Starting your own business is just the first step into the business world. In order to really succeed you need to know how to sell your product/service. That’s what Edita Collins has been doing for the past 7 years – working in lead generation and marketing, helping startup companies and SMBs to increase their sales. A passion for communication and technology has helped Edita to create a unique lead generation approach. This was the start of the lead generation company Prospect Labs. Moreover, Edita joined to lecture the participants of Mommypreneurs project – an international project which aims to strengthen the skills of young inactive women on maternity leave or caring for children.
Edita, you are a co-founder at Prospect Labs – a company that focuses on Lead Generation Service. What has encouraged you to start this business?
I’ve started working with startups about seven years ago. The company that I worked for at the time had an interesting product and a strong tech team, however, they were focusing on just developing the product rather than selling it. That‘s where I came in and started helping their sales team to find the right data, approach people about setting up potential partnerships and just got those conversations going. I‘ve learnt very quickly that it‘s a problem for a lot of startups, especially the ones that are trying to sell internationally. They always focus on building the product, invest a lot of money and resources into it and their sales team spends hours on researching contacts and phone numbers rather than actually speaking to potential leads. I saw a big gap there and together with my partner, Patrick Collins, decided that it‘s something we can actually help companies with. Communication and technology was something we were both very passionate about and something that came really easy to us so we wanted to just go out there and help people sell!
At Prospect Labs, you mainly focus on helping startups and SMEs. Why have you chosen such a target audience?
We’ve worked with bigger companies in the past but it’s just more interesting and exciting to work with startups. Especially, if you find startups that do something meaningful and create products that will have an impact on the world and the environment – it’s a lot more rewarding than helping corporate companies to generate more leads and it’s just our passion, really.
Are there any specific challenges when working with young businesses?
A lot! The pace at the startup world is super fast and things need to be constantly tested out, adapted and changed. It‘s very hard to get the startup team organized because if you imagine a startup, usually, the founder and co-founder are doing 20 different things at the same time: they‘re trying to build the product, to sell the product, to raise investment and set up all processes that would help them grow and scale their business. It‘s a big challenge because lead generation and sales are rarely their number one priority. However, if done in the right way, it really helps to create traction and grow the company.
Could you give a few main tips and tricks on what a company should do to generate leads?
Just get out into the real world (or online world) and start talking to people about your product or service. Be open, vulnerable and don’t be scared to make a fool of yourself. So many people are terrified to start selling because they think „My product hasn’t got enough features yet, I need to improve so many things, I need to read at least 5 books on sales and marketing first and only then I can start offering my product and make it available on the market“. The truth is – people don’t care and they won’t remember how you started the conversation with them or what the first versions of your product looked like. LinkedIn is probably the best platform for B2B startups to start generating leads. The sooner you become comfortable with it, the more people you will be talking to. So please go and make your profile look really “sharp”! One other tip is to be comfortable with asking the questions of: “do you think this is something you would be interested in trying?” People spend too much time discussing a product instead of just asking a potential client if they would like to try it.
You have joined to lecture the participants of Mommypreneurs project. What was your motivation to join the project?
I‘ve always believed that women need to be strong and independent. I‘ve seen so many examples where women really struggle to get back into work after raising children and it’s just not fair, you shouldn’t be punished for going on maternity leave. Just because you take a break it doesn’t mean that you lose your skills, experience and drive. It‘s the perfect time for women to get into business and there’s never been so much support and encouragement! So when I saw the Mommypreneurs initiative, I had no doubt that I wanted to be a part of it, especially because I‘m pregnant myself now and want to give my contribution towards a better future for all Moms.
What was your experience with Mommypreneurs participants?
It was very interesting to see that Moms had such a wide spectrum of ideas. Although I’ve worked with startups for many years and have seen so many different businesses, their ideas still managed to surprise me! Seeing all this creativity in women and how their ideas develop was absolutely fascinating! Moms were very proactive – actively participating in all lectures, even when they brought their little ones! They were working very hard, taking notes, doing their homework – their drive and work ethic really fascinates me! It is very pleasant to lecture people who are actually listening, reacting and taking all the information in.
I’m so glad to see initiatives like Mommypreneurs in Lithuania. The time has come, especially in the technology field, for women to feel strong and confident. I think the fear of starting a new business will always be present because let’s be honest – it’s not easy! But I think women and Moms, in particular, have so much more motivation to go for it because when you start a family, you get this inexplicable inner power and drive to create something better for your family. It was an absolute pleasure to meet all the Moms on this project and although I lectured them, I’ve learnt a great deal from them myself.
What advantages do you see in this kind of social initiatives as Mommypreneurs project is?
Encouraging women to fight for themselves, to build their dream careers, to set up their own businesses, to not be afraid of the unknown is very powerful. Running your business can be very overwhelming and difficult at times, especially if you don’t have the right support. Mommypreneurs is offering this support and it’s a perfect example of how the combination of strong women, creative ideas and great organisers and mentors can help you achieve great things! I strongly advise all Moms who are dreaming about starting their own business to join fill out the application and join this wonderful project!