Smart50 Awards 2018

28 Whereto Research

Revenue

$5.02 million

Growth

122.05%

Founders

Charles Coulton (40), Catherine Boekel (42), Fiona Hughes (51)

Head Office

Melbourne, VIC

Employees

9

Industry

Consulting and strategy

Website

wheretoresearch.com.au

Founded in 2015, consultancy Whereto Research managed to compile a client list worth $2.2 million in its first financial year, before more than doubling that to $5.02 million by 2017-18.

Charles Coulton, Catherine Coulton and Fiona Hughes identified an opportunity to sit between large data firms offering cookie-cutter solutions and slower academic institutions that aren’t tailor-made for the private sector.

But the path to more than doubling their business in three years has been fraught with challenge.

Coulton explains while experiencing rapid growth, he neglected to plan ahead for adding more staff and was forced to recruit in a rush, causing some headaches later on.

“We made the mistake of hiring people when we desperately needed them, rather than taking the time and effort to find people who fit our business,” he says.

“In hindsight, this caused us more problems in the long term than it solved in the short term.

“We solved the problem by replacing the people in question, but we did not escape unscathed they did some damage on the way through!”

Now on the other side, Whereto Research hopes to establish a second office in Sydney in the near future to build out its base of local clients. From there it’s abroad, with plans in the works to open an international office over the next three to five years.

“We are increasingly expected to answer the ‘why’ questions, to understand how things are going to turn out, and to provide real strategic foresight, faster and cheaper than ever before.”

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