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Anna Khomenko, Founder and CEO at Startup Dials



Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Anna Khomenko : The past 6 years I dedicated to building smart consumer tech startups from the ground up, defining and executing launch strategies.

Imagine you have an idea of a Smart cutting board, the one that weighs your ingredients,

integrates with your voice assistant, like Alexa or Google, and guides you through the cooking process. How do you bring your idea to reality?

There are multiple ways of approaching the ideation, product development and finally its launch. This is where I come in. When done right, you want to build your product based on customer feedback. How? Start with market research. Ask your target audience. This will help you scope out the features your product should have in order to solve this or that problem of your target user.

Once you have your set of features and benefits you move on to product development.

What I noticed is that oftentimes the founders of such products are those with engineering or design background but not sales and marketing. They are very good at building the products, but they struggle to build and execute the go-to-market strategy, brainstorm and experiment with communication angles to find the right language-market fit in addition to the product-market fit that so many focus on.

This presented an opportunity to get the Startup Dials started, to bridge the gap and help these founders succeed.



Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Startup Dials ?

Anna Khomenko : Our main focus is the Fractional CMO services.

Hiring a full-time CMO is often considered a significant investment. And so founders choose to hire junior marketers to help them “market” their product. What do juniors do? They put together a mediocre website, set up social media accounts and start posting branded content, spend their precious time producing that content only to discover 6 or 12 months later that all their efforts did not bring any sales in.

Startups, particularly in their infancy, often need the expertise of a senior marketer to help them on a strategic level but not the execution. Execution can be handled by a junior in-house team, but the bird-eye view strategy has to be set by someone with experience and expertise.

As your Fractional CMO we provide the insights, strategies, and guidance of a top-tier CMO, but on a part-time basis. This model ensures startups get value-packed services tailored to their current scale without stretching their budgets.

We also run a 90-day Marketing Reboot program, where throughout the 3 months period were view your existing state of affairs: competitor landscape, brand and product positioning, sales and marketing processes, identify gaps and opportunities, all to build out tailored strategy and set your team up for success providing them with tools helping them kick off the execution of the strategy.





Great Companies: What makes Startup Dials different from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Anna Khomenko : Unlike other marketing agencies we prefer to work with the in-house team of the client, coaching the team and growing them to work on their own. We are your short term solution to jump start your sales and marketing operations until the team is mature enough to work on their own, and have a full-time CMO running the marketing department.



Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

Anna Khomenko : Changing the startup mindset that views marketing as a nice-to-have rather than a must-have is probably one of the biggest challenges. Oftentimes when a startup underperforms the founders tend to see marketing as a cost center, and not a profit center, which makes it difficult for us to convince them.

Many founders jump in with a great product but lack the clarity on how to sell it, often resulting in wasted resources on ineffective strategies. Our challenge was to demonstrate the value of our Fractional CMO services as a cornerstone, not an afterthought. By showcasing how a clear, well- executed marketing strategy could conserve resources and boost sales, we managed to turn skepticism into trust, transforming the way startups approach marketing and sales.



Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Startup Dials?

Anna Khomenko : We will continue focusing on what we do best: brand positioning, product research, launching smart consumer tech products with crowdfunding and bringing them to commercial space and retail, and further on to product line extension and global expansion.

Within the team the focus will remain on providing the highest quality services to help us grow organically, remaining niche, hyper-focused and boutique fractional CMO consultancy for smart consumer tech startups.



Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Anna Khomenko : Jump in. The world of entrepreneurship is all about taking those first steps. Don’t let the fear of inexperience hold you back. Remember, every expert was once a beginner. I live by the famous quote: “ a winner is just a loser who tried one more time”.

Start small, learn from each action, and gradually build your expertise. Nowadays we tend to get quickly discouraged by lack of results after a very short period of time. Social media, stories of overnight success, short attention spans, - all this makes us impatient to get it all and get it now. Reality is, good things take time and unfortunately there is no magic solution but only consistent “trial and error” approach focusing on delivering true customer value which in time will turn into growth and positive returns.


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