Getting to Know my Ventures
Last column, I started a three piece series focused on evaluating the three ventures that I’m currently building. Read about the first quarter for ConnorGillivan.com!
In this column, you’ll get to know FreeeUp a bit better and understand how it’s been growing in the first quarter of the year. If you think FreeeUp could help your business, visit FreeeUp.com and reach out! There’s no risk to trying one of our workers.
1. What is FreeeUp?
FreeeUp is an online business that takes a hands on approach to outsourcing and removes the hassle of recruiting and hiring for business owners. The easiest way to explain is through a story.
You are a business owner online and you want to hire online work to help in your digital marketing efforts. You come to FreeeUp and you tell us exactly who you need on your team. We have a team of over 30 individuals that we’ve already interviewed and tested that who are looking for new opportunities.
We introduce you to the best worker on our team for your needs and you train them on your tasks. You don’t pay for training unless you decide to hire them. Throughout the entire process, our team is hands-on making sure that you are getting exactly what you want.
FreeeUp specializes in helping online eCommerce businesses, but we are not limited to helping other online businesses as well.
2. How was FreeeUp founded?
Around the same time that my business partners and I were beginning to scale down our first eCommerce venture, FreeeUp became a topic of discussion. Over the next 3 months, the idea of the business evolved and I ended up cofounding the business with Nathan Hirsch.
We have complementary skill sets and we were both passionate about the potential of the idea. In October of 2015, the founding of FreeeUp became official. We split up responsibilities, created initial short term goals, and got down to business.
Given my involvement in eCommetize, I decided to take a smaller contributing role in the company’s operations. It worked out perfectly given our skill sets and we continue to strategically plan the next steps for the business together.
3. How does FreeeUp solve a problem?
FreeeUp provides a solution to the thousands of online businesses owners who struggle to effectively use outsourcing as a means to create efficiency and optimize profits. There are plenty of options for businesses to outsource their tasks to online workers, but it can be a nightmare to recruit, interview, and hire the right individual.
When we first started outsourcing for our first business, we ran into every obstacle imaginable. Disappearing workers. Low quality of work. Poor communication. You name it, we experienced it.
After hiring and firing over 200 online workers, we had it down to a science that we wanted to share with others.
FreeeUp erases the need for business owners to have to go through that stressful learning curve. FreeeUp introduces business owners to skilled online workers that we have already worked with and taught how communicate with online business owners. The problem of finding reputable and skilled online workers is solved.
When we started the first quarter, we knew that we had to create a solid structure of systems and processes so that we could quickly scale in the future. Review our goals below…
We achieved our Q1 goals and more. We just launched a newly designed FreeeUp.com. We have signed over 90 clients. We have over 35 active workers. And our systems are rock solid. We’re ready to scale.
5. What was most difficult?
Accounting. FreeeUp’s business has money flowing in and out of the business from and to many different places. We had to create a strategic cash flow positive system to pay our team of workers and bill out clients within a reasonable amount of time.
The system was a topic of discussion for the entire quarter and it has challenged us to make creative solutions to the roadblocks that we hit. Happily, we have now created a system that keeps our cash flow positive, effectively bills all of our clients for their workers, and pays our team of workers each week.
To go along with building the system, we had to find the skill individual to manage the books. We have an accountant that handles our QuickBooks, but we needed a more involved team member who would be organizing transactions each day. We had to go through a couple of people before we found the right one.
6. What was most rewarding?
For me personally, it was launching the re-branded FreeeUp.com. I had been working on the re-design of the website since the beginning of February so it felt like a big victory when we launched it in the final week of the quarter. ther are still improvements that need to be made, but its 10x better than the first site we had published. It’s more focused, has a more clear value proposition, and brings a better element of design to the readers’ eye.
As a company, I think reaching over 75 clients in the first quarter was the most rewarding. Coming into 2016, we knew that there was a market for what we were offering, but we still had to make a bigger splash to fully validate the business model. Quarter 1 allowed that to happen. The idea has been validated and now it’s time to scale.
7. What is the outlook for Q2?
With the launch of the new site, I will be transitioning into a new role focused on lead generation and marketing. I will be focused on exposing FreeeUp’s message to particular markets through a strategic sales and marketing strategy.
The outlook for Q2 involves testing FreeeUp’s ability to scale. Can we double if not triple our run rate in Q2? Can we secure larger clients to build our reputation in the market? Can we retain and build upon our current relationships?
We are confident that the answer is yes. Q2 is reserved to answer those questions with proper actions.
8. What is the vision for the year?
FreeeUp’s vision for 2016 is to establish the company as a leader for outsourcing in the eCommerce market. We envision securing over 250 clients leading up to the retail holiday season and booking over 100,000 hours for the year.
Creating a foundation for the company in its first year will set us up to grow into an industry leader in 2017. The beautiful aspect about FreeeUp is its monopolistic potential as a hands on outsourcing solution for the eCommerce industry. If you can develop a monopolistic company in the short term, your long term will be bright.