This has been a busy and eventful year for cavnessHR. Below we will cover the year in review for cavnessHR.
At the beginning of 2017, we had a few goals for cavnessHR. One of the goals was to have 100 paying customers by the end of 2017. This ended up being a very unrealistic and probably a very foolish goal. At the end of the year, we ended up with only one paying customer. But the journey for cavnessHR during the year was invaluable to our future growth.
We wanted to learn how to use and become active on Snapchat and FB live and use them and other social media platforms as a way to build cavnessHR. I would not say we are experts. But we have made great progress. For Snapchat, we figured out how to change the color of the Snapghost, put text in the white space and attach items to the Snapghost. For FB Live, we are using it to help push our podcast interviews out to more people. We have lots more to learn as far as utilizing social media. But we feel we are on the right path.
We wanted to blog more consistently to tell the story of the progress of cavnessHR. We have posted a weekly blog and we have shared this with as many people as possible. We believe the more people we share the story of our journey with, the more opportunities there will be for cavnessHR.
We wanted to increase our networking and we believe we did this. Below are just a few of the networking opportunities we took advantage of in 2017.
We met some great people during the year, who are doing some great things.
We also wanted to take every opportunity to speak about cavnessHR. A couple of the times we did this was at an Ignite-U networking event. Here we gave a presentation on HR laws for small business. We also put together a job search workshop for students at the University of Washington.
We also spoke at other events about cavnessHR.
Throughout the year, we were doing our best to find a Technical Co-Founder. We reached out to several developers we knew who we thought might be a good match for us. We knew them from either previous networking events or recruiting them for MyUnfold. Or they were one of our LinkedIn or Angellist connections. Or I knew them in some other manner. But for one reason or another, we could not find one. But we knew we had to find tech talent to build out the cavnessHR site.
We found a temporary solution at one of the New Tech Tacoma networking events. People are able to announce anything that might add value to the members attending. During one meeting Ken Hang a Software Developer instructor at Green River College https://www.greenriver.edu/students/academics/degrees-programs/bachelor-of-applied-science/bachelors-in-software-development/ made an announcement. He announced that his class IT 355 was looking for projects for the students to use for the class. The intent is to have an actual business provide a project and let the students work on that project. Well, we submitted cavnessHR and we were one of the projects selected. cavnessHR had 3 interns working for us for about a 10 week period. The interns did a great job and provided cavnessHR great value. This program provided cavnessHR a great interim plan until we could find a CTO.
One of the pieces of advice we received at Seattle Startup Week was to target one specific industry for cavnessHR at first. We are currently figuring out which industry would be the best to target.
We sent YouTube videos to 19 small businesses in the Tacoma area to tell them about cavnessHR.
We then sent each a copy of HR laws for small business and some follow up emails. So far we have not received any replies and only two of the companies opened up any of the emails. So we need to relook how we did this.
Now for something negative that turned into a positive. cavnessHR entered the Business Impact NW pitch competition. http://businessimpactnw.org/ The positive is that it forced us to do our market research, our financials, Executive Summary, business model canvas and write in 1,500 words or less why cavnessHR is a feasible business. We received some great help from Jay Lymon twitter @jaylyman http://www.spl.org/locations/central-library and from Jessica Conway. Jessica is one of the Business coaches at Business Impact NW.
Another positive is that it forced us to make a video for the competition and this was a great experience. We used Videos Crafted http://videoscrafted.com/ to help us make the video. We received lots of compliments on the video. Now for the negative. We made it to the round of 22 and the final stage before the actual pitch competition. The top 8 would go on to pitch their business for $10,000. Well, we finished 14th out of 22, so we were out of the competition.
But the positive is that Business Impact NW hired cavnessHR to do their HR. So, the way we see it is that we actually won. We started working with them and we are learnings a lot from this experience. We are going to use this experience to improve cavnessHR.
As a way to market cavnessHR. We signed up for a podcasting class with John Lee Dumas. John has a podcast called Entrepreneurs on Fire that is consistently ranked as one the top-ranked business podcasts on iTunes. https://eofire.com We have published 21 episodes of the cavnessHR podcast and we have 1973 downloads and/or views. We have had some great guests and they have provided lots of value to the listeners. You can listen to the cavnessHR podcast on one of the platforms below. If you listen on iTunes, we ask that you subscribe, rate and review the cavnessHR podcast while you are on iTunes.
We started working on partnerships with the following to bring additional value to our future customers. We have official partnerships with Zane Benefits and BambooHR. We are still working on finalizing the rest of them.
If you are interested in helping out at cavnessHR and learning more about us. Send me an email at jasoncavness@cavnessHR.com or contact me on pretty much any social media platform at cavnessHR.
Below is something we wrote on a previous blog at a time when things were not going so well. I thought that putting this in here at the end would be a great way to end this blog.
Being a founder of a startup, building a company or whatever term you want to use seems like a long slog in the mud. Then to make it worse instead of having your boots on, you have on your shower shoes.
It is also like having 4th down from your own one-yard line. With one second on the clock. You have not gained over 10 yards in one play all game and your down by 21. So even if you do score, you still lose. But, you know what. You still line up to run the play. Because you might lose this game. But this play just might set you up for success for the next game.
As a founder, you have to always be positive. Even when you have no idea what you are doing. Even when it seems like every move you make backfires. Even when it seems like no else supports you or believes in what you are trying to build. Every punch in the gut, you have to stand tall and persevere. Because you know somehow, this is going to happen. Because you know you have a solution to a problem and you know you are the person to deliver this solution.
This will be our last blog for the year. We will restart our blog in January. We hope you all have a great holiday.