This article is originally published by Startup Victoria.
Tell us about yourself and your business
I’m Sandy, founder of a digital career platform called Career Money Life. We’re passionate about employees having the best possible experience, regardless of where they work. Our platform helps companies give that to their people through enabling them to have complete choice over career benefits.
For example, a common (usually not so good) experience employees have is being made redundant at some point. Our platform can help turn that into a much better experience by offering employees, not just a resume rewriting service, but a wellbeing retreat to recharge or resources to start their own business. Whatever it is they need, our platform can offer it – we’ve got over 400 suppliers and hundreds of unique services.
We’ve been around for 5 years now and it’s been exciting to see that companies of all sizes are really invested in giving their employees the best and most unique experience. Our clients are a mix of startups and big corporates and we’ve been humbled to onboard many well-known companies, such as Virgin Australia and Redbubble.
In the last year, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most impacted your business?
One major trend that we’re seeing that we think is going to be really game-changing for Australian employees is the fact that there’s more and more older workers either looking for work or a little unsure of how to best enter retirement.
For example, a lot of our clients want us to support workers over 50 who might be affected by restructures and aren’t sure how to reinvent themselves after long corporate careers. Similarly, a lot (most!) companies don’t have structured retirement options for staff – we’re helping with that too; giving people lots of training and options.
We’ve actually responded to that market need by developing a new digital goal-setting tool for anyone at any stage of their career and we’re excited to see it’s getting real traction.
If you could help aspiring founders avoid a mistake you’ve made, what would it be?
I would say the number one challenge for all founders is to find and maintain their focus.
At any given time, there’s so much happening in the startup space… it’s easy to convince yourself you’re achieving great things by taking every opportunity that’s thrown at you; you think that by doing this you’ll get more sales.
The reality is, though, that you need to maintain a laser focus on your customer. Where do they hang out? What do they read? Whose opinion do they listen to? You need to use this information to get in front of them.
When you find those potential customers, another hard lesson I’ve learned is to try and not to get too emotional about rejection. You’ll generally get far more rejections that wins, so you need to remember the long game and assume that no means not yet, and just keep going.