How Steve Orenstein’s business services company was acquired by a NYSE-listed firm

How Steve Orenstein’s business services company was acquired by a NYSE-listed firm

The founder and chief executive of Connect2field, Steve Orenstein, started in business as a 19-year-old running an IT support company called SMO Technologies.

Connect2field manages client and business connections, with software designed to make the job of workers on the move easier. It records quotes, accounting details, supplier contact information, monitors inventory and can be scaled to a large user-base of field workers, office staff and management. 

Orenstein was frustrated with the lack of a system to manage his field workers, and was inspired to eliminate the paper-based system for billing his clients, which led to developing Connect2Field, which now has 12 staff in Australia.

From small beginnings in 2009 funded by accounting software company Reckon, the business was acquired in August by New York Stock Exchange-listed company Fleetmatics and is now chasing customers worldwide.  

You’re constantly challenged, I enjoy facing those challenges every single day, not necessarily knowing what those challenges are that you’re going to be faced with on a daily basis.

You have to be very determined to be in business, you will get knockbacks day-in-and-day-out, and you have to keep pushing through those knockbacks.

Our competition really is pen and paper. Our biggest challenge is getting people to move from what they’re doing to using an electronic system.

We don’t actively go out and cold call people, a significant number contact us via our website every single month. So we don’t have to convince them that our software is a good idea, they already know that they have a problem inside their business and it’s more about helping them use our software to solve that problem.

The website is our key to getting business, and selling to our customers on the web. We don’t knock on doors; we don’t go out to do demonstrations of product.  It’s all done over the web, very seamless.

Referrals are by far the best way to find staff.

We’ve hired people through Twitter, we’ve used Gumtree, we’ve used Seek we’ve been using recruitloop recently which has been very successful. There’s a whole range of areas people can look at.

I’ve got my own personal Twitter profile, and anytime I’ve been looking for staff I’ve always tweeted about it and someone who’s followed me has gone and responded back and said they’d be interested and would like to talk to me. I’ve made contact with them and gone from there, and hired people through that.

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