First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Nachum Kligman: We are doing ok. The hardest part has been when, at times, my children can’t go to school. Home learning for them is not optimal for them, and as much as I love Zoom, it is very hard for a kid to sit in front of the screen and focus for so long. In addition, my parents are elderly, and although they live just 10 minutes from us, we’ve had to keep our distance from them, which has been super challenging.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Book Like A Boss.
Nachum Kligman: I’m a born entrepreneur. I was the kid that was shoveling snow, selling baseball cards, and had a candy locker in school. I have started and sold or closed more than 10 companies over the last 25 years. I have mostly been in Hi-Tech throughout my career, but in 2014 I launched an apparel line for children with special needs. It was a labor of love since I was solving a pain point I had with one of my sons who has cerebral palsy. Unfortunately, after two years of blood, sweat, and tears, I was forced to close the company due to China’s manufacturing issues.
When I closed that company, I decided to take a break from startups, publish a book, launch a podcast, and offer startup coaching. Due to the success of my book and podcast, I was receiving a lot of email and phone calls from people who wanted to meet for coffee and pick my brain. The back and forth with how much I charged and what was included with my services and when was a good time to meet etc. was such a drain. I really needed a one-page website where when someone contacts me, I could send them a link that had a bio about me, a video, testimonials, FAQ section, and a list of the services I offered and a way to book me and pay for it. Even though there were dozens of calendar apps, there was nothing that had everything and was simple to use. I went to hire a WordPress developer, and he wanted thousands of dollars to build it. When a friend approached me about his sister that needed the same solution for her business, the light bulb went off, and I realized with the continued growth of the Gig Economy, there was a real opportunity to build the solution. So, I approached a good friend who is a top-notch developer, and we set out to build it. That’s how Book Like A Boss was born.
How does Book Like A Boss innovate?
Nachum Kligman: Even though we launched in May 2017, we still have not finished our vision’s full first version. We decided early on to Bootstrap, the company which has its pluses and minuses. One of the minuses is that things just take way longer as we are limited in the amount of developers we can hire. My superpower is that I’m an idea guy. I have 4 technology patents, and I’m fortunate that innovation is something that comes easily to me. I have enough ideas for Book Like A Boss that will keep us innovating for the next few years.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Nachum Kligman: We are one of the companies that have been fortunate to see accelerated growth during the pandemic. Book Like A Boss is one of Zoom’s top apps in their app store, and as more people are working from home and moving their service-based businesses online, we have seen our numbers going up. We do offer our software from free to medical centers and others on the frontline fighting the battle. Even though we ourselves are very much a startup, we wanted to do our part to help where we can.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Nachum Kligman: We haven’t had to, I would say that we are more cautious and not hiring as fast as we would like, and we are now thinking about raising funds from angels who are aligned with our vision both to give us the runway through the end of this pandemic and also to help meet the demand that there is out there for our product.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Book Like A Boss in the future?
Nachum Kligman: I recently joined a gym, which has been very beneficial until a couple of weeks ago when it was shut down due to covid-19 restrictions. I do have my treadmill, so that helps. No one really knows what the future holds, and my style is to take things one day at a time. Our whole team is working remotely since we launched, and everyone is fully on board to make sure we continue our success.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Nachum Kligman: When we initially launched, we market ourselves as a scheduling app on steroids. We did this since we wanted people to understand our core values without educating a new market. We have never seen ourselves as a “scheduling app.” In the next 4-6 weeks, we will be launching a new website, logo, and brand that will truly separate ourselves from anyone else out there. Not exactly competitors, but we are very inspired by Russel Brunson and ClickFunnels.
Your final thoughts?
Nachum Kligman: Now is the time to build! Whenever there is a shift in the economy and the world, it creates opportunities. Look for the pain points, and don’t wait for the perfect time as there may never be a perfect time. Starting a business during a time of uncertainty will only make you stronger, and your success will come faster when things start to stabilize.
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