Federico H GosmanClarity Expert

Economist and Consultant. Former member of the board of Argentinian open stock corporations: Telecom Argentina, Siderar, Consultatio, Metrovias and EDENOR. I have more than 10 years of experience as a consultant.

Recent Answers


As I see it, you need to develop a business strategy for the season by taking advantage of your the resources you already have. Obtaining additional funds will help you to alleviate your financial constraints, but from what you have told this doesn't appear to be the most attainable solution to your problem.

For developing a business strategy with the objective of keeping your shop open during the winter, there are some aspects you could take into consideration:

1) As the demand is low during winter, you will have excess capacity, which is actually the source of your problem. You may think of offering very aggressive promotions for both existing and new customers, with very low prices on the services and goods. Your primary goal is to cover the operating costs, not obtaining a profit.

2) You may provide free services to attract customers, such as workshops on bike maintenance. You may also consider exploring strategic alliances for these activities. For example, you could organize activities sponsored by one of your providers, in order to educate your customers on the advantage of his/her products and on how to use them properly.

4) If you have enough space, you could setup an indoor training business. This could also be achieved through strategic alliances, for example with bike instructors.

5) You may sell your goods with a minimum margin above the replacement cost, specially the one with low turnover rate.

6) After 6 months, you probably already have a customer base. Try to think what value proposition you could offer to them, based on your knowledge of their needs and the resources you already have (the shop, the know how, your stock).

There are a number of techniques to develop ideas about business models, such as the Business Canvas and the Lean Canvas, which provide you with a structured approach to think about your value propositions, your customers, your resources and other critical aspects of the business.

Regarding the additional funding, you may try Crowdlending, not to cover your entire expenses through the winter, but to alleviate your financial stress. In order to get better chances with Crowdlending, I think it will help you to have an appealing business concept with a reasonable ROI, as opposed to simply requesting money for working capital.


I've worked on software development projects for several years. I occupied different positions, from developer to team leader and project manager.

From my experience, you don't need to have similar competencies than your employee to be able to supervise his or her work.

However, you do need to be able to evaluate the solution proposals (for example, if a particular piece of software, when complete will resolve your business need), the work estimates and the quality of results.

To measure the efficiency of the developers, for each project you will need to answer two questions:

1. Is the proposed solution the most fitted, considering the alternatives?
2. Are the developers using the minimal amount of time to achieve the required quality?

For the first question, your developers should be able to explain you, in layman's terms, the different alternatives to achieve the solution, the pros and cons, and why they are advocating for one particular alternative. Generally speaking, the high level description of a software project shouldn't be obscure for a someone with business experience and a minimal description of the technologies involved. If you can't understand them, then there may be a problem with the developers' qualifications or work attitude.

The second question may be somewhat more difficult to answer. Control comes at a cost, so you need to find the trade-off between excessive control on one extreme and lack of visibility on the other. The developers should be able to explain you the tasks they need to perform to deliver the solution, and the work estimates should be agreed upon with you. As time goes by, and you track the time of tasks through Asana and other tools, you should be able to validate new estimates based on previous work on similar tasks. You may also use benchmarks on software development for comparison purposes, especially for simple and repetitive tasks, common to many software development project.

If you don't have the time available to be involved on project management, you may consider the option to hire an additional person for the role. But I would recommend this if the new person can also add value to your software development project (for example, by bringing seniority to the team and development capabilities to the team, not just as a supervisor). Otherwise, it may be an unjustified overhead.

If you have any follow up questions, I'll be happy to help through a call.


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