How We Started a Template Design
Business for Bootstrapped Start-ups
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, we are Luca and Lorenzo, co-founders of Flowyak – a template design and development business. We have a mission: creating high-converting, beautifully designed websites that anyone can afford.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
Our journey started in 2015, when we founded Podyak (initially called DevRev, but recently rebranded to build a more consistent identity), a web design and development agency, serving enterprises and scaleups. We had the privilege to collaborate with world-renowned brands and innovative companies, but still felt that something was missing.
Our clients had the budget to work with anyone they wanted and could have chosen someone equally skilled. Most startups don’t have this luxury. For this reason, in October 2019, we founded Growthyak. In less than a year, we helped 250+ startups harness the power of design, but it still wasn’t enough.
In June 2020, Flowyak was born to make world-class design even more accessible and affordable.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
In the design world, templates have a poor reputation and most of the time for a good reason! We had to fight the idea that extending our field of action would end up hurting the brand we had carefully built. To be fully honest, there still are days when we doubt our decision.
Who is your target market?
We focus on startups. With our experience, we can immediately bring value to the founders and, as entrepreneurs ourselves, we know where they hang out online.
Knowing where you can find your customers is the key for every new venture.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
We leveraged our network of relationship and a small email list that we had built in five years in the trenches. Real-life relationships have always been our first driver for growth, as well as being very active in start-up communites.
We also found small success on Product Hunt with 409 upvotes and $599 in sales.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Our templates have a lifetime license for a one-off fee. To build trust and ensure customers’ satisfaction, we offer unlimited free support and a no-question asked money-back guarantee. Nobody has asked a refund yet, we will see in the long-run our customers’ loyalty.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
We have been a fully remote team since day one and we believe in individual accountability. Our employees know and share our vision for the future. Each week, they are free to decide what they will do to help us reach it. After suffering from micromanaging, we are trying to build the culture that we wanted for ourselves.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
Start with one customer and make him happy. If you do it consistently for years, you will soon have built an empire.
Focus on doing things that don’t scale. Essays from Paul Graham has been a great inspiration and caused a mind shift in our day-to-day work life.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The freedom, the ability to control our own destiny, and the feeling of excitement for the daily challenges.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Italian bureaucracy is insane. Every operation gets unnecessarily complicated and the tax burden makes it hard to compete with international realities.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
We want to become the place where founders and small business owners turn to when they are looking for world-class design that doesn’t break the bank.
We are focusing on the product and offering the best customer experience possible. The results will follow.