How BitcoinVN grew to $20k/month 

In your own words, what does your company do?

BitcoinVN, Vietnam’s first Bitcoin exchange tool was launched back in 2014.

Since then we have expanded our product offerings to provide an OTC desk for HNWI and corporate clients, a fleet of Bitcoin ATMs, a trading platform as well as our online shop which provides our customers with access to hardware wallets and other auxiliary items.

📈 Monthly revenue: $20,000

📈 ~% Churn: N/A

📈  ~% Net profit: $5,000

📈 Funding: Self-funded for first five years Angel Investment of $250,000 in 2019

📈 What was the initial cost/investment to start the company? $5,000  financed via credit card debt

📈 Number of team members: 12 approximately

📈 Started 2014, March, First Product Launch

How does the company make money? 

💰 Our primary service is on-/offramp from “Crypto” into & out of the local currency VND.

💰 Depending on the client we have a variety of services for retail clients up to HNWI & corporate clients to service every bracket of the market.

4 strategies that have worked to attract and retain customers?

✅ The first and most important: Excellent customer service with fast and qualified responses to any client inquiry. This is the “lowest hanging fruit”; people are already trusting your service to a degree (otherwise they would not actively reach out to you), so make sure you leave an excellent impression. 

✅  Give rather than take. Too many services in the “crypto space” attempt to rip off people with various schemes rather than providing a sustainable and lasting service.

They often certainly *make more money* than us in the short term, but it’s certainly not a way to build a sustainable business that can last for years to come.

✅ Being engaged within your community.

✅ Listen carefully to customer feedback and implement changes wherever viable; customers like it when they see they can impact positive change in the service you provide. 

3-4 things that haven’t worked (or didn’t work as well) when it comes to growing the company?

❌  Do not work with any of the local “crypto influencer/blockchain advisory” firms if you have in mind to build anything like a lasting relationship with your customer base.

Those work *very well* if you’re trying to launch some scam coin and get maximum reach in the shortest possible time to a bunch of fairly low-quality prospects.

But it’s the opposite of what you want/need if you want to build something to last rather than a quick money grab.

❌ Outsourcing marketing in general. You must be the voice of your own organization, you must shape the brand and image. You can later delegate tasks step by step, but *you* set the direction.

❌ Hiring too fast. Similar to before, if you dilute the company culture and your own message your company is at high risk to bring about a lukewarm, undifferentiated, cookie-cutter image to the forefront which does not entice anybody.

❌ Be extremely careful in your choice of domain. There is barely anything worse than building up a lot of SEO and page ranking and then having to start over from scratch.

Through starting & growing the business, what have been the 3 key lessons that have possibly changed the trajectory of the company? 

Stay lean! Luckily we were for the majority of the time “forced” to run a tight book since every single $ spent was our own money and had to be earned first.

After you’ve come from nothing and built it out from blood, sweat, and tears in the early years… – you get a whole different appreciation for capital and how to use it productively.

You never know what’s hitting you next (lockdowns, border closures, economic depressions, etc.) so it’s wise to plan ahead for the rainy days (which certainly will come!).

If you can’t survive without everything going by plan, you will fail.

Character comes first. However talented, skilled, or otherwise gifted a person might be – it’s a ticking time bomb that will erase (and more) all value created for the firm in due time.

You must get really good at evaluating the character of the people who join your side.

Stay true to your values. As soon as you start making compromises that are not aligned with your values, the “love” for your business dies bit by bit and with it the passion you need to advance and care.

You might otherwise one day wake up and realize that you hate the business you’ve built and the people you’re dealing with and realize you’ve put yourself into a prison of your own making.

The likelihood that you’ll have the energy and attention required to succeed in such a situation is a serious detriment to your potential success. This is another reason to stay lean so outside forces have less leverage over you (who might otherwise try to impel you to go on a course in deep conflict with your inner values and vision).


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