The days of every business needing a full office phone system are over. Many of today’s entrepreneurs prefer to run things right from their mobile device. But sometimes, it still helps to have a dedicated phone line for communicating with customers. So OpenPhone hopes to bridge the gap between those two worlds.
The app allows businesses to call and receive calls to a business number right on their personal cell. Read more about the company and its offering in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers a mobile calling application for businesses.
Co-founder Daryna Kulya told Small Business Trends, “OpenPhone is a mobile application that gives business owners and entrepreneurs a business phone number instantly. OpenPhone helps them separate their personal and business communications, share the responsibility for their phone line with their team, and easily control how their phone line works on-the-go.”
Creating an easy user experience with modern design and dedicated customer service.
Kulya says, “We care deeply about user experience and about creating an app that’s simple, modern and a joy to use.”
How the Business Got Started
Due to a very clear need.
Kulya says, “Both my co-founder and I grew up in familieswere all of our income was dependent on the businesses our parents were running. Later, my co-founder joined a software company building back office tools for home improvement contractors. There he noticed two important things. First, most of their users were using their personal phone numbers for business and they absolutely hated that. They’d have to put their numbers online or give it out to strangers. This meant getting constant calls when they were spending time with their families or when they were busy doing work. Second, contractors who communicated more professionally and were more responsive had more successful businesses and earned more money. We thought we could help them communicate more effectively and earn more money. That’s what inspired OpenPhone.”
Growing thanks to a startup accelerator.
Kulya explains, “We got accepted into the top startup accelerator in the world, Y Combinator, about 3 months ago and since then have significantly grown our product and customer base. Becoming a part of Y Combinator was crucial as it helped us get connected with the best advisors, mentors and fellow entrepreneurs who have created many billion-dollar businesses. Companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and Stripe went through the program.”
Bootstrapping the business.
Kulya explains, “My co-founder quit his well-paid job to build OpenPhone without having any safety net. We bootstrapped the business for a long time before getting any external funding. Of course, we think that taking the plunge was worth it as building OpenPhone is our mission and life’s work.”
Be patient and take care of yourself.
Kulya says, “Personally, I would get more sleep and focus on physical health more. Building a company is a marathon, not a sprint.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Kulya adds, “We would use it to grow the team so that we can create more great features and experiences for our customers.”
Outdoor business meetings.
Kulya says, “We love hiking and come up with new ideas for OpenPhone while exploring the outdoors.”
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
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Images: OpenPhone — Daryna Kulya, Mahyar Raissi