What resources does an entrepreneur need to ensure a positive impact? The most common answers are social capital, education, investment, and inspiration. Although these are crucial for positioning any venture to succeed, these alone, even in combination, do not guarantee success. According to Sahil Saini, founder of the relationship-driven digital agency AKOS, the most critical resource that drove him to succeed was one that often gets overlooked: community.
An Almost Overnight Success
Saini didn’t plan a future in website design and development but turned to it when the opportunity arose while he was still trying to determine his next move. Starting with websites for local businesses and churches at an average of $200 for about 50 hours of work, Saini was barely making minimum wage. By budgeting, endless support from his family and the determination to continue learning, he “fell in love with the creativity, design, and problem-solving aspects of software development.”
As Saini gained experience, he attracted larger clients. His workload increased until finally, AKOS needed to grow to meet the demand. In three years, what started as one man working on one-off projects for small businesses was onboarding new team members. However, even as quickly as AKOS was growing before, with the growth of the community, AKOS almost instantly tripled in size, grew four times in revenue and was working with organizations around the world.
Saini marks this point as the beginning of his success. From here, all the opportunities, lessons learned and skills acquired he attributes to the ongoing and endless support he receives from his Arizona entrepreneurial community. He notes that when his organization first started growing, it was just him, but it wasn’t until he connected with like-minded entrepreneurs, Garrett Miller and Daniel Ramirez, who helped settle AKOS in the CO+Community that “AKOS was able to evolve.”
So what exactly is an entrepreneurial community? An entrepreneurial community is a support system of like-minded entrepreneurs who actively promote your wellbeing and your venture’s success. When backed by this community, you nurture relationships with individuals who recognize the potential of your innovations and orient you in the direction of success. In other words, your entrepreneurial community is the ultimate resource because these are the people who will help you secure all those other resources you already recognize you need, including social capital, education, investments or inspiration.
When reflecting on the impact his community had on him, Saini said: “I wish I knew about a community like CO+HOOTS Foundation back in 2010. I would have moved to Phoenix a lot sooner, and I would have joined CO+HOOTS a lot sooner. CO+Community and the resources provided within it were perfect for me and always there when I needed them. Growing and building an agency like AKOS was not even a dream back then, but being around people who believed in me made me realize that my dreams were short of my reality– so I stopped dreaming and just got to work.”
Connect With Your AZ Entrepreneurial Community
We know you’re probably asking by now, “So how do I connect with my entrepreneurial community, anyway?”
For all Arizona entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs who happen to be passing through Arizona, connect with your entrepreneurial community at the Foundation Station, located in the nest of CO+HOOTS Phoenix. The Foundation Station always offers an empathetic ear (which is sometimes all you need as an entrepreneur), introductions to fellow entrepreneurs in the community, endless cups of coffee, and access to a plethora of free resources to support your entrepreneurial journey.
We’ve spent years collecting resources, ranging from finances to administration to emotional support to build a stronger, more inclusive entrepreneurial community. Any and all of these resources are available to you for free, so stop by today, say hi, ask questions, complain about your challenges or rave about your successes. But come introduce yourself to the community that is sure to become your most valuable resource!