Going from technology startup to profitability in nine months

Overview

MyWorkSearch was an idea in February 2009.  With seed funding from me, the founder, the company had to build its technology, launch and as quickly as possible generate sufficient sales create profits and cash.

The challenge

We had an idea for a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering to provide assistance to job seekers.  We felt the business would be successful however would only know for certain once the technology and content had been created and customers obtained.  The recession also provided a window of opportunity to win customers and create a reputation and we were very much up against the clock.

The solution

We decided to self-fund as this was possible and we did not want to have the delays that raising venture capital would necessitate.

We formed two small teams: one to create content and one to write our software.  The recession meant that it was easy to find suppliers eager to work with us and available at attractive rates.

It took us five frustrating months before we could launch.  We put in place as many routes to market as we could, such as affiliates, resellers and direct sales.  We identified three separate markets: government, B2B and B2C.  We pursued all three at the beginning and focused on the best as soon as we could see where the sales could most readily be achieved.

The moment we got a sniff of a genuine opportunity we scaled resources to meet it and we rapidly abandoned areas where we felt revenue would be limited, slow or expensive to obtain.  As soon as we were profitable (December 2009) we created a new strategic plan to decide where we wanted to prioritise and go and we made investment decisions based on this.

13 months after launch we have a dozen staff, 10 full time consultants and are generating over £100,000 per month in profits.

Key lesson

Create a plan, execute ferociously, frequently review and modify and be lucky.

Top tip

Put together a great team as this way you have the talent to scale the business.

Find out more about MyWorkSearch

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