Dubsado CEO and Founder Becca Berg has always been moved by the entrepreneurial spirit.
At 12 years old, Berg became the founder of her first business, hawking handmade jewelry around her Burbank, California, neighborhood. As an adult, she nurtured a lifestyle photography brand from the ground up — but soon realized there was something missing.
Berg and her husband, Jake, a web designer, were looking for a system that could help them manage multiple businesses, along with two children and a mortgage, when they uncovered a gaping void in business management solutions: brand identity.
“I researched systems that could get everything in one place, but none allowed me to have my brand front and center,” Berg told Built In. “So, my husband and I set out to make one ourselves.”
WHAT DUBSADO DOES
Driven by its mission of “empowering the world’s difference makers,” Dubsado is a B2B online platform for small business owners to manage client documents, payments, projects and more. Its customizable interface allows customers’ brands to shine.
Founded in 2016, Dubsado occupies rare air as a self-funded startup.
“The terrifying part of self-funding is: You’re the one in control of your security and whether your business does well or not — and the exciting part is that you’re the one in control of your security and whether your business does well or not,” Berg said.
“Being self-funded is a beautiful thing,” she added. “Instead of trying to impress our investors, we report to our users — we can deeply listen to their needs and do our best to serve them.”
What are your responsibilities as CEO and founder?
My role is to set the company direction and fill in wherever help is needed: stepping in as a product marketing manager while we hire for one, assisting our director of product with our product roadmap, helping plan big software updates and changes, or cleaning up the aftermath of our office’s perpetual leaky roof after a big rain. Being a founder to me means doing whatever you need to do to see your company not only survive but thrive.
“Being a founder to me means doing whatever you need to do to see your company not only survive but thrive.”
What prompted you to start the company?
I was running my photography business, and my husband was doing web design and managing a retreat center. With two kids, we had a lot of jobs to pay the bills and our mortgage.
Things were all over the place in our businesses — I wanted to find a way to get everything in one place. While I found functional systems, they didn’t create a cohesive client experience reflecting my brand.
Who did you look to for inspiration early on and why?
Being a tech company that is bootstrapped since the beginning is rare. I started to search for large companies that were bootstrapped and looked to them for inspiration.
Mailchimp is one that I was in awe of. They were self-funded their entire time until they sold for $12 billion — an inspiration for us for sure. In a venture-backed world, it gave us the confidence to stick to who we are and continue on our path.
What scared you the most during your first few years as a founder?
The weight of responsibility for the livelihoods of our employees. In the first few years of business, we were more focused on getting our product to stick, and almost every day was spent worrying if something would happen that would lead to a shutdown the next day.
Any business just starting out can relate to that. As we expanded our team, it was surreal to think that the people working for us relied on our paychecks to support their families. In addition to our goal of supporting our users, we had a new goal of doing our best to also support our team here at Dubsado.
Were there any moments when you felt like giving up? If so, what pushed you to keep going?
All the time. No matter what you do, running your own business is terrifying and exciting. Whenever I start feeling those feelings creep up on me, I first find my support who can listen to these feelings. Then, we make a plan for how to get to the other side of these feelings.
It’s important to remember that running a business is not a straight path — setbacks and failures are a part of the journey. It’s how you react to those setbacks that will determine your success in the long run. Whether it’s reaching out for support from a mentor or a business coach or just taking a break and reevaluating your goals, there are ways to overcome the feeling of wanting to give up.
“Running a business is not a straight path — setbacks and failures are a part of the journey.”
We are seven years in, but I believe that Dubsado’s journey is just getting started. We have named 2023 as our foundational year to reinvent our code base, teams, systems and process to prep for all the excitement we plan to bring to our users, employees and the market.