During the highs and lows of building a start-up, the lows can get you down, especially if you think you are not moving fast enough. As I write this chapter I am on a bit of a low. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely optimistic about what we are doing but at times the number of things we have to do, the fundraising, the new features and a load more things that need to get done just get me down because I feel we are not moving fast enough. Thankfully the lows don’t last too long, and I find that by writing it down like this and that reflecting on where we are gets me out of the low. Also the support from those around me is such a great help but we all have bad days, right?
On this journey we have had the opportunity to work with some great people. All of these people are also passionate about what we are trying to achieve and when we talk to them it is yet another reminder that what we’re trying to do is achievable and we just have to keep moving forward and be patient. As much as it would be great to be going full speed at all times, there are inevitably bumps in the road, and you have to slow down for those.
We’re a small team, but we are punching well above our weight. At times in our meetings we wonder if we are where we should be. We’re always questioning our progress, but I think that’s a good thing. By questioning things, you can improve, and there’s ALWAYS room for improvement. The day we cannot improve what we are doing is the day we should stop. The thing is there is loads, then a whole load more we can improve. Steph, Nargis and I are very driven individuals looking to make a huge impact in a very fragmented industry. It is a £425B industry which is pretty big and ripe for disruption. To do this will take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day… But then again, we weren’t on that job!
When we speak with people to tell them what we have achieved so far, they are really surprised, and we are really grateful for the positive feedback and support. We are also grateful for any negative feedback (of which there hasn’t been much), in fact, personally I prefer the negative feedback so we can improve things even more.
I recently spoke with Steve Skerry at SCS Marketing & PR. I mentioned him and his company in Chapter 3, you may recall they have been working on all of our PR and they’ve done a fantastic job. Steve is approached regularly by companies looking to promote their wares, so he knows a good idea when he sees one. He feels the Marlin App is one of those ideas and will change the recruitment industry, thanks Steve. Can all of our supporters be wrong? They could be and as I have said before, time will tell. I mention my conversation with Steve here because after my conversation with him it was yet another reminder of what we have achieved so far and as he said to me over the phone, ‘I am almost as passionate about the App as you’. He follows this blog, our progress and is genuinely interested in seeing the Marlin App succeed. Conversations like this have the same effect on me as chocolate does to us all, it’s a real boost.
When I reflect on our progress, we really have achieved a lot in the last 12 months, well done Steph and Nargis. Each week that passes we’re getting more wins. An employer who recently signed up for a trial was really impressed with the quality of candidates that were listed on the App and is now a paying client enjoying the direct contact with Job Seekers.
The general feedback from many employers is that the recruitment agency route is not going to last forever because the high costs and time delays are just not a sustainable way to source staff. We know this from our own agency days which is why we have gone ‘all in’ with the Marlin App. It’s employers like our most recent sign-up, that yet again emphasise that the vision we had in simplifying how employers find their next staff member is working.
Lots of candidates are regularly telling us how happy they are with the App and the need for such a platform. There are a few candidates who think they will be applying for jobs and are surprised to see no jobs listed. This is a new way people! It will take a bit of time for candidates to realise we are turning the process on its head by having Employers make first contact about opportunities, but it really does work.
Since I began writing Chapter One of this blog so much has happened. The start-up journey in today’s climate isn’t easy but with all of the tools and access to an international network, there has never been a better time to start something. Are you thinking about something now? If so, go for it, what are you waiting for? If you have a desire to create something then you have to at least try otherwise you will never, ever know. What’s worse: trying and failing or never trying and never knowing?
It can be frustrating at times but also so satisfying that words cannot explain. It has been a real pleasure working with Steph, Nargis, our advisors Amber and Chris and all the other people who have helped us on the journey so far. God this sounds like a final speech…it isn’t! You will still have to read my ramblings for a while I’m afraid. It’s just a reminder to myself and a show of gratification to the individuals who have helped us on this journey for which I am so thankful for.
As always thank you for reading this blog. The support and encouragement I have had to continue these posts has been fantastic and if nothing else, just to please all of those supporters I have to continue writing.
Till next time…