3rd February 2012
Hello, my name is Simon and I run a web development company called Atlas. Staff Squared is my idea, and Atlas’ first foray into the software product development and boy have we learned a lot in the last six months. In addition to all the info we’ll post about staff management in SMEs, we’re also going to provide insights into how we conceptualised, designed, built, and finally launched Staff Squared.
But first, a little backstory…
I had the idea for Staff Squared over three years ago. I’d just landed a couple of big contracts to develop web applications for an FTSE 100 company and thought all was well in the world until I returned to my desk one morning to find a handwritten note on my desk. I won’t bore you with the detail but essentially it was one of my star employees saying “I quit”. My heart sank, I knew I’d missed his appraisal but I honestly didn’t believe he’d quit; it was too late and I was screwed. We struggled on without him but not without a continued sense of loss and uncertainty amongst the team.
Fast forward 18 months and still sore from the loss of that key member of staff I interviewed a number of our clients to understand what HR issues they have. Taking copious notes and attempting to spot patterns, the seeds of ideas that would eventually grow to be Staff Squared were sown and I believed we could build something that would revolutionise HR and performance management in small businesses. 1000’s of hours, and buckets of sweat, blood, arguments, and tears later, we’ve produced what I hope is a platform that will one day be synonymous best practice for HR in SMEs.
Staff Squared has a fair number of competitors but fortunately for us, they’re either based in the US or overlooking SMEs. In fact, they’re not just overlooking SMEs, they’re actively ignoring them. Whilst carrying out competitor research we told one long-established HR web app provider we were an SME only to be told: “Sorry you can’t afford us”. Ouch! We’ll name and shame later.
So where are we now? Well, we’re currently talking to HR professionals and we’ll soon be opening our doors to the people who first showed an interest in us last year.
While everything in us is screaming “launch the damned product already!” this process has to be a marathon, and not a sprint, and this is why we’re not allowing everybody in right now. We need to get our operational people and processes just right, as customer service is a big part of Staff Squared’s success. If you’d like to receive an invite to Staff Squared please enter your e-mail address on the Staff Squared home page.
Staff Squared has been crafted with a huge amount of care, love and attention to detail. No, it’s not perfect, but with your feedback, it will be. Our mission is real, we genuinely want to change the way staff are managed in SMEs for better, forever.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, if you’ve got any feedback, want to tell us our idea sucks, or generally just get involved please e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org.