April 8, 2019

How do you deal with being the single point of failure?

Simon Niederberger @sniederb

After developing for way longer than anticipated, I'm finally at the point where sales meetings are on the horizon. My product, funnel.travel, is backed only by myself. I work with freelancers where and when necessary, but in terms of a legal business partner, it's just me.

Plenty of companies I've been in contact with are reluctant to have a business relationship with single individuals, simply due to risk. I have no intention of pretending to be a larger company, but I would like to be prepared when the point of "single point of failure" is brought up.

What have your strategies been in the past, and how well did they work?


  1. 5

    I've sold to corporates (also partly in Switzerland, funnily enough) as a single founder before.

    Step 1 is to avoid it coming up in the first place. You'd be surprised at how seldom it does come up.

    Step 2 is to understand the objection by digging deeper...

    Is there a particular scenario you're worried about?

    Have you had that happen before?

    Stuff like that. Make sure you really understand why you're being asked that question. 50% of the time, it's a throwaway question and they just want you to say "don't worry, we have safeguards in place and there's language in the contract to protect you anyway"

    The other 50% of the time, there's a specific thing they are worried about (or someone internally they have to satisfy with an answer). In that case, you need to know exactly what it is so you can solve it for them.

    The final step, step 3, is to handle the objection and make it crystal clear.

    In the case of corporates, you can put it back into an email to make doubly sure.

    You're worried about X, so I'm putting Y and Z safeguards in place. We agreed on the phone that this would cover any concerns you have - is there anything else you need from me on this?

    Good luck!

    1. 2

      Totally agree with this. And there can be just as much risk in using a VC-backed startup, so this isn't unique to bootstrapped or solo founder businesses.

      I get the occasional push-back from companies when they realize I'm a bootstrapped solo founder. But I try to hear their concerns and address them as best I can. It's never been a blocker after we get past that initial discussion.

      It comes down to trust, and a quick way to build brand trust is by soliciting reviews and including them on your landing page. That whole "social proof" thing.

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