Agency · Photography

What would you suggest to do with a startup at this stage?

Chiara Battistini Founder & CEO @AlterNative Photo Agency, professional photographer since 2013

Last updated on December 4th, 2019

Hello everyone I'm Chiara, the founder of AlterNative Photo Agency, right now my project is stuck and I'm really concerned on what to do next, I would love to find a co founder but I'm open with the idea of selling the entire project too, but to proceed I really need some suggestion, what should I do?

I work full time and I have one employee and the revenue right now needs to move forward.

To let you understand more about this project let me explain you what AlterNative is, so that you can help me figure out where and how to approach a sell or a co-founder.

It is an international photo agency specialized in tourism.

Through a network of professional photographers and video-makers it is able to meet the needs of private customers as well as companies, connecting a network of professionals from all over the world with the most suitable customers.

Thanks to the different qualities of our contributors we are able to create photographic and video services dedicated to business, such as company presentations, commercials, professional portraits, events, corporate travel, interior photographs, food photography, and everything that concerns the visual material needed to grow and sponsor a company, an activity or a structure.

At the same time, thanks to the network of professionals spread all over the world, it is able to meet the needs of private customers, those who wish to have photographic or video memories of important moments such as weddings, honeymoons, birthday parties and much more, like family photographs or even personal shootings, always with the certainty and the possibility of having one or more of our professionals, available both in their area of

residence and on vacation.

Moreover, thanks to the connections in the tourist area, it offers photographic experiences in different destinations around the world, workshops, tours and expeditions based on discovering the place, reinforced by the presence of a professional with great knowledge of the area, and on the desire to get rich and learn more about the world of photography, how to use both, camera and creativity, to the fullest.

We are able to organize a photographic trip or a photo-video service in the destination of your choice.

The company was registered in Italy and is currently configured as a sole proprietorship.

The whole project come featured:

Improved website that includes:

Platform dedicated to photographers and videomakers collaborators

Integrated affiliate system

Existing network of photographers, videomakers,

Base for a network of agents and affiliates


Blog enriched by a team of ambassadors

Online content

Social media channels

Marketing strategy

Traffic analysis

Content writing & SEO

Recruitment of new photographers and video makers

Brochures and catalogs

Creation of graphic and written contents

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

December 4th, 2019

Quite often I hear young businesses complain that they just need more sales and things will be okay. Usually this isn't a sales issue, almost always it's a product issue. The business as described lacks a marketing strategy. It doesn't communicate a unique value proposition. And while it fills a function, people rarely make purchase decisions based on features. They buy based on benefits.

It may be that you chose not to describe these things, but without them, it's not clear why anyone needs your service versus a similar service. While I can imagine how your service might be useful, that's a weak position, letting your potential customer decide what's sexy about your business. It's your responsibility as business owner to guide potential customers through their thought process so they understand inherently what problem your service solves, which benefits it delivers, when is best to use your service, and how they will experience delight after making their purchase decision.

My recommendation is that you consider these things deeply if you have not already. As described, your business is a commodity. Commodities always suffer from competition and price pressures. If you don't know where to start, buy some books on persuasion marketing, read some Seth Godin books, or at a minimum talk to your happy customers about what led them to choose your company.

Good luck.

Sebastian Otero Digital Sales & Marketing

December 7th, 2019

I congratulate you on your entrepreneurship and effort.

Constructive feedback---I just visited your website. It does need A LOT of work in terms of UX and speed. As a user, I got impatient and was ready to leave it.

Talha Mehmood Ruby on Rails Web App Developer

December 2nd, 2019

Everything's in place, you need business development guy or someone more of marketing side person who maybe able to scale your business.

Carlos Inguanzo

December 2nd, 2019

Hey Chiara, would love to chat up about what you are doing in AlterNative. I own a Digital Marketing Agency, and a business accelerator, and maybe there is some work to be done together there. Would love to chat about it, let me know if you are interested.

Sheeba Pathak Solopreneur

December 10th, 2019

Well why are you considering selling it?

Do you already have an offer from someone for a purchase?

How long is it in business?

What are your plans post sale?

Now all firms, especially sevices will have a plateau of chasing revenues and funnels. Given that you're by yourself with another employee; then all work would be between the two of you.

Converse with accelerators, incubators, investors and other entrepreneurs in the same line of work. Look at businesses with a similar model, as already pointed out an Uber-see what's their break even points, study if any of your pitfalls are similar. Test if what they did can work for you. Really I can't quite understand why you would be wanting to sell your firm when you've barely just begun. Unless of course it's really kicking it and you could rake in the moolah, seems you built it keeping in mind your passion for photography. .

Ema Chuku Product Developer. Founder.

December 2nd, 2019

It’s interesting how people introduce themselves as CEO of no—fully functional venture.. And a sole- proprietorship for that matter.. Perhaps you should reconsider how you portray your title.

That said, it’s normal to be in this position with your venture.. You are still in it’s early beginning stages. and if you are already feeling like this, then it’s best to fold up now and call it quits before you waste any more of your time and money.

As for what I would do to avoid the frustration, I would see the venture as a passionate activity and take its current stage/setbacks as a challenge.

if you cant do this, then you are not passionate about it. No matter how hard you work, if you lack passion for it, you won’t go far, because you will see everything with a frustrating mindset.

the idea of selling, should be out of the equation.

Bastian Le Co-founder at BEMIZU - Make workers and business lives flexible

December 3rd, 2019

Are the majority of your clients in the U.S.?

Alex Stahl Founder & Chairman of Whetstone Fashion Holdings, Inc.

December 3rd, 2019

Sounds like Uber for photography. If you have an active userbase, and you're uncertain of where to take it, then sell it to Uber.