“Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations.” – Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media founder, and CEO
Any person with an IQ knows that starting your own business is like signing up to be a bull rider. There are a lot of aspects to be weighed up before even deciding to go ahead and ride the bull.
Some aspects to consider before starting a business include:
- The state of the economy
- The type of product customers need
- Researching your competition
- Define your target audience
- Your Marketing Strategy
- Staff needed
- Will you register as a sole trader or limited company? Consider the tax you’ll need to pay and the legal responsibilities
- How will you pay yourself?
- Is the name you chose going to impact on the masses?
- Are you offering something different or better?
- How much funding do you have?
- Do you have a business plan?
In other words, it’s like finding yourself in a desert and searching for water to survive. Then you also have to deal with other challenges like unforeseen costs or irregularities e.g. equipment that needs to be replaced, theft etc.
Getting a start-up off the ground takes a lot of courage and perseverance, and getting it past the first 3 years is harder still. So being nominated for a start-up award before the 3-year mark is a pretty big deal!
How the Procurementexpress.com Dream Started
Our fearless leader James Kennedy CEO of Procurementexpress.com and co-owner Richard Greenane the COO (old time friend of James) observed that 3 of his IT clients had a need that could not be filled by current software solutions at the time. This was exactly what James was waiting for. James and Richard realized this gap in the market and saw the future of Procurementexpress.com. This small start-up has grown to be one of the fastest growing start-up companies in the world and will become a million dollar company within half the time it usually takes to reach such a target. Their vision goes beyond what they see, and they are gradually reaching the heights they envisioned by doing things a bit differently than the rest.
Procurementexpress.com was nominated for the “Bank of Ireland Start-up Awards 2017” and we felt it our duty to ask James Kennedy a few questions:
What did the competition entail?
Start-ups are officially cool. Or at least they are if you look at the number of awards which are held in their honor. It might be because most businesses never get beyond the “start-up” phase and there can be a lot of long, cold, and hard nights that aren’t appreciated before they even turn a profit.
At the same time, new businesses, if successful, create new jobs, which creates growth in the economy. For this reason, Bank of Ireland provides recognition in several different ways including free office space and mentorship. Their annual start-up awards are the centerpiece of this effort and offer a simple way to give fledgling businesses an “attaboy”.
Taking part means filling out an online application as well as attending an interview.
How do you feel about Procurementexpress.com’s recent nomination?
As much as I would like to tell you that our customers give us the only satisfaction we need, it is hard not to be wowed by the bright lights of these snazzy competitions. My mother may still not really understand what we do, but telling her the bank wants to give us an award makes her happy. It is also good for the team to receive recognition beyond the company for the work they do.
What was the nomination procedure?
It started off with an online registration process. This was evaluated by the faceless machine and the top contenders from each category were invited to a pitch event at the offices of one of Dublin’s top law firms.
This panel of judges then selected winners from each category and awards were given out at Dublin’s Mansion House.
Which category was Procurementexpress.com nominated for?
How does it feel to have achieved so much in so little time?
While our progress may appear meteoric from the outside, it has still been a lot of work. We have been lucky to get so far, so quickly, but there is still a long road ahead to meet our ambitions. That said, it is nonetheless gratifying to compare our progress to other great companies. It keeps spirits high and makes it easier to keep on going through the various challenges that being in business bring up.
Does being a finalist make you feel that all the goals you set for the future are on track?
The really dangerous period for us is in the rear-view mirror. We have hundreds of happy customers who make heavy use of our services. Our biggest danger now is sitting back when we need to lean forward. What we have done so far is “good”. What we can do is “great”. Being nominated helps to keep up with that momentum.
How does being nominated affect your decision making?
It really does not.
The inarguable reason for starting your own business is to make your own path and lay your own foundation. It’s important to keep your eye on your goal and putting in the legwork, which has been proven to get you there in the long run. It is best to do things right the first time otherwise you’ll have to do it over again.
“Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder
Start your business with the right attitude and share your knowledge with the struggling masses.
The way Procurementexpress.com is growing provides great motivation for us being part of the company. Like James said, events like these put things in perspective. Cheers to many more nominations in the future!