[Update] Overcoming Challenges And Growing Our $1.2M/Year Software Development Company

Published: May 14th, 2023
Dmitriy Alentev
Founder, Modelnet
from Jackson, WY, USA
started October 2001
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Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Greetings, everyone. I am Dmitriy Alentev, the founder of Scrile, a software development company that provides B2B services to companies that create social networking platforms, live video conferencing, and online marketplaces.

Our pre-made business products offer a unique feature that allows direct communication between content creators and consumers, including financial transactions, data storage, security measures, and detailed reporting, among other things.

Here’s the link to our original Starter Story interview.

Our flagship products are:

Scrile Connect - a pre-made software for digital Entrepreneurs to start an online platform allowing creators to sell their own content for a monthly or one-time fee.


Scrile Meet - a white-label platform to start consulting marketplace where experts with any time of expertise can offer consulting services using online video chat for a fee.


Modelnet - a software to start a live chat business in any niche but most used for online entertainment.


The product serves as the foundation for a new business venture. However, most of our efforts are directed toward refining the product to create a unique and prosperous online venture for each customer.

In this interview, I aim to provide an update on the following information:

  1. The process by which our customers commence a digital business without the need for a developer or graphic designer. I will delve further into this topic.
  2. The ways in which they generate revenue and establish a thriving business.
  3. Finally, the types of challenges that we encounter and how we overcome them.


Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Our company experienced substantial growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to heightened demand for our platforms. However, since 2022, we have observed a slight slowdown in sales, presenting an opportunity for us to concentrate on optimizing our internal processes and increasing efficiency.

To begin this endeavor, we undertook the challenging task of analyzing each of our marketing channels, given the various communication channels we employ, such as our website, social media, YouTube videos, PR articles, newsletter emails, lead magnets, and email chains, among others.

Upon identifying the cost of each marketing channel, we collaborated with our marketing experts to determine their efficiency, enabling us to optimize our marketing system for current market conditions and increase conversions.

Our pursuit of efficiency and quality led us to discover that specialists in a particular field can complete tasks faster and at a higher quality than generalists, despite their broad skillset. To capitalize on this insight, we began outsourcing specific tasks, such as video editing, creating images for social media posts, and SEO optimization. As a result, we significantly reduced HR expenses while enhancing the speed and quality of our work.

Although outsourcing has its downsides, such as freelancers not always having a comprehensive understanding of the big picture, we found that the benefits outweighed the drawbacks, especially since our needs are continuously changing, and the specialists we require in a few months may be entirely different. Outsourcing allows us to quickly adapt to shifting circumstances and acquire top-quality talent when needed.

We prioritized our sales department, recognizing the importance of building long-term relationships with our clients. Our sales managers act as coaches, working closely with clients to understand their business objectives and create customized solutions. We identified areas for improvement, and we are excited to share the results in early 2024.

Upon evaluating our key metrics at the end of 2022, we were pleased to see similar numbers to those achieved in 2021, despite the slower sales pace. Moreover, we made significant strides in optimizing efficiency, resulting in a 20% increase in our revenue-per-employee value. However, we did notice an increase in HR costs, resulting in comparable overall economic values for the year. Nevertheless, we remain committed to enhancing our operations and delivering value to our customers.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

During the optimization of our business processes, we discovered that some steps were not as efficient as they could be. After much deliberation and consideration, we made the tough decision to reduce our workforce.

We did our best to handle this situation in a responsible and eco-friendly manner, but unfortunately, it still caused stress and concern for those affected.

However, we are looking forward with a positive outlook. Our team is determined to refocus on our company goals and move forward together. We understand the importance of providing support and reassurance to our remaining employees during this transition period, and we are committed to doing so. We have faith that this decision will ultimately lead to a stronger, more efficient business that will benefit both our team and our customers.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

In today's fast-paced business world, being prepared for different economic situations is crucial. To stay ahead of the game, having real-time information about the company at your fingertips is important. This information should encompass each step of the customer journey, and reports should represent this data from multiple angles.

Starting with marketing, it's essential to understand how many new leads are coming in and the length of the sales lifecycle from initial contact to payment. While the total sales summary is important, it's equally critical to understand the number of customers to determine the stability of the financial stream. Additionally, it's crucial to understand sales forecasts based on roadmaps agreed upon with customers, even if they haven't paid yet.

Our company has created a digital BI panel using Zoho Analytics to streamline this process. This panel represents the most important values and provides the necessary information to stay informed about the situation. With this tool, we can quickly analyze data and make informed decisions, allowing us to act fast and efficiently in response to changing economic circumstances.

In summary, keeping a close eye on the metrics that drive your business is essential for success. By leveraging real-time data and analytics tools, you can stay ahead of the competition and make informed decisions that will help you weather any economic storm.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in recent years, and its impact on businesses has been significant. Our company has implemented ChatGPT to handle routine tasks, freeing up our team's time to focus on more complex issues.

Although AI cannot replace human workers, its range of use cases will undoubtedly expand in the future, such as in image content generation and video editing. Leveraging AI to aid in development, quality assurance, and customer service will enable us to enhance our operations and provide better value to our clients.

By exploring new technologies and options, entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the competition and continue to succeed.

Improving our services is our top priority, and offering 24/7 support from our development team is critical to our success. Our development office is active for only 8-10 hours daily, Monday through Friday. However, by establishing offices worldwide, we can offer better quality support in the same time zone as our clients. By dividing larger projects between multiple teams, we can ensure that each team is familiar with the project and provide continuous, high-quality support.

Our customer's success is the foundation of our business, and we take this responsibility seriously. While there are no guarantees in business ventures, we can recommend decisions that have a higher chance of success based on our experience with several entrepreneurs. By developing a framework that includes business development and marketing in addition to software customization, we can assist our customers in building successful ventures.

Our objective is to create an accelerator for human-to-human digital platforms in the new global economy. We believe that we can accomplish this goal with our expertise and resources.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

Ray Dalio's latest book, Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order, is an intriguing read that provides a data-driven approach to navigating the constantly changing global landscape. Although the book contains a significant amount of numerical data, graphs, and proofs that may make it challenging to read, these elements are essential to understanding Dalio's principles.

Despite the complexity level, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in business, economics, or global affairs. It offers insightful perspectives on dealing with the challenges of the modern world and provides practical advice for adapting to changing circumstances. While it may not be for everyone, I believe that those who take the time to read and understand the content will find it a valuable investment in their personal and professional development.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their businesses?

As an entrepreneur, making informed decisions on a daily basis is crucial for success. Real-time business analytics is a valuable tool that can help you gather data and gain insights to make better decisions. Start collecting and organizing your data in a database or spreadsheet so that you can analyze it when needed. This will help you understand trends and improve your business.

Previously, I didn't collect all the data I needed, and it made it difficult to see the overall picture of changes. However, by utilizing real-time business analytics, entrepreneurs can gain a competitive edge and succeed in today's rapidly changing business landscape.

We are on the cusp of using augmented business intelligence to further optimize business development. By exploring new technologies and options, entrepreneurs can stay ahead of the competition and continue to succeed. Therefore, I highly recommend that entrepreneurs invest in data analysis and stay up-to-date with technological advancements to enhance their businesses.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are currently seeking a talented individual to join our team as a full-time marketing manager and sales assistant. Our company is focused on global growth and is keen to expand our sales to new regions such as Latin America, Asia, and China. As such, we are looking for a candidate who deeply understands their local market and can help us establish strong relationships with potential customers in those regions.

We are open to working with individuals full-time, part-time, or per-contract, depending on their availability and preferences. Additionally, we are excited to offer high commissions for successful sales of our products.

If you are passionate about marketing and sales and have experience working in international markets, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity. We are committed to fostering a dynamic and inclusive work environment and look forward to hearing from you.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

Dmitriy Alentev, Founder of Modelnet
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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