Liam Martin is the co-founder & CMO of Staff.com, an online staffing agency that makes it easy and affordable for companies to find talented workers. I briefly spoke with Liam and he shared a few startup advice with us.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your company and also how you started it?
Liam Martin: Staff.com is an online staffing agency that only concentrates on long term remote jobs. Rob Rawson and I started the business a year ago off our previous business Time Doctor.com which is the market leader in remote employee productivity. The software is basically like Google analytics for your work day and it’s the same software we use to monitor remote staff through staff.com
Q: What are you currently working on right now?
Liam Martin: This morning I was doing meetings with a few project partners. Rob was working on new features for the site. I mostly just talk to customers and ask them how I can make the site better then go out and do that.
Q: How many people and companies are currently using this platform and how do you plan to keep growing?
Liam Martin: We get thousands of people trying Time Doctor and Using the Staff.com platform every month. We look at things pretty methodologically, figure out a funnel that we can build, get it profitable, then move on to the next one. Basically rinse and repeat.
Q: How is running an online company different than what you thought it would be?
Liam Martin: I thought I’d be talking to people less but in reality I’m talking to people pretty much all day. Not a big deal but it’s sometimes distracting when you want to get big things done during the day.
Q: How do you separate yourself from your competitors and what makes your platform better or different?
Liam Martin: Staff.com only focuses on long term remote work unlike most online platforms that focus on short term projects. So on other platforms you might get a website built, on staff.com you can only hire web designers, we focus on hiring the person and not the project so we’re much closer to a classic staffing agency, we provide workers just like any one else, they’re just not located in your office.
Q: What was the biggest problem you encountered with your business and how did you overcome it?
Liam Martin: Scaling, it’s still a problem as we grow. Getting the right people on the bus that are passionate about what we’re doing is incredibly difficult and it’s a constant issue with us as we grow.
Q: Please share some business tips & advice for new tech startups and entrepreneurs.
Liam Martin: Don’t worry about problems of success until you’re successful. Business success boils down to three things, acquisition, conversion and retention. Don’t worry about the last two if you haven’t figured out the first one.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting out with your business and if you could start over what would you do differently?
Liam Martin: Figuring out critical scale points, writing code before testing our assumptions based off that code “find out if your users actually want a feature before you code it”, not systematizing as much as you can in the beginning so you don’t have to go back and manage it.
Q: Besides the obvious social media tools available, what are the top 3 most useful tools or resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
Q: Can you recommend a good book for new entrepreneurs?
Liam Martin: Good to Great by Jim Collines, The Lean Startup by Eric Reis and Getting Real by 37 Signals if you’re looking to build a tech startup
Q: What’s your definition of success?
Liam Martin: Being unkillable. I.E. Making enough money so everyone gets paid and you’re in the black. I know that sounds like a shallow definition of success but if you haven’t gotten there yet nothing else matters as eventually you’ll be out of business.