- At what age did you realise you wanted to go the entrepreneurial route and how did the thought of that come to your mind?
When I was in my first year at university, I became very good friends with another student who started his first business while I was in school, and I aspired to be like him and start a company in university.
2. Please could you tell me about your company Remembering.Live and what its goal for the future is?
Remembering.Live does virtual memorial services and creates tribute websites for grieving families. We became the most popular provider in this space during the pandemic, and continue to be ranked highest on Google. For very good reasons, people have returned to being able to grieve with their family in person, and we have slowly been moving resources away from remembering.live to Celebrating.Live. We currently have 500+ active subscriptions for tribute websites, which we continue to honor and renew, however, we aren’t expecting significant growth from here.
3. Please could you tell me about your company Celebrating.Live and what its goal for the future is?
Celebrating.live is a virtual event planner for enterprise companies with large teams. We create fun and memorable online experiences for companies – and team members to interact with one another from one screen to another. We have worked with many of the largest companies in the world, including Amazon, Viacom, Draft Kings, Unilever and hosted events with 4000+ on a single Zoom call. The holiday-market is definitely our busiest, however, we are continuing to focus on remote based companies, providing them with smaller-scale events throughout the year and consulting them on how to make their virtual meetings and events more engaging and effective. Our goal is to build long-term client relationships, so we can be their go-to for all their events.
4. What are 2 huge lessons you have learnt from any of your failures (big or small) so far?
Your team is your most important asset, and matters more in the long-term than your customers. I have made the mistake of being too “customer first,” and assuming they are always right. I have overwhelmed my team by inviting in bad clients and allowing them to walk over the team, at the fear of losing revenue. However, instead it led to me losing good employees or burning them out. When your team is responsible for many and sometimes all of your clients – it’s okay to fire customers when they are negatively impacting your employees, as in turn they will affect your other customers (including the good clients!). Secondly, it’s important to be able to say “no.” Never commit to something you can’t honor, and if you have committed – you are accountable and only you should pay the price for that. If you promise something to someone, and make a mistake in that promise – never backtrack, or you are teaching yourself it’s okay to make false promises, and you will lose people’s trust. If a client has too high expectations coming in, wants you to deliver an unrealistic timeline or budget, or will require too much bandwidth and headache – save yourself, and stay true to your vision, pricing and services. Too much flexibility isn’t always a good thing – I learned this lesson despite it being a core value for the company!
5. What advice would you give to a young kid in college aspiring to become an entrepreneur in college?
Start small. You don’t have to change the world. If your aspirations are to be an entrepreneur – allow yourself time to learn through mistakes, and treat your first business as a beta trial. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t work out. Find a mentor – but a mentor that has your best interests at heart, and ideally has been in your shoes and can see themselves in you. They will accelerate your growth by providing you with the wisdom which took them several more years to develop. Connect with as many people as possible at school. If you are wanting to start a SAAS or software company – go to Computer Science Society events and socials, find graphic designers etc. You have an insane amount of people to help support you in a business without needing to hire experienced professionals for a lot of money, and you might even find a business partner too. Take advantage of all the grants and opportunities that your university will offer, and participate in awards and mentorship programs. These opportunities become harder to access once you graduate. Finally and albeit controversial, your grades aren’t that important. Developing skills in entrepreneurship and building relationships has a much higher ROI on your success than whether you got 60% vs 80% in an exam.
6. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now?
Hopefully working on the next venture! I would love to go into SAAS, and build a product around helping sales teams schedule more meetings.
7. What steps have you taken to scale your brand’s presence in the online space?
Google Ads were very effective for Celebrating.Live and Remembering.Live – and finding partners to list us on their sites to increase SEO presence. Sharing a story online is the best way to market!
8. What do you think is 1 common mistake young entrepreneurs make in this generation?
Patience and need for instant gratification. There is a massive availability with social media – where people think others are way more successful than they actually are, and we compare ourselves with the unicorns who built million dollar + businesses in less than 12-months. If those are your expectations going into entrepreneurship and you aren’t fully prepared to take the risk, and work extremely hard hours and lose a significant amount of your life, energy and money to building something that is not guaranteed to succeed – you will quit very quickly. Focus on your customers and the value you can create before thinking about how much you can raise in investment and how great you will look to your friends and family.
To find out more about Sam Nesbitt you can visit his linkedIn Linkedin.com/in/samuelnesbitt.