Andy Ann, CEO and founder of NDN Group, came in to share with our Betatron Startup Accelerator cohort in Hong Kong some of the insights and tips he’s learned from his entrepreneurial journey.
Over the last 16 years, Andy has built and exited multiple businesses (along with several failures, too), which began with his first venture in the events industry in Lan Kwai Fong.
Here are some of the main takeaways from his journey:
1. Allocate time to improve yourself
You have to focus on improving yourself too by allocating time in your schedule to focus on personal development.
It’s critically important for entrepreneurs to understand themselves, especially when it comes to mentally dealing with the inevitable ups and downs of launching a startup.
2. Outwork your competition
Andy truly lives his life on this wisdom. He creates extra time in his schedule by working Saturdays and Sundays, which, he said, gives him three extra months per year advantage over his competitors who just work Monday to Friday.
3. Use a startup’s advantage of being able to move fast
Large businesses can’t naturally move as fast as startups. The decision-making processes are much, much slower.
4. Be creative to close deals
When negotiating deals and acquiring new clients, Andy stressed the importance of being creative.
As a trade-off for reducing the upfront fee, Andy offered free advertising space on the advertising network he was building—and it worked. He was able to reduce his upfront costs by over 75 per cent.
5. Take a hit in immediate income for long-term recurring revenue
Unlike most of his competitors, who were just focused at that time on building apps, Andy spotted the potential of building a mobile ad network.
That’s how you build a sustainable business.