockchains. I am confident that our position as a technical provider will enable us to find our place in the emerging ecosystem.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Great question! I would tell a younger me to be more open-minded and more challenging. I built up a package of experience and wisdom through previous careers and roles, which I felt was important to give myself credibility. In today's world, daring to try something new can yield impressive results. I encourage my children not to doubt their talents and to give their projects their all. You never know till you try. Also, customer acceptance is the most important factor in business success. It doesn't matter how great a solution is if your target audience is not open to the idea. New ideas must be customer driven rather than technologically, even if it means reviewing your business plan 10, 20 or even 30 times.