Tell us about yourself?
My name is Natalia. I was born and raised in Tallinn, Estonia. I am the founder of eFinance and co-founder of EIMIO, alongside my business partner. I manage our Product Management and Operations, while the other co-founder oversees our Technology Building & Development.
Entrepreneurship has been the driving force in my life from an early age. I’ve loved the challenge of solving problems in creative ways. From opening up a lemonade stand as a kid, to now running my own companies as an adult, I’ve never been afraid of taking risks and following my dreams.
My professional experience revolves mainly around finance and taxation. I have a Master’s degree in Corporate Finance, and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Taxation.
We have been involved in the continuous process of solving various business challenges of other companies in eFinance, helping them to understand their problems and create solutions. All of the experience gathered during these years at eFinance is helping us develop new products at EIMIO.
We’re passionate about creating tools that will make routine tasks easy, saving businesses time and energy.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
Entrepreneurs and business owners often struggle with the idea of starting a new company. They think they need to have a great idea, a great product, and be able to pay for it all on their own. In reality, you’re only limited by your creativity and dedication to your idea.
There are many misconceptions about startups too. There are so many, in fact, that it is difficult to pinpoint the single biggest one. One misconception is that startups are always successful. Often, there are several failures before one startup becomes successful. Another misconception is that startups have to be tech based companies. That’s not true at all! A startup can be something as simple as an idea for a product or service.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
There are many moments in our journey that we could go back in time and give ourselves advice. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to start with the most important step. In the sense that I would encourage myself to validate my idea before investing too much time and money into it. Afterwards, you focus on building a successful product. And I came to the conclusion that it is extremely hard to build a successful product without an MVP or a prototype.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I think the thing that makes me stand out most as an entrepreneur is my commitment to my work. I’m always looking for ways to improve and innovate, and even when I’m tired or feeling down, I push myself to accomplish more.
I am also certain that It’s not all about what you know, it’s about who you know. Networking is an integral part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle and I’m always on the lookout for ways to talk to potential investors, business partners and people who are faced with a number of problems in their business activities and are looking for solutions.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
If you’re an entrepreneur, it can be hard to maintain a good work-life balance. One of the most important things to do is to set goals. Whether you’re starting a new job, taking on a new project, or simply making time for the activities you enjoy outside of work, goals make it easier to prioritize what needs to be done. And each goal is nothing more than a set of tasks.
I’ve learned that you should always start with the hardest task first. I feel accomplished when I get that one thing done and then I can just cruise through the rest of my list.
Of course, it’s important to stay healthy and take care of your body as well. Making time for yourself is essential in maintaining your health and sanity. You can do this by carving out at least 20 minutes in your day for yourself, whether it’s taking a walk outside, reading a book, or watching Netflix.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
At EIMIO, we are obsessed with helping people do more with less. We’re a small team of highly talented and motivated individuals who want to make the world a better place by freeing up more time for people to do what they love.
Where do you see your business in five years?
When building a product, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of your market. You need to know how your product will be used, what the user’s needs are, and what the competition is doing. This knowledge can all be gained by understanding what influences people in your industry.
In five years, we hope to have a successful business with a flourishing market. I feel that this will be possible if the product is well-received by the customers and it has been able to meet their needs.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
In order to build a successful product and company, you need to make sure you have a great team in place. The team should be well-rounded and have diversity in expertise. In addition, it is important to have a solid plan that is achievable and well-defined. Another real challenge is how do you keep your team excited about their work.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
I think our biggest success so far is that we have managed to build a strong team which is passionate about the product and works hard to make it better every day. Therefore we were able to build our product within a year and the fact that our product has started being used by entrepreneurs from different countries and we could not be happier!
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
Sales and marketing is an important aspect of our business, but it is also a well known fact that if you’re not good at selling your product, it means that the product isn’t competitive enough. Our main goal at early stages was using the technology for product development but not for distribution. Once we gained positive client feedback then we started investing more time and resources on sales too.
We use digital marketing tactics such as search engine optimization and social media, and we also rely on word-of-mouth advertising to grow our customer base. In addition, we also use the opportunity to participate in various fairs, both on local and on international level together with being visible on relevant marketplaces and platforms where clients can get introduced with our product and services.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
As a fellow startup founder, I would suggest being wary of your product-to-market fit. It is important to make sure that the product you are building is what people really want. There are many examples of products that were unsuccessful because they weren’t what the market wanted or needed, but founders were too stubborn to change course.
Also, one of the most important factors in a startup’s success is to be determined and persistent. Not every business will have success right away, but it is important to keep going, no matter what.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
We hope to continue to enhance our company with innovative and creative new products. This will help us to continue to grow the company and expand into international markets. I also hope the future brings us the opportunity to travel more, so we can find new opportunities in different markets and countries.