So you've survived those crucial first years in business - congratulations! But what happens afterwards, when it's time to grow and scale up? Every business has a different path to expansion and further development, so what does scaling up really mean?
GroHappy is a career development platform designed for the ‘future of work’ . Organisations use GroHappy to help their employees get clear on their growth priorities, have meaningful development conversations and discover the right learning resources at the right time. We chat to founder Jim Stichbury about what scaling up means for them.
We believe there’s never been a more important time for people to nurture their potential - both for their personal wellbeing and for the organisations that power to compete in a fast changing and complex world. In a nutshell, GroHappy’s platform:
- Helps employees get clear on their most important development and career priorities.
- Connects employees with personalised resources (e.g. podcasts, online courses, articles) to support their specific growth needs.
- Provides tools to help employees and their leaders to have more valuable career conversations - giving leaders the confidence to ask the right questions at the right time.
Where are we at in our journey?
We built our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with the support of Virgin Start Up, launching our first trials in the summer of 2017. Since then we’ve been signing up new clients each month and we're continuing to refine and tweak GroHappy as we learn about user and business needs.
We’re currently raising investment to further develop the product, scale our sales operation, and automate processes.
When did you feel it was the right time to grow?
Firstly, it was about validating that we’d identified a pain point that companies care about and want to fix. Second, it was showing that GroHappy can help.
How did you start putting this into action?
First we needed to understand where to invest to have the most impact. Once the product was ready and getting good results, our bottleneck was reaching enough potential clients. So our first major action was bringing onboard Mike, our awesome new sales development representative. His role is to find businesses in the market that invest in their people and see whether or not GroHappy could be a good fit.
Second, we began to outsource some of our more administrative processes to free up time for more strategic thinking.
What’s our biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge will continue to be remaining niche. The area of personal development is fascinating and incredibly broad. It’s easy to get swept up in a whole host of areas. We need to continue to evaluate our focus and make sure we’re the best at one thing, rather than ‘okay' at many things.
What do the results of your approach say?
Results so far have been really promising. From a sales perspective, we’re getting strong traction with organisations around the pain points and challenges that GroHappy can help solve.
And our users seem to be enjoying it, with one commenting “You know those HR systems we’ve all used in organisations? It’s like that but something you actually want to use. Actually it’s not like that because it’s about real personal growth, rather than corporate targets”.
What's next for the business?
We’re in the process of closing our investment round and, from there, we’ll continue bringing on new clients, supporting our growing user base and building the team. We’re also carving out time for the team to reflect on all the user feedback to date and the problems facing organisations to evaluate our focus for the future.
Any other tips?
Time is your most sacred resource and I’ve personally struggled to always prioritise effectively. My bad habit is putting off the difficult tasks and prioritising stuff that I know I can do and tick off the list. Reflect on how you’re spending your time and making sure you’re creating space for the challenging but super important tasks.
Finally, take time to celebrate the wins, however small.
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