In this episode of the podcast, we have Liam Martin with us. Liam is the co-founder and CMO of Staff.com and Time Doctor. These are time analytics services focused on growing individuals and organizations.
Liam shares his story of starting the companies, his habits and strategies in managing his team, and the challenges he faced along the way. Whether you’re looking to take your business to the next level or just starting out, you’re sure to learn something useful. Tune in as he tells his story to help you out too.
About our Guest:
Liam Martin is the co-founder and CMO of Staff.com and TimeDoctor.com. From being a part of the academe, Liam moved on to building an online tutoring service. Along the way, he picked up some business tricks and built Staff.com and Time Doctor with his co-founder, Rob Rawson. His companies help other organizations make the most of their time.
Liam’s SaaS Business Success Essentials
- He started as a lecturer at McGill University, but was unsatisfied and received little pay.
- He then started an online tutoring service on Skype. It eventually grew to have 200 tutors but reached a “pain point.” He found that he had too many tutors who are inefficient with time management.
- He then built Time Doctor with Rob Rawson.
- Staff.com and Time Doctor are time analytics applications that allow you to track the time spent by a remote team for increased productivity.
- Staff is enterprise-based, while Time Doctor is geared toward small businesses.
Avoiding Churn and Going Too Big, Too Fast
- Churn is the rate at which customers leave the service. Pay attention to it, and avoid it at all costs.
- Avoid going too big and too fast. Focus on sustainability in the long run.
- A lot of people in Silicon Valley have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). They tend to jump on the train of revenue without looking out for the long term. This is bad practice.
- It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you keep.
The Temptation of Venture Capital
- Venture capitalists raise money and invest them in companies.
- You show them your business, and they decide if they want to invest in you.
- This is useful if you want exponential growth in your company up to tenfold.
- Otherwise, you should avoid the temptation of accepting venture capital. This is not economical. You’ll become a “zombie company.” Your company will struggle to grow and no one will want to buy you if you decide to sell out.
- Instead, focus on what’s founder-friendly, company-friendly, and what’s best for the employees.
Expanding an Effective Team
- You need operational procedures to scale your team up.
- Document your procedures, so there’s more than one employee who knows how to do something. Make what few people can do doable by anyone else.
- Provide video walkthroughs and hyperlinks so that instructions are straightforward.
- This document should evolve with the team and the company.
- Liam shares this quote by Napoleon: “Orders shouldn’t be easy to understand, they should be impossible to misunderstand.”
- Remember that success is built on people and not just one individual.
The SaaS Business Model: Software as a Service
- This model provides the software as a subscription. The customer pays a small recurring fee that allows them to continue using the service. The provider, on the other hand, has an active team that continually improves the software.
- In the long run, this is cheaper and better for the customer.
- The SaaS is a powerful business model that’s quickly taking over. You can build one with a far smaller capital and a smaller team.
Liam’s Habits to Success
- Have the discipline to put in work every day.
- Measure your productivity. Time management is a critical skill that separates the successful from the unsuccessful.
- Innovate and keep working on new things.
- Zero To One by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel for strategies and philosophies in building a startup.
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Sales Strategy & Skills
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