It is not easy being an entrepreneur. Between the long hours and sleepless nights, rejection and perseverance; not everyone can do it. At first, it may seem like a fun idea to start your own business but there is a lot you need to know before doing so.
Emma Harris, the founder of HealthyPets.io, said that the journey of starting her own company was not a straight path and she learned many lessons.
Here are the three things she wishes that she knew before becoming a business owner.
Do Not Underestimate the Length of Time to Build a Software Company
“I didn’t realize how long it would take to build a software company to the point where you can put it out to market and test it,” Harris said. “It took a lot longer than I imagined.”
Harris said that entrepreneurs who are starting a software business should either find a co-founder who has engineering or coding experience or hire an engineer.
Understand How Much Work It Is
“You do not understand the amount of work that goes into building a company until you do it yourself,” Harris said. “That is why it’s important to do something that you are truly passionate about because it becomes your life.”
Mentorship is Key
Harris said that the opportunity to acquire strong mentorship is the key to growing a successful business.
“I attend as many networking events as I can because it allows me to form a larger community of connections,” Harris said. “For example, after I went to an event on International Women’s Day, I met the managing director who is now my personal advisor and has directly contributed to the success of my company.”
Veterinarians and accurate answers on demand
HealthyPets.io is an online marketplace connecting veterinarians with pet owners through video chat. It serves as a way for owners to access professional advice from their homes and for veterinarians to practice at any time.
Harris’ inspiration behind HealthyPets.io was her dog Bo; who is the chief inspiration officer of her company.
“When my boyfriend and I adopted Bo we noticed that he was quite unhealthy,” Harris said. “As a result of his chronic health issues, we spent about ten-thousand dollars on him and on weekly veterinarian visits.”
The problem Harris seeks to solve is the inability for a pet owner to access reliable animal healthcare advice on demand.
“When an animal is sick, owners will usually call their veterinarian to schedule an appointment for the future,” Harris said. “But they are still stuck with the stress and worry for their pet. So we are resolving this issue by providing pet owners with answers in a timely and accurate way.”
Article will continue after this short video about Healthy Pets.
Since HealthyPets.io was founded in October 2016, Harris has experienced great success. She was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Waterloo Accelerator Centre. This is an incubator where entrepreneurs can receive mentorship for building sustainable technology firms and commercializing advanced research emerging from academic institutions.
Harris is also a finalist for Lion’s Lair 2017 and will be featured in season 12 of Dragon’s Den.