Founders: Tristan Sternson, 32
Head Office: Victoria
Industry: Information technology
The information technology business can be a lucrative one, but it also depends on a company’s ability to effectively hire the right people.
Tristan Sternson, the founder of IT firm Infoready, found this out the difficult way when some key players left in the middle of a project, leaving the company scrambling for a solution.
Although the company managed to move its resources around and find a solution, Sternson picked up a key management lesson.
“Both these resources were contractors and we have since learnt that a larger blend of permanent to contract resources is required in an expert consulting organisation where the skills of our resources are in high demand. We also have a strong emphasis on people management to ensure the best for our team.”
Infoready has now decreased its reliance on contractors and has a full time talent resources manager.
The company is targeting a sweet spot left vulnerable by the huge amount of data flowing through businesses as technology improves. Sternson says businesses not only want to interpret this data from a reasonable format, but also make sure they get something out of it.
“Businesses today rely on data as their life blood and companies no longer have the luxury of taking time to develop these solutions and deliver data to their users.”
This is where Infoready comes in, as it decipheres this data and can break it down into practial reports. It’s a huge task, and Infoready had to manage its growth as a start-up to make sure it didn’t break ahead too quickly. But it now turns over $7.4 million with 36 employees.
It’s also grown by over 100% in the past three years, which Sternson attributes to some key marketing initiatives – including a conference which the company sponsored.
“The reason it was our most successful was due to our planning prior to the conference to qualify our target prospects, create specific offerings targeted to this audience, and set KPI's for the conference that each of our representatives were required to achieve.”
“Through meeting our onsite KPI's we have yielded a larger than expected pipeline from the conference that has generate more actual sales than expected, and had 10 x ROI within six months.”
With no exit plan, Sternson says he’s keen to keep on growing as quickly as he can – but warns other entrepreneurs that the type of growth he’s experiencing doesn’t come without crucial planning.
“Plan and plan well, but don't be afraid to change your plan,” he says.
“It is important to follow a plan even if it needs to change, which generally it does in the first year. Following a plan helped us to understand how our company is performing and to measure our performance again milestones.”